A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 6, Friern Barnet, Finchley, Hornsey With Highgate. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1980.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Agrarian History. In 1241-2, 1273-4, and 1298 the demesne of Hornsey manor was leased (fn. 1) but it was exploited directly in 1304 and 1318, when it was managed directly with that of Finchley. In 1318 there was a separate grange of Hornsey, probably the later Rowledge farm. The famuli consisted of a herdsman, a ploughman, and a ploughleader, and there were six oxen; there were eight oxen in 1304 and thirteen in 1339, when there was only one complete plough. In 1318 five other ploughs were provided by villeins rendering labour services. (fn. 2) Apparently the demesne was still in hand in 1375 (fn. 3) but c. 1390 Rowledge farm was leased as a whole and the herbage of the parks and High Reading were leased separately. (fn. 4) Farnfields was already leased in 1369 (fn. 5) but the demesne of Muswell was in hand between 1488 and 1535. (fn. 6) The first known lease of Brownswood demesne dates from 1547. (fn. 7)
There were 63 freehold and copyhold tenants of Hornsey manor in 1406. (fn. 8) The majority were probably copyholders: freehold land was almost confined to the eastern fringe of the parish. The tenements recorded between 1318 and 1406 varied from 1 to 28 a. in size. (fn. 9) Bondmen and bondlands were recorded in 1375 (fn. 10) and in 1318 a sower, 2 scatterers, 5 ploughmen, and 5 ploughleaders rendered boon-works. (fn. 11) The tenants owed rents of assize, Romescot, smokepennies, palfrey money, (fn. 12) heriots, (fn. 13) and, by 1384, 4s. as their share of the 64s. common fine due to the bishop from the manor of Stepney. (fn. 14) There were nine copyhold tenants of Brownswood in 1577, when they owed rents of assize and hen-silver of 3s. 4d. on each house. (fn. 15) On Hornsey manor in 1406 and on Brownswood manor c. 1580 holdings were subject to partible inheritance, (fn. 16) as on the manor of Stepney itself. On Hornsey manor subdivision of holdings was frequently averted by surrenders in tail and to the use of tenants' wills or reversed by the purchase of all purparties by a single individual. (fn. 17)
In the 15th century some copyhold and freehold land in a small area east of Crouch End consisted of strips in larger fields; one such strip contained five ridges in 1478. (fn. 18) There is no evidence of open fields elsewhere in the parish: estates already in closes at the earliest dates for which concrete evidence survives were Muswell demesne in 1488, (fn. 19) Brownswood demesne in 1547, (fn. 20) the copyhold of Brownswood manor in 1577, (fn. 21) and the copyhold of Hornsey manor in the early 17th century. (fn. 22) By 1318 the field called Little Redings (in Finchley) existed in the woods, and assarting continued after the leasing of the demesne: (fn. 23) those fields were probably fenced off from the woodland by 1303. (fn. 24) A field on Hornsey demesne was fenced during 1318. (fn. 25)
In 1318 wheat was delivered to the bishop's reeve from the grange at Hornsey. On Hornsey demesne 58 a. were sown with wheat in 1304 and 54½ a. were under rye, when little of either was in store. In 1304 the granary contained 109 bu. of maslin, 104 bu. of oats, 24 bu. of dredge, and 8 bu. of rye, in 1318 there were 115 bu. of wheat and 11 bu. of oats, and in 1339 there remained 47 bu. of rye, 64 bu. of peas, 72 bu. of beans, and 570 bu. of oats, probably as winter feed for livestock. In 1304 there had been hay worth 24s. Of the 1318 harvest, 61 bu. of wheat and oats were threshed and winnowed on the manor, 34 qr. of wheat were delivered to Stepney for milling, and the remainder was consumed locally. Wheat and oats were supplied to the famuli. Villeins of Hornsey had five ploughs in 1318 (fn. 26) and were growing wheat and oats in 1375. (fn. 27) A rector bequeathed 4 qr. of wheat in 1428, (fn. 28) arable was under cultivation at Muswell in 1488, (fn. 29) and in 1557 a resident possessed a fully equipped plough and harrows. (fn. 30)
Part of Hornsey demesne in 1318, (fn. 31) all of Farnfields demesne in 1419, (fn. 32) and most of Muswell demesne between 1488 and 1535 were pasture. (fn. 33) Open-field arable in Topsfield manor was converted to pasture by 1478 (fn. 34) and conversion was complete on High Reding by 1536 (fn. 35) and Rowledge farm by 1543. (fn. 36) In 1547 the demesne of Brownswood manor was under grass. (fn. 37)
