Finsbury Gardens were laid out in the late C19th/early C20th with grass, trees set in shrubberies, and gently curving paths. The line of one of these former paths is still partly followed by the single path diagonally across the site today. Among mature trees are five horse chestnuts on the east boundary that may date from the original planting. The north end of the garden is now laid out with hard surfacing and a children's playground.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/11/2004
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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.
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. 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 Trinity Gardens, Nightingale Gardens, Avenue Gardens and Crescent Gardens (q.q.v.).
A more or less rectangular site with very slight undulations to the surface, it is now bisected by a single tarmac path from north-west to south-east. Surrounded by iron railings, the garden is overlooked by late C19th terraces to the west and east. Planting consists of scattered trees and a few shrubs, mature horse chestnuts and two large conifers. To the south of Finsbury Gardens and Finsbury Road, a strip of grassland with a path running through it forms a green link to Bounds Green Road and the chain of green spaces beyond, Trinity Gardens, Nightingale Gardens and Avenue Gardens, which itself links to Wood Green Common (q.v.).
See Bowes Park Community Association website www.bowespark.org.uk, with Finsbury Gardens page, includes postcard of 1904 and maps of 1894 and 1912.