|Grove Lodge Gardens||Haringey|
Grove Lodge, a plain stuccoed house built in 1854, was converted to flats in 1995/6 with a Language School to the rear. The grounds sloping down to the south east originally formed the perimeter belt of woodland on the west side of the estate, together with a field at the south end of the site. Part of the grounds became Grove Lodge Gardens in 1945, having been purchased by Hornsey Borough Council for a new public garden. It remained light deciduous woodland, with few changes beyond the creation of a path running the length of the site, accessed from three points on Muswell Hill. Having become overgrown and neglected, the garden was restored in 2005/06 at the instigation of Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Association.
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.
Grove Lodge and its grounds are a more or less rectangular site on the east side of Muswell Hill. The small public park was created in 1945 when part of the grounds were purchased by Hornsey Borough Council through the efforts of Cllr Frederick Cleary and the Town Clerk. Cleary wrote a book, 'Beauty and the Borough' (1949) making known the efforts the Council had made since WWII to restore public amenities, in which he described the new park: 'The fence has gone, revealing the full beauty of very fine trees. The opportunities and the natural beauty of the site have been well used by intelligent planning and artistic garden designing.' The garden remained light deciduous woodland, predominantly horse chestnuts and oaks, some dating from the C19th and few changes were made beyond the creation of a path running the length of the site, accessed from three points on Muswell Hill.
However, by the latter part of the C20th, the gardens had become neglected and overgrown, and what remained as public green space was a strip of land with grass and trees along Muswell Hill where brambles and undergrowth encroached from the east. The low grey stone retaining wall beside the pavement and the two sets of steps had fallen into a state of neglect and land to the south of Grove Lodge was little more than a field, surrounded by trees. At the instigation of the Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Association, an amenity society set up in 1948 to protect and improve the local environment, the forgotten garden has been rediscovered and restored. The Association gained a Making the Difference grant from Haringey Council and this has enabled its reinstatement. The programme of work commenced in February 2005 and has included coppicing, cutting back weeds and brambles, re-defining the pathway, turning the soil and clearing the rubbish. By 2006 the path, new planting and signage were in place, and the work continues to be monitored by the Association.
Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998); Councillor Frederick Cleary, 'Beauty and the Borough', 1949; Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Association website