A herdsman was employed on Hornsey manor in 1318. (fn. 38) There were 6 carthorses and 4 stots in 1304 and 2 carthorses and 4 stots in 1339. There were 2 bulls, 47 cows, and 5 bullocks in 1304 and 2 bulls and 25 cows in 1339. By then goats and pigs had been replaced by 138 ewes and 189 lambs. (fn. 39) no stock was leased with the demesne in 1396 or 1404. (fn. 40) Two tenants possessed oxen in 1375 (fn. 41) and teams of oxen were in use in 1524 and 1557; (fn. 42) a team of carthorses occurred in 1461 (fn. 43) and other horses in 1396 and 1557. (fn. 44) Four tenants owned cows in 1318 (fn. 45) and individual residents bequeathed from 1 to 6 cows between 1402 and 1533. (fn. 46) A tenant had a sheep-pen in 1375 (fn. 47) and in 1428 a resident bequeathed 5 stone of wool. (fn. 48) Between 1488 and 1535 St. Mary's priory, Clerkenwell, pastured cattle on its Muswell demesne. (fn. 49) Pigs grazed in the park in 1318 and 1375 and were said to number 1,000 in 1359. (fn. 50)
From c. 1550 to 1850 there was continual expansion of the cultivated area at the expense of woodland and waste. Probably little more than a quarter of Hornsey demesne was farmed in 1540, little less than a half in 1647, and over two-thirds in 1820. (fn. 51) Similarly the area of the manor of Brownswood excluding waste amounted to 536 a. in 1577, (fn. 52) when waste was not surveyed, but in 1796 there were 597 a., including only 1 rod of waste. The demesne grew from 313 a. in 1577 to 320 a. in 1649 and 329 a. in 1796, and the copyhold from 223 a. in 1577 to 268 a. in 1796. Moreover, much of Brownswood and various copyhold groves were cleared during the same period. Finally, in 1816, the commons were added to the cultivable area.
About 1600 the copyholders of Brownswood manor tried unsuccessfully to fix entry fines. (fn. 53) Arbitrary fines persisted on Topsfield manor (fn. 54) but were fixed on Hornsey manor in 1667. (fn. 55)
There are few references to arable after 1550 but there was a mill-house at Muswell Hill in 1574 (fn. 56) and a short-lived windmill was erected shortly before 1601 on the north side of chapel field, Highgate. (fn. 57) Little of the parish was said to be under the plough in 1795 (fn. 58) and in 1796 only 36 a. or 6 per cent of Brownswood manor was arable. The area had doubled by 1822 (fn. 59) but in 1869 only 95 a. or 4 per cent of farmed land in the parish was arable, mainly under wheat but including fodder and root-crops. (fn. 60)
From the late 16th century rents for grassland rose rapidly, apparently stimulated by demand from London. After 1569 rents on the manor of Brownswood rose 13 times by 1649, 20 times by 1681, and 75 times by 1821. (fn. 61) High prices encouraged investment, especially manuring: in 1664 a lessee sought allowance for improvements (fn. 62) and in 1822 a tenant's rent was reduced because he had manured his land highly. (fn. 63) Manuring was expected on the Hornsey demesne in 1837, when the low yield of 130 a. of good grassland was attributed to inadequate investment. (fn. 64)
There were sheep on Rowledge farm in 1543 (fn. 65) and in 1599 a small copyholder left 100 sheep. (fn. 66) Three thefts in 1613-15 were of sheep (fn. 67) and large flocks overcharged the waste in 1629 and 1632. (fn. 68) In the 1840s J. G. Booth concentrated on sheep farming on his Crouch Hall estate, which included Shepherd's Hill, on which stood the Shepherd's Cot. (fn. 69) Milch cattle occurred in 1531 and 1599, when a tenant possessed six, (fn. 70) and unspecified cattle in 1610, 1694, and 1774. (fn. 71) In 1610 a London innkeeper pastured 120 horses on 21 a. at Brownswood of which he had bought the herbage. (fn. 72)
Hay was grown for sale c. 1500 (fn. 73) and by the early 17th century haymaking was sufficiently widespread to occupy a migrant worker throughout the summer. (fn. 74) Sixty loads of hay were sold for consumption in the City of London c. 1500 (fn. 75) and 80 loads were sold at Smithfield in 1651. (fn. 76) About 1728 a farmer lost hay worth £770 (fn. 77) and at Muswell Hill in 1774 a farm of 130 a. had 200 loads for sale. (fn. 78)
