Esoteric London

No. 1089: Lordship Lane, N22

Posted in Ceremonial, Events, Graffiti by esotericlondon on May 1, 2014

© Roger Dean RED_3467 copy

Lordship Lane, London, N22. Photo © Roger Dean 2013

Old and New London: A Narrative of Its History, Its People, and Its Places, Vol. V – Edward Walford, 1887:

The centre of Tottenham is occupied by a large triangular enclosure, called the Green. Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, [in his book] “Star Chamber” […], introduces to our notice some of the rustic scenes which the plot of his story is laid. The following are some of his remarks:-

“Long before Jocelyn and his companion reached Tottenham, they were made aware, by the ringing of bells from its old ivy-grown church tower, and by other joyful sounds, that some festival was taking place there; and the nature of the festival was at once revealed as they entered the long straggling street, then, as now, constituting the chief part of the pretty little village, and beheld a large assemblage of country folk, in holiday attire, wending their way towards the Green for the purpose of setting up a May-pole upon it, and making the welkin ring with their gladsome shouts. All the youths and maidens of Tottenham and its vicinity, it appeared, had risen before daybreak that morning, and sallied forth into the woods to cut green boughs and gather wild flowers for the ceremonial. At the same time they selected and hewed down a tall, straight tree – the tallest and straightest they could find; and, stripping off its branches, placed it on a wain, and dragged it to the village with the help of an immense team of oxen, numbering as many as forty yoke. Each ox had a garland of flowers fastened to the tip of its horns; and the tall spar itself was twined round with ropes of daffodils, bluebells, cowslips, primroses, and other early flowers, while its summit was surmounted with a floral crown, and festooned with garlands, various-coloured ribands, kerchiefs, and streamers. The foremost yokes of oxen had bells hung round their necks, which they shook as they moved along, adding their blithe melody to the general hilarious sounds. When the festive throng reached the village, all its inhabitants – male and female, old and young – rushed forth to greet them; and such as were able to leave their dwellings for a short while joined in the procession, at the head of which, of course, was borne the May-pole. “