The tower is the oldest building in Hornsey and is maintained by the Friends of Hornsey Church Tower (FoHCT). It is owned by the church.

You can find out a lot about the history, gardens and graves on their website:

Hornsey Parish was probably formed in about the thirteenth century at the time a church was built in the village of Hornsey, then a rural village in Middlesex.

The Parish fell within the Ossulstone Hundred of Middlesex, and in later times it was part of the Finsbury division of the Hundred.

St Mary’s Church has been in Hornsey since 1300. The Tower was completed around 1500 and then heightened in 1832 when the medieval church was rebuilt as it was too small and needed many repairs. The tower was retained and a new church built alongside it, in a Gothic Revival style and designed by architect George Smith, was finished in 1833.

This church in turn became unsuitable and was closed in 1888, although it was not demolished until 1927.

In 1888 a larger Victorian church had been built to serve the growing Victorian suburb on the neighbouring site, now occupied by St Mary’s Infant School. The tower was retained to house the bells because the new church had no tower

In 1968 the Victorian church was demolished as it was considered too expensive to repair, and the school was built on its site

The churchyard was used for burial from the medieval period until 1892.

For the new church a different site was chosen, on the corner of Hornsey High Street and Church Lane, and the building was completed by 1889. The church contained space for 1,200 and was considered to be the finest 19th century church in Middlesex. Unfortunately the subsoil was unstable and cracks began to appear, forcing the demolition of the building in 1969.

Saved from ruin.

For twenty years the tower stood abandoned and became derelict despite being a Grade II* listed building. From 1989, with funding raised through the Friends of Hornsey Church Tower, repairs have been carried out, including extensive exterior stonework repairs in 2005–6 made possible by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant and Section 106 money granted by Haringey Council.

As part of the 2005-6 works the vestry on the ground floor of the tower was converted by the Parish Church into a chapel of rest where regular services can be held.

The Intimate Space

In 2015 a group of locals redecorated and repaired the main room as part of programme to launch the space as The Intimate Space and make the tower into a creative and community venue. Works were sponsored by local creative agency Creative Orchestra.


Read all about the history at: