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A comfortable 1930s suburban locality lying on a westerly slope beside the Pymmes Brook west of Southgate. Its name (which is pronounced to rhyme with ‘sausage’) comes from the Old English, meaning ‘hedge belonging to a man named Osa’. Osidge was first recorded in 1176, in a charter from Henry II to the Abbot of St Albans referring to the abbot’s woodland property here, where pigs were kept. The land was sold off after the dissolution of the monasteries and a substantial house was erected and parkland laid out. A condition of tenure was that the woods should supply faggots for the burning of heretics. In 1652 the house became the residence of local notables the Hadley family. John Kingston of Oak Hill built a new Osidge in 1808, and promptly sold it. From 1893 this was the home of Thomas Lipton, who had been born into poverty in Glasgow and created a national chain of grocery stores. He is best remembered for his blends of tea, and for popularising the beverage in the USA. After his death in 1931 most of the 60-acre estate was built up, but Lipton endowed his home as a hostel for nurses. The house still stands (see the picture below), in five acres of grounds at 151 Chase Side, near the corner of Osidge Lane, which was originally called Blind Lane. Hugh Davies, the developer of the Osidge estate advertised the proximity of Southgate station with a paraphrase of a popular song: “Home, James, and don’t spare the horses, it’s a home on the Tube for me.” The properties are mostly semi-detached, with generous gardens. To the west, the attractive but under-let Hampden Square has shops, restaurants and the Osidge Arms.

Lipton memorial hostel
click for area map (opens in a new window)
Distinctively gabled semi-detached homes in Chase Way

The singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse grew up on Osidge Lane and attended Southgate school and Ashmole school. She left her Jewish family home for the bright lights of Camden at the age of 15.

Postal district: N14
Further reading: Alex Waugh, The Lipton Story, Cassell, 1951

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

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