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Page Green Common Haringey

Summary

Page Green Common is former commonland, which was laid out c.1897 as a public garden by Tottenham UDC, who commissioned F F McKenzie, then Superintendent of Epping Forest, to advise on how the various Tottenham commons might be improved. He recommended Page Green be laid out as a garden with a gravel circle and seats around the existing feature of the Seven Sisters trees, which originated as a circle of seven elm trees possibly planted as early as C14th, according to tradition by seven sisters who had to part. The trees have been replanted numerous times since then.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
Broad Lane Common; Seven Sisters; Page Greene

Site location:
High Road/Broad Lane, Seven Sisters, South Tottenham

Postcode:
N15 ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Public Gardens

Date(s):
c. 1897

Designer(s):
F F McKenzie

Listed structures:
None

Borough:
Haringey

Site ownership:
LB Haringey

Site management:
Parks Service (Tottenham Hale Neighbourhood)

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
unrestricted

Special conditions:

Facilities:

Events:

Public transport:
Tube: Seven Sisters (Victoria). Rail: Seven Sisters. London Overground: South Tottenham. Bus 41, 123, 230, W4.

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/12/2011
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.haringey.gov.uk

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ337889

Size in hectares:
c.0.2

Green Flag:
No

On EH National Register :
No

EH grade:
None

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
No

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
No

Local Authority Data

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:
Yes

Conservation Area name:
Seven Sisters/Page Green (within Tottenham High Road Historic Corridor)

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
No

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:
No

Other LA designation:
None

Fuller information

Tottenham High Road dates from Roman times when it formed part of the route of Ermine Street, the main highway out of the City of London to Lincoln and York in the north of the country, although the present High Road dates from the C16th when it was realigned to avoid the occasionally flooding Moselle River. As a result of the importance of this route to and from London, hamlets, houses and coaching inns grew up along its way. Tottenham itself is recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086 with a settlement around Tottenham Green (q.v.), but almost certainly dated back to pre-Norman times.

To the south of Tottenham, there was a settlement at Page Green as early as 1319, which was once an estate of 12 acres. Marked as Page Greene on Thomas Clay's survey of 1619 for the Earl of Dorset's, it has undergone a number of name changes, referred to as Broad Lane Common in records of Tottenham UDC in 1892-7, and as Seven Sisters on the OS Map of 1864. Wells over 100 ft deep were sunk in the common in the C18th and were used until the 1840s at which time there was also a pond. The former commonland was laid out as a public garden c.1897 at the instigation of Tottenham UDC's Parks and Open Spaces Committee who commissioned Frank Fuller McKenzie to suggest how the Tottenham commons might be improved and to comment on proposals and costings already prepared by their own engineer. McKenzie was the son of Alexander McKenzie (c.1830-1893), designer of Finsbury, Alexandra and Queen's Parks (q.q.v.), and had succeeded his father as Superintendent of Epping Forest. His report dated 15 February 1897 dealt with general considerations such as paths, planting, fencing, seating and costs, and he made specific recommendations on seven areas of common land including 'Broad Lane Common' as Page Green Common was then known. He recommended that it 'might be treated at once as a garden' and proposed a gravel circle with seats round the existing feature of the Seven Sisters trees. The earliest layout is shown on the 1915 OS Map, with a network of paths and an enclosure around the Seven Sisters.

The circle of seven elm trees known as the Seven Sisters were possibly planted as early as C14th, and appear on the Earl of Dorset's survey of 1619, originally having a walnut tree in the centre. According to tradition they were planted by seven sisters who had to part. In 1840 they were 'upwards of 500 years old' and 'fast going to decay'. Hall (1861) notes that on 21 February 1852, seven daughters of J McRae Esq, whose house overlooked the green, planted seven new elms just to the east of the original seven to take their place when they died. These replacements were removed in December 1870. New replacements were planted by the seven Misses Hibbert in March 1886. Today there are also 7 Lombardy poplars planted on 31 December 1955 by the seven Basten sisters, three at the west end and four at the east end of the site, intended to recall the earlier Seven Sisters. In December 1996 7 trees were planted by 7 groups of 7 sisters.

Page Green Common today is a flat, rectangular unenclosed open space, mostly laid to turf with two large shrub beds and scattered trees. A single tarmac path runs from east to west near the northern boundary, separated from Broad Lane, now a busy 5-lane road, by a border with a few shrubs and trees, mostly Tilia spp., 40-60 years old. A mature London plane tree is set in a paved area at the west end, backed by a large ventilation shaft built for the adjacent Seven Sisters station. There are a few ornamental trees, Prunus and Sorbus spp. Page Green Common is within a conservation area that is one of a chain along the important historic corridor of Tottenham High Road.

Sources consulted:

F Fisk 'History of the Ancient Parish of Tottenham' 1923, pp 88-92; pp 20, 68, 90; Robinson 1840, vol 1, pp 44-5, 59; Hall (1861); Curtis p 87; Victoria County History Middlesex vol 5 p 346; Webster A D, London Trees, 1920 p10; Peter Curtis, 'In Times Past, Wood Green and Tottenham with West Green and Harringay', Hornsey Historical Society, 3rd ed. 1995; Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners for LB Haringey, 'Tottenham High Road Historic Corridor Conservation Areas Character Appraisal', 2009

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