Crouch End

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Crouch End
Crouch End 20 Sept 2011.jpg
Crouch End Broadway
Greater London UK location map 2.svg
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Crouch End
Location within Greater London
Population12,395 (2011 Census. Ward) [1]
OS grid reference TQ295885
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district N8
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°34′47″N0°07′25″W / 51.579712°N 0.123729°W / 51.579712; -0.123729 Coordinates: 51°34′47″N0°07′25″W / 51.579712°N 0.123729°W / 51.579712; -0.123729

Crouch End is an area of North London, approximately five miles (8 km) from the City of London in the western half of the borough of Haringey. It is within the Hornsey postal district (N8).



Crouch End lies between Harringay to the east; Hornsey, Muswell Hill and Wood Green to the north; Stroud Green and Archway to the south; and Highgate to the west. It is located 4.6 miles (7.4 km) north of Charing Cross and 5.1 miles (8.2 km) from the City of London.


The name Crouch End is derived from Middle English. A "crouch" meant cross while an "end" referred to an outlying area. [2] [3] Some think that this refers to the borders of the parish, in other words, the area where the influence of the parish ends.

Its name has been recorded as Crouchend (1465), Crowchende (1480), the Crouche Ende (1482), and Crutche Ende (1553). [4] In 1593, it was recorded as "Cruch End". [5]


Crouch End was the junction of four locally important roads. A wooden cross was erected at the junction of these roads, roughly where the Clock Tower now stands, and a small settlement developed around it. Crouch End developed as an early centre of cultivation for Hornsey, and was where the farmsteads seem to have been grouped. [6]

From the later part of the eighteenth century, Crouch End, along with most of Hornsey, became home to wealthy London merchants seeking a refuge from the City. However, the area remained rural in character until around 1880. [7] The development of the railway changed the area significantly. By 1887 there were seven railway stations in the area. By the end of the 19th century, Crouch End had become a prosperous middle-class suburb due to an influx of mainly clerical workers who could easily commute to the city. The large old houses were replaced by comfortable middle-class housing, public parks were created, and a number of new roads and avenues, such as Elder Avenue and Weston Park, were laid out.

It expanded greatly in the late Victorian period and most of its present-day streets were built up in the late 19th century. By the mid-1930s Crouch End had a popular shopping centre that included a music hall in the middle of Topsfield Parade.

Until 1965 it was administratively part of the Municipal Borough of Hornsey and that body's forerunners. In 1965, when local government in London was reorganised, Hornsey merged with the boroughs of Wood Green and Tottenham, and Crouch End became part of the London Borough of Haringey.

Crouch End Broadway and clocktower. Crouch End for Wikipedia.jpg
Crouch End Broadway and clocktower.

In the post-war years, the London-wide provision of social housing led to the building of council homes in and around Crouch End, Hornsey Vale and Hornsey itself. Many of the older houses in the area lay empty post-war and many were bought cheaply by speculative landlords who then let them out to the growing student populations of the Mountview and Hornsey Art College as well as to artists and musicians, who flocked to the area because of cheap rents.

The area became known as student bedsit land for several decades into the early 1980s until rising house prices changed the social profile of the area and progressively wealthier residents moved in. These social changes were accompanied by changes in the shop types over the period; the change brought a large number of estate agents, hairdressers, restaurants and cafes. However, Crouch End retains a selection of traditional high street shops including two butchers, a fishmonger, two grocers, three bakers, two bookshops, four children's shops, over 30 places to buy a cup of coffee, eight pubs and two cinemas.


There is no single figure that provides the demographic profile for Crouch End. As defined by the recent public-council conversation around the setting up of the Crouch End neighbourhood Forum, the neighbourhood is made up of parts of four wards. [8] Between a half and two thirds of the area is formed by Crouch End ward. Its demographics in the 2011 census were as follows:

White British 41.2%, White Other 17.5%, White Irish 3.4%, Indian 1.6%, Black African 1.5%.

Christian 38.4%, Jewish 4.2%, Muslim 3.1% (no religion 41.2%). [9]

Notable buildings

Hornsey Town Hall

Hornsey Town Hall is in the centre of Crouch End Crouch end town hall ed.jpg
Hornsey Town Hall is in the centre of Crouch End

Among its more prominent buildings is the modernistic Hornsey Town Hall, built by the Municipal Borough of Hornsey as their seat of government in 193335. [10] It is now a Grade II* listed building, one of about 21,767. The architect was the New Zealand-born Reginald Uren. The interior and exterior have been used several times as a location by the BBC series The Hour, written by Abi Morgan, and other TV and films, including a scene in The Crown. [11] The building is about to undergo renovation and conversion into a hotel, apartments and an arts centre by the Far East Consortium.


