Drapers College

Drapers Road, Tottenham High Road, N17 6LY


In 1858 the Drapers Company bought The Elms, an estate in Tottenham High Cross, on which to build a school for sons of members of the Company, and also some almshouses. The estate contained a mansion, which was operating as a private school for girls - the Tottenham Ladies College.

The mansion was substantially altered and enlarged by the Company and became the Worshipful Company of Drapers College for Boys. On either side of it, facing a central quadrangle, were built almshouses in two terraces, each containing 12 dwellings.

A wide pathway was built around the quadrangle and the centre was made into a garden. A dwarf stone wall topped with iron railings separated the estate from the High Road. The cost of the building work was £17,581, of which £9,450 was for the College and the remainder for almshouses, grounds and drainage.

The almshouses opened in 1862 and the 16 almspeople living in the Milbourne Almshouses in Crutched Friars were transferred to them, as were the 8 almswomen in the Drapers Almshouses in Beech Lane, Cripplegate.

The stone plaque of the Virgin Mary from above the garden entrance of the Milbourne Almshouses was brought from the old building, as were the arms of Sir John Milbourne, and were affixed to the fronts of the new terraced almshouses.

It is unclear when the almshouses closed, but they seem to have survived into the beginning of the 20th century.


Current status

The almshouses were demolished and their site is now occupied by later buildings. The College, after various changes of name, closed in the 1980s. Its building was converted into apartments in the 1990s and it is now known as Old School Court.

N.B. Photographs obtained in November 2020

Drapers College

Only the school building, seen here in the distance at the end of Drapers Road, survives. It was converted into apartments in the 1990s.

References (Accessed 13th February 2022)
 Couchman JW 1909 Reminiscences of Tottenham. London, Crusha & Son. (1) (2)

Last updated 13th February 2022

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