Stamford Hill is a district in the London Borough of Hackney in north-east London, England, located about 5.5 miles north-east of Charing Cross. The area is known for its Jewish Chasidic community, the largest concentration of Charedi Chasidic Jews in Europe.
|Area||5.2 km2 (2.0 sq mi)|
|• Density||13,087/km2 (33,900/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|• Charing Cross||5.5 mi (8.9 km) SSW|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||N15, N16|
The neighbourhood takes its name from the eponymous hill and the originally Roman A10 also takes the name ‘Stamford Hill’ as it makes its way through the area.
The hill is believed to be named after the ford where the A10 crossed the Hackney Brook on the southern edge of the hill. Sanford and Saundfordhill are referred to in documents from the 1200s and mean ‘sand ford’. Roque's map of 1745 shows a bridge, which replaced the ford, referred to as ‘Stamford Bridge’.
The hill rises gently from the former course of the Hackney Brook to the south, and its steeper northern slope provided a natural boundary for the traditional (parish and borough) extent of Hackney, and now does so for the wider modern borough.
The area's usual definition is based on the physical feature of the hill and the neighbourhood’s location within the Ancient Parish and subsequent (with almost identical boundaries) Metropolitan Borough of Hackney. The association of Stamford Hill with part of the N16 postcode district is also useful in describing its extent.
Southern Boundary with West Hackney: The east-west course of the Hackney Brook provided a natural southern boundary for the district, however the river was culverted and it is now difficult to discern its former course on the ground. This has led to very ambiguous boundary in the Cazenove\Northwold Road area.
East and south-east boundary with Upper Clapton: Upper Clapton shares much of the eastern side of the hill itself and the distinction between the two districts can be closely, though not quite exactly based on the boundary between the N16 Postal area to which Stamford Hill belongs, and the E5 postal area to which Upper Clapton belongs.
Stamford Hill lies on the old Roman road of Ermine Street, on the high ground where it meets the Clapton Road which runs from central Hackney. By the 18th century, the Roman road (know numbered as the A10) was subject to heavy traffic, including goods wagons pulled by six or more horses, and this caused the surface of the road to deteriorate. The local parishes appealed to Parliament in 1713 for the right to set up a Turnpike Trust, to pay for repairs and maintenance. Gates were installed at Kingsland and Stamford Hill to collect the tolls.
Roque’s map of 1745 shows a handful of building around the Turnpike, and by 1795 the A10 was lined with the large homes and extensive grounds of wealthy financiers and merchants attracted, in part, by the elevated position.
The area remained essentially rural in character and little more was built until the arrival of the railway in 1872 and the tram system at about the same time. Stamford Hill was the point where the tram systems coming north from the city met the Hackney tram system, and so it became a busy interchange, with a depot opening in 1873. Electrification commenced in 1902 and by 1924 a service was commenced between Stamford Hill and Camden Town along Amhurst Park.
Stamford Hill had many eminent Jewish residents, including the Montefiore family. Italian-born Moses Vita Montefiore (died 1789) was living there in 1763. His son Joseph (died 1804) married Rachel Mocatta, and his grandson Abraham Montefiore (died 1824) married Henrietta whose father, the financier Nathan Meyer Rothschild, lived near the modern Colberg Place from 1818 to 1835. The Montefiores' property a little further south was to be transformed by Abraham's grandson, Claude Montefiore, into Montefiore House school. With the increased development of the area, many distinguished families moved away: in 1842 there were few remaining of the wealthy Jews who had once settled in Hackney. The philanthropist and abolitionist MP Samuel Morley had a residence here from about 1860. The gardening writer and cottage gardener Margery Fish was born Margery Townshend in Stamford Hill in 1892.
From the 1880s, a new influx of Jews arrived in the area escaping from the poverty of Stepney in the East End and, in 1915, the New Synagogue was transferred to Stamford Hill to serve this growing population. In 1926, the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations was established in Stamford Hill, and this became a magnet for other strictly observant Jews, many fleeing Nazi persecution in the years before the Second World War. Also, many Jewish families came to the area from other areas of London, refugees in their own way from bombing and post-war clearances for new housing. One of the early Hasidic leaders in Stamford Hill was the Shotzer Rebbe. The Hungarian uprising also led to an influx of Haredi Jews fleeing hardship under Soviet rule. Another notable Jewish resident from 1955 until his death in 2000, was the spiritual head of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, Rabbi Chanoch Dov Padwa.
