The Willows Estate 1810-1891
This is part of the history of a large estate in Stoke Newington which was accumulated over the years and sold in 1891 when the owner died. What had been a large private estate became rows of Victorian villas. It illustrates a great change which came over Stoke Newington in the last third of the nineteenth century. Click on the picture to read about the the years from 1810 to the death of Mr Alexander in 1891.
The 1891 Willows Estate Sale
By 1891 when Mr. Alexander, the owner, died the sale document was impressive. It describes a ten acre site and each of the various houses in detail and, at the end, was this coloured plan, now lying in Hackney Archive as bright as when it was first printed. You will find details on this sale and the continuing story of the development of Clissold Crescent by clicking on the map.
This map shows the Willows by Paradise Bridge and Park Lane Bridge at the other side of the Willows garden. Willow walk is not named but was the narrow path on the east side of the New River. This was a private road. It later became Aden Grove and is now the public foot path running along the side of the allotments.
Many of the houses in the Willows Sale Document lay along Willow Walk. On the other side of the New River was the Newington Hall triangle which was featured in the Introduction to this disk. The Grange Road houses (now Burma Road) were still being built at this time. The 1891 auction sale houses can be found on this map.
Newington Hall was on one side and Willow Walk on the other. Newington Hall was sold off for housing in 1875. Today the New River runs through a large cast pipe into Petherton Road and so into Islington, while the old river bed has been filled in to create the allotments.
The 1894 Ordnance Survey, again showing many of the houses
By 1894 Newington Hall itself had been demolished and the houses in Statham Grove built. The large houses in Paradise Place were still there, but a Methodist Church had been built on the site of the corner one. The houses in Grange Road have been completed and the road is now called Burma Road. Also the whole area south of Park Lane (now called Clissold Crescent) had been built up by other builders. Work on the new estate was moving fast. The Willows, which had been demolished and Kennaway Hall built on the site some years earlier, still had a substantial garden, but the three paddocks had gone. All the trees had been felled, the ground cleared and two terraces of houses built along the Crescent. The inner triangle of land, which had been stables or nursery ground, had also been cleared. The curved gardens must have stood out against the surrounding terraces of new houses, like an expanse of empty prairie.
The stables and what were probably the gardener’s cottage and greenhouses, were still standing. One end of Carysfort Road had been marked out and the terrace of houses along Clissold Road was half built. There was a wide gap in the terrace after the first twelve houses. The reason is not clear at the moment. Presumably they wanted easy access to the site and would fill in the gap later.
Some of the Houses in Park Road (Clissold Crescent)
It is likely that originally these were faced with slates, not tiles. This particular builder chose to use curved heads to his doorways, not semicircular, and capitals of flowers or fruit. These style differences can be found all down the roa as builders changed or different prepared building features became available at local building yards.
These have round headed doorways, brick aprons below the windows and the original plaster pargetting under the eaves. The London Stock bricks edged with red brick, the white painted stucco and the pargetting under the eaves, give a bright, lively façade.
Development by 1914
The 1914 Ordnance Survey map showing the Estate fully developed. There are two gaps in Carysfort Road leading to an industrial area where the old coachman’s cottage used to be. This is now Red Square with its "Live and Work" double masonettes.
By 1914 Carysfort Road had been built up completely, with two entrance roads on the north side to give access to the triangle of land behind. The eight shops on the north side of Albion Parade had been built and a small cinema squeezed into the triangle behind. The cinema entrance was through Shop number 4 which, in 2006, is a betting shop. Carysfort Road had similar houses to Clissold Crescent on both sides of the road.
A very similar pair in Carysfort Road
In the right hand picture the house on the left is in the original red brick with white dressings whilst the bricks of the house next door have been painted.
The whole factory area has been rebuilt in the last few years.
The new flats again
Thus the story has now reached full circle and flats have been built on the original site of The Willows which was once the centre of the whole estate. It had later become Kennway Hall and the Missionary College, as explained earlier. All traces of the old Willows estate which covered ten full acres are gone except for the Burma Road traces.
The Albion Parade Shops and Cinema
Site of Albion Parade (Left Side) 1881.
At this time Nos. 138-152 Albion Road were still private houses. Later they lost their bay windows and front gardens when they were converted into shops. The other side of the road was still lined with large trees. These were part of the huge estate called The Willows, which ran all the way up Clissold Crescent to Church Street.
The Albion Parade in 2006