The common land of Hornsey manor, mainly at Muswell Hill, Fortis Green (so called in 1558), (fn. 79) and Highgate (Southwood), totalled 600 a. in 1647. (fn. 80) Tenants also had rights of pasture in the demesne woods (fn. 81) but they failed to establish rights on the neighbouring Finchley common in 1812. (fn. 82) There was waste on the manor of Topsfield (fn. 83) and at Brownswood there may have been 60 a. of waste in 1577, probably at Stroud Green. (fn. 84) Pounds existed at Highgate and Stroud Green in 1576-7 (fn. 85) and Hornsey manor had poundkeepers by 1617. (fn. 86) From 1637 the homage elected overseers of the commons, who took fees from the owners of beasts and controlled demands on the waste. In 1585 no drover was to pasture his beasts there (fn. 87) and in 1638, 1640, 1659, 1699, 1717, and 1719 (fn. 88) inhabitants of other manors and parishes were presented for pasturing their livestock, the people of Friern Barnet being particularly troublesome. In 1650, 1658, and 1717 (fn. 89) tenants were presented for pasturing other people's beasts. In 1584, (fn. 90) 1623, 1629, and 1632 individual tenants were found to have overcharged the commons, but the main users, as in 1791, were probably the poor. (fn. 91) The homage was concerned to protect its own animals and made frequent orders against infected stock, including geese (1650), asses (1699, 1719), and goats (1719): (fn. 92) unringed pigs were a perennial problem. The value of the commons for grazing was endangered by the poor, who took the dung for sale in 1637-8, and by those who used it as a dumping ground or took gravel, loam, fern, furze, or turf. Tenants were permitted to take fern and furze only in the winter but presentments reveal frequent infringements. There were many disused pits by 1815, when the commons were declared to be incapable of improvement without inclosure. (fn. 93)
The most serious threat arose from encroachments, frequent from at least 1579. (fn. 94) In the 17th century the poor built many cottages on the waste, until in 1676 the homage forbade further grants for that purpose. In 1686 the court found that Thomas Rowe had deceived it into granting 30 a. From 1791 it allowed grants of the waste at 22years' purchase and sold turf and loam, the proceeds going to the wastelands fund; (fn. 95) a similar policy had been tried in 1671. By 1816 only 232 a. remained and Brownswood had no waste. Although there were many trespassers from other parishes, only the poor of Tottenham were allotted land under the inclosure award published in that year, when allotments were made to four tenants of Topsfield and eighteen of Brownswood. (fn. 96) The bishop received 30 a., the prebendary of Brownswood 24 a., the rector 46½ a., and the copyholders the rest. (fn. 97) Some common at Hornsey, still used for grazing, was not inclosed, in order to preserve the beauty of the village. (fn. 98) Waste at Topsfield in 1820 may have survived for the same reason. (fn. 99) To make such allotments productive was expensive: one of 23 a. on Hornsey common, consisting mainly of disused gravel pits, had been levelled and fenced by 1821. (fn. 100) Many others were very small. Several allotments on Muswell Hill common, copyhold of Brownswood, had not been thought worth improving in 1831. (fn. 101) The commons were used for dumping rubbish in 1863 (fn. 102) and most of them later were built upon.
Grain production had ceased by 1877. (fn. 103) Farmland, which totalled 2,179 a. in 1869, was reduced to 1,432 a. in 1877, 542 a. in 1897, 169 a. in 1917, 15½ a. in 1937, and 9 a. between 1957 and 1962. Grazing land totalled only 187 a., 17 per cent of the grassland, in 1869, but increased to 738 a. (55 per cent) in 1877 and to 79 per cent in 1887; by 1907 it represented little more than a third of the grassland. Meanwhile the number of cattle rose from 241 in 1869 to 388 in 1877 and 360 in 1887 before declining to 160 in 1897, 63 in 1907, and 5 in 1917. They were mainly dairy cows, for whose products a shop was opened in Stanhope Road, Crouch End, in 1885. (fn. 104) The number of sheep fell from 324 in 1869 to 56 in 1877, and 24 in 1907. There were 179 pigs in 1867, 167 in 1887, and 105 in 1907; none remained in 1917. Some 70 pigs were kept in a small field behind Archway Road in 1893, when the farmer was ordered to remove them, and a similar number behind Townsend's Yard, Highgate, in the 1890s. (fn. 105) Horses, mainly draught animals, still numbered 116 in 1869 but with the end of grain production their number fell to 38 in 1877 and 9 in 1977; 59 recorded in 1917 included 47 vanners.
