Inventory Site Record

Elthorne Park, including Noel-Baker Peace Garden (Islington)

Brief Description

Elthorne Park is a public park dating from when the area was being largely reconstructed post WWII. From the 1960s Islington Council began building new housing provision in the area, which included the Elthorne estate, built in the 1970s. Within the municipal park is a walled garden commemorating Nobel Peace Prize winner Philip Noel-Baker, which opened in 1984. The Peace Garden was designed by Steve Adams and echoes Modernism in style, with rectilinear components, including paving and a water feature. Two sculptures were installed in the park in 1985, one within the Peace Garden. The park has a conservation area with an avenue of silver birch trees, native hedgerow and a perennial meadow.

Practical Information
Site location:
Hazellville Road, Hornsey Rise, Sunnyside Road, Beaumont Rise
N19 3NF
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Park
Open to public?
Opening times:
unrestricted to most of the park. The Peace Garden is open in daytime hours.
Special conditions:
Children's play areas, floodlit football pitches, basketball court, outdoor gym equipment.
Public transport:
Rail: Crouch End. Tube: Archway. Bus: 91, 210.
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

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

Full Site Description

Philip Noel-Baker (1889-1982) was a Labour MP and renowned campaigner for disarmament, who was involved in establishing the League of Nations after WWI and the United Nations after WWII. As a young man he was an amateur athlete, winning a silver medal in the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp. He held ministerial posts in the coalition government during WWII and was later the minister responsible for organising the 1948 London Olympic Games. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1959 and in 1977 became a life peer as Baron Noel-Baker of the City of Derby, where he had served as MP. The walled Peace Garden was created in his memory and opened in 1984, designed by Steve Adams; its layout echoes Modernist ideas, with rectilinear paving, grass and planting and a water feature. The pool is overlooked by a sculpture by Kevin Atherton, entitled 'Upon Reflection', which was commissioned in c.1984 and unveiled in 1985. It comprised a bronze figure, a cast of the artist himself, standing at the edge of the pool, looking down contemplatively at his reflection in the water, the latter represented in bronze just below the surface of the water. The sculpture suffered vandalism and was removed to storage, leaving the empty plinth in the garden. It was partially reinstated in 2021 at a ceremony attended by Jeremy Corbyn, Islington North MP since 1983. It is hoped that one day the reflection will also be re-instated, completing the artist's original conception. Planting in the Peace Garden includes exotic flowers and shrubs, aromatic culinary herbs, as well as a white garden and a bog garden.

Also located in Elthorne Park, just outside the entrance to the Peace Garden, is another sculpture commissioned in c.1984 from Nigerian artist, Emmanuel Taiwo Jegede. Both artists' commissions were undertaken through Public Art Development Trust for Islington Council. 

Adjacent to Elthorne Park, across Beaumont Rise, is Sunnyside Community Garden, which has been designed to support wildlife and has a small pond.

Sources consulted:

Information on the Peace Garden on https://www.gardenvisit.com/gardens/noel-baker_peace_garden; Islington Gazette, 23 July 2021. information on Philip Noel-Baker: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Noel-Baker

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ299874 (529996,187408)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Islington
Site management:
Steve Adams (Peace Garden, 1984)
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 - Borough Importance II
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Noel-Baker Peace Garden, Kevin Atherton's sculpture 'Upon Reflection', bronze lifesize with six foot bronze reflection, 1985. Photograph courtesy of the artist.
Elthorne Park: Opening ceremony for Kevin Atherton's commission 'Upon Reflection' in Noel-Baker Peace Garden, 1985. Photograph courtesy of Islington Local History Centre.

Click a photo to enlarge.

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.