New River Walk (No.4)

The area that is now called Finsbury Park was a wooded area, Hornsey Wood, in the Manor of Brownswood which belonged to St Paul’s Cathedral. (See a detailed history of the Park here.) The Park was formally opened in August 1869 after the inhabitants of Finsbury, in the City, had petitioned for a park and leisure area.

The New River in Finsbury Park
The New River in Finsbury Park

The path exits the Park into Endymion Road where the New River continues northwards through The Ladder’. This was a housing development laid out in the 1880s on land which previously belonged to Harringay House. The path, however, turns left and then right into Wightman Road. As you can see, Wightman Road is not inspiring, so instead we diverted down Umfreville Road and turned left into the Harringay Passage. (This is a sewer for the area, covered over!) At Hewitt Road turn left for Wightman Road and shortly on the left there is a signpost for the New River.

Wightman Road
Wightman Road

A glimpse of the New River in ‘The Ladder’.

The New River in 'The Ladder', with davit for lifting a boat
The New River in ‘The Ladder’, with davit for lifting a boat
The New River through The Ladder
The New River through The Ladder
New River sign on Wightman Road
New River sign on Wightman Road

After dreary Wightman Road there is a stretch of countryside!

Behind Wightman Road, up to Hampden Road
Behind Wightman Road, up to Hampden Road
New River hidden behind the buildings, Hampden Road to Hornsey Bridge
New River hidden behind the buildings, Hampden Road to Hornsey Bridge

At Turnpike Lane the walk turns left under the railway bridge, and then right between the New River and the railway line, heading towards Alexandra Palace. At the bridge the Pumphouse for the Water Works, built in 1905, has been restored as an Art Gallery & Restaurant. On this section new housing faces the River and the walk is pleasant and open until the Hornsey Water Worksbuilt in the 1860s and now fully up to date. (There was a Turnpike at the corner of Green Lanes and High Road, abolished in 1872.)

HornseyTurnpike, c.1872
Hornsey Turnpike, c.1872

You may be interested in
The history of Harringay House
An Article by Peter Stone
Walking the New River with John Goodier

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