Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Greater London Authority
Haringey (London Borough)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


Grocers shop. Part of Queens Parade built in 1897 by the developer, James Edmundson. Moderne shop front dates from the 1930s. This listing relates to the ground-floor shop only.

Reasons for Designation

W Martyn's grocers shop, 135 Muswell Hill Broadway is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * As a rare example of a late-Victorian or Edwardian grocery shop interior with matchboard panelling, mahogany shelving and counter and metal storage bins with mahogany lids; * For its 1930s shop front, a relatively rare survival.


The suburb of Muswell Hill was largely developed between 1896 and 1914 by two separate developers: James Edmundson and WJ Collins, who each purchased substantial plots of land in the area. The Limes estate, on the corner of Muswell Hill Road and Colney Hatch Lane, was acquired by Edmundson in 1896, together with the adjacent Fortis House estate to the west. The following year he built Queens Parade on a prime location between the newly laid out Queens Avenue and Princes Avenue, running south-west along Muswell Hill Road on what would become Muswell Hill Broadway. The design is virtually the same as Topsfield Parade which Edmundson had built a few years earlier in Crouch End. The architect is not currently known. Queens Parade was the first shopping parade in the new suburb and W Martyn, grocer was an original occupier when the first shops opened in August 1897. He is shown as being at No.12 Queens Parade in the 1899 Kellys Directory of Middlesex. Other shops on the parade at this date included a dairy, bakers, stationers, hairdressers, chemist, butcher, poulterer, fishmonger, several drapers, two bootmakers, including Lilley and Skinner, a dyer, fine art dealers, confectioner, bookseller, wine and spirit merchant and a fancy repository. Queens Parade was intended to supply the new suburb with its immediate shopping needs.

The current shopfront contains elements from two separate alterations to the original. This had featured tall plate glass windows without transoms, low stallrisers with brass name plates, a fascia panel with the incised legend MARTYN between two number 12s, and an ornate panelled door giving access from the front of the shop to the flats above. This was altered firstly in the late 1920s or early 1930s and included the current shop door and mosaic entrance. Other features such as marble stallrisers with a nameplate and multi-pane transoms over the shop windows were subsequently altered again in the late 1930s when the shopfront was enlarged by the removal of the door that gave access to the upper storeys and the Vitrolite stallriser and fascia panels were introduced. Pre-war street directories show the address 12a Queen's Parade (ie: over Martyn's shop) appearing between 1936 and 1939, when it was occupied by Mrs Bebbs's Domestic Agency. This business was significant enough to place an advert in one of the directories, and it seems unlikely that clients would have been expected to use a rear entrance. It seems probable that Mrs Bebbs left in 1939 (after the directory of that year had been published) and that upon her departure Martyn's altered the layout to extend their display space.


EXTERIOR: The shop front consists of two plate-glass windows in narrow white metal frames above low black Vitrolite stallrisers with an off-centre lobby, also of plate glass, with a white mosaic floor with the name of the shop in black and wooden-framed glazed door with margin lights. Above the plate glass are five transom lights of etched glass, with a black Vitrolite fascia over these with the legend W. MARTYN in crimson raised block capitals. The awnings are modern replacements in the style of the 1930s originals. The shop front is framed by the 1890s pink granite pilasters on grey granite plinths with ornate pedimented acanthus-leafed console brackets of Bath stone, in the Queen Anne style.

INTERIOR: The interior of the shop has a hardwood boarded floor and dark tongue and groove matchboard panelling, which is obscured by the mahogany shelving occupying the three sides of available wall space. The shelving is of high quality with moulded tops, decorative candy-twist columns and fluted pilasters. Some of the horizontal shelves have been replaced over time. The serving counter runs up the right-hand side of the shop and has display shelves in front. Behind the counter, below the shelving, are semi-circular metal storage bins with hinged wooden lids with four drawers between each bin. The rear wall of the shop interior has a hatch to a cash desk and a door behind the counter through to a stock room, again with wooden shelving not all of which is original. A late-C20 suspended ceiling is not of special interest.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Middlesex: Volume VI, (1980)
Cherry, B, Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: London 4, North, (1998 revised 2001)
Morrison, K, English Shops and Shopping An Architectural History, (2003)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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