A neighbour recently passed me a digital copy of the above book from 1896, around the time that the Fields became a public park. It’s a wonderful period piece and well worth an idle browse with a cup of coffee. The book also serves as a snapshot of the area only a few years before clearance started for the Kingsway modernisation scheme.
The picture on the left is a view across the Fields looking West taken from a medal struck to commemorate the burning of Roman Catholic chapels in London in 1688. I know little about Heckethorn – a quick search though suggests he was a late Victorian antiquarian author who wrote a popular series on secret societies.
There are several ways to read it from the American Libraries internet archive there’s a graphical copy here and you can read the full text here courtesy of Google’s digitisation project.