Inventory Site Record

Southwood House Estate Communal Garden (Haringey)

Brief Description

The Southwood House Estate was built in 1958-62 on a triangular site formerly occupied by the C18th Southwood House and its grounds. The development of 2- and 3-storey housing was arranged in terraces on the three sides, overlooking a central communal garden where many of the existing mature trees and shrubs were retained. A number of exotic trees, many from North America and planted c.1900, remain in the communal garden and in private gardens of the development.

Practical Information
Site location:
Southwood Lane/Hillside Gardens/Jackson's Lane, Highgate
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Housing/Estate Landscaping
Open to public?
Opening times:
private, communal garden for residents only
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Tube: Highgate (Northern). Bus: 43, 134.
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

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

Full Site Description

Southwood Lane was an old route leading uphill to Highgate, and until the mid C20th housing here consisted of large mansions in their own grounds. Southwood House Estate is on the site formerly occupied by Southwood House and its garden. The house was built in c.1746, but burnt down in 1953. The triangular site was then offered for tender by the local council, as a result of which a modernist style private housing development was built, designed by architects Andrews, Emerson, Sherlock & Keeble. The decision was taken to retain as many of the existing mature trees and shrubs in the old grounds as possible and the 2- and 3-storey houses were arranged in terraces on the three sides fronting onto Southwood Lane, Hillside Gardens and Jackson's Lane, overlooking a central communal garden. At the centre of the garden is a 1950s gazebo or sitting platform. The completed development provided 43 houses and was built in 1958-62. The houses on Jackson's Lane were the last to be completed, one of which was designed for his own use by Andrews. Among the early residents of the estate were members of the artistic community such as the modernist composer Thomas Adès and the film director Christopher Nolan.

All the houses had small private gardens as well as use of the communal garden; two new service roads were built on Jackson's Lane and Southwood Lane, enabling retention of street trees where possible on the existing roads. A number of exotic trees, many from North America and planted c.1900, remain in the communal garden and in private gardens of the development. Species include Indian bean, cucumber tree, false acacia, swamp cypress and tulip tree. The front gardens of the houses on Hillside Gardens contain hawthorns that may be the remnants of a former hedgerow.

Sources consulted:

John Evan 'Trees in the Communal Garden', a privately printed leaflet on the Southwood House Estate 1958-83, London 1983 (Bruce Castle Archives); Richardson, p 136; Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998)

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ284880 (528490,188000)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
Occupants of Southwood House Estate
Site management:
Occupants of Southwood House estate?
1740s; c.1900; 1958-62
1957 Andrews, Emerson, Sherlock & Keable, 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:
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
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.