Sunday, 15 September 2013

How to find somewhere you didn't know existed

Go to St Saviour's and take the path on the left of the entrance,

turn right

and you'll find a derelict building and half a field. 

The building's 1899.

F.A. Bevan, I think, is Francis Augusts Bevan (1840-1919) who was Barclay's Bank's first chairman. The Bevans were Quakers, but I can't find a Quaker connection for St. Saviour's. 

A.J. Ard was interviewed by Booth and a Rev. A.J. Ard sailed from Liverpool to Quebec in 1904.

That's all I can find about them. 

Anyway, the point is that this is an illogical, inefficient, uneconomic use of space. There's an old joke about an economist seeing a £10 note on the pavement and not picking it up because if it had been worth anything someone would have done it already. This is the land use version of that, space that somehow escaped becoming something useful and so stays there, a patch of miraculous scrubland in the middle of London.

It'd make perfect allotments. 


  1. Good find! A church hall I suppose; St S was finished in 1900. An odd design though -- more modern in feel than Cutts' unimaginative red brick. And I can't help thinking that there is something refreshing about an "illogical, inefficient, uneconomic use of space" in a city whose current drive is towards the ruthless commodification and branding of all leftover space. I like these ungainly survivors, though this isn't as pretty as the old piano factory off Tollington Park Rd.

  2. Thank you Conrad.

    Yes, I think it must have been a church hall. The shape is vaguely Low Countries (I think) and I do wish the windows were low enough to see inside.

    'Ungainly survivors' is a good phrase, and I wouldn't be writing about the Hornsey Road if I were drawn only to slick urbanism. I'll miss this if/when it goes, but allotments are good too.

    Tell me more about Cutts, and whether you'll start Vunex up again.

  3. I think that pointy roof shape is a particular fashion of the period. Here's a more urban, expensive version: I suspect there's precious little to see inside these says; I don't think I've ever seen an interesting church hall interior.

    I wouldn't be reading your blog if you were drawn only to slick urbanism! As for Cutts, I know almost nothing about them (brothers: John Edward Knight (1847-1938) and John Priston (1854-1935)) except that their churches all look about the same: cheapish clerestoried early english type red brick.

    Vunex - no, I think that's gone to bed. But what brings an exiled Italian mediaevalist to start hunting through nineteenth-century local newspapers?

    1. I missed research. I really really missed research. This felt like something I could do while working and now while on maternity leave. I 'd like to do something more with it when I have time.

      Sad to hear about church interiors being dull. I wonder why.