Explore the Historic Area of Hornsey in London
Dubbed one of London’s most northern suburbs, Hornsey is an old Northern London district with historic and urban attractions in equal measure. It’s laidback and vibrant at the same time and offers visitors plenty to see and do. Read on for a bit of its history and pointers on what to do when visiting.
The Story Behind Hornsey
Although it was recorded as early as 1195, Hornsey’s development only began in the 17th century. Growth took a long time because land in the area was never sold or released for building until the estate owner died or chose to move.
The village grew slowly between the 12th and 17th centuries but experienced dramatic urbanisation from the 1860s after Birkbeck Freehold Land Company procured and developed an estate on a corner near Hornsey High Street, setting the pace for development.
Subsequently, several other estates, including William Edy’s Campsbourne estate and Thomas Marsh Lister’s Ladywell, were released, creating room for further gentrification. Hornsey still retains its distinct rural feel today but doesn’t run short in urban and natural attractions making it the perfect destination to explore for the history buff, nature lover, or modern-day adventure seeker.
Things to Do in Hornsey
Here are fun things to do if visiting Hornsey for a day:
Check Out the Site of the Oldest Parish in Hornsey
Although first mentioned in a 12th-century taxation church, The St. Mary’s Church was believed to have been an older medieval church established during the Roman era. The church was demolished in the 19th century, and all that remains is an old bell tower building with a pair of weather-worn angels.
Although there isn’t much to see, the tower is a reminder of Hornsey’s long history. Besides, it’s only across the street from Hornsey High Street, making it a good stopover before you proceed to other hot spots. There’s a garden around it where you can sit and relax as you take in this relic of old Hornsey.
Explore Crouch End
Hornsey is famously known as the artery connecting Emirates Stadium and Crouch End for its central location between the two landmarks. So if you are here for a day and don’t know what to do, head to Crouch End, only six minutes away. Notable for its unique 19th-century Clock tower, Crouch End is an artsy residential area featuring streets lined with modern eateries and restaurants, bookstores, theatres, indie boutiques, parks, and nearly endless small gardens awaiting your exploration.
Try the Emirates Stadium Tour
If you’re more of a sports fan or prefer concerts over shopping boutiques, head to Emirates Stadium. Located about 14 minutes from Hornsey, this 6000-capacity arena offers guided tours of the Arsenal Museum with access to key football arena areas such as the player’s tunnel and the home changing room. You’ll also find interesting exhibits depicting the club’s history, such as the 1971 FA Cup final shirt. Look out for upcoming, or ongoing concerts as the stadium is also a pretty popular live gig venue.
Visiting Hornsey, North London
Hornsey is about 25-30 minutes by car or transit, with the nearest stations being at Hornsey, Harringay and Turnpike Lane. Visit the district’s official website below to learn more about this interesting district before your tattoo appointment in Shoreditch.