|Down Lane Recreation Ground||Haringey|
The site for the park was acquired in 1900 by Tottenham Council, all but 2 acres of which were former Lammas land. Initially called Down Fields, the recreation ground was laid out and formally opened on 11 May 1907. Its facilities included a bowling green, later used by Tottenham Hale Bowling Club, and near the main entrance was a drinking fountain and flowerbeds, although the emphasis was on sports. By 1935 there was perimeter planting and the athletic ground/running track was in place. The park was used for concert parties and bands as well as sporting activities.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/11/2011
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The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
The Recreation Ground is sited on what was once open land, by 1860s alongside the railway line, which at its opening ceremony was described as 'formerly one of the rubbish heaps of Tottenham and some four or five years ago a small-pox hospital stood there'. The site had been acquired in 1900 by Tottenham Council, all but 2 acres of which were former Lammas land; the cost of lay-out and fencing for the Recreation Ground was c.£3,600. It was formally opened on 11 May 1907 by the wife of the Chairman of the Council, Mrs Garland, following an inspirational speech by the Chairman of the Open Spaces Committee, Cllr G D Barns. The facilities at that time included a bowling green for four sets of players, later used by Tottenham Hale Bowling Club, with a pavilion and toilets, and near the main entrance to the grounds was a drinking fountain and 'a few beds of flowers' laid out, although the emphasis was on sports. By 1935 the layout shows a linear area of gardens and paths, and perimeter planting around the site and an athletic ground/running track installed. The Recreation Ground was used for concert parties and bands as well as sporting activities.
It appears that the eastern section of the park, where the bowling green and tennis courts were located, have been lost to development and Ashley Road now runs as the eastern boundary of the site. A plaque on a wooden post towards the north west corner of the park was 'planted' by the Mayor on 5 November 1997 on behalf of Haringey Jobwise to mark the Down Lane Recreation Ground Improvement Project. Today none of the original facilities in the park still exist and the park is laid out with grass and various areas of trees, with some quite dense planting. To the south the park now extends to The Hale over the site of Down Lane School, whose gate piers for 'Boys', 'Girls' and 'Infants' remain on Parkview Road. Within this area are ornamental raised beds adjacent to sports pavilions, with tennis courts, basket ball courts and beyond to the far south an adventure playground area where the land is undulating. The Caretaker's Building for the school remains jutting into the park.
In c.2010 Haringey Council commissioned a landscape architect to formulate a masterplan for the park and 3 informal consultation afternoons took place in 2010 to get park visitors' opinions on how it might be improved, in particular in terms of play provision for children and young people. Following 2 public meetings, and in liaison with the Friends of Down Lane, plans for the new playground were agreed and sufficient funding was secured to develop play within the existing area. Funds were also allocated to commence masterplanning for the remainder of the park. The new playground was officially opened on 2 July 2011 by Cllr Nilgun Canver, Cabinet Member for Environment. Facilities include a fenced under-8s zone, a separate over-8s area, a natural play area with climbing logs and boulders, and a mini BMX bike track. Phase II, producing the Masterplan, is now underway.
The Wednesday Herald, 15/5/1907