Finsbury Park is a public park in the ward of the London neighbourhood of Harringay. It is in the area formerly covered by the historic parish of Hornsey, succeeded by the Municipal Borough of Hornsey - wikipedia
Here are some key dates. For more information see Founding of Finsbury Park
1841: petitioned for a park 1850: plans drawn up 1857: Finsbury Park Act 7th August 1869: park was opened
It was one of the first of the great London parks laid out in the Victorian era. The park borders the districts of Finsbury Park, Harringay, Stroud Green, and Manor House.
The park was landscaped on the northeastern extremity of what was originally a woodland area in the Manor or Prebend of Brownswood. It was part of a large expanse of woodland called Hornsey Wood that was cut further and further back for use as grazing land during the Middle Ages.
# Before the park
In the mid-18th century a tea room had opened on the knoll of land on which Finsbury Park is situated. Londoners would travel north to escape the smoke of the capital and enjoy the last remains of the old Hornsey Wood.
Around 1800 the tea rooms were developed into a larger building which became known as the Hornsey Wood House/Tavern. A lake was also built on the top of the knoll with water pumped up from the nearby New River (New River (England)).
There was boating, a shooting and archery range, and probably cock fighting and other blood sports. The Hornsey Wood Tavern was destroyed in the process of making the area into a park, but the lake was enlarged.
Once the park had opened, a pub across the road from its eastern entrance along Seven Sisters Road called itself the Hornsey Wood Tavern after the original. This pub was later renamed the Alexandra Dining Room and closed for business in April 2007. It was subsequently demolished.
# Creation of the park
During the early part of the second quarter of the 19th century, following developments in Paris, Londoners began to demand the creation of open spaces as an antidote to the ever-increasing urbanisation of London.
In 1841 the people of Finsbury in the City of London petitioned for a park to alleviate conditions of the poor. The present-day site of Finsbury Park was one of four suggestions for the location of a park.
Originally to be named Albert (Albert, Prince Consort) Park, the first plans were drawn up in 1850. Renamed Finsbury Park, plans for the park's creation were ratified by an Act of Parliament in 1857. Despite some local opposition, the park was opened in 1869.
# During the wars
During the Second World War, the park was used as military training grounds and also hosted anti-aircraft guns.Britains War Machine: Weapons, Resources, and Experts in the Second World War
Through the late 20th Century the park began to fall into a state of disrepair with most of the original features gone by the 1980s. This decline was worsened in 1986 when the then owner, Greater London Council was wound up and ownership was passed on Haringey Council but without sufficient funding or a statutory obligation for the park's upkeep.Rising from the Ashes:The Resurrection of Finsbury Park
A £5 million Heritage Lottery Fund Award, made in 2003, enabled significant renovations including cleaning the lake, building a new cafe and children's playground and resurfacing and repairing the tennis courts. The park now contains tennis courts, a running track, a softball field and many open spaces for various leisure activities.Heritage Lottery Fund Improvements
# See also - Festivals in Finsbury Park - Hendrix at the Astoria (1967) - Finsbury Park - Founding of Finsbury Park - History of Public Parks * Facilities * History * Live music in Finsbury Park * In popular culture - finsburyparkstories.wixsite.com - finsburyparkbowlsclub.co.uk - thefriendsoffinsburypark.org.uk - Friends of Finsbury Park - facebook - Harringay Online - London Gardens Trust