A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.
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Two former vicars of Tottenham, Gaspar Hickes and William Bates, were expelled from their livings at St. Dunstan-in-the-West, London, and Landrake (Cornw.) in 1662. At least two other ejected ministers settled in the parish, (fn. 1) perhaps attracted there by a body of dissenters which numbered 43 in 1676. (fn. 2)
Most of the early sectaries were probably Quakers, who were strong in eastern Middlesex. (fn. 3) In 1689 Bridget Austell moved her school from Southgate to Tottenham High Cross, where George Fox often stayed during the following fifteen months. Fox preached at large meetings and attributed the size of one to the attendance of many Londoners. (fn. 4) By 1712 there were two Quaker boarding schools and the number of Friends was increasing, partly, it was claimed, because of intemperate attacks by the vicar and others upon the former Anglican divine, Richard Claridge, who kept one of the schools and refused to pay tithe. (fn. 5) After a succession of houses had been licensed for worship, (fn. 6) the site for a permanent meeting-house was bought, with help from the Six Weeks' Meeting, in 1714. Quakers continued to flourish during the 18th century, when Tottenham gradually replaced Enfield as the centre for the monthly meeting. (fn. 7) Their meeting-house was apparently the only fixed place of worship for nonconformists in the parish until the 1790s and they remained the largest sect, with some eminent members, although by 1810 they were said to be diminishing. (fn. 8) During the 19th century there was never more than one meeting-place, which in 1840 drew part of its attendance from outside the parish.
Independents were prominent in the general revival of nonconformity in the late 18th century. They were licensed to use a house near the Black Bull in 1791 and one at Tottenham Hale in 1798. Another house at Tottenham Hale, no. 6 Down Row, was registered in 1828 and an outbuilding near the tile-kilns in Green Lanes was registered in 1849. (fn. 9) Thereafter places certified by Independents became known as Congregational churches. (fn. 10)
Wesleyan Methodists, (fn. 11) who arrived between 1766 and 1790, (fn. 12) registered a place of worship in 1795. Their numbers rose but slowly, despite the opening of a Sunday school, the building of a larger chapel near Bruce Grove in 1818, and an influx of Wesleyans from Nottingham to work in a new silk-factory. (fn. 13) Attendance figures in 1851 showed that growth had remained modest, perhaps because of competition from the Baptists and other stricter sects.
Baptists (fn. 14) in 1823 were served by itinerant preachers at a private house. In 1825, with help from Miss Dermer of Coleraine House and Joseph Fletcher of Bruce Grove, a large chapel was built in High Road. Thereafter expansion was rapid: Baptists certified no. 2 Brook Place in 1830 (fn. 15) and Fletcher, on behalf of 'Calvinists' or 'Evangelicals', certified a building at West Green in 1837, as well as rooms at Wood Green in the same year, (fn. 16) at William Place in 1838, at Scotland Green and Queen Street Terrace in 1839, (fn. 17) and at the Lancasterian school in 1851. (fn. 18) Meanwhile Particular Baptists had registered a building in High Road in 1824. (fn. 19) Despite the number of places of worship for Baptists, attendance at Tottenham Baptist church alone in 1851 was more than double that at the Wesleyan services.
The Brethren (fn. 20) began to meet in Stoneley South in 1838, shortly before a chapel in Brook Street was opened by the brothers Robert and John Eliot Howard. The Brethren were strengthened by secessions from the Society of Friends and in 1840 both sects were singled out, with the Wesleyans and Baptists, as the principal nonconformists in the parish. (fn. 21) Guided by the Howards, Brook Street chapel played an important part in the Brethren movement, as did the congregations at Clapton and Hackney, and included several distinguished members in the late 19th century.
Undesignated dissenters registered houses at Tottenham in 1807 and at Tottenham Hale, where Robert Martin styled himself minister, in 1820. (fn. 22) They also registered rooms at Wood Green in 1829 and in White Hart Lane in 1835 and a house at Tottenham Terrace in 1844. (fn. 23) Such places were the forerunners of many halls and lodgings which became places of worship, often briefly, in the late 19th and 20th centuries.
As the population increased rapidly from the 1860s, the larger sects began to expand, opening new chapels and often rebuilding existing ones. (fn. 24) In 1867 Wesleyan Methodists replaced their chapel with a larger one and in 1871, in the newly suburban Wood Green, they began the first of 50 churches to be promoted by a building fund for the London area. (fn. 25) In the 1870s it was noted in local newspapers that Wesleyans, like Presbyterians, erected unusually grand churches, since they could call on outsiders to contribute. (fn. 26) Chapels were registered in south Tottenham in 1882 and near Alexandra Park in 1891. Finsbury Park and Wood Green became an independent circuit, formed out of Highbury, in 1875, and when St. George's chapel, Bowes Park (Edmonton), was bought by the Methodists in 1901, it was entrusted to Trinity chapel, Wood Green. (fn. 27) Tottenham meanwhile became the head of a large circuit, stretching from Seven Sisters Road to as far north as Cheshunt (Herts.) in 1896, and was credited with one of the most active communities in north London, despite a lack of wealthy residents. (fn. 28) Primitive Methodists, after registering rooms in 1854 and 1861, opened four chapels between 1872 and 1900: in Northumberland Park, in West Green Road, in Station Road, Wood Green, and in St. John's Road, south Tottenham. In 1903 Wesleyan Methodists alone formed the second largest nonconformist group in Tottenham with a total Sunday attendance of 1,287, and the largest in Wood Green, with an attendance of 1,487. (fn. 29) United Methodist churches were registered in High Road, south Tottenham, in 1909 and the Avenue, Bruce Grove, in 1910.
