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Ducketts Common Haringey
   
Summary: Ducketts Common is sited on former common land that had been within the Manor of Duckett's, first mentioned when Laurence Duket acquired land in the area in 1293, and is all that remains of the 138-acre Ducketts Farm. In 1900 Tottenham UDC began to improve the Common with two tar-paved paths, wrought iron railings, and 140 trees with tree guards planted around the perimeter and each side of the paths. The MPGA provided 30 more trees in 1912. The Common is in 2 parts, a large area west of Green Lanes and a smaller area to the east that was laid out before 1914, also referred to as Green Gate Common. Two tennis courts were added on the west side before 1935, one converted to a children's playground in 1989, the other now used for basketball.
Previous / Other name:
Site location: Green Lanes/Willoughby Road/West Green Road
Postcode: N8 > Google Map
Type of site: Public Park
Date(s): 1900
Designer(s): Not known
Listed structures:
Borough: Haringey
Site ownership: LB Haringey
Site management: Parks Service: Finsbury Park Neighbourhood; Friends of Ducketts Common
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities: West area: Basketball courts, children's playground
Events:
Public transport: Tube: Turnpike Lane (Piccadilly). Bus: 29, 141, 41, 67, 230, W4.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/07/2005
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.haringey.gov.uk; www.duckettscommon.org.uk

Fuller information:

Ducketts Common is sited on former common land that had been within the Manor of Duckett's, first mentioned when Laurence Duket acquired land in the area in 1293, and is all that remains of the 138-acre Ducketts Farm. The Common is a flat area that flanks Green Lanes, with a larger rectangular site lying to the west and a smaller triangle to the east of the road. Green Lanes was an ancient route and is so-called for the fields that lined it until the railway brought housing development to the area. The housing eroded the extent of Ducketts Common north of Turnpike (formerly Tottenham) Lane.

In 1900 Tottenham UDC took the decision to improve Ducketts Common, essentially converting it into a recreation ground. The improvements included two tar-paved paths, wrought iron railings, planting of 140 trees with tree guards around the perimeter and on each side of the paths, mainly London plane trees and some lime trees, many of which remain today, together with a few that appear to pre-date the early C20th improvements. The Metropolitan Public Gardens Association provided 30 more trees, which were planted in 1912.

While the large area of the common west of Green Lanes was left open, the smaller, eastern area was laid out before 1914 with curving paths, and several beds presumably for both shrubs and formal bedding. On the west side of the Common, two tennis court areas were added before 1935, the northern one later converted for basketball, and the southern one becoming a children's playground in 1989. The latter has since then been substantially extended with a large fenced area for children containing a small pergola, seating and picnic tables, new trees and shrubs and a Toddlers Maze in bricks set into the grass.

Today the west side of the common is enclosed by bright blue iron railings and is essentially an area of open grassland surrounded by trees. Many of the original plane trees still survive, together with a few which appear to pre-date the improvement of 1900-01; there are also some mature limes. The east side, also known as Green Gate Common, is unenclosed. Its winding tarmac paths follow those shown on the 1955 OS map; it has a few shrub areas with two fine Ilex altaclarensis near the main cross walk, and there are mature planes.

Friends of Ducketts Common was set up in 2007 and in 2008 began working with Haringey Council on plans to improve the play area. Since 2009 they have worked with Groundwork Trust on further improvements. In February 2010, the Friends in conjunction with North Harringay Primary School, the London Orchard Project and Haringey Council Parks Department planted 10 heritage apple trees on Green Gate Common. In 2011 Haringey Council produced a draft Master Plan for consultation, which included plans to improve paths and entrances, create a plaza, extend the playground, resurface the basketball courts, create a new outdoor gym as well as create new shrub and plant beds. The playground has now been extended and landscaped following funding from the government's Playbuilder programme, Marks & Spencer and the Woodland Trust. The basketball court area is the next area for improvement.

Sources consulted:

Robinson, vol.1, pp, 58, 241-251 (Manor and Manor Farm of Dov'cotes. Ducketts, sometimes called Dockettis); Harris, Cecil 'Duckett's Manor and the King's "Great Matter"' Hornsey Historical Society Bulletin, no 34 pp 5-7, 28; Harris, Cecil 'Ducketts in Stuart Times' Hornsey Historical Society Bulletin, no 35, pp16-20; Tottenham UDC 1892-7 p 314, 1897-1902; The Parks Agency, 'Commons, Heaths and Greens in Greater London, A short report for English Heritage' (2005); History section on Friends of Ducketts Common website
Grid ref: TQ315894
Size in hectares: 1.7
   
On EH National Register : No
EH grade:
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
No
 
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.
On Local List: Yes
In Conservation Area: No
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: No
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation: Significant Local Open Land
   

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