Inventory Site Record

O R Tambo Recreation Ground, formerly Albert Road Recreation Ground (Haringey)

Brief Description

Albert Road Recreation Ground was laid out in the early 1900s as the area was being developed for housing. The park was later extended and a tennis and bowling club was established in 1925, and other facilities included mini golf and a swimming pool. The pool closed in the 1980s and is now a garden centre. In 2021, Haringey Council renamed the park O R Tambo Recreation Ground in honour of the South African anti-apartheid activist Oliver Tambo. A memorial to Tambo had been installed in the park in 2009, consisting of a bust and commemorative garden, with a statue added in 2019.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Albert Rec
Site location:
Albert Road/ Durnsford Road/Bidwell Gardens
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Park
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Playground, table tennis, tennis and basketball courts, football pitches, multi-use games area. Pavilion café, toilets. (football pitches/tennis courts - bookable online),
Mainly sports events; also annual Easter Egg hunt
Public transport:
Tube: Bounds Green (Piccadilly) then bus. Bus: 102, 184, 299
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. https://www.haringey.gov.uk/libraries-sport-and-leisure/parks-and-open-spaces/z-parks-and-open-spaces/or-tambo-recreation-ground; https://psandc.co.uk/farrg/

Full Site Description

Before the area was developed for housing, there was a clay pit and brickworks here in use until the early C20th. Before the park was laid out in the early 1900s it was open land that was already being used by local people for recreation. Albert Road Recreation Ground was originally smaller than it is today and had its main entrance on Clifton Road, but it was later extended to its current size. In the early 1920s Durnsford Road was laid out, and new recreational facilities were gradually provided in the park. In 1925 a tennis and bowling club was established for which a small pavilion was built, and a mini golf course was added. Prior to WWII, the park also had a small café but this closed soon after the war ended. A swimming pool was built in the early 1930s, which was bombed during WWII and later restored, but it eventually closed in the 1980s having become neglected. In 1991 the pool was purchased and transformed by the Sunshine Garden Centre, which is now active in supporting and sponsoring park activities in the borough.

The Friends of Albert Road Recreation Ground was set up 2001 and organises events in co-operation with the Council. The Pavilion Café has recently been revamped to provide changing and toilet facilities as well as a café, which is leased by Haringey Tennis, an organisation that manages and takes bookings for the park's recently improved tennis courts. 

On 9 February 2021, Haringey Council renamed the park O R Tambo Recreation Ground in honour of the South African anti-apartheid activist Oliver Reginald Tambo. A memorial to Tambo had been installed in the park in 2009, consisting of a bust and commemorative garden, with a statue added in 2019. Oliver Tambo had lived in Haringey in exile for over two decades, settling with his family in Muswell Hill. The South African High Commission gifted Haringey the bronze bust and statue of him that are in the park today.

O R Tambo Recreation Ground was one of six parks in London achieving Local Favourite status in the UK's Favourite Parks 2022. In all 364 parks were nominated and over 30,000 votes were cast for cherished local green spaces. As well as winners in each of the home nations, those parks finishing in the top 20% of the public vote achieved 'Local Favourite' status, reflecting the love shown for them by their local communities.

Sources consulted:

Albert Road Recreation Ground Management Plan 2006-2010
See fieldsintrust website for UK's Favourite Parks 2022: https://www.fieldsintrust.org/favourite-parks/local-favourites?utm_campaign=1019662_UKFP%20winner%20announcement%20V2%20existing%20contacts&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Fields%20in%20Trust&dm_i=6LZN,LURY,1770MD,2OPZP,1&utm_campaign=1019662_UKFP%20winner%20announcement%20V2%20existing%20contacts&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Fields%20in%20Trust&dm_i=6LZN,LURY,1770MD,2OPZP,1#london

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ292907 (529370,190900)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Haringey
Site management:
Parks Service
early 1900s
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:
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Local
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:

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.