Baptists, too, spread from Tottenham High Road over the rest of the parish. (fn. 30) A group which was meeting at West Green by 1862 opened a chapel in 1865 and became responsible in the 1880s for missions in Dagmar Road (Hornsey) and Avenue Road. Meanwhile Wood Green Baptist church was founded by a group formed in 1865 and, in the extreme south, Woodberry Down church opened in 1883. A second church at Wood Green arose from meetings begun in 1892 by Baptists from Hornsey, who in 1902 found a permanent home in Westbury Avenue. A third church, registered in Palace Road by seceders from Wood Green Baptist church, proved short-lived. Strict Baptists began to assemble near the high cross in 1884 and moved to Napier Road in 1887. Another group, meeting by 1886, registered a chapel in Park Ridings, Wood Green, in 1892, seventeen years before seceders opened a chapel in Eldon Road, off Lordship Lane. Baptists formed Tottenham's largest sect in 1903, with a total Sunday attendance of 1,559. (fn. 31)
Although earlier meetings of Independents had died out, Congregationalists established themselves in both Wood Green and Tottenham. (fn. 32) Wood Green Congregational church was registered in 1864, by a group formed in 1861, and in Tottenham High Road, previously served by Edmonton, services began in 1866, two years before the opening of High Cross Congregational church. Ambitious building plans at first brought financial crises and changes of minister, Wood Green in 1873 being held up in the press as an example of the dangers of too small a pastorate; both churches, however, were popular and ultimately successful. In the south a mission hall in St. Ann's Road was opened in 1880 under the direction of a large church at Stamford Hill. The southwest was served by Harringay church and the north-west by Bowes Park church, both registered in 1902, and the extreme west by Alexandra Park church, opened in 1907. Presbyterians, (fn. 33) who had appeared by 1863, registered a church in Tottenham High Road in 1866 and a flourishing one at Wood Green in 1879.
The number of places registered for nonconformist worship rose steadily between 1850 and the First World War: four between 1852 and 1859, eight in the 1860s, nine in the 1870s, 12 in the 1880s, 13 in the 1890s, and 31 from 1900 until 1915. (fn. 34) In 1903 over half of one Sunday's 16,863 worshippers in Tottenham were nonconformists, Anglicans accounting for only 5,076 and Roman Catholics for 2,273; among Wood Green's 11,580 worshippers the nonconformist proportion was still higher, for 3,260 were Anglican and no more than 822 Roman Catholic. Tottenham, however, had a very poor record of attendance in general; its ratio of 1 in 6.06 was the lowest in outer London, below that of Stepney and comparable with that of Battersea or Shoreditch. (fn. 35)
The Salvation Army appeared in 1884 and was quickly followed by more groups of Brethren. (fn. 36) In 1903 the Salvation Army drew total Sunday attendances of 1,128 in Tottenham, where it had the third largest nonconformist congregation, and 1,012 in Wood Green, where it had the fourth largest. (fn. 37) Wood Green attracted many sects previously unrepresented in the area, the better-known ones including Unitarians from 1894, the Catholic Apostolic Church from 1906, and Welsh Calvinistic Methodists by 1915. A building at Downhills, West Green, registered in 1883, proved to be the forerunner of many halls opened by undesignated Christians. West Green hall was built in 1901 and run by the Robins Mission, itself later absorbed by the interdenominational London City Mission which opened its first Tottenham meeting-place in 1912. Quakers began meeting at Wood Green in 1904 but at Tottenham numbers declined during the later 19th century, in contrast to the trend among nonconformists in general and among Quakers elsewhere.
After the First World War most of the established denominations concentrated on improving their existing premises, although the building of the White Hart Lane estate brought the Wesleyans to Gospatrick Road in 1931. The London City Mission continued its work, with three new halls in 1930, and took over the Robins Mission's rebuilt West Green hall in 1938. (fn. 38) Spiritualists, who were to flourish during the Second World War, were again recorded from 1926, and newcomers included the Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance by 1929 and Jehovah's Witnesses by 1938. In the 1930s the movement of many inhabitants to more modern suburbs eventually led to the closure of Tottenham's Presbyterian church.
