To many who walk down Bruce Grove, Tottenham, number 7 probably just looks like yet another old Georgian building under threat from development.
Yet, if you look closely, the blue plaque says that the Grade II listed building was once the home of Luke Howard, ‘namer of clouds’.
The once grand Georgian villa was given permission to be developed over two years ago yet the developer has so far failed to begin the conversion. The building has since fallen into an alarming state of disrepair.
A petition has been set up to pressure the developer to take action before the fabric of the facade is lost forever.
Howard’s system of naming clouds is still in use today and his studies of the capital’s climate, using observations made at Tottenham and his former home in Plaistow, contributed immensely to our understanding of the urban heat island effect.
His diary entries, including accoubnts on inundations from the River Lea, are also important in terms of our understanding on how severe weather in the early 19th century impacted London. He also had an influence on how Constable went about capturing the mood of a painting through careful cloud study
In terms of significance, Number 7 Bruce Grove is up there with 62, Camden Square, NW1, where George Symons pioneered the scientific study of rainfall, setting up the British Rainfall Organisation.
Too much of old London has already been lost. By reminding Redwing Estates of the importance of this small corner of Tottenham we might just help stop Howard’s former home going the same way as his Plaistow abode that was demolished to make way for an ambulance depot decades ago.
You can sign the petition at: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-7-bruce-grove-tottenham