Haredi Jewish communityEdit
Stamford Hill is at the centre of an Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox Jewish and predominantly Hasidic community estimated to be some 30,000 strong and growing at a rate of around 5% each year. It is the largest Hasidic community in Europe, and referred to as a square mile of piety, reflecting the many Jewish men seen walking in their distinctive clothes on their way to and from worship. The congregations often represent historical links with particular areas of Eastern Europe in their dress and their worship. Many also retain international links with other congregations around the world. The largest of these congregations is the Satmar, which has five directly associated synagogues; Belz is another large community with several synagogues. In the surrounding area there may be over 50 synagogues, and many observant Jews in the neighbouring areas of Stoke Newington, Upper Clapton and Tottenham identify with Stamford Hill.
A volunteer emergency response first-aid service called Hatzola (the Hebrew word for rescue) and a volunteer community watch group called Shomrim (the Hebrew word for watchmen) are run by, and largely for, the Jewish community. The need for dietary observance means that Stamford Hill has a large number of shops selling specifically Kosher food.
The strictly orthodox Jewish community relies mostly on private education for schooling, with almost all Jewish children attending private, single-sex Jewish schools. In 2005, the Stamford Hill Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls' School achieved voluntary-aided status. The school has made headlines several times, most recently when some of its pupils refused to study Shakespeare due to his alleged anti-Semitic views, and the school's principal, Rabbi Abraham Pinter, saluted the girls for having pride in their beliefs. In 2014, the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA (OCR) Exam board, having conducted an investigation into alleged exam malpractice, concluded that the school had redacted (deleted) questions involving the evolution of species on GCSE science exam questions. Ofqual subsequently ruled that blocking out exam questions is malpractice, and, accordingly, not permissible. The same year, it was reported that many of the ultra-orthodox schools in the area have no lessons in English, and operate "without the most basic health, safety and child welfare checks", with up to 1000 boys missing from the school system and attending illegal schools instead from the age of thirteen or fourteen.
Haredi families on average have 5.9 children, almost 2.5 times the average for England and Wales, and many families live in overcrowded flats. National planning regulations are applied by the local council, prohibiting "excess" development of family housing. This has led to conflict between the council and the Jewish population, represented by the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations. Agudas Israel Housing Association is active in developing housing for the Jewish community in Stamford Hill.
There is also a notable population of Yemenite Jews, especially Adeni Jews who originated in the port city of Aden in Yemen. They settled in Stamford Hill after fleeing the inter-community violence at the end of the Aden Protectorate. The Adeni Congregation synagogue, Nahalat Yosef, is named after the original Adeni synagogue in Yemen. A new synagogue has been built, modelled on the original one. Adeni Jews tend to consider themselves a different ethnicity to other Yemeni Jews, due to differences in traditions, prayers (pronunciation) and customs that have evolved under British rule. In recent years, many have moved to Southgate and Hendon.
In 2014 the community met with controversy after a sign was spotted in the location reading, "Women should please walk along this side of the road only". The sign was reportedly put up for a Torah Procession parade and were meant to provide directions for members who wished to avoid contact with the opposite sex  After complaints about the sign were raised a group of Shomrim who regularly police the area contacted the organisers to tell them that the posters "lacked explanation" the posters were removed and the organisers agreed to take the signs down more quickly the following year.
The high fertility of the Haredi community contributes to the area having one of highest birthrates in the UK, with a crude birth rate of more than 25 per 1,000 of the population, twice the UK average.
|Ward||All||Christian||Buddhist||Hindu||Jewish||Muslim||Sikh||other||No religion||not stated|
- The London Borough of Hackney has expressed its concern that Haredi-Jewish residents are seriously under-counted in the Census data, as the religion question is voluntary
The Jesuit order founded St Ignatius' College on 10 September 1894, in two houses called Morecombe Lodge and Burleigh House near Tottenham High Road. In 1907 the College was recognised by the Board of Education and began to receive public money. Notable former pupils of St Ignatius include Alfred Hitchcock and Cardinal Heenan. It remained at Stamford Hill as a grammar school until 1968, and then became a two--form entry comprehensive school, the Lower School being located at the old Cardinal Allen School in Enfield, and the Upper School in new premises at Turkey Street, Enfield.
There are also many independent or Haredi schools in the area.