The red-brick Clock Tower has become a much-loved icon of Crouch End. Designed by the architect Frederick Knight, it was originally built as a memorial to Henry Reader Williams [12] in 1895. [13] Williams was Chairman of the local authority of Hornsey from 1880–1894, and played a key part in shaping the district, in particular campaigning against developers for the preservation of Highgate Wood and Queen's Wood. He also paved the way for the purchase of Alexandra Palace and Park by a consortium of local authorities in 1901. After Williams's retirement the newly designated Hornsey Urban District Council decided to erect a clock tower to celebrate his achievements.

Out of the estimated cost of £1200, £900 was raised by public subscription. On 23 June 1895 a ceremony was held for its unveiling. The Broadway was hung with flags, and the Tower connected to nearby houses with festoons. Over a thousand people assembled, and at noon the Earl of Stafford, Lord-Lieutenant of Middlesex, released a blue ribbon hanging from the belfry and the clock struck its first notes. The bronze sculpture of the head of Williams was created by Alfred Gilbert, who also designed Eros in Piccadilly Circus. [14]

Crouch End Hippodrome

The Crouch End Hippodrome originally opened on Tottenham Lane in July 1897 as the Queen's Opera House with a production of The Geisha. The theatre was a reconstruction of the former Crouch End Athenaeum, and was built for the owners and managers H. H. Morell and Frederick Mouillot (who at the time owned another 17 theatres between them). It held an audience of 1,500 people. In 1907, it was renamed the Hippodrome and became a popular music hall. During a bombing raid in 1940 it was very badly damaged. It is now a Virgin Active gym.

Hornsey College of Art

In 1880 an art school was established by Charles Swinstead, an artist and teacher who lived at Crouch End. It became "an iconic British art institution, renowned for its experimental and progressive approach to art and design education". In May 1968, as Hornsey College of Art, it was occupied by students as a protest against the ideology of art education and teaching in Britain. [15] The occupation, soon joined by others around the country, and linked with similar events in Paris, offered a major critique of the education system at the time. [16]

After the authorities regained control, known as the "night of the dogs", sympathetic lecturers and students who had taken part (including Tom Nairn and Kim Howells) were dismissed. Later the college was merged with Middlesex Polytechnic, now University, in the 1970s. Subsequently, it was relocated to a Middlesex campus at Alexandra Palace and the lease of the building taken over by the TUC, which used it as its national training centre. In 2005 Haringey Council took it over, extending and converting the building in order to enlarge Coleridge Primary School.


There are three state secondary schools serving the N8 Crouch End area. Highgate Wood School in Montenotte Road is a nine form entry mixed school. Highgate Wood School was the senior school to the former Crouch End School based on the corner of Wolseley Road and Park Road, opposite the Maynard Arms. Hornsey School for Girls in Inderwick Road is the only single sex school in N8. In Hornsey, there is the Greig City Academy (formerly St David and St Katherines). Further away Heartlands High School which lies between Wood Green and Alexandra Palace was opened by Haringey in 2010; despite not being in Crouch End it is close enough to provide additional provision. St Thomas More Catholic School, Wood Green is the only Roman Catholic secondary school in the London Borough of Haringey. [17]

Over 6,000 children school in the area, approx 2,300 in primary schools and 3,700 in secondary schools (11-18).

Kestrel House is an independent special school for pupils with autistic spectrum conditions and additional learning and behavioural needs. The vast majority of pupils are referred by local authorities in London and the Home Counties who pay the fees.[ citation needed ] It is housed in the former Mountview Theatre School premises at the north end of Crouch Hill -the end nearest Crouch End Broadway. Also in the independent (fee paying sector) are Highgate School and Channing School, both used by parents in Crouch End but located in Highgate.

There are a number of primary schools serving Crouch End (seven in total within the N8 postcode): Weston Park, Rokesly School, Coleridge Primary School at the top of Crouch End Hill near the border with Islington, St Aidans in Stroud Green (not N8), St Gildas and St Peter-in Chains, just off Crouch Hill and St Mary's in Hornsey. Campsbourne Primary School on Nightingale Lane, North Harringay Primary School on Falkland Road and Ashmount Primary School. Ashmount was until December 2012 on the south side of Hornsey Lane, in Islington and in the N19 postal district, but only meters from Haringey. (The border between Haringey and Islington runs down Hornsey Lane.) The school moved January 2013 to a new building in Crouch Hill Park adjacent to the Parkland Walk in N8.

