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Crouch End is an area of north London, in the London Borough of Haringey north of the Archway, west of Harringay, south of Wood Green and east of Highgate; it lies approximately 5 miles north of the City of London. A rural hamlet in the middle ages, it remained rural until it was developed in the late nineteenth century, its architecture being largely late Victorian.

Crouch End
Crouch End 20 Sept 2011.jpg
Crouch End is located in Greater London
Crouch End
Crouch End
Crouch End shown within Greater London
Population 12,395 (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
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°34′47″N 0°07′25″W / 51.579712°N 0.123729°W / 51.579712; -0.123729Coordinates: 51°34′47″N 0°07′25″W / 51.579712°N 0.123729°W / 51.579712; -0.123729



The name Crouch End is derived from Middle English. A 'crouch' meant cross while an 'end' referred to an outlying area.[2][3] Its name has been recorded as Crouchend (1465), Crowchende (1480), the Crouche Ende (1482), and Crutche Ende (1553).[4] In 1593 it is recorded as "Cruch End".[5]


Crouch End was originally a hamlet lying within a heavily wooded valley on Watling Street. By the start of the 14th century, it was part of Hornsey, which had become a parish in around 1300. The area contained farms and larger country houses. Crouch Hall, which was probably built in 1681, stood at the crossroads in Crouch End.

The transcribed 1829–1848 diaries of William Copeland Astbury describe in great detail London life of the period, including walks to Crouch End. Crouch End remained rural until around 1880. Large parts remained in private ownership, inhibiting development. However, 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.

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 gentrification of the area changed the social profile and it became progressively more middle class. These social changes were illustrated by the changes in the shop types over the period; gentrification brought estate agents en masse along with up-market establishments and pavement-type cafes.


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. Crouch End is located 4.6 miles north of Charing Cross and 5.1 miles from the City of London.

To the immediate west, it is bounded by 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.

Surrounding neighbourhoodsEdit

Notable buildingsEdit

Hornsey Town HallEdit

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 1933–35.[6] The architect was the New Zealand-born Reginald Uren. The interior and exterior have been used several times as a location by the BBC soap EastEnders.[7] At the time of writing (September 2015) the London Borough of Haringey is preparing to offer Hornsey Town Hall for disposal via the OJEU process [8]


In the centre of Crouch End there is a prominent red-brick clock tower, built as a memorial to Henry Reader Williams[9] in 1895.[10]

Crouch End HippodromeEdit

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). The theatre sat 1500 people. It was renamed the Hippodrome in 1907 and became a popular music hall. During a bombing raid in 1940 it was very badly damaged. More about the history here. It is now a gym.

Hornsey College of ArtEdit

In 1880 an art school was established which, in May 1968, as Hornsey College of Art, was occupied by students as a protest against the ideology of the school's teaching methods. [11] 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.[12] After the authorities regained control sympathetic lecturers and students who had taken part (including Tom Nairn and Kim Howells) were dismissed. Later the college was merged with what was then Middlesex Polytechnic, now University, in the 1970s. Subsequently, it was relocated to a Middlesex campus at Cat Hill and the lease of the building taken over by the TUC, which used it as its national training centre. In 2005, the TUC surrendered the lease and Haringey Council took it over, extending and converting the building in order to enlarge Coleridge Primary School.


For further details of education in Crouch End see the London Borough of Haringey article

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. 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. The new site, while closer to Crouch End, is both still within Islington and further from the border with Haringey than the old site on Hornsey lane. There is a continuing (August 2014) public controversy regarding the ultimate fate of the old Ashmount site; more information about this is available under the entry for Ashmount Primary School

Library provisionEdit

The public library for Crouch End is Hornsey Library located on Haringey Park N8. The library 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, a gallery for exhibitions. There is a separate children's library, where events for pre-school children take place, with a public noticeboard with much information about local resources for parents of young children. There is also a cafe.

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

Local arts sceneEdit


Crouch End is home to Crouch End Festival Chorus, a symphonic chorus which has recorded with Lesley Garrett, Bryn Terfel, Ray Davies, Alfie Boe, EMI Classics and Classic FM as well as singing on the soundtrack for Doctor Who.

Crouch End FestivalEdit

The 'Crouch End Festival' started in May 2012,[13] and is now one of the UK's biggest community arts festivals. It includes art exhibitions, drama, dance, film, poetry, photography and music and an outdoor cinema in the Town Hall square.

The Church Studios, and Bob DylanEdit

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. Named 'The Church', in 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.[14]

Arts scene urban legendsEdit

  • According to legend, in the 1990s Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics invited Bob Dylan to drop into his Crouch Hill recording studio any time he wanted to. It is said that Dylan took him up on his offer, but the taxi driver dropped him off on the adjacent Crouch End Hill. Dylan knocked on the door of the supposed home of Dave Stewart and asked for "Dave". By coincidence, the plumber who lived there was also called Dave. He was told that Dave was out, and would he like to wait and have some tea? Twenty minutes later the plumber returned and asked his wife whether there were any messages. "No," she said, "but Bob Dylan's in the living room having a cup of coffee".[15]
  • Stephen King and his wife, Tabitha, were invited to dinner by his friend Peter Straub, whose house is in Crouch End.[16] En route to Straub's house, they got lost, which was the inspiration for King's short story "Crouch End".[17] The story was later adapted as an episode of Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King.
  • It is claimed that Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy once performed at the Crouch End Hippodrome and that they stayed at the Queen's Hotel (now the Queen's pub). Artist Richard Hamilton is said to have taken visitor Marcel Duchamp to the Queen’s Pub. The pub was built as a hotel in 1899–1902 by developer and architect John Cathles Hill to serve visitors to the Alexandra Palace races. The bar is an excellent example of a Victorian pub and also features a fine example of Art Nouveau decor and glass. Its sister pub, the Salisbury Hotel (almost identical in features), is on Green Lanes, N4.

Notable residentsEdit


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Haringey Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "How London's Hills Got Their Names". Retrieved 6 February 2018. 
  3. ^ "Crouch End, Haringey - Hidden London". Retrieved 23 January 2018. 
  4. ^ Mills, A.D. (2010). A Dictionary of London Place-Names. Oxford. pp. 69-69. ISBN 9780199566785. 
  5. ^ "John Norden's map of Middlesex". Jonathan Potter Ltd. Retrieved 16 December 2017. 
  6. ^ Cherry, Bridget (2006). Civic Pride in Hornsey. London: Hornsey Historical Society. 
  7. ^ "Haringey on Film - document from Haringey Council". Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  8. ^[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Henry Williams was a local wine merchant and local councillor who led the campaign to preserve Highgate Wood against threatened development.[citation needed]
  10. ^ Schwitzer, Joan (2002). Crouch End Clock Tower. Hornsey Historical Society. 
  11. ^ What happened at Hornsey in May 1968 — Nick Wright Archived 2011-10-06 at the Wayback Machine..
  12. ^ Various (1969). The Hornsey Affair. Penguin Education. 
  13. ^ "Creative Festival of over 160 events". Crouch End Festival. 2013-09-15. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "". 1997-06-08. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  16. ^ "An Interview with Peter Straub (March, 2010) | Bookbanter". Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  17. ^ 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. 

External linksEdit