In 1869 1,997 a. or 83 per cent of the grassland was for mowing, but the total and proportion fell sharply by 1877 owing to the advance of buildings and grazing. Nevertheless the 1,105 a. under hay in 1877 vastly exceeded local demand. There were haystacks at Clissold Park and Brownswood Park in 1873 (fn. 106) and at North Hill, Highgate, in 1869 (fn. 107) but in 1887 the fields adjoining Hampstead Lane were said to be the hayfields nearest London. (fn. 108)
There was an orchard at Crouch End in 1465 (fn. 109) and a hop yard at Muswell Hill in 1574. (fn. 110) Seven acres of hops existed in 1869 but had disappeared by 1877, when there were 9 a. of orchard and ¾ a. of nursery garden. The nursery had probably included part of one that was being established on the corner of Mountgrove Road and Green Lanes in 1821 by James Smith, (fn. 111) who had failed by 1838. (fn. 112) The nursery disappeared between 1872, when the frontages were taken for building, and 1894. (fn. 113) At Highgate a nursery which had existed in 1804 became that of William Cutbush; in 1881 the firm had 4 a. at Highgate, where it remained until 1918, 20 a. at Barnet, and 7 a. at Finchley. (fn. 114) A nursery in Wightman Road, Harringay, included a vinery, cucumber- and peach-houses, and glass forcingpits in 1885; it too had gone by 1894. (fn. 115) In 1880 there were at least two other nurseries at Hornsey and four at Highgate (fn. 116) and in 1887 there were 17½ a. of nurseries and orchards. The area shrank from 5 a. of small fruit in 1897 to 1 a. in 1907, (fn. 117) but there were still 4 holdings in 1947, 2 with small areas of glass-houses and 3 with small frames. (fn. 118) In 1887 the local board opened its own nurseries at Irish Corner with 4 glass-houses to supply the isolation hospital and public gardens. (fn. 119) The nurseries had been considerably enlarged by 1963 (fn. 120) and survived in 1976.
Woods. (fn. 121)
The bishop of London's woods once covered most of the west and central areas of Hornsey and the eastern part of Finchley, probably merging into Finchley common, itself a demesne wood, and even the commons of Hornsey manor. If the bishop's lodge of 1464 was at Lodgehill on the boundary with Finchley (fn. 122) it was in the middle of his woods. Besides Rowledge grove of 40 a. he had 650 a. of demesne woods in 1647. There were also closes of 380 a. in the great and little parks and High Reading, (fn. 123) apparently assarted from the surrounding woodland. Repairs were made to closes in the parks c. 1390 (fn. 124) and the names Oxleas and High Reading, mentioned c. 1540, (fn. 125) indicate clearings. Before the formation of such closes the demesne woods of Hornsey manor covered not less than 1,070 a., of which c. 380 a. were in Finchley. They had dwindled to 700 a. in 1647, (fn. 126) 450 a. by 1746, (fn. 127) 394 a. by 1820, (fn. 128) and 278 a. in 1885. In 1841 131 a. of the remaining woodland was in Finchley. (fn. 129) In 1976 only Queen's wood of 51 a., Highgate wood of 69 a., and Coldfall wood of 32 a. survived.
First mentioned in 1241, (fn. 130) Hornsey park was already fenced by 1303. (fn. 131) In 1241-3 and 1263 grants of deer and timber were made by the Crown sede vacante. (fn. 132) In 1406 the chapter took 32 spars for the belfry of St. Paul's cathedral and 1,000 faggots as firewood. (fn. 133) Of 15 trespassers in the park in 1318, 13 had felled oaks and one had taken 600 faggots. (fn. 134) Commissions were issued in 1318-19 and 1354 against those who had taken deer, fish, or timber during vacancies. (fn. 135) Trespasses were also recorded in 1375, (fn. 136) 1577, (fn. 137) 1618-19, and 1631, (fn. 138) and destruction was beyond the control of the officers by 1646. (fn. 139) The lord employed a parker or woodward by 1318 (fn. 140) and protected the deer. (fn. 141) In 1318, when the reeve was allowed a tenth of receipts from the pannage and herbage towards his wages, ten colts were pastured in the park. (fn. 142) It was customary by 1375 for copyholders to attend 'at the cross' on 11 November to pay the lord for pannage. (fn. 143) In 1374 the parker was to keep the wood and collect the issues of agistment and pannage, for which in addition to his fee he might take underwood, branches, and windfalls, and stint 4 cattle, 4 colts, and 5 pigs in the park. (fn. 144) By c. 1390 the pannage, agistment, and herbage were farmed (fn. 145) but the woods were kept in hand. The bishop's palace was supplied with 4,000 faggots in 1464-5 (fn. 146) but by 1579, to preserve the woods, the bishop used coal not only at Fulham but at Hornsey. (fn. 147) The lease of the great park in 1540 reserved brushwood and dead wood to the bishop. (fn. 148)
