Stamford Hill is a district in the
London Borough of Hackney
London Borough of Hackney in
north-east London, England, located about 5.5 miles north-east of
Charing Cross. The area is known for its Jewish Chasidic community,
the largest concentration of Charedi Chasidic
Jews in Europe.
The neighbourhood takes its name from the eponymous hill and the
originally Roman A10 also takes the name ‘Stamford Hill’ as it
makes its way through the area.
The hill is believed to be named after the ford where the A10
Hackney Brook on the southern edge of the hill. Sanford
and Saundfordhill are referred to in documents from the 1200s and mean
‘sand ford’. Roque's map of 1745 shows a bridge, which replaced
the ford, referred to as ‘Stamford Bridge’.
The hill rises gently from the former course of the
Hackney Brook to
the south, and its steeper northern slope provided a natural boundary
for the traditional (parish and borough) extent of Hackney, and now
does so for the wider modern borough.
Haredi Jewish community
5 Nearest places
7 Transport and locale
8 Notable residents
9 See also
11 External links
The area's usual definition is based on the physical feature of the
hill and the neighbourhood’s location within the Ancient Parish and
subsequent (with almost identical boundaries) Metropolitan Borough of
Hackney. The association of
Stamford Hill with part of the N16
postcode district is also useful in describing its extent.
Northern boundary with Tottenham: Takes the northern boundary of the
APMB of Hackney. This corresponds to the current boundary between the
modern borough of Hackney and Haringey.
Western boundary with Stoke Newington: Takes part of the APMB of
Hackney’s boundary with the APMB of
Stoke Newington along Bethune
Road and down to the A10.
Southern Boundary with West Hackney: The east-west course of the
Hackney Brook provided a natural southern boundary for the district,
however the river was culverted and it is now difficult to discern its
former course on the ground. This has led to very ambiguous boundary
in the CazenoveNorthwold Road area.
East and south-east boundary with Upper Clapton:
Upper Clapton shares
much of the eastern side of the hill itself and the distinction
between the two districts can be closely, though not quite exactly
based on the boundary between the N16 Postal area to which Stamford
Hill belongs, and the E5 postal area to which
Upper Clapton belongs.
A map showing the
Stamford Hill ward of Hackney Metropolitan Borough
as it appeared in 1916.
Stamford Hill lies on the old Roman road of Ermine Street, on the high
ground where it meets the Clapton Road which runs from central
Hackney. By the 18th century, the Roman road (know numbered as the
A10) was subject to heavy traffic, including goods wagons pulled by
six or more horses, and this caused the surface of the road to
deteriorate. The local parishes appealed to Parliament in 1713 for the
right to set up a Turnpike Trust, to pay for repairs and maintenance.
Gates were installed at Kingsland and
Stamford Hill to collect the
Roque’s map of 1745 shows a handful of building around the Turnpike,
and by 1795 the A10 was lined with the large homes and extensive
grounds of wealthy financiers and merchants attracted, in part, by the
The area remained essentially rural in character and little more was
built until the arrival of the railway in 1872 and the tram system
at about the same time.
Stamford Hill was the point where the tram
systems coming north from the city met the Hackney tram system,
and so it became a busy interchange, with a depot opening in 1873.
Electrification commenced in 1902 and by 1924 a service was commenced
Stamford Hill and
Camden Town along Amhurst Park.
Stamford Hill had many eminent Jewish residents, including the
Montefiore family. Italian-born Moses Vita
Montefiore (died 1789) was
living there in 1763. His son Joseph (died 1804) married Rachel
Mocatta, and his grandson Abraham
Montefiore (died 1824) married
Henrietta whose father, the financier Nathan Meyer Rothschild, lived
near the modern Colberg Place from 1818 to 1835. The Montefiores'
property a little further south was to be transformed by Abraham's
grandson, Claude Montefiore, into
Montefiore House school. With the
increased development of the area, many distinguished families moved
away: in 1842 there were few remaining of the wealthy
Jews who had
once settled in Hackney. The philanthropist and abolitionist MP
Samuel Morley had a residence here from about 1860. The gardening
writer and cottage gardener
Margery Fish was born Margery Townshend in
Stamford Hill in 1892.
From the 1880s, a new influx of
Jews arrived in the area escaping from
the poverty of
Stepney in the East End and, in 1915, the New
Synagogue was transferred to
Stamford Hill to serve this growing
population. In 1926, the
Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations
Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations was
established in Stamford Hill, and this became a magnet for other
strictly observant Jews, many fleeing
Nazi persecution in the years
before the Second World War. Also, many Jewish families came to
the area from other areas of London, refugees in their own way from
bombing and post-war clearances for new housing. One of the early
Hasidic leaders in
Stamford Hill was the Shotzer Rebbe. The Hungarian
uprising also led to an influx of
Jews fleeing hardship under
Soviet rule. Another notable Jewish resident from 1955 until his death
in 2000, was the spiritual head of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew
Congregations, Rabbi Chanoch Dov Padwa.
