Heritage Category: Park and Garden
List Entry Number: 1000800
Date first listed: 01-Oct-1987
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: Greater London Authority
District: Hackney (London Borough)
County: Greater London Authority
District: Islington (London Borough)
National Grid Reference: TQ 32643 86470
A late C19 public park, laid out in the landscaped grounds of a late C18 house.
In the mid C18 Samuel Hoare came to England from Cork and settled in a house in Paradise Row, Stoke Newington. His family were merchants and strict Quakers; Stoke Newington in the C18 was known for its non-conformist religious views. Samuel Hoare's second surviving son, Jonathon Hoare, leased land adjacent to St Mary's (old) church from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and started to lay out Stoke Newington Park at the end of the C18. In the late C18 the land was still fields and meadows, bisected in the south-west quarter by a bend in the New River, which had been completed in 1613 to bring water to London.
The house, built by Joseph Woods on 5.5 acres (2.3ha) of freehold land, was completed by 1793; the clay pits for the interior bricks later being used as ponds. Stoke Newington Park was laid out with parkland in the southern half, around the New River, and woodland in the northern part around the two ponds. Kitchen gardens were located to the north-east of the house and gardens between the house and the church to the east and Church Street to the south. The eastern portion of land between the kitchen gardens and the eastern pond remained as fields.
By the 1800s the estate was owned by Thomas Gudgeon and shortly afterwards by Mr Crawshay, whose daughter inherited it and then married the Rev Augustus Clissold, a local curate. On the death of the Rev Clissold, the estate reverted to the Crawshay family. During the early and mid C19 the park was known as Stoke Newington or Newington Park, and the house by various names including Paradise House and The Park. By the mid C19 the wooded area to the north of the park had been reduced to the area north of the ponds, and an avenue had been planted from the north side of the house up to the space between the two ponds. No other substantial changes appear to have been made between the late C18 and late C19.
In 1884, and again in 1886, George Crawshay attempted to sell the freehold portion of the estate for building development but following three public petitions, the land was finally purchased by the Metropolitan Board of Works under the Clissold Park (Stoke Newington) Act 1887, with financial aid from the Charity Commissioners, the Vestry of Stoke Newington, and other bodies. Features were added to the park and it was opened on 24 July 1889 by the London County Council as a public park, then known as Clissold Park. Since the late C19 the House has been used as refreshment rooms.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Clissold Park is located at the west end of Stoke Newington Church Street, in the London Borough of Hackney. It is 21ha in extent and is bounded by Green Lanes to the west, Stoke Newington Church Street to the south, Greenway Close and Queen Elizabeth's Close to the north, and Queen Elizabeth's Walk to the east. The ground undulates and falls slightly to the north. The park is surrounded by perimeter park fencing and planting, as belts or scattered trees.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The park is approached through several entrances from the south, west and east sides. One of the main entrances is in the north-west corner and is served by a late C19 brick lodge. Two further entrances in the south-east corner lead directly to Clissold House and were the C18 entrances to Stoke Newington Park. The western entrance was served by a lodge and the eastern entrance was adjacent to the stable block, which backed onto Church Street; both were demolished in the late C19.
PRINCIPAL BUILDING Clissold House (listed grade II*), in the south-east quarter of the park, is a substantial late C18 villa, in yellow stock brick, designed by Joseph Woods. It has two storeys to the west and three to the east, with wings on the north and south sides. A raised double carriageway leads to a flight of steps. The main, west facade has a six-column Doric veranda in stone. The north and south fronts have two-storey round bows, and the south front, overlooking the garden, has a curved copper verandah supported by iron pillars.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS The park has belts of trees and avenues, mostly chestnut, along the boundaries, New River and major paths, with scattered planting of mature late C19 and early C20 trees (including ash, plane, oak, poplar, lime), and other mid to late C20 tree planting.
On entering Clissold Park from Stoke Newington Church Street, by what was the C18 entrance to the House, the path leads immediately past the New River to the west. The New River loops through the south-west corner of the park, entering in the centre of the western boundary and flowing east towards the House, then curving south in front of it. It now terminates on the southern boundary of the park, from where it has been tunnelled underground, but from 1613, when the New River was opened, to the late C20, it looped back to the west and flowed along the southern boundary of the park before being channelled under Stoke Newington Church Street. The New River is fenced on both sides, as it has been since the late C19. Set inside the fence near to the entrance is a stone (listed grade II), with the date 1790, the only survivor of a series of boundary stones which marked the division between Hornsey parish to the west and Stoke Newington parish to the east. Immediately east of the stone is the site of the late C18 lodge, demolished in the late C19.
To the north of the stone and 60m south of the House is a late C19 cast-iron footbridge across the New River. Across the bridge in the area enclosed by the New River there is a deer pen (the first animal enclosure in an urban park, originally laid out in the 1890s and extended to its present size in 1910s) and other animal enclosures to the north, and a rectangular paddling pool to the south, built in the 1930s. The path then leads past a mid C20 bowling green with pavilion to the west of the animal enclosures and on to a large drinking-fountain, erected by public subscription in 1890, in the centre of a circular rose garden of the same date. Paths lead from the fountain south-west and west to entrances in the west side from Green Lanes. Another route leads between the bowling green and deer pen over the northern section of the New River, back towards the House. The House is set in lawns on the south and east sides, with a formal rose garden to the south. From here there are good views to St Mary's old church (restored 1563) to the east and St Mary's new church (Sir George Gilbert Scott), across Church Street, to the south-east. To the west of the House, the double carriage drive encloses a flower garden and there is outside seating for the cafe in the verandah, with views to the west over the New River and the park. To the north-west of the House is a large tarmacked area, in the centre of which is the site of the late C19 octagonal bandstand (demolished late C20), which had a tiled roof and open, rustic timber sides. It was replaced by the present wooden stage, on the east side of the tarmacked area. From here there are views of 'The Castle', a castellated Victorian water pumping station, to the north-west of the park.
On the north end of the House is a mural fountain, which was put up by Rose Crawshay in 1893, in memory of three of her sisters who died in childhood. Some 50m to the north-east of the House is a children's playground, with a paved sports area to the east, both enclosed on the south side by planting, and tennis courts to the north. To the north of the site of the bandstand is an avenue, leading north to the ponds, with a late C20 brick building, used as a One O'Clock Club, to the east.
There is open parkland to the east, with boundary planting along Queen Elizabeth's Walk. The ponds are sited close to the northern boundary and are oval in shape, with islands (that in the west pond added in the late C19) and partial iron railing around the east pond. Paths lead west from the ponds to the north-west corner of the park, which has a late C19 brick entrance lodge, with bedding on the lawns to the south. There are fine mature trees along the path south of the lodge which runs along the west boundary, and the path to the south-east, which has views of the House.
J J Sexby, The Municipal Parks, Gardens and Open Spaces of London (1898), pp 320-33 E Cecil, London Parks and Gardens (1907), pp 141-4 Hackney Society Newsletter, (Autumn 1989) B Cherry and N Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (1998), pp 539-40
Maps John Rocque, Plan of the Cities of London and Westminster ..., 1744-6 Milne, Survey of London, surveyed 1795(9, published 1800 Cruchley, county map, 1828 J Wyld, New Plan of London, 1851 Stanford's Library Map of London and its Suburbs, 1862 Stanford's Library Map of London and its Suburbs, 1877
OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1868 2nd edition published 1894 3rd edition published1913
Description written: January 1998 Register Inspector: CB Edited: May 2000
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 1793
Legacy System: Parks and Gardens
This garden or other land is registered under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953 within the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens by Historic England for its special historic interest.
End of official listing