Author: Julie, 21/07/2016
Seven Sisters is an area of north London and part of the London Borough of Haringey. It is located at the east end of Seven Sisters Road, which runs from Tottenham High Road to join the A1 in Holloway.
The Dorset map of 1619 shows the area we know today as Seven Sisters named as Page Greene. However, by 1805 the first series Ordnance Survey map was showing the area as Seven Sisters.
The name is derived from seven elm trees which were planted in a circle with a walnut tree at their centre on an area of common land known as Page Green. The clump was known as the Seven Sisters by 1732.
In his early seventeenth-century work, Brief Description of Tottenham, local vicar and historian William Bedwell singled out the walnut tree for particular mention. He wrote of it as a local ‘arboreal wonder’ which ‘flourished without growing bigger’. He described it as popularly associated with the burning of an unknown Protestant. There is also speculation that the tree was ancient, possibly going back as far as Roman times, perhaps standing in a sacred grove or pagan place of worship. The location of the seven trees can be tracked through a series of maps from 1619 on. From 1619 they are shown in a position which today corresponds with the western tip of Page Green at the junction of Broad Lane and the High Road. With urbanisation radically changing the area, the Seven Sisters, had been replanted by 1876, still on Page Green, but further to the east. Contemporary maps show them remaining in this new location until 1955. The current ring of hornbeam trees was planted in 1997 in a ceremony led by five families of seven sisters.
In the medieval period a settlement grew up at Page Green and the woodland was increasingly cleared for agriculture. In the early decades of the nineteenth century, the Seven Sisters Road was constructed. Today Seven Sisters is a multi-cultural area strongly influenced by its location on key road and underground rail routes.
Projects for regeneration in Seven Sisters are planned. Haringey Council’s Plan for Tottenham sets out the Council’s long-term vision for the area. Plans to regenerate Lawrence Road have recently been out for consultation. Transport for London has begun a major project to improve the Tottenham Hale Gyratory – a busy one-way system that passes Seven Sisters station – converting it to a slower, pedestrian-friendly, two-way road.
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