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Muswell Hill

Muswell Hill

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Muswell Hill
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OS grid reference:TQ285905
Latitude: 51.598632°
Longitude: -0.143774°
London borough: Haringey
County level: Greater London
Region: London
Constituent country:England
Sovereign state:United Kingdom
Ceremonial county: Greater London
Historic county: Middlesex
Police force: Metropolitan Police
Fire brigade: London Fire Brigade
Ambulance service: London Ambulance
Post office and telephone
Post town: LONDON
Postal district: N10
Dialling code:020
UK Parliament: Hornsey and Wood Green
London Assembly: Enfield and Haringey
European Parliament: London
London | List of places in London

Muswell Hill is an area in the London Borough of Haringey. It is a suburban development situated 6.2 miles (10 km) north of Charing Cross.

Muswell Hill is in postal district N10 and the area is mostly in the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency.


[edit] History

The earliest records of Muswell Hill date from the 12th Century. At this time the Bishop of London, who was the Lord of the Manor of Hornsey, owned the area and granted 65 acres (263,000 m²), located to the east of Colney Hatch Lane, to a newly formed order of nuns. The nuns built a chapel on the site and called it ‘Our Ladie of Muswell’.

The name Muswell is believed to stem from a natural spring or well (the "Mossy Well"), which was said to have miraculous properties. The story has it that a Scottish king was cured of disease after drinking the water of the spring/well and that this led to the area becoming a place of pilgrimage during medieval times. The River Moselle, which has its source in the area, derives its name from this district - it was originally known as the River Moswell (in regard to the Scottish king it should be noted that Muswell Hill Manor in Oxfordshire was said to be owned by The King of Scotland in the 12th Century)

Until the reorganisation of London's local government in 1965 that resulted in the formation of the Greater London Council, Muswell Hill formed part of the Borough of Hornsey within the administrative county of Middlesex.

[edit] Transport links

At the top of a hill, Muswell Hill is not directly served by any tube or train stations, despite being a popular place for central London commuters to live. Most commuters reach London by bus (there are direct routes both to the City and the West End 24-hours a day), or they use the nearest underground stations Highgate, Bounds Green, Finsbury Park or East Finchley, all of which have convenient bus links from Muswell Hill. There are also mainline train services (the Great Northern Electrics runs into King's Cross and Moorgate from Alexandra Palace and Hornsey).

Until the mid-20th century there was a rail branch line, the Muswell Hill Railway, from Highgate which passed through Muswell Hill, terminating at a station at Alexandra Palace, and there was a plan to integrate this into the London Underground Northern Line; tube maps of the time showed the line as under construction. However, this plan was cancelled after the 1939-45 war, and the railway line was abandoned in 1954 to become the Parkland Walk.

[edit] Character and characters

Close to Alexandra Park and Highgate Woods, with something of a village atmosphere, Muswell Hill has developed from the staid suburb it was in the 1950s to become fashionable with a host of trendy bars, restaurants, coffee shops and delicatessens. Muswell Hill Broadway and Fortis Green Road, the main shopping streets, still maintain their Edwardian splendour with many of the original facades preserved and three churches (one now redundant) adding to the streetscape. Some parts have spectacular views over London, and the area is home to a large number of actors, journalists and other media people. House prices remain high partly due to the quality of the local schools and this is also reflected in the the influx of upmarket shop brands like Space.NK, Maison Blanc and Whistles. There also a weekly farmers' market at the foot of Muswell Hill in Alexandra Park selling fresh organic produce.
Image:Muswell hill odeon.jpg
This cinema in Muswell Hill is a Grade II* Listed Building
Image:Muswell hill shops.jpg
Bustling shops in Muswell Hill Broadway.
The 'Gaudí style' shopfront from the side

The area was the birthplace of musicians Ray and Dave Davies of the The Kinks, who began their career here, and helped immortalize it with their 1971 album Muswell Hillbillies. A plaque and memorabilia in the Clissold Arms in Fortis Green commemorate the Kinks' first public performance there.

Just down the road from the house where the Davies brothers grew up on Fortis Green is a house called Fairport. This was the family home of Simon Nicol, and his band, Fairport Convention, was named after it.

Bernard Jewry, known as Alvin Stardust, was born in Muswell Hill before moving to Mansfield at an early age.

The serial killer Dennis Nilsen carried out some of his gruesome murders in Cranley Gardens in Muswell Hill.

In the popular 1970s BBC TV comedy series Porridge, the principal character, Fletcher, played by Ronnie Barker, hailed from Muswell Hill; in the short-lived sequel Going Straight, Fletcher returned to live in the neighbourhood after his release from HMP Slade.

Comedian Barry Took, who collaborated with Marty Feldman as a writer for numerous radio shows including Round the Horne, was born in Muswell Hill in 1928.

Many Eastenders actors live in the area including Perry Fenwick who plays Billy Mitchell.

Vivian Stanshall, artist, poet, writer, performer, and a founding member of Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, made his last home in Muswell Hill, dying there in a fire in March 1995.

Crouch End Festival Chorus (founded 1973) famous for performances at BBC Proms, multiple film scores, and promotion of its own concerts of varied classical and modern music rehearse at Fortismere School every Friday night.

Muswell Hill Golf Club (Par 71, 6438 yards) was founded in 1893, and is still played on today.

[edit] The 'Gaudí Style' shopfront

The curvy Gaudí-inspired shop front of "Art for Art's Sake" was built in July 2004 by the shop's owner Chris Ostwald. However, it met with local council opposition citing problems with planning permission and Muswell Hill's status as a conservation area. This has led to a court battle between the owner and Haringey Council.

[edit] See also

Nearest places:

Places of interest:

Nearest railway stations:

Image:Muswell hill broadway.jpg
Muswell Hill Broadway

Nearest tube stations: (Roughly equidistant)

[edit] External links

Muswell Hill

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