Since 1945 many of the older churches have been rebuilt or altered to accommodate smaller numbers, while others have closed. Wood Green's Presbyterians amalgamated with nearby Congregationalists in 1950, preceding the general union of their denominations by 22 years. Congregationalists also gave up the oldest nonconformist church in Wood Green a few years later and the Unitarians closed their premises in 1966. Methodists, after rebuilding St. Mark's, sold three churches between 1969 and 1971. The London City Mission opened a new hall in 1951 but the most striking progress was made by newcomers, often American based, or, in the 1960s, by sects which appealed to West Indian immigrants; they included Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Assemblies of God, and several Pentecostal groups.
Society of Friends.
Tottenham meeting-house, the first permanent meeting-place for dissenters in the parish, was built in 1714, (fn. 39) although the project had been considered in 1706. (fn. 40) Various houses had previously been licensed for worship: one of Francis Clare near the pound in 1698, (fn. 41) one belonging to Richard Claridge in 1707 and 1712, and one belonging to Alice Hayes in 1714. (fn. 42) The meeting-house occupied a plot with a frontage of 50 ft. along High Road, immediately north of Sanchez's alms-houses, and was enlarged in 1777. Prominent local Quakers included Thomas Shillitoe (1754-1836), an evangelist who travelled much abroad, Mrs. Priscilla Wakefield (1750-1820), author, philanthropist, and one of the first promoters of savings banks, (fn. 43) and the Forster family, particularly active in education. (fn. 44) Part of an adjoining orchard was bought from Shillitoe in 1803, as an addition to the burial ground, and building repairs in the 1820s were followed by substantial reconstruction in 1833, (fn. 45) which raised the number of seats to 600. About 60 Tottenham families attended in 1840, as well as Quakers from neighbouring parishes. (fn. 46) The meeting-house was registered in 1854 as no. 594 High Road (fn. 47) and further altered in 1880; a schoolroom was built over a verandah along its main front and railings replaced a wall which had screened it from the road. (fn. 48) Attendance figures, however, declined from 156 in the morning and 101 in the afternoon in 1851, (fn. 49) to 27 and 78 in 1903 (fn. 50) and to an average of 32 in October 1914. (fn. 51) New first-floor premises on the same site, behind offices and over a supermarket, were opened in 1962. They were designed in yellow brick by H. M. Lidbetter and comprised a roof-top forecourt, schoolrooms, and a kitchen, as well as a large room for worship. (fn. 52)
At Wood Green, small meetings were held in Bradley hall, Station Road, from 1904 until 1922. (fn. 53)
Methodists. (fn. 54)
St. Mark's (W) church originated in Wesleyans' erection of a place of worship, opposite the George and Vulture, which they registered in 1795. (fn. 55) A Sunday school was opened a few years later (fn. 56) but there were no more than 37 declared Wesleyans by 1810, (fn. 57) when services were thinly attended. (fn. 58) A new building was paid for by voluntary subscriptions and registered in 1818, when the membership was 64. It stood behind a burial ground on the east side of High Road, nearly opposite Bruce Grove, and had over 400 seats, although attendance averaged only 150 in the morning and 160 in the evening on Census Sunday in 1851. (fn. 59) A larger chapel, dedicated to St. Mark, was opened in 1867, whereupon the old building, to which a hall and classrooms had recently been added, was used solely as a Sunday school until 1880. It was then put to commercial uses and the burial ground built over. In 1904 it was almost completely burnt down. The new chapel (later church) of St. Mark, occupying land on the west side of High Road acquired from the Forster family, was built of undressed stone in 'modernized Gothic', with a tower and steeple. Extensive school buildings were put up at the rear in 1880. Over 500 people attended both Sunday morning and evening services at St. Mark's in 1903. After the steeple had been found unsafe in 1937, shops were built along High Road, with an entrance to the church in the middle of the parade beneath a square tower. During the Second World War land-mines almost destroyed the schools and damaged the church, where the seating was reduced from 750 in 1940 to 662 by 1960. (fn. 60) New schoolrooms were opened in 1956 and a reconstructed church, of yellow brick, was opened in 1963. St. Mark's had seating for 244 in 1973. (fn. 61)
Trinity (W) church, Wood Green, (fn. 62) arose from open-air services which had begun in 1864. In 1868 worshippers occupied a mission room in Finsbury Road and in 1869 they acquired a site on the north side of Southgate (later Trinity) Road, where Trinity chapel was dedicated in 1872. The building was designed by the Revd. J. N. Johnson, a steward of the Highbury circuit; it was of greyish brick with stone dressings, in the Early English style, and prompted a press comment that at Wood Green the Wesleyan chapel looked like a church and the church like a chapel. (fn. 63) Seating was increased in 1880, when a new school was built at the rear, and in 1900 three halls were opened. In 1903, with nearly 700 worshippers on Sunday morning and 800 in the evening, there was a larger attendance than at any other nonconformist church in Tottenham or Wood Green. The former Baptist chapel of St. George, Bowes Park (Edmonton), was placed under the care of Trinity church, which contributed to its purchase by the Methodists in 1901. (fn. 64) Trinity church itself was sold to the Greek Orthodox Church in 1970. (fn. 65)