Henry of Sandwich, bishop 1263-73, sold timber to the Franciscans and Dominicans of London. (fn. 149) In 1423-4 oaks and underwood were sold (fn. 150) and in 1464-5 timber, underwood, and logs were sold locally. (fn. 151) For systematic exploitation the woods were organized in falls by 1577, (fn. 152) which numbered c. 28 in 1647. (fn. 153) In 1570 the woods seem to have been well maintained, (fn. 154) but Richard Putto of Highgate, the under-tenant, had been licensed to clear part of Finchley fall. (fn. 155) In 1576 John Gilpin was licensed to clear a large triangle at the Highgate end of the great park, (fn. 156) and in 1577 c. 60 a. had been felled, mainly by Gilpin and his lessees. (fn. 157) In 1579 Bishop Aylmer admitted selling 800 trees and 24 a. woodland in Hornsey alone but asserted that the trees had been pollarded or were in decay. He was accused of selling £1,000-worth of timber and he admitted receipts of £600, which was nearly equal to the value set on all the remaining timber in 1647. (fn. 158) Aylmer, ordered by the council to desist from waste, appointed his son Samuel as woodward. (fn. 159) Richard Fletcher, bishop 1594-6, left £60worth of wood felled at Highgate. (fn. 160)
In 1645 the bishop leased all the woods, consisting of 650 a., to John Smith of Hornsey, whom he appointed woodward. (fn. 161) The office descended with the lease until c. 1743. (fn. 162) In 1662 the woods were leased to Rees Gwyn of Highgate, (fn. 163) from whom they passed in 1692 to John Russell and after 1702 to Thomas Russell, whose heirs conveyed them in 1708 to Edward Jennings. By 1715 the lease was held by Silvanus Horton and Richard Hodgson, apparently in trust for John Sherwood until 1737, when Sherwood became lessee. Following his death it was renewed to William Abbot, coalmerchant of Highgate, in right of his wife Jane, Sherwood's executrix. After Jane's death it passed to her husband and then to their four daughters. The lease was renewed in 1754 to their guardians. In 1769 (fn. 164) it was held by James Way as agent for William Murray (d. 1793), Lord Mansfield (later earl of Mansfield). (fn. 165) The lease was renewed for his heirs until in 1885 the earl's trustees acquired the freehold of 16 a. and sold their rights in 683 a. to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 166)
As early as 1647 the lessee felled 18 a. in breach of the lease. (fn. 167) The lessees alleged that in 1727, while making charcoal, they had accidentally burnt 20-30 a. of underwood, which they asked permission to plough up. (fn. 168) It was found that in 1726 they had grubbed up much woodland and that a clause requiring the planting of 300 trees had been omitted from the lease; (fn. 169) 205 a. had been grubbed up by 1746, (fn. 170) 273 a. by 1759, (fn. 171) and 328 a. by 1819. In 1817 the fences, ditches, gates and hedges of Coldfall (formerly Great Coldfall) wood were in disrepair. Copyholders had long depastured their animals there and in 1815 they failed in their claim that it was part of the commons only because it featured in leases. There was no replanting of trees and in 1819 the bishop was urged to resume possession and either to manage the woodland efficiently or convert it to agriculture. (fn. 172) There were only 168 trees in all the woods in 1823, among them 154 oaks: 83 were too small to fell. (fn. 173) Nevertheless 278 a. remained in 1885, when the largest woods were Coldfall (111 a.), Gravel Pit, and Churchyard Bottom. (fn. 174) The trees had apparently recovered by the period 1886-97, when, apart from oaks, there was a dense foliage of larches, willows, and hornbeams. The woods were frequented by sportsmen, birdcatchers, and walkers (fn. 175) until the Ecclesiastical Commissioners closed them. (fn. 176) From 1884 H. R. Williams campaigned locally and in the national press to preserve the woods as open spaces, which would be more rural than Finsbury Park. In 1885 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners gave Gravel Pit wood to the Corporation of London, which renamed it Highgate wood and maintained it in 1976. Churchyard Bottom wood was bought by Hornsey U.D. with help from other local authorities and opened in 1898 as Queen's wood, (fn. 177) a condition of purchase being that Wood Lane should be extended through the south part as Queen's Wood Road. In 1920 Coldfall wood, bounded on the south by Fortis Green and on the west by Finchley, stretched northward and eastward almost to Coppetts Wood hospital and Coppets Road and Tetherdown respectively. (fn. 178) Most of it was cleared in the 1920s for council housing. (fn. 179) In 1976 there remained 32 a. north of Creighton Avenue. (fn. 180)
The bishop retained hunting rights until 1662, when they were leased with fishponds in Hornsey and Finchley for 21 years to Sir Thomas Rowe. The rent included three brace of partridges and two brace of pheasants annually. (fn. 183) The lease was renewed for Thomas Rowe the younger in 1676 and 1682 and in 1700 for Charles Bonython, serjeantat-law, and Richard his son. It was renewed in 1732 for Francis Dickins, whose widow Rachel devised it to Anthony Dickins (d. 1795), and in 1814 for Henry Berry, who appointed a gamekeeper in 1822.