Transport and localeEdit
- Northwest = Hornsey
- North = South Tottenham
- Northeast = Walthamstow
- West = Manor House
- Centre = Stamford Hill
- East = Leyton
- Southwest = Finsbury Park
- South = Stoke Newington
- Southeast = Upper Clapton
- Nearest stations
- Sadik Ahmed (born 1977), film director and cinematographer
- Ronald Wilberforce Allen (1889–1936), lawyer and Liberal politician
- Marc Bolan (1947–1977), musician
- Bernard Butler (born 1970), musician and record producer
- Michael Duane (1915–1997), teacher
- Aba Dunner (1937–2011), social and religious activist
- Lennie Felix (1920–1980), jazz pianist
- Margery Fish (1892–1969), gardener and gardening writer
- Leo Genn (1905–1978), stage and film actor and barrister
- William Brodie Gurney (1777–1855), shorthand writer and philanthropist
- Nathan Moore (born 1965), musician and manager
- Shloime Gertner, singer
- Samuel Morley (1809–1886), manufacturer, philanthropist and statesman
- Shulem Moshkovitz (died 1958), Shotzer Rebbe
- Richard Negri (1927–1999), theatre director and designer
- David Pearl, property developer
- Harry Roy, (1900–1971), British dance band leader and clarinettist
- Moishe Sternbuch, vice-president of the Jerusalem rabbinical court
- Leona Lewis, singer
- Herschel Gluck, rabbi
- Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names, Ekwall, 4th Edition 1990
- https://www.hackney.gov.uk/stoke-newington-common, see the linked History document
- Georgian Transport (Brickfields Spitalfields) accessed 18 May 2009
- The London Encyclopaedia, Weinreb and Hibbert, 1983
- The London Encyclopaedia, Weinreb and Hibbert, 1983
- The North Metropolitan Tramways Co. inaugurated 1872, and ran from Moorgate via Kingsland and Stoke Newington Roads to Stamford Hill
- The North Metropolitan from Bishopsgate ran through Mare Street, and thence to Clapton, opened in 1872, and was extended to Clapton Common in 1875, reaching Stamford Hill in 1902
- 'Hackney: Communications', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10: Hackney (1995), pp. 4-10 Date accessed: 1 November 2006.
- 'Hackney: Judaism', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10: Hackney (1995), pp. 145-48. Date accessed: 31 October 2006.
- ODNB entry by Catherine Horwood. Retrieved 2 November 2012. Pay-walled.
- Kosher in the country The Economist 1 June 2006 accessed 14 August 2007
- "Learning Trust" (PDF). Retrieved 25 March 2011.
- Stamford Hill Shomrim - About http://www.londonshomrim.com/about-us.html
- Jewish health service offers local care - BBC Health 19 January 2003 accessed on 11 December 2006
- Mick Brown (25 February 2011). "Inside the private world of London's ultra-Orthodox Jews". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
- Ofsted report accessed 19 June 2009
- School falls down league tables after pupils boycott 'anti-Semitic' Shakespeare Sarah Harris Daily Mail (29 February 2008) accessed 19 June 2009
- "Jewish faith school caught censoring questions on science exam papers". secularism.org.uk/. 2013-10-10. Retrieved 2013-10-10.
- "Jewish school redacts exam to remove evolution questions". bbc.co.uk/. 2014-03-04.
- "Evolution exam questions cannot be blocked, says Ofqual". 2014-03-31.
- Bryant, Miranda (14 July 2014). "'1000 boys at illegal schools'". London Evening Standard. p. 7.
- Ynet London haredim considering move (Reuters/YNET 1 October 2006) accessed 19 June 2009
- The synagogues are named for the book Nahalat Yosef by Shemu'el Yosef Yeshuah. The book is named for his father, but contains a systematic exposition of rabbinical law and ethics. A second part details his travels in Palestine and the particular customs of Adeni Jews. In The Jews of the British Crown Colony of Aden Reuben Ahroni pp. 170–1 (Brill, 1994) ISBN 90-04-10110-1
- Saul, Heather. "Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down". The Independent. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- Blundy, Rachel. "Hackney council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road they should walk on". The Evening Standard. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- Office For National Statistics, 2011 Census, at Nomisweb accessed on 24 November 2014
- In the 2011 UK census, respondents were voluntarily asked to identify their religion.
- 'Torah, worship and acts of loving kindness' - Christine Holman and Naomi Holman, De Montfort University, November 2002.