At the time when the
Huxley Estate was developed, Edmonton
was mainly rural.
1894 map of the Edmonton area showing its rural nature
and the earliest roads of the Victorian
terrace houses.. Click for a larger image in a new window.
There were small pockets of small workers' houses situated
behind i.e. to the west of Hertford Road, and the railway was built to skirt
these. To the west of the railway were mainly fields, with small hamlets dotted
about. The rest was agricultural. When our parents grew up in the early 1900s
there was nothing to the north of Cheddington Road, and at the west end of Henley
Road and Oakfield Gardens was a nursery, as there was to the west of Windmill
Road. Yes, I remember the remnants of the windmill.
There were houses along the north side of Silver Street and these were larger
than those of the Huxley estate, so I think they were privately owned, as was
the Clarke house on the
south side of Silver Street. I am dubious about the southern ends of Bulwer
Road and Sheldon Road. I remember them as being slightly larger and of a different
design from the others on the estate but I am unsure whether they were estate
There were three parallel transport routes running due north from London:
- First was the Hertford Road, now Fore Street, Edmonton, which ran from the
City via Stamford Hill, Tottenham and Edmonton. Development then petered out
on its way north to Hertford and beyond. It was popular with city gentlemen
because it was a convenient coach ride from the city and gave rise to the grand
houses that bordered it through Stamford Hill, Tottenham and Edmonton (now non
existent or split into flats).
- Next was the Lea canal, based on the river Lea which was broadened and deepened
where necessary. This gave rise to factories and warehouses along its banks
about as far as Brimsdown (north of Enfield). The main trade was in timber which
came by barge from the Pool of London and the manufacture of timber products,
especially furniture in the Tottenham, Stamford Hill and Stoke Newington areas
where Jewish communities grew up. In Edmonton where the A406 (Angel Road) crosses
the river, I used to fish. I remember the tow path, horses pulling barges and
the smell of sawmills in the factories. To the east of the river, towards Chingford
and Walthamstow, was marshland, pretty well all the way along until the ground
rose northwards beyond Brimsdown, where flooding stopped and the Lea Valley
nurseries began (hence the need for pots). To the west of the river, between
it and Hertford Road, was a belt of small factory workers' houses (now mainly
cleared during slum clearance after the 2nd world war).
Third was the railway from Liverpool Street to Enfield which gave rise to
hamlets springing up around each station which were about a mile or so apart.
These hamlets mainly housed artisans and clerks who worked in the city but some
of the better off factory workers moved west from the river Lea/Hertford Road
area to them. Upper Edmonton, which grew up around Silver Street station was
one of these.
This website Join me in the 1900s is a contribution to the social history of everyday life in 20th century Britain from the early 1900s to about 1960, seen through personal recollections and illustrations, with the emphasis on what it was like to live in those times. It is © Pat Cryer.