Inventory Site Record

Dalston Eastern Curve Garden (Hackney)

Brief Description

Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is on the site of disused railway lands, no longer required after improvement works were made at Dalston Junction. In 2009 it was used as a site for a temporary art installation in conjunction with the Barbican Art Gallery. In 2010 the garden was created through a partnership project commissioned by Design for London, 'Making Space in Dalston' in which Hackney Council, local residents and groups worked with muf architect/art and J & L Gibbons Landscape Architects. It was planted with wildlife friendly trees and shrubs, Since 2012 the garden has been managed as a social enterprise, with a café, education programme and community events.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Dalston Curve Garden
Site location:
13, Dalston Lane
E8 3DF
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Gardens
Open to public?
Opening times:
Mon & Tues: 2-8pm; Wed & Thurs: 1-8pm: Fri: 1-10pm; Sat: 12 noon-10pm; Sun: 12 noon-8pm (check website for latest times) Has taken part in Open Garden Squares Weekend in the past.
Special conditions:
Dogs on leads at all times. No alcohol to be brought into the Garden
Café; accessible toilet
Numerous events throughout the year: check website for details
Public transport:
London Overground: Dalston Junction; Dalston Kingsland. Bus: 30, 38, 56, 242, 277; 67, 76, 149, 243
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.dalstongarden.org

Full Site Description

The OS 25 inch First Edition map (sheet XVIII), surveyed in 1870, shows the curved North London Railway cutting as it emerges north of the tunnel at Dalston Junction. Dalston Junction station had opened in November 1865, providing the NLR's City Extension to Broad Street. Trains ran up until June 1986, after which the line to Broad Street closed, as did Dalston Junction station. The site was cleared in 2005 and the station was later reopened in 2010 as part of the new London Overground service.

In 2009 the disused 'Eastern Curve' railway lands became the location for a temporary off-site project of the Barbican Art Gallery as part of its exhibition Radical Nature - Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet 1969-2009. The project consisted of building a 16m high functioning flour mill with community kitchen and bread oven open to the public. In addition a 20m long wheat field was planted on the neglected site, which recreated a work by artist Agnes Denes, 'Wheatfield - A Confrontation' that had been planted in New York in 1982. Public events over the 3-week project included theatrical performances by Arcola Academy, baking and cooking classes, urban sustainability talks, ‘green’ workshops, artist talks and a bike-powered cinema. The event put the site on the map.

In 2010 the garden was created through a partnership project commissioned by Design for London, 'Making Space in Dalston' in which Hackney Council, local residents and groups worked with muf architect/art and J & L Gibbons Landscape Architects. The garden was planted with wildlife-friendly trees and shrubs, including hazel, hawthorn and birch alongside butterfly bushes, bracken and other plants that were already growing here, and six large raised beds were installed for growing food. Since then, many more raised planters have been added for growing herbs and vegetables, and more flowers and other plants have been planted to support bees, butterflies and wildlife. A wooden pavilion was constructed by architectural collective Exyzt that houses the café kiosk, seating area and a pizza oven. A conservatory-style greenhouse was also constructed, named The Pineapple House, which is used for workshops and other activities. The garden's management depends largely on volunteers, with weekly sessions providing an opportunity to look after the garden, to benefit from being outside, meet other volunteers and learn about plants and gardening. The entrance to the garden is located next to the Hackney Peace Carnival Mural by Ray Walker, which has been locally-listed by Hackney Council.

The future of the garden is not secure and the first stage of a Hackney Council public consultation on the ‘Dalston Quarter’ was completed on 30 April 2017. The ‘Dalston Quarter Development Principles Public Consultation’ document outlined their redevelopment plans and ambitions for the buildings and land they own in and around Dalston Lane and Ashwin Street.

In 2020 the garden closed to the public in line with safety guidelines relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a serious financial loss since most of the Garden's income is generated from April – September. In addition substantial costs were incurred due to the need to make structural changes to the entrance area before the garden could re-open so that visitors could adhere to social distancing guidelines. ‘Save Dalston Curve Garden’ Crowdfunder was launched in July 2020 to try to raise £100,000 to pay for the building works; to help ensure the Garden could remain open for everyone to enjoy; to enable community mornings to continue for groups of people who  were shielding; to spend the winter months planting Spring-flowering bulbs and to make further improvements to the space. To date, thanks to the generosity of over 2,700 donors over £80,000 has been raised.

Volunteers continue to be crucial to the success of the year-round programme of creative workshops and community events at Dalston Curve Garden, including regular art-based holiday activities for children, cookery workshops, an annual Pumpkin Lantern Festival and Festival of Light. The Cafe sells a range of alcohol and teas, coffees, and home made botanically inspired cakes. Latto’s Pizzas serve pizzas from a wood-fired oven on Saturdays and Sundays in Spring, Summer & Autumn.

Sources consulted:

See http://eco-publicart.org/dalston-mill/

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ336848 (533664,184870)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
Site management:
muf architect/art and J & L Gibbons Landscape Architects
Listed structures:
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


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:
In Conservation Area:
Conservation Area name:
Dalston Lane (West)
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Area of architectural/special interest
Other LA designation:

Dalston Eastern Curve Garden

Dalston Eastern Curve - Photo: Candy Blackham
Date taken: 30/05/18 13:18

Entrance to Dalston Eastern Curve Garden from Dalston Lane and Hackney Peace Carnival Mural, August 2019. Photograph Sally Williams
Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, June 2017. Photograph Sally Williams
Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, June 2017. Photograph Sally Williams

Click a photo to enlarge.

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