The INTIMATE SPACE was created by Chris Arnold. Chris had used the Tower for a number of events for the Crouch End Festival and saw a massive potential for a small venue that would cultivate creativity, and also become a centre of the Hornsey community.
In the summer of 2015, his company, Creative Orchestra (a creative advertising and brand marketing agency) funded the renovation of the space. With the support of a dedicated team of local volunteers, St Mary's Tower now boast of a revitalised interior to compliment it's unique medieval exterior.
In January 2016, Chris appointed the visionary role of Artistic Director to the independent filmmaker and curator, LaToyah Gill.
Due to open it’s doors this spring, The Intimate Space will host an eclectic programme of events from various disciplines.
FORMATION OF THE INTIMATE SPACE
FRIENDS OF HORNSEY CHURCH TOWER (FoHCT)
HISTORY OF ST MARY'S TOWER
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 and is part of the Diocese of London.
The FoHCT were established in 1989 as a registered charity, with the aim of giving the tower a secure future. Members come not only from Hornsey but also from other parts of Haringey and further afield, demonstrating the widespread interest in preserving a monument, which has for centuries been a significant feature of the local landscape.
The Friends encourage the active use of the building and for it to have a continuing useful and varied role, whilst recognising that repair and maintenance of the fabric has to be combined with a sympathetic understanding of the historical features of this grade II* listed building.
The Friends also aim to preserve the rural character of the churchyard, to enhance the garden of remembrance, and encourage the use of the area for quiet recreation by the local community.
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 1500and 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 in1969.
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.