Northumberland Park (P) church, on the north side of the road almost opposite Worcester Avenue, was founded in 1870 (fn. 66) and registered in 1872. (fn. 67) The building was of greyish-yellow brick, with redgranite pillars by the main door, in a mixture of Byzantine and later styles. Sunday attendances of 101 and 139 were recorded in 1903. It was used by Methodists until its sale to the Calvary Church of God in Christ in 1971. (fn. 68)
West Green Road (P) church presumably began as a temporary building, registered in 1877 but no longer used by Primitive Methodists in 1896. (fn. 69) A new chapel of yellow brick, with red-brick dressings, on the south side of West Green Road opposite Belmont Road, was founded in 1888 (fn. 70) and registered in 1894. (fn. 71) It had Sunday attendances of 122 and 76 in 1903. The building, which seated 176, was sold in 1969 and used by immigrants as the Derby Hall Christian Assembly room in 1972. (fn. 72)
Stonebridge Road (W) church, south Tottenham, a red-brick chapel at the corner of Stonebridge and Highwalk roads, was built and registered in 1882. (fn. 73) Sunday attendances of fewer than 100 were recorded in 1903. Sale of the premises was sanctioned in 1936. (fn. 74) The building was registered as St. Andrew's Collegiate church by undesignated Christians in 1954 and was bought by the Church of God in 1967. (fn. 75)
Station Road (P) church, Wood Green, was registered in 1882 and had attendances of 44 and 62 in 1903. It was replaced by the Bourne temple, registered in 1908 but no longer used in 1939. (fn. 76)
Earlsmead (U) church originated in meetings over a shop in St. Ann's Road, which led to the building of Earlsmead Bible Christian hall, registered in High Road in 1886. (fn. 77) Later the hall was also used by Methodists, calling themselves Gospel Christians, from the nearby Westerfield Road hall. (fn. 78) The congregation, after joining the United Methodist Free Churches, opened a second chapel in High Road in 1909, whereupon the old one became a schoolroom. Earlsmead United Methodist church was recertified, as Central hall, in 1935. (fn. 79) It had seating for 750 and was closed in 1953. (fn. 80)
The Avenue (W) church, Alexandra Park, was registered in 1891 but had closed by 1912. (fn. 81)
St. John's Road (P) church, south Tottenham, was registered in 1900 and had Sunday attendances of 88 and 106 in 1903. It had closed by 1950. (fn. 82)
Miller Memorial (U) church (fn. 83) was constituted in 1904, although members met in private houses until the erection of a corrugated iron building in 1905. Three or four years later an appeal was launched for a permanent church in memory of the Revd. Ira Miller, late president of the London Church Extension Committee, and the Revd. Marmaduke Miller, editor of the Connexional Magazine. There were ambitious plans for a building in the Renaissance style, with a horseshoe-shaped chapel to seat 800 and nine Sunday school classrooms, at the corner of the Avenue and Mount Pleasant Road. Eventually a stone church in the Gothic style, seating 350, (fn. 84) was begun on that site in 1925 (fn. 85) and registered in 1926. (fn. 86) The foundation of a neighbouring church hall, in the Avenue, was laid in 1957. (fn. 87)
The Welsh Calvinistic Methodist church, Wood Green, was registered in 1915. (fn. 88) The premises, on the north-west side of Palace Road, had previously been used by Baptists. (fn. 89) In 1972 they comprised a small building, of brick with stone dressings, and an adjoining hall at the back.
Gospatrick Road (W) church was registered in 1931, four years after Methodists from St. Mark's began to hold services on the White Hart Lane estate. (fn. 90) The church stood east of the junction with Deyncourt Road and in 1972 was a small brown brick building, seating 200, (fn. 91) with a hall at the rear.
Tottenham Baptist church, (fn. 92) on the west side of High Road, was built by Joseph Fletcher and other subscribers in 1825 and opened in 1826. Previously Baptists had met at the house of Thomas Harwood, near the White Hart, before moving to a coach-house belonging to Miss Dermer. Land for the permanent church was also provided by Miss Dermer, who gave an additional plot for a Sunday school and a minister's house in 1830. The church, a substantial brick building with a porch flanked by Doric columns, was designed by J. Clark. (fn. 93) Despite its size, side-galleries increased the accommodation to 900 in 1836. Some 800 Baptists were said to worship there in 1840, (fn. 94) although by 1851 the average congregation was 400-500 (fn. 95) and in 1903, after several other churches had opened, the Sunday attendances were 319 and 353. Further internal alterations, necessitating temporary closure, were carried out in 1875-6; the Sunday school was rebuilt in 1889 and the church itself became the first public building in Tottenham to be lit by electricity in 1907. Tottenham Baptist church, with its seating reduced to 700, (fn. 96) was the parish's oldest surviving place of worship, apart from All Saints, in 1972.