Haredi Jewish community
Jews in Stamford Hill.
Stamford Hill is at the centre of an
Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox Jewish
and predominantly Hasidic community estimated to be some 30,000 strong
and growing at a rate of around 5% each year. It is the
largest Hasidic community in Europe, and referred to as a square mile
of piety, reflecting the many Jewish men seen walking in their
distinctive clothes on their way to and from worship. The
congregations often represent historical links with particular areas
of Eastern Europe in their dress and their worship. Many also retain
international links with other congregations around the world. The
largest of these congregations is the Satmar, which has five directly
associated synagogues; Belz is another large community with several
synagogues. In the surrounding area there may be over 50 synagogues,
and many observant
Jews in the neighbouring areas of Stoke Newington,
Upper Clapton and
Tottenham identify with Stamford Hill.
A volunteer emergency response first-aid service called
Hebrew word for rescue) and a volunteer community watch group called
Shomrim (the Hebrew word for watchmen) are run by, and largely
for, the Jewish community. The need for dietary observance means
Stamford Hill has a large number of shops selling specifically
The strictly orthodox Jewish community relies mostly on private
education for schooling, with almost all Jewish children attending
private, single-sex Jewish schools. In 2005, the Stamford Hill
Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls' School achieved voluntary-aided
status. The school has made headlines several times, most recently
when some of its pupils refused to study
Shakespeare due to his
alleged anti-Semitic views, and the school's principal, Rabbi Abraham
Pinter, saluted the girls for having pride in their beliefs. In
2014, the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA (OCR) Exam board, having conducted
an investigation into alleged exam malpractice, concluded that the
school had redacted (deleted) questions involving the evolution of
species on GCSE science exam questions.
ruled that blocking out exam questions is malpractice, and,
accordingly, not permissible. The same year, it was reported that
many of the ultra-orthodox schools in the area have no lessons in
English, and operate "without the most basic health, safety and child
welfare checks", with up to 1000 boys missing from the school system
and attending illegal schools instead from the age of thirteen or
Haredi families on average have 5.9 children, almost 2.5 times the
England and Wales, and many families live in overcrowded
flats. National planning regulations are applied by the local
council, prohibiting "excess" development of family housing. This has
led to conflict between the council and the Jewish population,
represented by the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations. Agudas
Israel Housing Association is active in developing housing for the
Jewish community in Stamford Hill.
There is also a notable population of Yemenite Jews, especially Adeni
Jews who originated in the port city of
Aden in Yemen. They settled in
Stamford Hill after fleeing the inter-community violence at the end of
Aden Protectorate. The Adeni Congregation synagogue, Nahalat
Yosef, is named after the original Adeni synagogue in Yemen. A new
synagogue has been built, modelled on the original one. Adeni Jews
tend to consider themselves a different ethnicity to other Yemeni
Jews, due to differences in traditions, prayers (pronunciation) and
customs that have evolved under British rule. In recent years, many
have moved to Southgate and Hendon.
In 2014 the community met with controversy after a sign was spotted in
the location reading, "Women should please walk along this side of the
road only". The sign was reportedly put up for a Torah Procession
parade and were meant to provide directions for members who wished to
avoid contact with the opposite sex  After complaints about the
sign were raised a group of Shomrim who regularly police the area
contacted the organisers to tell them that the posters "lacked
explanation" the posters were removed and the organisers agreed to
take the signs down more quickly the following year.
The high fertility of the
Haredi community contributes to the area
having one of highest birthrates in the UK, with a crude birth rate of
more than 25 per 1,000 of the population, twice the UK average.
The data table shows ONS Census data for the wards around Stamford
Hill, where respondents indicated a religion:
London Borough of Hackney
London Borough of Hackney has expressed its concern that
Haredi-Jewish residents are seriously under-counted in the Census
data, as the religion question is voluntary
For education in Stamford Hill, see List of schools in the London
Borough of Hackney.
Jesuit order founded
St Ignatius' College
St Ignatius' College on 10 September 1894, in
two houses called Morecombe Lodge and Burleigh House near Tottenham
High Road. In 1907 the College was recognised by the Board of
Education and began to receive public money. Notable former pupils of
St Ignatius include
Alfred Hitchcock and Cardinal Heenan. It remained
Stamford Hill as a grammar school until 1968, and then became a
two--form entry comprehensive school, the Lower School being located
at the old Cardinal Allen School in Enfield, and the Upper School in
new premises at Turkey Street, Enfield.
Today, Lubavitch Senior Girls' School, Our Lady's Convent RC High
Skinners' Academy and
Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls' School are
secondary schools located in the area.
There are also many independent or
Haredi schools in the area.
