Inventory Site Record

Crouch Hill Park (Islington)

Brief Description

Crouch Hill Park is a new community park that opened in late 2012, but part of the site was once Crouch Hill Recreation Centre and its gardens, which existed from the 1920s. After it closed in 2004 it subsequently became derelict. Redevelopment of the site began in April 2011 and in addition to the public park, the site includes new buildings of Ashmount Primary School, CAPE Play and Youth Project and Bowlers Community Nursery, as well as improvements to the existing multi-use games area.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Crouch Hill Recreation Centre
Site location:
Crouch Hill/Hillrise Road/Warltersville Road, Crouch Hill
N8 9EG
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Park
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
London Overground: Crouch Hill then bus. Bus: W7.
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

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

Full Site Description

Crouch Hill Recreation Centre was a well-hidden site, accessed via a carved gateway on Crouch Hill leading to a much graffitied Youth Centre at the top of a bank below which to the north was the former railway line, now Parkland Walk (q.v.). Beyond this was Bowlers Nursery and finally Crouch Hill Recreation Centre, a picturesque building of the 1920s or '30s overlooking gardens, which was used for educational and recreational activities. The history of the site is somewhat mysterious although it is known that it was used by American GIs in the 1920s and bunkers apparently existed under the building. The Recreation Centre was independently run by a Committee of Trustees, and provided various activities including children's activities.

After it closed in 2004, the Recreation Centre building and gardens became derelict, and its redevelopment was spearheaded by Islington Council Children's Services who were keen to find a new site for Ashmount School, a primary school built in 1954. The architects for the £16.5m scheme were Penoyre and Prasad, and the site encompassed a new community park as well as improvements to the existing nursery, to be relocated, youth project and sports pitch. The park combines an area of open space and also part of the Parkland Walk. The aim was to provide the setting for the school, nursery and youth project, to create a place where people who use all the facilities could meet and socialise, as well as a space that could be used for outdoor events and activities.

A new building for Bowlers Nursery at Crouch Hill was the first of the facilities to be completed, opening in August 2012. The Cape Youth Project re-opened in November 2012, offering after-school and weekend play facilities, adventure play and a wide range of activities for children and young people. The new community facilities, including the re-landscaped park and multi-use games area opened in December 2012. Improved lighting and entrances mean the park is safer and more accessible, while a new ramp and pathways provide wheelchair access. Ashmount Primary School's new state of the art building opened after the Christmas holidays in early 2013, and has been described as 'the first carbon neutral school in the country'.

Sources consulted:

Historical information from Crouch Hill Recreation Centre staff in 2002; Crouch Hill Park Community Access and Management Plan Draft for Consultation (prepared by Islington Council Children's Services in partnership with Ashmount Primary School and Bowlers Nursery Ltd, Nov 2011). For new scheme see RIBA website: Sustainability Hub Case Study: Crouch Hill Community Park, London (Penoyre & Prasad LLP)

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ300877 (530110,187730)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Islington
Site management:
1920s/30s; 2011/12
2011/12: Penoyre and Prasad
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 - (adjacent) Metropolitan Importance
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Local/Strategic view corridor

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.