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Woodside Park Haringey

Summary

Woodside Park was established here when Wood Green Local Board purchased Earlham Grove House with 11 acres of land in 1893. The house, which was converted to Council offices and later enlarged, was used as Wood Green Town Hall until 1958. The park was laid out and by 1914 boasted a bandstand, now gone, bowling green and other features. An early C18th lodge, now called The Mushroom House, and surrounding triangle of land was incorporated into the park and a pavilion was erected by the bowling green before 1935.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
Earlham Grove House, Town Hall Rec. Ground, Town Hall Park, Town Hall Gardens

Site location:
High Road/Glendale Avenue/Earlham Grove/Woodside Road, Wood Green

Postcode:
N22 ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Public Park

Date(s):
late C19th; C20th

Designer(s):
Not known

Listed structures:
LBII: The Mushroom House

Borough:
Haringey

Site ownership:
LB Haringey

Site management:
Parks Service (Woodside Neighbourhood) / Friends of Woodside Park

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
unrestricted

Special conditions:

Facilities:
adventure playground, children's playground, bowling green

Events:
Annual Jazz Picnic and Folk Dance run by Friends of Woodside Park

Public transport:
Tube: Wood Green (Piccadilly) then bus. Bus: 29, 121, 232, 329.

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2003
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.woodside-park.org; www.haringey.gov.uk

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ309911

Size in hectares:
3.8

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:
No

In Conservation Area:
No

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
No

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:
No

Other LA designation:
Historic Parks/Gardens/Landscapes; Significant Local Open Land

Fuller information

The park is on a rectangular site set around the former Wood Green Town Hall (now Woodside House, LB Haringey's Elderly and Special Needs Centre) to the east of Wood Green High Road. The Wood Green Local Board, which was set up in 1888, purchased Earlham Grove House as it was then known, with 11 acres of land in 1893. A former occupant of the house, which was built in 1864-66, was Mrs Smithies whose memorial now stands in Trinity Gardens (q.v.). Until 1852 the New River ran through the grounds, which were admired by William Keane in his 'Beauties of Middlesex'. In the 1890s the house was converted to Council offices and in 1913 was enlarged with a 1-storey south extension to provide a Council chamber and police court. It was used as Wood Green Town Hall until 1958.

The park was laid out around the turn of the century and by 1914 boasted a bandstand, bowling green, more trees particularly on the boundaries, and the former lodge of Chitt's Hill House, which was built c.1805 and destroyed in 1896. This lodge, now known as the 'Mushroom House', was built for John Overene, a Quaker banker c.1822, a cottage ornée with a circular plan, roughcast elevations under a fishscale slate roof; it is similar to a design for a circular cottage in John Plaw's 'Sketches for Country Houses, Villas and Rural Dwellings' of 1800. Its surrounding triangle of land had also been incorporated into the park at its north west corner. A red brick and pebble-dashed pavilion with red tile roof was erected on the north side of the bowling green before 1935 but by the late C20th was in poor repair. The bandstand disappeared between 1957 and 1973; and in the same period the north-west corner adjacent to the Mushroom House was re-landscaped with raised beds with concrete slab retaining walls, the rockwork in this area may date from this time as well.

The north side of the park has been recently re-landscaped with a sports pitch and adventure playground. Woodside House is approached from the west and south by tree-lined drives with forecourts and central circular flower beds; the west drive is the original approach and is marked by red brick, tuck-pointed piers with sandstone copings surmounted by bronze lamp bases. To the south-west of the house are the scant remains of a formal bedding layout. The boundary trees are mainly oak on the east side, horse chestnuts lining the walk on the south side and on the north side, and limes. The Mushroom House was used as a children's playhouse for a time, before falling derelict, but it has recently been restored. Friends of Woodside Park was founded in 1999 to regenerate the park, and the group has planted trees, new borders and won lottery funding to buy new benches and bins.

Sources consulted:

English Heritage Primary Research File HAR 47 (4 page extract attached); Plaw, John op. cit pl.xii; Curtis p13; Victoria County History Middlesex V pp 319, 321

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