History of the Site of Stoke Newington Secondary School
from 1800 to 1936

The Clissold Road Area

In 1800 the whole district was still open country, with scattered farms and herds of dairy cattle. Church Street joined Stoke Newington High Street and Green Lanes in one gravel track. There were no other roads, just footpaths. Church Walk was a bridle path which joined the villages of Newington Green and St Mary's Church. Albion Road had not yet been built.


1800 Milne Land Usage Map showing Church Path (Church Walk) as a dotted line.

1800 Milne's Land Usage Map

Milne's Land Usage Map shows how the different fields were used at that period. This was the first Lonon Land Use Map and showed this by tiny letters in the corners of the fields and by colour. The London Topographical Edition is a revelation London in 1800


The Key
a arable yellow 
g market gardens blue
m meadow green 
p paddock or small park pink


This is part of the first map to show how fields around London were used. There area only four colours on this part of the map, but there were many other land uses elsewhere. Stoke Newington was a rural area, with London far away, as if in another world. The Green fields were meadows; Yellow ones were arable; growing perhaps corn or turnips; Pink fields were paddocks (gentlemen's estates). The houses and gardens along Church Street and Newington Green are marked in Black Lines

The future site of Stoke Newington Secondary School must have been in the field with the small 'm' (for meadow), north east of the large M. and this part of Church Path is now part of the school grounds. This field is coloured pink in the 1814 map.

Landlords wanted to lease land for development, but builders and developers wanted long leases. Landlords could give only short leases of thirty years. To let leases for longer than this required a special Act of Parliament. This 1814 Prebendary map was made for the Act. The land belonged to St Paul's Cathedral and the vicars who held it for the Cathedral were Prebendaries (hence Prebendary Map).This piece shows the lower two thirds of the map.

1814 Prebendary Map of Church Street and the South of Stoke Newington,
down to Newington Green


Future Stoke Newington School Sites

The future sites of St Mary's and William Patten Primary School were in the High Street.

The future site of Stoke Newington Secondary School was in the Vicar of St Mary's Glebe Field (shown in Pink).

The future site of Betty Laywood School was in the bottom left hand corner of the Glebe Field.

The future site of Grasmere Primary School was in 'Parish of' field. This was part of Hornsey Removed (Lighter Yellow) which was administered by Hornsey at that time.

A typical small farm.

Engraving by Bewick

The Old Rectory before 1855
when St Mary's Church was built

The Vicar of St Mary's lived in the old wooden Rectory on the corner of Church Street and Church Walk. This was a weather-boarded house with a high, over-sailing window which gave a fine view of everything going on in the road. Proust's Aunt Leonie would have been at homein that room, keeping an eye on all her neighbours.

The Vicar had a farm on the Glebe Field which he ran as a Home Farm, or rented out to a tenant farmer


(Photograph by permission of Hackney Archive)

The Old Rectory Part on the 1846 Allerton Tithe Map

The Old Rectory was the red building on plot 662. The red is the footprint of the house and therefore does not show the over-sailing look-out window.

Albion Road had been built by 1846, but the Glebe Field was still a farm. Church Path, the old bridle path linking the villages of Newington Green and Stoke Newington, is marked in blue on the Tithe Map. This path was hundreds, perhaps thousands of years old, and ran along the edge of the Vicar's Glebe Field.


In 1855, the Vicar of St Mary's gave a lecture which he later published. In this he saw the houses of London moving ever closer to Stoke Newington each year. In America, he said, such was the speed of advance that pioneers moved to the Frontier and, only a year later, found themselves fifteen miles from the New Frontier.

In the sixty years after this lecture the old Cities of London and Westminster were rebuilt. Everywhere there were new railway stations, new sewers, and new roads. Hundreds of navies dug tunnels: millions of bricks were burnt and laid. London turned into a new Wild West.

There were new roads cutting diagonally through old slums. These had festered for centuries, more and more overcrowded, more and more unhealthy. Now their inhabitants were being scattered to the wind, with no place to go. The air, the noise, the stench, all made London such an obnoxious places to live in that nine tenths of the population fled to along the new railway lines to the suburbs. Old Stoke Newington estates were soon covered with bricks and mortar. By 1914 the whole of Stoke Newington had been completely transformed. Stoke Newington became a suburb on the fringe of London. Beyond there were still pasture fields, but Stoke Newington's cattle-pastures had gone. The following maps reflect this.


Saved as 1868 b lay sns sites.doc
1868 Ordnance Survey map of the Betty Layward School site
By this date Clissold Road had been built across the old Glebe Field.


Saved BL SNS Booth map 1889
Part of the 1889 Booth Poverty Map.


Charles Booth, who was a wealthy businessman, was told by the radicals that a million people were living in poverty ETC




The maps were coloured in seven colours from Yellow to Black. Yellow (3 servants and property worth more than £100 ponds a year).

This was a very prosperous corner of land. The houses facing the Park were a millionaires' Row, with at least three servants and worth £100 a year. Clissold Road and Albion Road were 'Well Off' with at least one servant. The houses which had just been built were Pink, were 'Solid Comfort'- regular weekly wage - the non-commissioned officers of the industrial world (foremen and sub-managers.,

The poorer grades of people were nowhere near this area. There were a few tiny pockets of Light and Dark Blue near Newington Green, while Essex Road was full of Blue and even Black.

1894 b lay sns sites
The1894 Ordnance Survey map of the area

By 1894 the huge estate along Park Lane (now called Clissold Crescent) had been sold. The area had been cleared, the trees felled and the first houses were appearing.


Saved as 1814 glebe SNS +BL sites

The map shows the area fully built up, including the Albion Parade Shopping Parade on both sides of the road. It would stay like this until the Second World War.


1936 Map


Saved as Clissold Sch plan 1 IMG 1059

The plan of Clissold School Site which was extended when Stoke Newington School was created

At this time the New River School was on part of the present Betty Layward School site.

Saved as SNS BLAYsite map
The sites of Stoke Newington School and Betty Layward School set out on the 1869 map


The Aerial Site Map of Stoke Newington School and Betty Layward School sites.

The Swimming Bath and Football Pitch show up clearly.

Google Map 2007

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