West Green Baptist church (fn. 97) originated in services which George N. Watson was holding on the Downhills estate by 1862. A permanent site on the east of Blacksop Lane (later Dorset Road), at the junction with West Green Road, was bought in 1864. Salem chapel, built with financial help from Watson, was opened in 1865 but attendance fell on Watson's retirement and the church was reorganized, as Union chapel, in 1869. At about that time an adjoining plot was bought for a Sunday school, although the first classes were held in a room at the corner of Dagmar Road, where a mission operated in the 1880s to serve the nearby Woodberry estate. Classes were held in the church itself shortly before 1886, when the iron Dorset hall was set up to accommodate a Sunday school and mission in Avenue Road. There were Sunday attendances of 141 and 250 in 1903. Despite the hall's closure in 1913, it was not until 1924 that a new Dorset hall was opened, at the rear of the church. Another hall, the Dorset Memorial hall, was opened in 1953. The church itself, a Gothic building of yellow brick with stone dressings, was damaged by fire in 1877; repairs were carried out in 1932 and a glass porch was added in 1968. (fn. 98) There was seating for 450 worshippers in 1972. (fn. 99)
Wood Green, later Braemar Avenue, Baptist church (fn. 100) arose from meetings at private houses, including that of a Mr. Cassini in Finsbury Road, from 1865, two years before James Pugh had charge of a church in Nightingale Road. After reorganizations under the same minister. land was bought and a church was opened, as Wood Green Baptist chapel, on the west side of Finsbury Road in 1876. (fn. 101) Sunday attendances of 153 and 208 were recorded in 1903. The congregation was linked with a mission in Station Road from 1886 until 1907, when both bodies moved to Braemar Avenue. Meanwhile several members had seceded from Wood Green in 1904, to re-form in Palace Road, (fn. 102) whereupon the Finsbury Road premises were sold to the Catholic Apostolic Church. (fn. 103) In 1908 a new church was opened at the corner of Braemar Avenue and Bounds Green Road and in 1914 Palace Road was reunited with the Wood Green membership, which later changed its name to Braemar Avenue Baptist church. The building, designed by George Baines and Son, (fn. 104) was of red brick with white stone dressings; a hall at the back was extended in the 1950s. There was seating for 500 in 1972.
Woodberry Down, the first Baptist church to serve south Tottenham, was built with help from the congregation at Hackney Downs and opened in 1883. The church, on the south corner of Vartry and Seven Sisters roads, was designed by Paull and Bonella as an imposing red-brick building dressed in Bath stone, with rounded staircase turrets at the west end and a central ventilating turret. Rooms were added to the east end in 1912 and the seats were reduced from over 900 to 750 after internal reconstruction in 1954. (fn. 105)
Shaftesbury hall, Carlton Road, Bowes Park, was registered in 1885. It had attendances of 78 and 103 in 1903 and was still used by Baptists in 1937 but had been closed by 1954. (fn. 106)
Westerfield hall, (fn. 107) a former G.P.O. sorting office in Westerfield Road near Seven Sisters station, was registered in 1887 by Gospel Christians. (fn. 108) When the congregation started to use Earlsmead hall, (fn. 109) the building in Westerfield Road was leased for Baptist worship by a Mr. Eastty, who acted as lay pastor until his retirement. Sunday attendances of 19 and 89 were recorded in 1903. Members were affiliated to Tottenham Baptist church from 1900 but continued to meet at Westerfield Road, where there was seating for 200, (fn. 110) until the Second World War. A few Sunday school classes were held after the war before the premises were sold, whereupon the children moved to West Green.
Westbury Avenue church originated in meetings of Baptists from Campsbourne Road (Hornsey) in Turnpike Lane in 1891. They formed a church two years later and moved to Dovecote hall in 1895 and to a new chapel at the junction of Westbury Avenue with Willingdon Road in 1902. There were Sunday attendances of 119 and 145 in 1903. The chapel was rebuilt, with a hall, in 1930, when the seating capacity was raised from 250 to 300. (fn. 111)
Palace Road, Wood Green, contained a small chapel which was registered in 1907 (fn. 112) by Bowes Park Baptist church, a group which had seceded from Wood Green three years before. The congregation rejoined Wood Green Baptist church in 1914, (fn. 113) whereupon the building in Palace Road passed to Welsh Methodists. (fn. 114)
Ebenezer Strict Baptist chapel, Napier Road, traced its origins to meetings held at Welbourne hall, near the high cross, in 1884. Worshippers moved to a site in the fork between Napier and Ranelagh roads, north of Philip Lane, in 1887. Ebenezer chapel, registered there in 1898, had Sunday attendances of 65 and 93 in 1903 and seating for 300 twenty-five years later. In 1972 it was a low yellow-brick building, with red-brick decoration. (fn. 115)
Park Ridings Strict Baptist chapel, Wood Green, arose from meetings at no. 9 Dovecote Villas in 1886. Two years later worshippers formed a church and in 1892 they registered an iron building on the east side of Park Ridings, (fn. 116) where Sunday attendances numbered 71 and 81 in 1903. A new redbrick chapel, seating 250, (fn. 117) was begun in 1922 and registered in 1923. It was again registered as the undenominational Wood Green Evangelical church in 1971 (fn. 118) and used as such in 1972, when a brick and stone hall stood at the corner of Mayes Road and Hornsey Park Road.
