|Crescent Gardens and King George VI Memorial Garden||Haringey|
Crescent Gardens were laid out on former rural open space, and by 1894 there were curving paths in the north part, and by 1910 the whole was laid out with serpentine paths, trees, shrubberies and formal bedding. The WWI war memorial on High Road was in place pre-1935. The south end of the gardens was renamed King George VI Memorial Garden and opened on 25 April 1953, laid out with shrub beds behind stone retaining walls, seating and a small circular rose bed in the centre.
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A hamlet known as Woodleigh existed here from Saxon times, linked to London by a track that took much the same route as today's Green Lanes, the section through Wood Green now called High Road. Bounds Green Road existed as an old route from the C14th, and between these two tracks to the north of their junction was once commonland, later used for farming and coppiced woodland. A remnant of the former commonland is now the site of Trinity Gardens. The land in this area probably formed part of the large Bowes Farm Manor Estate, granted by Henry IV to the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral in 1412. From the late C18th part of the estate became the extensive farmland of Wood Green Farm, which with other large estates such as Nightingale Hall Farm and the Bakesfield Estate to the south meant that Wood Green remained largely farmland until the mid C19th. The area then began to be built over to house the growing population, development taking place particularly after the arrival of the railways. In 1852 the Finsbury Freehold Land Society purchased 92 acres of Wood Green Farm and developed the Wood Green Estate, a housing development of 480 plots. At the same time large houses were also being built in the area and public amenities, schools and churches were gradually provided. In 1894 Wood Green Urban District Council was established, and it was following this that the series of public gardens were laid out, including Crescent Gardens, Trinity Gardens, Nightingale Gardens and Avenue Gardens (q.q.v.).
Crescent Gardens is an elongated triangular site bounded by Wood Green High Road to the west, White Hart Lane to the north, and Stuart Crescent to the east. The gardens are bisected by Ewart Grove and the grounds slopes to the south, with mounded areas for planting. Crescent Gardens were laid out on former rural open space, the area north of Ewart Grove having curving paths by the 1894 OS Map, and by 1910 the whole had been laid out with serpentine paths, trees, shrubberies and formal bedding. Photographs of the gardens in the 1950s show flamboyant carpet bedding. The striking Portland stone war memorial on High Road was erected in memory of 'the men of Wood Green who gave their lives in the Great War, 1914-18'.
In 1952, the south end of the gardens were laid out and named King George VI Memorial Garden, provided by public subscription and opened on 25 April 1953 by the Mayor of Wood Green, Alderman A R Harrison JP, as recorded in the plaque on site. It was laid out with shrub beds behind low stone retaining walls, seating and a small circular rose bed in the centre; trees and shrubs were donated by schools in Wood Green.
In 1958 Wood Green Civic Centre was opened across High Road, following the amalgamation of the Boroughs of Wood Green, Hornsey and Tottenham. A modernist building designed by Sir John Brown, it was built on the former site of the Fishmongers and Poulterers Almshouses, which had been built here in 1849.
Peter Curtis, In Times Past, Wood Green and Tottenham with West Green and Harringay, Hornsey Historical Society, 3rd ed. 1995; Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners Ltd, 'Trinity Gardens Conservation Area Character Appraisal' (LB Haringey, 2008)