There are many nursery schools in the area, including Bright Horizons, Creative Explorers, Starshine, Keiki and MTO.

Library provision

Hornsey Library is located on Haringey Park, N8. The Grade II listed building is on a site adjoining the south side of Hornsey Town Hall. The library contains a large book stock, DVDs, provides free access to the Internet, meeting rooms for adult education classes, the Original Gallery for art exhibitions, literary groups and performers. There is also a children's library, where events for pre-school children take place.

Reclining figure in Bronze sculpture dating from 1964 by Thomas Bayliss Huxley-Jones outside Hornsey Library in Crouch End Statue outside Hornsey Library.jpg
Reclining figure in Bronze sculpture dating from 1964 by Thomas Bayliss Huxley-Jones outside Hornsey Library in Crouch End

Permanent artwork includes the engraved Hornsey Window by Fred Mitchell, and a bronze sculpture outside by Huxley-Jones. The library contains the Community and Youth Music Library, one of largest collections of music sets in the country. Owned by a charitable company, it was started over 100 years ago and is now located semi-permanently at Hornsey Library.


To the immediate west, lies Highgate Wood, and the adjacent Queen's Wood, as well as a large expanse of playing fields. To the north is Alexandra Park and to the south Finsbury Park. The Parkland Walk, a former railway line, makes a circuitous connection part of the way between these two parks. Other parks in the area include Stationers' Park, Priory Park and Crouch Hill Park in Islington.

Local Civic Society

Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum

The Neighbourhood Forum, set up in response to the government initiatives under the heading "localism". The forum is formally recognised by the London Borough of Haringey [18] as representative of Crouch End. One of the first tasks of the forum was to define the boundaries of Crouch End. [19] The forum's main task is to produce a neighbourhood plan. [20]

Hornsey Historical Society

Founded in 1971, the HHS has over 400 members and is based in the old school house on the boundary between Hornsey and Crouch End by Holy Innocents. [21] The HHS was originally formed to research, preserve and promote the history of the parish of Hornsey, and from 1983 included the area covered by the parliamentary constituency of Hornsey and Wood Green. They have over 21,000 items including articles, books, documents & manuscripts, local newspapers, maps, photographs, postcards and video memories. They also sell books on the local history and organise talks.

Local arts scene

Crouch End has long been associated with creativity, especially since the 1970s when many artists, musicians, film and TV makers, animators and performers of all kinds flocked here due to cheap rents. According to Haringey Council, a higher than average proportion of the population work in the creative industries.[ citation needed ]


Crouch End has two cinemas, the independent Art House and the Crouch End Picturehouse.


Crouch End is home to the Kings Head, a comedy venue.


Crouch End is the home of the symphonic choir, Crouch End Festival Chorus. The choir has worked with many classical and popular music artists including Ennio Morricone, Noel Gallagher, Andrea Bocelli, Katherine Jenkins. It has recorded with Lesley Garrett, Bryn Terfel, Ray Davies, Alfie Boe, EMI Classics and Classic FM, performed at The Proms in the Royal Albert Hall on several occasions and recorded works for film, television and sound track recording. Amongst those is the soundtrack for Doctor Who . It also commissions works from modern composers on its own account.

Crouch End Festival

The Crouch End Festival was re-instated in May 2012 by Chris Arnold, Robin Stevenson and Marice Cumber. [22] It originally started as a Facebook site, Crouch End Creatives. It includes art exhibitions, drama, dance, film, poetry, photography, fringe, music, an outdoor cinema, introduced by Peter Bradshaw, in the Hornsey Town Hall square and a zombie walk. The festival features over 200 artists plus 14 schools, 6 churches and numerous community groups across over 60 venues and was somewhat laughably described by the Ham & High Broadway as "London's own mini Edinburgh Festival".

The Church Studios and Bob Dylan

In the early 1980s part of the old church on Crouch Hill was converted for use as a studio by Bob Bura and John John Hardwick, the animators who worked on Camberwick Green, Captain Pugwash and Trumpton. It was named The Church Studios, and in the 1990s the space was rented to Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics.

In the 1990s Bob Dylan worked on an album in the studio, and became so fond of the area he looked for a property in Crouch End. He was a regular at the now-closed Shamrat Indian restaurant. [23]

Arts scene urban legends

Notable residents

See Category:People from Crouch End

Surrounding neighbourhoods



A London Overground train at Crouch Hill station. Unit 710262 at Crouch Hill station.jpg
A London Overground train at Crouch Hill station.