Eldon Road Strict Baptist church, Wood Green, was the creation of seceders from Park Ridings, who opened a new church at Dovecote hall, a wooden building in West Green High Road, in 1909. Sunday school classes were also held there until the congregation moved for 14 months to Noel Park school and in 1911 opened an iron church on the west side of Eldon Road. With aid from the sale of Bassett Street Strict Baptist church, Kentish Town, the site was extended and a new church, with a school hall at the rear, was opened in 1936. An additional school hall was opened nearby in 1955. (fn. 119) The church, of brick with stone dressings, had seating for 220 in 1972. (fn. 120)
Brethren. (fn. 121)
Brook Street chapel was opened in 1839 by Robert Howard and his brother John Eliot Howard, the naturalist, (fn. 122) a year after Brethren had begun meeting at the house of Mrs. Sands in Stoneley South. The Howards, who belonged to the chemical manufacturing firm of Howard & Sons, had seceded from the Society of Friends and were joined in 1839 by their father Luke, (fn. 123) the meteorologist. The chapel was thriving in 1840, when it supported a Sunday school; (fn. 124) it was attended by about 140 in the morning and 120 in the evening on Census Sunday in 1851, (fn. 125) two years after the congregation's Tottenham Statement had rejected the exclusive doctrines of J. N. Darby. Well-known attenders included the zoologist Philip Henry Gosse, (fn. 126) who was married from Robert Howard's house in 1848 and was later portrayed by Edmund Gosse in Father and Son, the philanthropist Thomas Barnardo, baptized at Brook Street in 1862 at the age of 17, (fn. 127) and James Hudson Taylor, promoter of the China Inland Mission. From about 1880 until 1903 assemblies took place in a lecture hall which the Brethren renamed Bruce Grove hall, on the opposite side of High Road, while Sunday school classes were held in the chapel. A schoolroom was built at the back of the chapel to mark its jubilee and an adjoining room for youth-work was put up in 1955. In 1972 the chapel itself was a low yellow-brick building, modernized inside but with its original seating capacity of 200.
Ten worshippers, described as Brethren, attended a 'place of exhortation' at West Green infants' school in 1851. (fn. 128) Others, sometimes calling themselves 'open' or Christian Brethren, registered the 'Rest' mission rooms, Station Road, Wood Green, in 1885 (closed by 1960), Wellesley hall, High Road, West Green in 1893, Lordship hall, Lordship Lane, in 1910 (closed by 1954), (fn. 129) Woodberry hall, St. John's Road (opened by 1899, closed by 1971), (fn. 130) Ringslade hall, nos. 3 and 5 Ringslade Road, Wood Green, in 1928, and a room at 597 Seven Sisters Road in 1931. (fn. 131)
Wood Green Congregational church was registered in 1864, (fn. 132) three years after meetings had started in schoolrooms nearby. The building, the first permanent nonconformist church to serve the new houses of Wood Green, was estimated to hold 500 and in 1873 was criticized as too large; (fn. 133) in 1903 it had Sunday attendances of 267 and 195. It was classical in style, with roundheaded doors and windows, pilasters, and a pedimented front facing Lordship Lane at the corner of Redvers Road. The congregation was united with Harringay Congregational church in 1964, whereupon Wood Green church was acquired by the local authority as an arts centre. (fn. 134)
High Cross church (fn. 135) was founded largely through the efforts of William John Eales, a wealthy merchant of Bruce Grove and a member of Edmonton Congregational church. Besides hiring a lecture hall for services in 1866 Eales was instrumental in enrolling members for a new church in 1867, in starting a Sunday school, and in erecting a church on the east side of High Road opposite High Cross Green. The building was opened in 1868 but its ambitious design, to seat 600, burdened the trustees with debt for over 50 years and contributed to frequent changes of minister in the late 19th century. Sunday school attendance nonetheless rose, necessitating extra classes in the institute in Philip Lane in the 1890s when the church also operated a mission at Page Green. (fn. 136) In 1903 there were Sunday attendances of 343 and 704 at the church and 60 and 86 at the mission. Adjoining property along High Road was bought in 1907 and exchanged in 1919 for land behind the church, where two temporary halls were put up. A brick memorial hall was opened there in 1929, after the earlier buildings, one of them later known as the John Williams hall, had been moved. The church itself, a Gothic structure of stone with some ornamental brickwork, was altered internally in the late 1930s. Services were held in the John Williams hall during repairs to the main front after the Second World War and in the memorial hall during work on the ceiling in 1958; the entrance was reconstructed, to provide a vestibule, in 1966. There was seating for 900 worshippers in 1972. (fn. 137)
St. Ann's Road mission station was opened in 1878 by members of Stamford Hill Congregational church, Clapton Common. There were 150 sittings in 1895 and 300 in 1951. (fn. 138)
Harringay Congregational church (fn. 139) originated in a Sunday school started in 1891 in Falkland hall, an upstairs room behind a shop at the south corner of Falkland Road and Green Lanes. Land was bought at the junction of Allison Road with Green Lanes and an iron building was opened there in 1894. It was replaced by a permanent church, opened in 1902, and by a new hall and schoolrooms, built as a threestorey block in Allison Road in 1912. There were Sunday attendances of 341 and 406 in 1903. The church, of red brick with stone dressings and in the Gothic style, underwent major internal reconstruction in 1970, when the seating capacity was reduced from about 650 to 220. All three halls, collectively known as Allison hall, were retained by the church in 1972, although the bottom one had been leased to the government since 1947. In 1969 Harringay Congregational church united with Hornsey Church of Christ. The Hornsey premises, in Wightman Road, were sold and the new church became known as Harringay United church.
