REMS Capital Ring Walk

9 May 2012

A wet but enjoyable walk

A spriggan

On 28 April Reinalt Vaughan-Williams took us from Highgate to Stoke Newington. Margaret Stedman was not well enough and we wish her a good recovery.

The first part was along a gentle downwards slope of an old railway track. Light rain was falling all day and though the trackway was gravel there was mud in places.

We passed through an old station (Crouch End) and a brick embankment where we were surprised to see a spriggan emerging. This one in Mike Quinton's photograph is by Marilyn Collins.

“Spriggans were depicted as grotesquely ugly, and were said to be found at old ruins and barrows guarding buried treasure and generally acting as fairy bodyguards. They were also said to be busy thieves. Though usually small, they had the ability to swell to enormous size, they were sometimes speculated to be the ghosts of the old giants.” (From Wikipedia.)

This part of the walk was about two miles and where the track joined the main line near Finsbury Park our path was through the park to the New River, a waterway completed in 1613 to bring fresh water to London from Ware in the Lea Valley to the New River Head in Islington. Here the path was green with lots of lovely mud – OK for those who were booted-up but not otherwise.

This lead to Clissold Park in Hackney with the tall spire of Stoke Newington Church (St Mary’s).

Clissold House is a good Georgian building. Lunch was in the Rose & Crown, a traditional pub with all the food and beer that REMS like. That left us with the walk through Stoke Newington and its surprising cemetery to the station. George Freeman reports that Crossrail and the Olympics have closed parts of the next two walks so these have been postponed to next year.