The New River was straightened in 1870 (there was a loop around Wallace Road) and piped to run under Wallace Road, and Petherton Road where the wide central area marks the line of the water is now a shady park in the summer. At the end of Petherton Road, Aden Terrace runs alongside allotments which cover the course of the New River and leads to Clissold Park.
According to The London Encyclopaedia ‘..The Roman road to York, Ermine Street, left the City at Bishopsgate and ran in a straight line northward, climbing steadily for the first three miles to reach a low ridge… On this ridge the Saxons chose to build their village..’, Stoke Newington. The path turns right (no sign post) along Stoke Newington Church Street towards Clissold House but I made a little diversion to see St Mary’s Old Church. The Church has been owned by the Canons of St Paul’s Cathedral since c.940, and is now an arts venue. It feels just like a village church in the depths of the countryside!
Back in the Park, Clissold House, originally called Paradise House, dates from 1790 and was built for Jonathan Hoare of the banking family. It was also known as Crawshay’s Farm, after a subsequent owner, and the Park is named after the Reverend Augustus Clissold, a curate of St Mary’s Church, who married a Crawshay heiress. The New River curves around the front of the house eventually disappearing under a raised culvert. The walk continues up Green Lanes towards The Castle, the original, looped course buried under housing on the opposite side of Green Lanes. (Details in ‘Exploring the New River’.)
A clear sign at The Castle! Turn off Green Lanes towards the reservoirs – the New River is alongside the West and East Reservoirs, a magical, unexpected section of the walk.
On the north side of Seven Sisters Road there is another quiet section of the New River before the bustle of Green Lanes at Finsbury Park. Why Seven Sisters, I wondered, and here is the answer. (Photograph taken from the blogsite.)
You may be interested in
Clissold House & Park
Photographs of the New River Walk & other walks
‘Exploring the New River’ by Michael Essex-Lopresti, and published by Brewin Books
An interesting blog post on the area
A History of Stoke Newington and Paradise Row