Hornsey Station is 0.7 miles (1.1 km) to the north of Crouch End. [27] Harringay Station is 1.1 miles (1.8 km) to the east. [27] 1.4 miles (2.3 km) to the south is Finsbury Park Station. [27] All three are managed and served by Great Northern.

The Gospel Oak to Barking line runs to the south of Crouch End. [28] London Overground trains running along the line call at Crouch Hill station, 0.7 miles (1.1 km) from the centre of Crouch End. [27] The London Overground links the area directly to Upper Holloway and Gospel Oak in the west, and to Harringay, South Tottenham, Walthamstow, and Barking in the east. [29]

Crouch End is not directly connected to the tube network, but nearby stations include:


London Buses routes 41, 91, W3, W5, and W7 run through Crouch End.

Cycling and walking

The Parkland Walk runs through Crouch End between Highgate and Finsbury Park. Parkland Walk.JPG
The Parkland Walk runs through Crouch End between Highgate and Finsbury Park.

The Parkland Walk runs along the southern rim of Crouch End. The Parkland Walk is a shared use path for both pedestrians and cyclists. Westbound, the path links the area to Highgate, whilst in the east, the route ends in Finsbury Park. The path runs predominantly in a cutting through Crouch End, so for cyclists, wheelchair users, and pushchairs, step-free access ramps are provided. Step-free access to Parkland Walk can be found near the summit of Crouch Hill. [30]

The Parkland Walk is part of the Capital Ring route, which is signposted. [31]

See also

Related Research Articles

Highgate Human settlement in England

Highgate is a suburban area of north London at the northeastern corner of Hampstead Heath, 4.5 miles (7.2 km) north-northwest of Charing Cross.

Hornsey Area of London, England

Hornsey is a district of north London, England in the London Borough of Haringey. It is an inner-suburban, for the most part residential, area centred 10 km (6.2 mi) north of Charing Cross. It adjoins green spaces Queen's Wood and Alexandra Park to the north.

Muswell Hill Human settlement in England

Muswell Hill is a suburban district of north London. It is mainly in the London Borough of Haringey with a small part in the London Borough of Barnet. It is between Highgate, Hampstead Garden Suburb, East Finchley and Crouch End. It has many streets with Edwardian architecture.

Wood Green Human settlement in England

Wood Green is a suburban district in the borough of Haringey in London, England. Its postal district is N22, with parts in N8 or N15. The London Plan identifies it as one of the metropolitan centres in Greater London, and today it forms a major commercial district of North London.

London Borough of Haringey London borough in United Kingdom

The London Borough of Haringey is a London borough in North London, classified by some definitions as part of Inner London, and by others as part of Outer London. It was created in 1965 by the amalgamation of three former boroughs. It shares borders with six other London boroughs. Clockwise from the north, they are: Enfield, Waltham Forest, Hackney, Islington, Camden, and Barnet.

Finsbury Park Public park in the London Borough of Haringey, England

Finsbury Park is a public park in the London neighbourhood of Harringay. It is in the area formerly covered by the historic parish of Hornsey, succeeded by the Municipal Borough of Hornsey. It was one of the first of the great London parks laid out in the Victorian era. The park borders the neighbourhoods of Harringay, Finsbury Park, Stroud Green, and Manor House.

Harringay Human settlement in England

Harringay is a district of north London, England, within the London Borough of Haringey. It is centred on the section of Green Lanes running between the New River, where it crosses Green Lanes by Finsbury Park, and Duckett's Common, near Turnpike Lane.

Parkland Walk

The Parkland Walk is a 3.1-mile (5.0 km) linear green pedestrian and cycle route in London, which follows the course of the railway line that used to run between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace, through Stroud Green, Crouch End, Highgate and Muswell Hill. It is often mistakenly described as 4.5 miles long, but even taking in the gap between the two sections it still only totals 3.1 miles (5.0km). The route follows the bridges and cuttings of the line, but avoids the closed surface section of Highgate station and its adjoining tunnels, which are closed to walkers for safety reasons. The walk is almost all in Haringey, but a short stretch between Crouch Hill and Crouch End Hill is in Islington and this section incorporates Crouch Hill Park.

Stroud Green Human settlement in England

Stroud Green is a suburb and electoral ward in north London, England, in the London Borough of Haringey. On its south-western side, Stroud Green Road forms part of the boundary with the London Borough of Islington.

