Take a look at the map of Historic Tollington (updated)

Take a look at the map of Historic Tollington (updated)

2021-03-28 Off By Editor

Since we published the rare aerial view of our area last week so many people have shared more interesting information concerning our local area, and we hope to share more and more of this here.

The landmarks of local history

What we have here is a map created by the incredibly vibrant Tollington Park Action Group in 1994.

We hope to share more about what that group was doing then in future, but we can say that our area had some unique challenges at that time, as this Joseph Rowntree Foundation report shows.

The map details a whole number of historical places in the area — such as when buildings were built and that the Tollington area formed part of the Anglo-Saxon manor of ‘Tollandune’ (Tolla’s Hill) — though this could also have meant, ‘Tolentone’ (Passage for Hogs)…

Where was the piano factory?

It also shows us that The Plough was built in the 1840’s while the Park Tavern began 12 years after that, and that local businesses included a piano factory, dairy farming (mostly for the city of London, I guess) and many more interesting details to illuminate our local history.

I did a little research and think the piano factory was run by the Empire Pianoforte Company, which subsequently began also making organs.

We’ve republished this map here with kind permission of Dan’s mother, Biddy Peppin, who created it.

Update: Biddy was kind enough to write to us. We thought you’d want to read what she had to say:

Hello! Yes, I drew the Tollington area map in 1994. I did the research at Islington’s archive, using mainly the rate books.

(This was quite complicated in the case of Tollington Park, since there have been so many examples of demolition and rebuilding during its history; the more homogeneous roads, like Wray Crescent, Thorpedale Rd. and Corbyn St. are much easier to research!).

The map contains at least one mistake – I subsequently learned that ‘The White Lion of Mortimer’ was not originally a pub but a shop, in the row of shops in Stroud Green Road that was developed during the 1880s.

Incidentally there’s an interesting description of Corbyn St at the end of the 19th century, in a book called ‘London Particulars’ (I’ve forgotten the author’s name) – it’s an autobiography by someone who later became a London police chief and lived there during his early years. It came out in paperback so should be fairly easy to source second-hand.

The Tollington Park Action group (TOLPAG) was formed after we failed to save 1-3 Tollington Place (23 on the map) from demolition by Islington Council. They were a fine pair of semi-detached early Victorian villas which formed part of the original streetscape; they were semi derelict and squatted by the late 1980s, but could have been rescued and converted.

We subsequently persuaded Islington Council to establish the Tollington Conservation Area, which still survives, and continues to be helpful in protecting some of the area’s historic buildings. Several original TOLPAG members still live in Tollington Park, but we moved away more than 15 years ago.

I still occasionally (when asked) intervene in planning issues in the area, writing objection letters to architecturally damaging proposals. I’m delighted to see that you’ve formed a local group! Every area needs one! All power to your elbow! Very best, Biddy

Update: From Claire: “John George Abraham lived at 80 Hanley Road. He built the same side of the road and a few streets locally, as well as the Abraham’s estate in Leyton- amongst others. He built the house for himself and his family to live in.

The ground floor and part basement property was initially his office/shop, and he lived in the floors above. People would come and pay their rent there. He was a surveyor and owner of many properties locally.

The property had a vault, another vault door at the back and two wall safes. He also was linked with Saint Saviours church, and May have had a hand in it being built. He later moved to grove lodge in Muswell Hill.”

Please let us know if you have more photos, maps, articles, items from books, or any other item we can share with everyone here that show our local history. And everyone with an interest in local history should read this book, to get a sense of how things change.