If ever you come across a copy of ‘A True History of Crouch End’ by Roger Hayman and Brian Price for sale – tuck it under your arm and take it home.
This is a rare and precious account of the area, and as such should to be on every Couch Ender’s must-read list.
It was self-published by the authors in 1995 with an initial print run of 200 copies which sold out within weeks, and the book has not been reprinted. You can read it online but be aware of the Authors’ Note as shown below:
Here is a little extract to get you going:
‘Many years ago, the Crouch was a wide sleepy river winding gently through wooded hills and peaceful valleys on its long journey south from the Watford gap to the Thames. On its way, it passed through a quiet vale bounded by meadows, where a small community of shepherds and farmers tended the land and their flocks, occasionally, but unsuccessfully, fishing in the river or hunting for deer or bear in the hills.
Evidence of this pastoral existence comes from archeological evidence found at a recent excavation carried out at a site at the bottom of what is now known as Shepherds Hill. Among the many finds between the foundations of rude mud huts were remains of goat, rabbit and longhorn sheep. Although many primitive fish hooks and arrowheads have been found, surprisingly no trace of fish or game has been revealed. This has led to speculation that the river was named after the many fishermen crouched along its banks not catching fish.
Many centuries later, the area became famous – or infamous – as the location of the first recorded gold rush in Britain.’
A’ True History of Crouch End’
by Roger Hayman and Brian Price
First published 1995
ISBN 0 9527370 0 0
Web edition published 2000
Copyright 1995, 2000 R Hayman, B Price