This small building stands aloof adjoining the Sainsbury's car park just off Hornsey High Street. I suppose we should be grateful it has survived at all. But what was it? I'm not at all sure. A watch room? The lobby to a larger building?
You can see the coat of arms. These were the arms of the Borough of Hornsey granted in 1904 - two oak trees representing the woods which once extended across the area, and crossed swords borrowed from the arms of the Diocese of London. The Latin motto translates as; 'the better prepared, the stronger'.
The borough disappeared in 1965, amalgamated into the new London Borough of Haringey - one of the more unfortunate names bestowed on the new outer London boroughs. If you want to get a sense of the area the borough covered - though beware, the boundaries did change from time-to-time - this map will help:
This was taken from an early municipal publication, Healthy Hornsey. The area prided itself on being part of the northern heights of London and so healthier than the lower-lying (and poorer and more crowded) area to its south. As you can see, the coat of arms features in this publication -
The coat of arms also appears on the plaque on the side of Hornsey Library - the last building to be commissioned by Hornsey Borough before it disappeared beneath the waves of municipal progress. The plaque is in the shape of the old borough, which is a nice design touch.
But that brings me back to where I started. What was that building in Sainsbury's car park?
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