around and about st Thomas’s square (0.8 miles)

When following this route, lease remember to:

    • Keep to the 2 metre social distancing from people you pass by;
    • Take care crossing roads – use controlled crossings where possible.

1/10 Start in St Thomas’s Square, E9 7PS, one of Hackney’s 58 open spaces. The square is named after the former owner of land here to the east of Mare St, London’s St Thomas’s Hospital, which was given the land in 1553.

2/10 Note London University of the Arts’ Cordwainers Court student halls of residence on the corner with Mare Street. These replaced the Regal Cinema, built in 1935. That replaced a Congregational Church put up in 1771. Turn left into Mare St then left under the arch to a burial ground.

3/10 – This was the graveyard of the Congregational Church, not of the church beside on Mare St, built in 1873 for the Catholic Apostolic Church, now Greek Orthodox. Notice the Cordwainers’ crest in the ironwork of gates on either side of the cemetery. Cordwainers College came to Mare St in 1946, now part of London College of Fashion. Leave by the exit on the other side of the burial ground.

4/10 – Turn right and walk down St Thomas’s Place towards Well Street where a Chapel of Ease was put up 1810 to serve South Hackney. In 1848 the congregation moved to the newly built St John of Jerusalem Church further south in Laureston Road. Walk back up through the chapel’s burial ground to St Thomas’s Square, passing the large Frampton family tomb.

5/10  Houses started to be built around  St Thomas’s Square in 1772. None remain, not due to WW2 bomb damage but pulled down in the 1950s. Frampton Park Estate on the square’s east side is named after the Frampton family (tomb just seen) who owned land in this area. Turn right into Loddiges Road.

6/10 This road is named after the Loddiges plant nursery which covered this area until 1852, with arboretum and palm houses. The nursery was started by a German immigrant, Joachim Conrad Loddiges, in 1771. Loddiges introduced to England rhubarb, wisteria, rhododendron, dahlias. The business supplied amongst others Kew, St James’s Park, Kensington Gardens. Turn left into Frampton Park Road.

7/10 Some Frampton Park Estate blocks of flats are named after gardeners, to celebrate the local horticultural connection. Further down Frampton Park Road, Frampton Park nursery was still in business in 1938. It was started by a gardener of Frampton House, which stood towards Well St. The small park at the top of the road, Shore Gardens, was created by WW2 bomb damage. Turn left into Brenthouse Road.

8/10 This was formerly Devonshire Road: Loddiges supplied the Duke of Devonshire’s gardens. Note smart Brent House social housing – could be in Mayfair? Opposite is the 1896 Hackney Synagogue. It was sold in 2010 when the congregation moved out. Retrace your steps to turn right down Lyme Grove.

9/10 Pass almshouse Pilgrims Lodge in Lyme Grove, founded in 1863 for 12 Protestant teetotal women aged over 60. It is one of the few surviving of Hackney’s 15 original alsmhouses. From 1828 to 1973 the Baker’s Almshouses were on the site of Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association’s Shakespeare House. Continue back to St. Thomas’s Square.

10/10 Pitcairn House on the north side of the square went up in 1960. It was possibly named for Hackney’s association with Pitcairn Island. Hackney born John Adams, survivor of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty,’ settled in 1790 on the remote Pacific island. Pitcairn Island in 1990 issued a stamp showing Hackney’s St. Augustine’s Church, possibly where Adams was baptised.

 

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