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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 DRO/020
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1620-1967
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 5.57 linear metres (418 files).
Name of creator(s): Parish of St Mary, Hornsey | Church of England


Administrative/Biographical history:

Hornsey parish is situated between Finchley and Friern Barnet, bordered by Tottenham, Stoke Newington, Clissold Park, Islington, Saint Pancras and Hampstead. The parish included two detached sections situated in Stoke Newington and another detached section near Colney Hatch (transferred to Friern Barnet in 1891). Within the parish, land at Muswell Hill belonged to the parish of Clerkenwell until it was transferred to Hornsey in 1901. The parish measured 2,978 acres in 1881, which was reduced to 2,875 acres in 1901.

Hornsey Vestry was first mentioned in 1688, while churchwardens were appointed from 1421 and at first carried out the functions of the overseers, who were active from 1612. Other parish officers included surveyors of the highways, an apothecary for the poor, master of the workhouse, beadle, engine-keeper, collector of rates and public health inspector. A workhouse was established in 1730, supervised by a Vestry committee.

The original parish church of Saint Mary was demolished in 1831 as it was too small and needed many repairs. The tower was retained and a new church built alongside it, finished in 1833. This church in turn became unsuitable and was closed in 1888, although it was not demolished until 1927. The tower was spared and the site was made into a garden. For the new church a different site was chosen, on the corner of Hornsey High Street and Church Lane, and the building was completed by 1889. The church contained space for 1,200 and was considered to be the finest 19th century church in Middlesex. Unfortunately the subsoil was unstable and cracks began to appear, forcing the demolition of the building in 1969. Church services were held in the church hall.

Source of information: 'Hornsey, including Highgate: Churches', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 6: Friern Barnet, Finchley, Hornsey with Highgate (1980), pp. 101-182.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the parish of Saint Mary, Hornsey, including registers of baptisms, marriages, burials, banns of marriage and church services; papers relating to church property; papers relating to parish boundaries; correspondence; Churchwardens' accounts, correspondence and papers regarding the maintenance of the church and churchyard, papers of parish bodies including the Vestry, Parochial Church Council, Overseers of the Poor and Surveyors of the Highways; papers of the National School; papers of parish charities; papers relating to the Hornsey Enclosure Act; and orders of service.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Records arranged in ten sub-fonds: A: Incumbent; B: Churchwardens; C: Vestry; D: Parochial Church Council; E: Overseers of the Poor; F: Surveyors of the Highways; G: Schools; H: Charities; J: Enclosure; K: Miscellaneous.

Conditions governing access:

Files DRO/020/A/01/001-042 and DRO/020/A/03/001-003 are not available or unfit for consultation, please use microfilms. File DRO/020/J/003 is unfit for consultation, please order copy provided.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright for these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in the Greater London Record Office (Middlesex Section) in March 1969.

Allied Materials

Related material:

See also EMC 141/1 for records deposited with the London Borough of Haringey. See also ACC/2203 for records of Hornsey Parochial Charities.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
March to April 2010.

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