The Proposed Albert Park

albert park master.doc

last revised: January 15, 2008 8:27 PM

This is how Highbury developed. The account below shows it in more graphic detail.

By 1794 Highbury consisted of Highbury House and Highbury Hill House, Highbury Barn and the gated terraces of Highbury Terrace and Highbury Place, which had been built on land leased by John Dawes. Highbury may have stayed this way, as the plan was to create a 250 acre (1 km²) park – Albert Park – between St Paul's Road / Balls Pond Road and the Seven Sisters Road. Instead a 27.5 acre (111,000 m²) site, which is now Highbury Fields was saved in 1869 and the 115 acre (465,000 m²) Finsbury Park were created. The rest of the area was developed as roads of houses.

Source unknown

About 1841, 218 acres of land in East London were donated and bought by The Crown Estates. They were laid out by James Pennethorne between 1842 and 1846 as Victoria Park. Pennethorne was John Nash’s stepson and took over business when Nash died. Victoria Park was a great success and became known as The People’s Park.

Victoria Park on the 1888 OS Map

About 1851 a similar park, to be called Albert Park, was proposed for North London. It would be huge. It would run from just north of Highbury Corner, close along the edge of Newington Green, so that the houses on that side of Newington Green would have been only one row deep; along Green Lanes to beside Clissold Park, include Clissold Park itself and continue north to enclose what is now Finsbury Park. If Albert Park had been built the Highbury Park roads would not exist and there would have been a green swathe of parkland running from Highbury Corner to just north of Manor House. In the end only Finsbury Park was made into a park, but the name Albert persisted for years. When, in 1887, Clissold Park was saved by public protest from becoming terraces of little villas, some people wanted to call it Albert Park. The name Clissold was too popular. Stoke Newington people knew the name Clissold and would hold on to the name despite all appeals for change.

1888 Bacon map

In fact only Finsbury Park was developed as a public park and the rest became valuable streets of houses. It is nice to think whilst walking through them of the ghostly park that surrounds you.

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