Coombes Croft Library: Do You Know What Lies Beneath It….?

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Moselle viewing panel at Coombes Croft Library
Moselle viewing panel at Coombes Croft Library

Below the pavement, just outside the door of Coombes Croft Library, lies one of Haringey’s best known natural streams – the Moselle Brook or Stream.

Its name and its spelling has varied over the years from Mose, to Mosewell, Muzzle and even Muscle. The name indicates the connection and the origins of the stream with Muswell Hill and Highgate, in the west of the borough. From here the stream flows across Haringey to its end at the River Lea in Tottenham.

Once the Moselle was an open stream, used by the former villagers of old Wood Green and Tottenham. As more and more people moved into the area, houses were built and the roads developed. Here in Haringey the growth of the suburbs of London began to emerge. The need to expand and use the land, along with the problems of flooding and waste caused by the stream, meant that the Moselle was ‘culverted’ or covered over during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The stream runs mainly underground today. But you can still follow its route from the west of Haringey to here in Tottenham. The open waters of the Moselle can be seen on the surface in nearby Lordship Recreation Ground and Tottenham Cemetery.

And here at Coombes Croft Library, the culverted waters of the Moselle will be revealed once more from our new glass ‘viewing pavement’.

For more history on the Moselle, see Haringey Hidden Streams Revealed by Albert Pinching and David Dell (2005).