Hornsey and Wood Green (UK Parliament constituency)

Hornsey and Wood Green is a constituency created in 1983 represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since May 2015 by Catherine West, of the Labour Party. To date it has drawn together for general elections parts of the London Borough of Haringey.

Green Lanes (London)

Green Lanes is a main road in North London which forms part of the A105 road. Covering a distance of 6.3 miles (10.1 km) between Newington Green and Winchmore Hill, it is one of the longest streets in the capital, passing through the N16, N4, N8, N13 and N21 postcode areas.

Parks and open spaces in the London Borough of Islington

The London Borough of Islington is short of large parks and open spaces, given its status in recent decades as a desirable place of residence. In fact, Islington has the lowest ratio of open space to built-up areas of any London borough. The largest continuous open space in the borough, at 11.75 hectares, is Highbury Fields.

Stroud Green railway station

Stroud Green railway station is a former station in the Stroud Green area of north London. It was located between Finsbury Park station and Crouch End station on a bridge over Stapleton Hall Road. The station had platforms cantilevered from the bridge structure and a wooden station building at ground level under and on either side of the bridge, with a station master's house to the north of it. The bridge still exists and now carries the Parkland Walk cycle and pedestrian path, whilst the station master's house serves as a community centre.

Hornsey was an ancient parish in the county of Middlesex. It was both a civil parish, used for administrative purposes, and an ecclesiastical parish of the Church of England.

Queens Wood 52-acre wood in Haringey, London

Queen's Wood is a 52-acre area of ancient woodland in the London Borough of Haringey, abutting Highgate Wood and lying between East Finchley, Highgate, Muswell Hill and Crouch End. It was originally part of the ancient Forest of Middlesex which covered much of London, Hertfordshire and Essex and was mentioned in the Domesday Book. It is now one of three Local Nature Reserves in the London Borough of Haringey. It is situated a few minutes' walk from Highgate tube station.

The history of Harringay tells the story of the development of the district of London five miles from its centre, affected by, but not always part of, the great city's history.

The advance of late Victorian urbanisation during the last twenty years of the 19th century swept away the 18th and early 19th-century houses, their grounds and the farmland. By 1900 Harringay was completely urbanised.

History of Stroud Green

Stroud Green in London, England, is a suburb adjacent to Finsbury Park in the northern part of Greater London. While most of the area is in the London Borough of Haringey, a very small part is in the London Borough of Islington. The Stroud Green Road not only forms the boundary between the two boroughs but is also the area's principal thoroughfare and a busy local shopping street, with many popular restaurants and bars.

Crouch End Hill

Crouch End Hill is a street in north London, England, running between Crouch End and Hornsey Rise in the boroughs of Haringey and Islington. It is not to be confused with 'Crouch Hill" which runs between Crouch End and Stroud Green. The two roads meet at a "Y" junction in Crouch End and together the two routes constitute the southern access to Crouch End Broadway.


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  8. Map showing Crouch End boundaries as defined for the establishment of the Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum and Copy of final application for the establishment of the forum
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  11. "Haringey on Film - document from Haringey Council". Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  12. Henry Williams was a local wine merchant and local councillor who led the campaign to preserve Highgate Wood against threatened development.[ citation needed ]
  13. Schwitzer, Joan (2002). Crouch End Clock Tower. Hornsey Historical Society.
  14. "A Brief History of the Crouch End Clock Tower". Hornsey Historical Society. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  15. What happened at Hornsey in May 1968 — Nick Wright Archived 2011-10-06 at the Wayback Machine .
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  17. Official Site. Retrieved 26 March 2013
  18. Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum recognised by London Borough of Haringey
  19. the boundaries of Crouch End
  20. Crouch End Neighbourhood Plan
  21. Hornsey Historical Society website
  22. "Creative Festival of over 160 events". Crouch End Festival. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
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  24. "Bob Dylan in Crouch End". 8 June 1997. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  25. "An Interview with Peter Straub (March, 2010)". Bookbanter. 15 April 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  26. Beahm, George (1 September 1998). Stephen King from A to Z: An Encyclopedia of His Life and Work . Andrews McMeel Publishing. p.  47. ISBN   0836269144.
  27. 1 2 3 4 The measurement used is that given by the direction function on Google Maps between The Clocktower in Crouch End and the named station.
  28. The definition of Crouch End borders are those given in the map submitted by the Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum and approved by the London Borough of Haringey
  29. "London Overground" (PDF). Transport for London . Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 November 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  30. "Home - The Friends of the Parkland Walk". Friends of the Parkland Walk. Archived from the original on 27 February 2020. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
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