Inventory Site Record

Trinity Gardens (Haringey)

Brief Description

Trinity Gardens is an elongated triangle north of Bounds Green Road that was laid out as public gardens in two phases. Initially the east end of the site known as Finsbury Gardens was created between 1864-94 and in the second phase between 1896-1906 the remainder of the site was laid out, the whole area now named Trinity Gardens. At that time the obelisk drinking fountain that commemorates Mrs Catharine Smithies of Earlham Grove was relocated to its present site in Trinity Gardens.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Bounds Green Gardens
Site location:
Trinity Road/Finsbury Gardens
N22 8HU
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Gardens
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Tube: Wood Green (Piccadilly). Bus: 221.
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.haringey.gov.uk

Full Site Description

A hamlet known as Woodleigh existed here from Saxon times, linked to London by a track that took much the same route as today's Green Lanes, the section through Wood Green now called High Road. Bounds Green Road existed as an old route from the C14th, and between these two tracks to the north of their junction was once commonland, later used for farming and coppiced woodland. A remnant of the former commonland is now the site of Trinity Gardens. The land in this area probably formed part of the large Bowes Farm Manor Estate, granted by Henry IV to the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral in 1412. From the late C18th part of the estate became the extensive farmland of Wood Green Farm, which with other large estates such as Nightingale Hall Farm and the Bakesfield Estate to the south meant that Wood Green remained largely farmland until the mid C19th. The area then began to be built over to house the growing population, development taking place particularly after the arrival of the railways. In 1852 the Finsbury Freehold Land Society purchased 92 acres of Wood Green Farm and developed the Wood Green Estate, a housing development of 480 plots. At the same time large houses were also being built in the area and public amenities, schools and churches were gradually provided. In 1894 Wood Green Urban District Council was established, and it was following this that the series of public gardens were laid out, including Trinity Gardens, Nightingale Gardens, Avenue Gardens and Crescent Gardens (q.q.v.).

Trinity Gardens, on an elongated triangle north of Bounds Green Road, was laid out as public gardens in two phases. The first phase was the east end of the current site, initially known as Finsbury Gardens, which was laid out around 1894 and covered the area between Finsbury Road and the former Fishmongers and Poulterers Almshouses. The second phase took place between 1896 and 1906, covering the western part of the site. In 1904 the obelisk drinking fountain was moved to its current site from the original site at the junction of Bounds Green Road and Park Avenue, necessitated by the laying of tramlines. The unpolished Cornish granite obelisk on a polished granite plinth was first erected in 1879. It bears the following inscription above one of the four drinking bowls: 'Erected in affectionate remembrance of Mrs Catharine Smithies of Earlham Grove, Wood Green. Founder of the "Band of Mercy" movement, and presented by her family and friends for the use of the public'. There are biblical quotations above the other three bowls. Mrs Smithies' charitable works with the Band of Mercy were aimed at teaching children moral and Christian duties of kindness to animals.

The west end of the gardens is of flat grass edged with trees, which are mostly Acer saccarhinum, one of which dates from the C19th. The east end is slightly undulating with serpentine paths preserving the original layout; planting includes five formal rose beds, a shrub bed with some very old hollies and hawthorns, and informal groups of yew, holly, laurel and Quercus ilex, some Ailanthus and Prunus pissardii. There are horse chestnuts on the north, south and east boundaries. At the western tip of Trinity Gardens, a strip of grassland with a central path and a number of mature London plane and silver birch trees, extends the green space to the north, eventually linking with Finsbury Gardens (q.v.). South of Bounds Green Road, the chain of green space extends with Nightingale Gardens, which itself links to Avenue Gardens and Wood Green Common.

Sources consulted:

Curtis p23; Wood Green, Southgate & Palmers Green Weekly Herald, 4 Feb 1955; Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners Ltd, 'Trinity Gardens Conservation Area Character Appraisal' (LB Haringey, 2008)

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ308908 (530634,190784)
Size in hectares:
c. 0.6
Site ownership:
LB Haringey
Site management:
Parks Service (Woodside Neighbourhood)
1864 - 1894; 1896 - 1906
Listed structures:
LBII: Drinking Fountain
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Yes: Green (TVG46)
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:
Trinity Gardens
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.