Brownswood, the manor's largest demesne wood, was known as Hornsey wood by 1745 (fn. 184) and covered 122 a. both in 1548 (fn. 185) and 1577. (fn. 186) The wood was leased out from 1569 (fn. 187) and had diminished to 119 a. by 1594, to 92 a. by 1649, (fn. 188) and to 52 a. by 1709. (fn. 189) To make room for pleasure grounds it was reduced to 27 a. by 1796. (fn. 190) The flora attracted botanists from the 16th century (fn. 191) and the wood, although divided, still seemed wild in 1866. (fn. 192) As part of the grounds of Hornsey Wood House it was incorporated in Finsbury Park, where the forest trees had been felled by 1869. (fn. 193)
In 1294 the prior of St. Sepulchre, Warwick, accused Roger of Arderne of taking wood from his manor of Farnfields, where Roger was found to have taken only what he had been sold. (fn. 194) The woods of Farnfields contained 16 a. in 1419 (fn. 195) and 30 a. c. 1557 (fn. 196) and survived in 1577, when there were also demesne woods of Topsfield. (fn. 197)
Excluding the demesnes the largest wooded areas were the various commons, which in 1647 on Hornsey manor carried trees worth £295 belonging to the bishop. (fn. 198) The largest of the many freehold and copyhold groves was apparently Ushers, which contained 30 a. in 1576. (fn. 199) Such groves were gradually cleared, such as the 7 a. of wood that George Crowther converted to pasture between 1586 and 1604. (fn. 200) In 1667 the homage of Hornsey declared that a tenant should have all trees that were so close to his lands that a cart with a woolpack could not pass between them and the perimeter. (fn. 201)
Trade and industry.
Tilers were digging at Highgate by 1485. (fn. 202) Bricks, used in the tower of Hornsey church c. 1500 (fn. 203) and in a forerunner of Lauderdale House, probably accounted for the name of Brick or Tower Place in 1578. (fn. 204) Cholmley's school and its chapel were to be repaired by John Weatherley, lessee of the chapel field, in 1601 (fn. 205) and thereafter many houses in Highgate, including Cromwell House, were of brick. A cottage of brick existed at Brownswood by 1647 (fn. 206) and another at Hornsey by 1648. (fn. 207) Weatherley, who was already making bricks at Highgate in 1595, (fn. 208) had a works on the waste ground near Southwood Lane in 1604, where he dug holes which were a danger to travellers, and in 1608 he took soil from the great park, of which he was under-tenant. (fn. 209) Weatherley's son also took materials from the commons, as was permitted until 1619 when the homage forbade soil to be removed from Crouch End Hill. Repeated efforts were made to punish offenders, many of them from St. Pancras. By 1667 tenants were allowed to dig earth or sand to repair their tenements, and both in 1686 and 1793 licences to dig were granted. (fn. 210) Tilekilnfield and its kilns were mentioned in 1654 and other kilns in 1614 at Southwood Lane and in 1793. (fn. 211) Sawpits occurred in 1609, 1648, and 1797, and there were 3 sawyers in Hornsey Side in 1831. (fn. 212) Brick-makers occurred in 1648, 1684, and 1691, and in 1829 there were two brick-works at Highgate, one of 25 a. and one in Southwood Lane. (fn. 213) In 1831 there were 6 brick-makers, 22 bricklayers, 11 glaziers and plumbers, and a plasterer in Highgate Side and 7 bricklayers, 4 brick-makers, 12 house-painters, and 31 carpenters in Hornsey Side. (fn. 214) In 1901, near the peak of building in Hornsey, 1,915 people were employed in building, including 467 carpenters and joiners, 320 bricklayers and their labourers, 145 plasterers, and 323 painters, glaziers, and decorators. As many as 1,877 were still employed in the trade in 1931 and 2,455 in 1951. (fn. 215) No works produced bricks or tiles in 1976 but there were several large firms of builders' merchants, notably off Summersby Road, Highgate.