Bowes Park Congregational church began as a hall and schoolrooms, registered in 1902, at the corner of Arcadian Gardens and Wood Green High Road. A large red-brick church with stone dressings, adjoining the hall, was founded in 1909 and registered in 1912. (fn. 140) After the congregation had united with that of St. James's Presbyterian church in 1950, the premises became those of the United Church of St. James-at-Bowes.
Alexandra Park (Whitefield Memorial) church (fn. 141) was founded by Congregationalists who first met at the house of Dr. Mailer in Alexandra Park Road. Many, before moving to the new suburb, had worshipped at the Whitefield tabernacle, Leonard Street, Finsbury. A building east of the corner with Albert Road was opened in 1907 and members of the Finsbury tabernacle automatically became members of the new church, which at first was called Whitefield tabernacle but was recertified as Alexandra Park Congregational church in 1922. (fn. 142) The church, of red brick with stone dressings, had seating for 550 in 1972. (fn. 143) A two-storey brick hall was built on the north side in 1932 and a lower hall was added to the back in 1965. Numerous benefactions for the Finsbury tabernacle were transferred to the minister and deacons of Alexandra Park congregation. Eleven charities, regulated in 1958 as the charities of Maria Godfrey and others, produced a gross income of £315 in 1971, when £164 was distributed among four needy parishioners. (fn. 144)
St. John's church, High Road, north Tottenham, was registered in 1866, three years after services had started in a lecture hall. (fn. 145) The building, designed by W. G. Habershon and Pite, had seats for 450. By 1876 St. John's had opened a mission hall in Coleraine Park, which remained in use until 1915 and, as a Sunday school, until 1917. (fn. 146) There were Sunday attendances of 137 and 170 at the church and 29 and 57 at the mission in 1903. After the First World War the removal of many members to the outer suburbs reduced the active congregation to about 40 by 1939, when the church was accordingly closed. (fn. 147)
St. James's church, Wood Green, was formed in 1875, when the Presbyterian Church of England took over an iron chapel which had been used for four years by the Church of Scotland. (fn. 148) There were about 100 members in 1877, when work started on a church in Green Lanes. The new building, of redbrick dressed with Bath stone, was noted for its grandeur. It seated 400 worshippers, apart from those in the galleries, but was soon extended to take 700; in 1902 it had the fourth largest congregation within the London Presbytery (fn. 149) and in 1903 Sunday attendances were 585 and 465. In 1950 members united with Bowes Park Congregational church, whose premises they used as the United Church of St. James-at-Bowes. (fn. 150) The former Presbyterian church afterwards served as a warehouse and survived in 1974. (fn. 151)
The Salvation Army.
In 1884 the army registered an iron hall at Bruce Grove and barracks in Finsbury Road, Wood Green, both of which meeting places had been given up by 1896. (fn. 152) The Wood Green citadel, a two-storeyed red-brick hall at the corner of Mayes and Alexandra Park roads, was registered in 1890. It remained open in 1972, as did a similar hall begun in 1891 (fn. 153) and registered in 1895 for the Tottenham citadel corps at Page Green. From 1900 the army in north Tottenham used Elm hall, in Church Road, before opening a yellowbrick hall on the corner of High Road and Paxton Road in 1908. (fn. 154) A fourth hall still used in 1972 was also opened in 1908, at Terront Road, West Green. (fn. 155) By 1929 the army had a hall in Perth Road, Wood Green, which had been given up by 1954. (fn. 156)
A group of German bakers settled near south Tottenham during the late 19th century and secured a pastor from the Lutheran Church, Missouri, U.S.A. Holy Trinity, a combined church and school building, was dedicated at no. 53 Antill Road in 1901, (fn. 157) registered by Lutherans of the unaltered Augsburg Confession in 1923, and reregistered by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of England in 1948. (fn. 158) A porch, vestry, and chancel were added in 1935 but the original seating capacity of 90 remained unchanged in 1972, when the church was a simple red-brick building, with a Dutch gable. A temporary hall was dedicated in 1949 and a permanent hall opened 20 years later. (fn. 159)
Other Denominations and unspecified missions.
