Muswell Hill has always been pleasantly rural, but it was only until the later part of the 19th century. Its geographical features—the clay-like soil, the wooded area, and the hilly appearance—have been a major factor in why roads and other paths to progress have been hard to expand in this area. There simply are too many obstacles to ensure the steady development of roads and routes.
Take a look at Muswell Hill through the ages—from the Roman era to the modern age, it just simply refused to become a part of any colony without putting up a fight.
It was the Romans who first established a presence in Muswell Hill. Evidence has been dug up; pieces of Roman pottery that were found in a kiln had been excavated as well as 694 pieces of coins. These were discovered in 1928 in Cranley Gardens, where a Roman pot was also unearthed.
How Muswell got its name
The name ‘Muswell’ had its origins when, allegedly, a ‘mossy well’ was found on the settlement. This well wasn’t of particular importance because it lent its name to Muswell; it was important because it was said to have healing properties. This was why the Augustinian Priory of St. Mary, Clerkenwell was built on the site.
A muddy hill
The Romans weren’t able to create anything worthwhile on the site while the most developed structure on the site was a priory. This was thanks to its geographic nature; the problem was that it was too muddy to become anything significant. It was also a poor site to create roads as it just became bogged down in mud.
Finally, a significant development
During Medieval times to the rule of the Tudors, a settlement was finally created here. It turned out to be a very pleasant place in the rural countryside; popular with merchants as well as professionals working in medieval London. Even the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Julius Caesar, lived in a manor here.
A great countryside
It was in the 19th century, when Londoners and UK citizens living in the area finally recognized the area’s worth—as a countryside retreat. While London experienced a boom, Muswell Hill experienced development as a place where these London professionals can kick back and relax.
Muswell Hill ceased to become a pure rural countryside when the developments started rolling in. It was converted because of brick-and-mortar establishments; estates like The Elms, The Limes, and Fortis House soon sprung up and it became a popular place for people.
Today, Muswell Hill has become a populated suburb—one that reaps benefits from its closeness with its surrounding neighbors. History, however, has long ordained the place to be an area of significance, as you can see.