Gravel for the roads was available in most parts of the parish from Hornsey Wood House (fn. 216) to Irish Corner. The name Gravelpit wood occurred in 1863, when there was a Gravel Walk at Crouch End, and the glebe included a Gravelpit field in 1804. (fn. 217) The supply had diminished by 1650, when the Hornsey surveyors took 600 loads from Clerkenwell detached, (fn. 218) in 1684 the homage needed to extract it gratis from the bishop's woods, and by 1817 the surrounding commons were virtually exhausted of gravel. (fn. 219) In 1815, to make up new roads, 1,078 loads were extracted from the demesne wood of Coldfall, (fn. 220) which had long provided good gravel for the turnpike road. (fn. 221) From 1819 the price was raised and in 1824 the pit there was the only one open in the parish. (fn. 222)
Stock-raising gave rise to related trades. There were several butchers in the early 17th century (fn. 223) and tanners in 1607 (2), 1616 (3), (fn. 224) and 1697. In 1611 a watercourse was polluted by a tanner who used lime-pits and ponds on the common. (fn. 225) A blacksmith's forge occurred in 1577 (fn. 226) and wheelwrights in 1633 and 1701. In 1831 5 blacksmiths, 4 wheelwrights, a harness-maker, 2 saddlers, a horsedealer, and a carrier resided at Hornsey Side and 3 blacksmiths, 12 coachmen, 3 wheelwrights, and a horse-dealer at Highgate Side. (fn. 227) The forges at Crouch End and Highgate survived until c. 1844 (fn. 228) and 1896 respectively. (fn. 229)
At Highgate a new brewhouse was leased from Joseph Townsend in 1749. (fn. 230) 'Highgate brewhouse', so called in 1783, (fn. 231) may have been John Addison's brewery, recorded between 1800 and 1808. (fn. 232) Fortis Green brewery was a large building between the entrances of the modern Fortis Green Avenue and Lynmouth Road in 1869. (fn. 233) It was occupied by Charles Green, brewer and grocer, from at least 1845 to 1855, (fn. 234) by Mrs Susan Green & Son from 1859 to 1884, (fn. 235) and by Norman & Co. from 1888 until 1901, when it may already have belonged to Ind Coope & Co., whose district office was next door. (fn. 236) Brewing had probably ceased by 1902, when Ind Coope occupied the whole site, (fn. 237) which c. 1910 became H. W. Wilson's Fortis Green brewery stores. (fn. 238)
Hornsey brewery at no. 27 Clarendon Road was run in 1884 by S. F. Rhodes. (fn. 239) In 1886 it was occupied by Alexander & Co. (fn. 240) and between 1888 and 1920 by R. Caffyn & Son (later F. P. B. Caffyn & Co.), perhaps as lessees. The brewery may have belonged to the Rhodes family throughout: an adjoining house was occupied by Samuel Rhodes in 1880 and S. F. Rhodes from 1917 to 1939, (fn. 241) and from 1923 the brewery itself was managed by V. F. Rhodes. (fn. 242) Caffyn's were brewing ale and 'Invalid Stout' in 1895. (fn. 243) Brewing may have continued until 1957 and bottling until 1959 (fn. 244) but from 1960 Rhodes & Co. dealt only in wines and spirits made elsewhere. (fn. 245)
Soda water was made at Highgate in the 1820s by Thomas Dunn of the pharmacy and in 1845 by his successor. (fn. 246) Early-19th-century bottles and the remains of a brick-lined container and pipes were found beneath a shed behind no. 64 High Street in 1977. (fn. 247)
Hornsey was said to have no trade in 1904 (fn. 248) and no industry in 1933, (fn. 249) with some exaggeration, and had no large factories either in 1921 or 1954. (fn. 250) More people were employed in handicraft than in agriculture by 1821, (fn. 251) and crafts accounted for most of the 297 workshops registered under the Factory Act of 1901 in 1905, when there were 68 dress-makers, 23 milliners, 29 launderers, 42 bakehouses, and 6 bicycle-makers. (fn. 252) In 1901 Hornsey residents included 925 textile workers, 293 of them women, and 2,046 others engaged in making clothes, of whom 1,190 were women; they included 277 tailors and 829 milliners, and presumably were all employed locally. (fn. 253) By 1906 61 workshops had been added and 51 closed (fn. 254) and by 1911 the total number had risen to 377, before falling steadily to 275 in 1918, (fn. 255) while the trades scarcely altered. By 1954, however, 75 of the 246 workshops were engaged in light engineering, including 39 in the motor trade. Among the four factories employing over 100 people were the gas-works and the Myddelton and Alexandra Park Laundry (M.A.P.). The others processed films (probably Kay Films) and made hollow metalware. As only eight other firms employed more than 50 and another sixteen more than 25, (fn. 256) industry remained relatively unimportant. By 1963 there were only 233 factories, of which 41 lacked mechanical power. (fn. 257)
Hill & Son and Norman & Beard, church organbuilders, is an amalgamation of two firms: William Hill & Son, formed in the 1840s and tracing its origins to John Schneytler c. 1748, and the East Anglian firm of Norman & Beard, incorporated in the 1890s. After the merger in 1916 the company used a factory in Islington until 1943 and Manor works at Eagle Cottage, Hornsey High Street, from 1947. It later employed c. 120 indoor craftsmen, themselves training apprentices, and a similar number throughout the country. Among the organs built between 1950 and 1974 were those for seven English and eight Canadian cathedrals. The firm moved to a former branch at Thaxted (Essex) in 1974, leaving the Hornsey premises empty. (fn. 258)