The Free Church of England registered St. John Wycliffe's, Tottenham Green, in 1853 but used it only for about eleven years. (fn. 160)
A building at Downhills, West Green, belonging to William Tucker, was registered by undesignated Christians from 1861 until 1896 and again, as Downhills hall, from 1896 until 1907. (fn. 161)
The Free English Church registered no. 15 Houghton Road, near Seven Sisters station, in 1882 but was no longer there in 1896. (fn. 162)
A gospel hall in Southgate Road, Wood Green, was registered by unspecified Christians from 1872 to 1913. A hall at Bruce Grove which was registered by the Gospel Temperance Mission from 1883 until 1896 (fn. 163) may have been the iron building where the Blue Ribbon Gospel Temperance Mission started its work in 1882. The Blue Ribbon Movement later built Forster hall in Forster Road, (fn. 164) registered from 1885 until 1896. Christians who registered a room at no. 1A Woodlands Park Road in 1900 moved to a hall in Clarence Road, West Green, in 1905. (fn. 165)
Unitarians formed a congregation at Wood Green in 1890. (fn. 166) Four years later they registered Unity hall in Newnham Road, where a new church and hall were registered in 1902. (fn. 167) After the closure of Unity church in 1966, members assembled with the Unitarian Fellowship of Enfield and Barnet at Cockfosters. (fn. 168)
The Catholic Apostolic Church, which previously had used premises in Gloucester Road, Holloway, registered the former Baptist church in Finsbury Road in 1906. (fn. 169) The church, a brick building with a south-east turret, was vacant by 1965, when it was acquired from trustees by the Greek Orthodox community. (fn. 170)
The Robins Mission administered West Green hall, built in 1901 and later bought by the president of the mission, James Hillyer, who helped to pay for its reconstruction as a two-storeyed building in 1930. Hillyer, by will proved 1938, settled the hall on trustees whom he enjoined not to permit High Church practices; he also left £250 a year towards the missioner's salary, £50 a year for repairs, and dividends to be distributed annually in gifts of 10s. among members aged over 70. The property and its endowment were vested in the London City Mission by a Scheme of 1940. (fn. 171)
The London City Mission registered its first hall, in Tebworth Road, in 1912. Trafalgar mission hall in Queen Street, off White Hart Lane, was registered in 1930 and replaced by Trafalgar Memorial hall in 1941. A new hall in High Cross Road was also registered in 1930, as was Shaftesbury Memorial hall in Fladbury Road, and a mission in Siddons Road started in 1951. All, except Shaftesbury Memorial hall, were still undenominational meeting-places in 1971. (fn. 172)
Spirtualists met at Wyvern House, no. 193 High Road, in 1903, when 46 attended a Sunday evening service. In 1926 they registered Bradley hall, Bradley Park Road, Wood Green, and in 1932 moved to a room in Stuart House, River Park Road, which they had left by 1954. (fn. 173) Tottenham and Edmonton Spirtualist church opened in 1929 in Edmonton, (fn. 174) whither the Temple of the Trinity for Spiritual Healing moved after three years at no. 371 High Road, Wood Green, in 1941. The Sanctuary of St. Andrew, registered at no. 65 Duckett Road in 1942, had closed by 1964. (fn. 175) Wood Green Spiritualist church, unconnected with any earlier group but affiliated to the Spiritualist National Union, was opened in 1953; services were held in a private house, at the corner of Maryland Road and High Road, which could seat 120 in 1972. (fn. 176) Spiritualists forming the Mount Zion Church of God began to meet at Crowland Road junior school in 1965 (fn. 177) and registered no. 192 High Road in 1967. (fn. 178)
The Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance registered Elim hall, a rented room on the first floor of no. 614 High Road, Tottenham, in 1929, (fn. 179) soon after Pentecostal meetings had started there. It was replaced by Brook hall, Brook Road, Wood Green, which remained in use from c. 1930 until 1955, when worshippers moved to Russell Road (Edmonton). (fn. 180)
Jehovah's Witnesses registered the first floor of nos. 6 and 8 Westbury Avenue as a Kingdom hall in 1938 and met there until 1953. A hall in Wingmore Road was registered in 1959 and used until 1970. Jehovah's Witnesses still owned the building in 1972, when they were seeking a larger one in the area. Meetings were held at the Adult School hall, Commerce Road, for ten years until 1972, when the congregation had temporarily to share a Kingdom hall which had been opened at no. 5 Glenwood Road in 1970. (fn. 181)
The Tottenham Assembly of the Church of God, soon renamed the Redemption Church of God, registered premises in the Crescent in 1962. (fn. 182) Ten years later the church occupied a small, part roughcast, hall next to no. 1 the Crescent.
The Church of God acquired the former St. Andrew's Collegiate church, previously a Methodist chapel, in Stonebridge Road in 1967. (fn. 183)
Seventh Day Adventists worshipped in a corrugated iron hall at the corner of Northcott Avenue and Bounds Green Road in 1972. (fn. 186)
The New Testament Church of God, whose general headquarters were at Cleveland, Tennessee (U.S.A.), worshipped at no. 628 High Road, a 19thcentury house near Scotland Green belonging to the Y.W.C.A., in 1972. (fn. 187)
Pentecostal meetings were popular among West Indian immigrants from the 1960s. The groups were often short-lived and, despite their name, were not registered among the Pentecostal churches. (fn. 188) In 1972 they included assemblies at Coleraine Park primary school, Downhills school, and Woodlands Park junior school. (fn. 189)