Friends of Hornsey Church Tower Official Web page
Joining the Friends
News and forthcoming events
Buried in Hornsey: Samuel Rogers
Monuments and Memorials of Old St Mary's
Map and Public Transport details
St Mary with St George
Buried in Hornsey: Gerrit van de Linde
Work on the Tower
Links for Friends of Hornsey Church Tower
History of the Church and Tower
|A view of the Three Compasses Inn, and St. Mary's, in about 1830, by George Scharf
There have been a church and a burial ground on this site probably since Saxon times. The mediaeval church, of which we have historical evidence dating back to 1291 and information about building and repair work dating to the mid 14th century, was demolished in 1831 (apart from the tower) and replaced by another which was itself demolished in 1927. On the site of the present St Mary's Infants' School, a third, larger church was completed in 1889, but soon suffered structural problems due to subsidence: this was demolished as recently as 1969.
The tower is all that remains of these structures. It was heightened in 1832, probably using some of the stone from the demolished mediaeval nave. The lower portion of the tower bears much evidence of its mediaeval origins.
The burial ground was closed to burials in the late 19th century. It was turned into a public garden in the 1950s, at which date many of the gravestones were laid flat and others removed.
Following the demolition of the 1889 church, the parish of St Mary's was annexed to that of St George's, Cranley Gardens (now St Mary's with St George's).
The history of the tower and churchyard is described in more detail in the booklets listed on the Publications page.