Brian Taylor's, garment-makers, occupied Woodside works in Summersby Road until 1951, when half the factory was taken over by Gauges and Instruments, a family business founded in 1941 at Palmers Green. Gauges and Instruments needed more accommodation by 1963, when there were 75 staff, and later expanded into the rest of the factory, formerly occupied by Austin & Hayes. In 1976 c. 40 employees were engaged in precision engineering, making components for the aircraft, motor, and electronic industries, and the firm's own power press equipment. (fn. 259)
Johnson Roberts, founded c. 1900 and re-formed in 1940 in Stoke Newington, moved to Pembroke Road, Hornsey, in 1951 and to a new factory in the near-by Myddelton Road in 1965 following its purchase by Dental Manufacturing (later Hawtin Industries and in 1976 Hawtin Ltd.). Since 1951 it has specialized in the repair of internal combustion engines, mainly road vehicles but also including stationary engines. In 1976 there were 27 employees. (fn. 260)
Robert Deard's, haulage and refuse contractors, was founded c. 1875 at Finchley and moved to north Hornsey detached c. 1954. The offices and parking area for lorries occupied a large site on the corner of Colney Hatch Lane and the North Circular Road in 1976. (fn. 261)
Henley's Medical Supplies was founded by D. F. Henley in 1948. In 1949 it moved from Alexandra Road, Hornsey, to the Alexandra works in Clarendon Road, where it was initially housed over the stable of the former Hornsey brewery. Adjoining premises had been acquired by 1976, when a twostoreyed block, to contain storage space, a print room, and offices, was being erected. The company manufactures a range of surgical disposable sundries, in which it claimed to be Great Britain's leading specialist, and waterproof bedding and protective clothing. It also distributed in Britain many surgical and X-ray supplies manufactured abroad. In 1976 there were 150 employees at the Alexandra works and 130 others in the Hornsey area, Harlow (Essex), and Westbury (Wilts.), most of them employed in warehouses. (fn. 262)
Mr. A. C. B. (Colin) Chapman adapted vehicles as Lotus sports cars at Muswell Hill and at Vallance Road, Wood Green, before moving into a former stable at no. 7 Tottenham Lane in 1951, when he established the Lotus Engineering Co. which was incorporated in 1953. The staff had grown to 30 by 1959 and the premises were extended with new offices and workshops in 1953 and again in 1957. Lotus cars, which won several motor-racing trophies, were designed and entirely built in Hornsey until 1957, when the body-building was done at Edmonton, but in 1959 the company moved to Cheshunt (Herts.). (fn. 263)
There were 121 tradesmen in Hornsey Side in 1831, of whom 55 were in the building trades, 25 dealt in food and drink, 18 made footwear, 8 sold clothing, and 11 were associated with horses and transport. (fn. 264) None plied luxury trades of the kinds found at Highgate, where there had been a tailor's shop in 1605, (fn. 265) a wig-maker's in 1749, (fn. 266) and an apothecary's (the Highgate pharmacy) before 1800. (fn. 267) Highgate Side provided employment for 6 barbers, a bookseller, a cabinet-maker, 3 chemists, 2 clock-makers, 2 opticians, a confectioner, 2 printers, a chimney-sweep, 2 tinmen, an upholsterer, 3 white-smiths, and 3 pipe-makers among its 205 tradesmen in 1831. Most nevertheless fell into the same categories as in Hornsey Side, for there were 32 dealing in food and drink, including 16 publicans, 21 coachmen, 66 in the building trades, 21 cobblers, and 20 dealing in clothing, among whom 8 were drapers or haberdashers. (fn. 268) A ban on Sunday trading in Highgate, apparently effective c. 1840, was made the object of a further campaign under the Revd. T. H. Causton, Harry Chester, and other leading residents, in 1842-3. (fn. 269)
In 1867 it was claimed that Hornsey's shopkeepers did not satisfy local demand (fn. 270) and c. 1880 it was worthwhile for London costermongers to hawk fish and other commodities in the new suburbs of Finsbury Park and Crouch Hill. (fn. 271) As building spread, several new shopping areas appeared and in 1891 it was claimed that no useful trade was lacking at Muswell Hill. (fn. 272) That was before the construction of Crouch End Broadway and Muswell Hill Broadway with their high-quality shops. Muswell Hill was particularly well equipped with drapers c. 1926. (fn. 273) By 1914 there were 1,174 shops of 41 distinct types, grocers numbering 103 and being followed by confectioners, boot-makers, drapers, and butchers. (fn. 274) The number of shops grew to 1,325 by 1934 (fn. 275) and 1,356 by 1949. (fn. 276) Apart from Woolworth's at Crouch End and Sainsbury's at Muswell Hill relatively few chain stores or large supermarkets had been opened by 1976 and except at Crouch End and Muswell Hill most of the shops were small and specialized.