Transport and locale
Northwest = Hornsey
North = South Tottenham
Northeast = Walthamstow
West = Manor House
Centre = Stamford Hill
East = Leyton
Southwest = Finsbury Park
South = Stoke Newington
Southeast = Upper Clapton
Stamford Hill railway station
Tottenham railway station
Manor House tube station
Seven Sisters station
Stoke Newington railway station
Sadik Ahmed (born 1977), film director and cinematographer
Ronald Wilberforce Allen
Ronald Wilberforce Allen (1889–1936), lawyer and Liberal politician
Marc Bolan (1947–1977), musician
Bernard Butler (born 1970), musician and record producer
Michael Duane (1915–1997), teacher
Aba Dunner (1937–2011), social and religious activist
Lennie Felix (1920–1980), jazz pianist
Margery Fish (1892–1969), gardener and gardening writer
Leo Genn (1905–1978), stage and film actor and barrister
William Brodie Gurney (1777–1855), shorthand writer and
Nathan Moore (born 1965), musician and manager
Shloime Gertner, singer
Samuel Morley (1809–1886), manufacturer, philanthropist and
Shulem Moshkovitz (died 1958), Shotzer Rebbe
Richard Negri (1927–1999), theatre director and designer
David Pearl, property developer
Harry Roy, (1900–1971),
British dance band
British dance band leader and clarinettist
Moishe Sternbuch, vice-president of the Jerusalem rabbinical court
Leona Lewis, singer
Herschel Gluck, rabbi
Mavar, an organisation which supports those who wish to leave the
Haredi lifestyle in the UK, many of whom come from Stamford Hill.
Stamford Bridge, a completely different area on the other side of
^ Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names, Ekwall, 4th Edition 1990
^ https://www.hackney.gov.uk/stoke-newington-common, see the linked
^ Georgian Transport (Brickfields Spitalfields) accessed 18 May 2009
^ The London Encyclopaedia, Weinreb and Hibbert, 1983
^ The London Encyclopaedia, Weinreb and Hibbert, 1983
^ The North Metropolitan Tramways Co. inaugurated 1872, and ran from
Moorgate via Kingsland and
Stoke Newington Roads to Stamford Hill
^ The North Metropolitan from
Bishopsgate ran through Mare Street, and
thence to Clapton, opened in 1872, and was extended to Clapton Common
in 1875, reaching
Stamford Hill in 1902
^ 'Hackney: Communications', A History of the County of Middlesex:
Volume 10: Hackney (1995), pp. 4-10 Date accessed: 1 November 2006.
^ a b c 'Hackney: Judaism', A History of the County of Middlesex:
Volume 10: Hackney (1995), pp. 145-48. Date accessed: 31 October 2006.
^ ODNB entry by Catherine Horwood. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
^ Kosher in the country
The Economist 1 June 2006 accessed 14 August
^ "Learning Trust" (PDF). Retrieved 25 March 2011.
Stamford Hill Shomrim - About
^ Jewish health service offers local care - BBC Health 19 January 2003
accessed on 11 December 2006
^ a b Mick Brown (25 February 2011). "Inside the private world of
London's ultra-Orthodox Jews". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2
^ Ofsted report accessed 19 June 2009
^ School falls down league tables after pupils boycott 'anti-Semitic'
Shakespeare Sarah Harris
Daily Mail (29 February 2008) accessed 19
^ "Jewish faith school caught censoring questions on science exam
papers". secularism.org.uk/. 2013-10-10. Retrieved 2013-10-10.
^ "Jewish school redacts exam to remove evolution questions".
Evolution exam questions cannot be blocked, says Ofqual".
^ Bryant, Miranda (14 July 2014). "'1000 boys at illegal schools'".
London Evening Standard. p. 7.
^ Ynet London haredim considering move (Reuters/YNET 1 October 2006)
accessed 19 June 2009
^ The synagogues are named for the book Nahalat Yosef by Shemu'el
Yosef Yeshuah. The book is named for his father, but contains a
systematic exposition of rabbinical law and ethics. A second part
details his travels in Palestine and the particular customs of Adeni
Jews. In The
Jews of the British Crown Colony of
Aden Reuben Ahroni
pp. 170–1 (Brill, 1994) ISBN 90-04-10110-1
^ a b Saul, Heather. "
Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable'
posters telling women which side of the road to walk down". The
Independent. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
^ Blundy, Rachel. "Hackney council removes 'unacceptable' posters
telling women which side of the road they should walk on". The Evening
Standard. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
^ Office For National Statistics, 2011 Census, at Nomisweb accessed on
24 November 2014
^ In the 2011 UK census, respondents were voluntarily asked to
identify their religion.
^ 'Torah, worship and acts of loving kindness' - Christine Holman and
Naomi Holman, De Montfort University, November 2002.
Montefiore House School 1944-1950
2001 Census profile: The Jewish population of London - GLA Data
Management Group (September 2006) accessed 13 December 2006
The Reservoirs Nature Society (TeRNS)
London Borough of Hackney
De Beauvoir Town
Sutton House (NT)
Victoria Miro Gallery
Parks and open spaces
West Street Common
Ridley Road Market
Hackney South and Shoreditch
Hackney North and Stoke Newington
Tube and rail stations
Shoreditch High Street
Coat of arms
Grade I and II* listed buildings