Tufnell Park in Danger!
One of the most charming and characterful houses in Tufnell Park is in danger of demolition. 156 Junction Road is beside the rail tracks close to the junction with Wyndham Crescent. It's the one with a small monkey puzzle-type tree amid the dense foliage fronting Junction Road..
It's a lovely detached Victorian property in an area where all three attributes are not exactly common.
The house has been on the market recently for a million. The Zoopla details speak of a detached property with three double bedrooms and 'very spacious front and rear gardens'. But there's a note of caution too: 'Cash buyers only! A truly unique double fronted detached Victorian house requiring extensive modernisation and extensive remedial work due to subsidence.'
These two images are courtesy of the Zoopla site:
According to the Islington Gazette - and God bless local papers! - a property investment firm has lodged an application with Islington Council to demolish the building. The firm says that the building has 'serious structural issues' and they want to rebuild in a fashion that provides housing for more than 'a single wealthy family' - hmmm!
Happily, both the Islington Society and the Better Archway Forum are taking up cudgels against the demolition. What makes the fate of the building of still greater interest is the suggestion that it was linked to one of London's 'lost' rail stations, and may even have been the station master's house.
This 1912 Ordnance Survey map shows the old station - Junction Road Station - though it doesn't categorically demonstrate that 156 Junction Road was part of the station estate.
Junction Road railway station (originally Junction Road for Tufnell Park) opened in 1872, just as this area was starting to get built-up. Station Road on the east side of Junction Road was laid out to give access to the station. According to the Wikipedia entry, there were two wooden platforms with footbridge and stairs, which also served the Tufnell Park goods depot nearby.
When Tufnell Park tube station opened in 1907, the number of passengers using Junction Road station plummeted. John Betjeman wrote a (not very good) poem which referred to Junction Road as 'this lonely station'. It closed in 1943 and was demolished in the early 1950s.
Junction Road station was in between Gospel Oak and Upper Holloway - that's quite a stretch. There's been talk from time-to-time of reopening it but it is just talk. There's nothing left at all of the station structure. Gone!
I had always imagined that two of the buildings at the top of Huddleston Road, now flanking the entrance road to the student halls of residence, were station related. They are certainly in a different style from the neighbouring houses, and they must have had some sort of public purpose.
And the house on Junction Road - whether or not it was the station master's house I do hope it can be saved.
If you want to comment on the planning application. here's the link.
LATER: A year after this item was posted, the house on Junction Road was demolished. How very sad!
I wish there was still a station on Junction Road, I am sure nowadays it would get used more as the line is so popular and it would save us having to walk to Gospel Oak. It's a shame about that house, what does the Islington Society think should happen to it (apart from restoration)?
I lived in that house for a year while at University. My friends Uncle owned it at the time. It had so much Character and a shame is was demolished. I remember lying in bed and feeling the vibrations from the buses going over the bridge, the trains going past and the tube going underneath. Some of those wobbles where quite intense.....
i lived at 156 junction rd when i was growing up from the age of 9 to 16 it was a nice house fond memories, after seeing the pictures of it now
I feel bad for ya Steve like having your memories and dreams thrown away like that
I agree it is a lovely house, however the exact history of the house needs to be identified to attach some significant local importance, if not I fear these greedy housing developers will get the last say.
Are you aware they've rekindled this demolition plan and our window to stop it is narrowing? I live nextdoor to this beautiful building now, didn't when the last application came in, and I want to fight for it.
I just noticed the house has gone this morning. Sunday 10 oct. Very sad to see it gone. As a child in the 60s i would always look out for that particular house from the top deck of the bus and photographed it many times over the years. This morning I sent an email to the developers telling them exactly what i think of them. A stern reprimand.
Just seen the phot of where I used to live, very sad site even to see the the cafe that was next door gone as my dad and grandad owned ,what’s going there now another block of flats
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