21 February, 2010

Getting in touch with my North (London) side - Canonbury and Crouch Hill.

A sunny saturday for once so time to go out again - I had some Islington Society trail leaflets and what better day to go out and use them.

There is a story by Alice Bower called 'Shanaya meets a northsider' where Shanaya a girl from Peckham is always told by her mother to 'Beware the fiendish northsider so sly' so I was taking precautions. I had my A-z and the trail leaflets. Starting off at Highbury corner - note to Islington Society please start your trails at a tube station- I picked up the first trail through canonbury via an ordinary street of houses with a 1970s school being demolished and replaced by one clad with wood. The trail led into Petherton Road with the New River (remember?) running underneath the generous green space in the middle.

The next bit of any note was Newington Green with a Unitarian chapel where Mary Wolstencroft (also known as Mary Shelley) had worshipped.

Also on the other side of the green was what the Islington Society called London's oldest surviving brick terrace - I suppose that at least they're Islington's oldest.

Newington Green was rather nice with 'treasures' planted around which were supposed to give up a secret when pressed. The mechanism seemed not to work anymore.
The next bit followed the New River and led eventually to Canonbury Tower
Formerly part of the Canonbury manor house the tower dated from the 16th century - and it looked like it did. A brief excursion to Canonbury Square (where Eric Blair - Tony's Grandfather also known as George Orwell lived) and the walk was done.

The next trail led from the horrors of Finsbury Park station to the almost delights of Crouch Hill.
This interesting looking church was one of the highlights of a dull urban walk

The Islington Society pointed out some award winning gardens on one of the streets and I thought typical Islington. They've been given an award because their gardening's 'edgy' but really both gardens were simply a mess.
The other point of interest was the Old Dairy public house - not surprisingly in an old dairy. There are stucco panels depicting what are now historic scenes of dairy farming and milk production.
The trail led to crouch hill and then petered out.
I couldn't be bothered to do the next one although I looked at Hornsey Road Baths (now flats)with this evocative sign (restorred)

I then decided to go shopping in the Holloway Road.

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