Inventory Site Record

Victoria Park (Barnet)

Brief Description

Originally called Victoria Recreation Ground, Victoria Park opened in 1902 but was originally planned to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887. It remained Finchley's only public pleasure ground until 1914. The early layout included a bandstand as well as facilities for tennis and bowling, with a park-keeper's lodge at the south entrance and a small body of water was found along the boundary with Etchingham Road. Planting includes bedding displays and a formal garden.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Victoria Recreation Ground
Site location:
Ballards Lane/ Long Lane/Park View Road, Finchley
Postcode:
N3 2NE
Type of site:
Public Park
Borough:
Barnet
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
closes at dusk
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Tennis, bowling, 2 playgrounds, café; Finchley Victoria Park Bowling and Croquet Club
Events:
Children's Fair. Community activities organised by Finchley Victoria Park Bowling and Croquet Club
Public transport:
Tube: West Finchley, Finchley Central (Northern) then bus. Bus: 143, 13, 26, 82, 260.
Research updated:
01/11/2017

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.barnet.gov.uk; https://victoriaparkfinchley.com

Full Site Description

Victoria Park opened in 1902 as Victoria Recreation Ground but had originally been planned to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887. Located between residential streets the park remained Finchley's only public pleasure ground until 1914. At the main entrance to the park on Ballards Lane is a grass strip with bedding displays and the gates have mosaic decoration on the gate piers; near the entrance is an electricity sub-station, in the form of a crenelated structure of red and yellow brick. The park was laid out with a rectangular formal garden enclosed by a hedge in the south-east and beyond this were tennis courts and two hedged bowling, greens and clubhouse, the latter used by the Finchley Victoria Bowling Club since its formation in 1925. One of the park's two bowling greens was converted for croquet in 2016, this change of use prompted by Barnet Council's decision to cease funding the borough's bowling clubs, requiring them to become more self-sufficient. As a result of this the Bowling Club reformed itself into the Finchley Victoria Park Bowling and Croquet Club and now offers a wider range of community activities and year-round opening has replaced the club's April-September season. A small area of garden in the north is dedicated to Vyvyan Wells, former Councillor and Mayor, and was opened on 21 May 1955 according to a plaque on the site..

On the corner of Long Lane and Park View Road the former park-keeper's house, known as The Lodge, was somewhat controversially sold by Barnet Council but the net profit from the sale has been ring-fenced for expenditure on improvements to Victoria Park. In order to ensure this takes place and to safeguard the park, a new Friends of Victoria Park was formed, itself growing out of an informal group called Etchingham Friends who had in the past paid for planting an avenue of trees in the park.

Sources consulted:

Victoria County History, Middx VI, V; S Gillies and P Taylor, 'Finchley and Friern Barnet, a Pictorial History', 1992.

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ257912 (525844,191054)
Size in hectares:
7.43
Site ownership:
LB Barnet
Site management:
Leisure and Youth Services, Green Spaces Division/Friends of Victoria Park
Date(s):
1887- 1902
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
None
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

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:
Yes - Area of Special Archaeological Significance (part/ at entrance)
Other LA designation:
Premier Park
Victoria Park, August 2000. Photo: S Williams
2000
Victoria Park, Ornamental planting adjacent to entrance on Ballards Lane, August 2000.
2000

Click a photo to enlarge.

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.