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Inventory Site Record

Penn Road Gardens (Islington)

Brief Description

The freehold of Penn Road Gardens was acquired by Islington Borough Council in 1921 and an Act of Parliament of 1906 prevented building on the enclosure in the lifetime of Lord Islington. In 1928 the garden was described as a 'triangular area attractively laid out with well-kept lawn, flower beds, shrubs, well grown trees'. Since 2005 the gardens' flower and shrub beds have been maintained by the community and in 2010/11 received a Green Flag Community Award Winning Park. As a result of an improvement grant in 2010/11, the raised central area was transformed with two circular lawns and various beds with different styles of planting, and has wheelchair access. A perimeter path surrounds the lawn, with niches for benches, each surrounded by privet hedging; shrub beds border the entire gardens to the boundary railings and there are well-established trees around the edges. It has been maintained by Penn Road Residents Association since 2005, and regularly picks up both ‘London in Bloom’ and ‘Islington in Bloom’ community awards.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Penn Road Open Space
Site location:
Penn Road/Caledonian Road
Postcode:
N7
What 3 Words:
pipe.noting.fails
Type of site:
Public Gardens, Community Garden
Borough:
Islington
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
8am - dusk
Special conditions:
no dogs
Facilities:
Events:
Regular community gardening sessions are held on the last Sunday of every month, between 10am and noon. All are welcome.
Public transport:
Rail: Caledonian & Barnsbury. Tube: Holloway Road (Piccadilly) then bus. Bus: 4, 17, 29, 43, 91, 153, 253, 254, 259, 271, 393
Research updated:
24/03/2021
Last minor changes:
19/07/2023

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.islington.gov.uk/services/parks-environment/parks/your_parks/greenspace_az;

Full Site Description

Penn Road was built between 1865-70, running between Caledonian Road and Hillmarton Road, with Penn Road Gardens, a small public open space, at one end and St Luke's Church at the other. The freehold of Penn Road Gardens was acquired by Islington Borough Council in 1921 and an Act of Parliament of 1906 prevented building on the enclosure in the lifetime of Lord Islington. 

Penn Road Residents Association was formed in May 1997 and took over the regular horticultural maintenance of Penn Road Gardens in 2005 under a service level agreement with Islington Council, tackling the neglected beds through regular gardening days. In 2010/11 they were awarded an improvement grant and a new design for the central area was created by Colette Blanchard from Islington Council Greenspace, put out for public consultation, approved and then implemented. This has led to the transformation of the central area, changing the one central lawn into two circular lawns and introducing various beds with different styles of planting. The low stone edging around the lawn was retained and wheelchair access was added to the raised central area. This is surrounded by a perimeter path with niches for benches, each surrounded by privet hedging; shrub beds border the entire gardens to the boundary railings, with well-established trees around the edges. The final part of the make-over was completed with the installation of a beach garden. Penn Road Gardens became a Green Flag Community Award Winning Park in 2010/11 and regularly picks up both London in Bloom and Islington in Bloom community awards.  

In June every year since 1997, the Residents Association has put on a successful community party in Penn Road Gardens, an open event for residents of Penn Road and the local area. The Association runs regular community gardening sessions on the last Sunday of every month, to which all are welcome. They have also worked closely with the residents of the flats at Number 1 Penn Road on the Edible Islington project, who are now successfully growing their own fruit and vegetables.

 

Sources consulted:

Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928. Penn Road Residents' Association: www.pennroadn7.com

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ305855 (530541,185554)
Size in hectares:
0.12
Site ownership:
LB Islington
Site management:
Greenspace; Penn Road Residents' Association
Date(s):
1920s
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
None
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

No
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

No
Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

Yes

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:
No
In Conservation Area:
Yes
Conservation Area name:
Hillmarton
Tree Preservation Order:
No
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
None
Photos

Penn Road Gardens

Penn Road Gardens, May 2019. Photograph provided by Penn Road Residents Association

Penn Road Gardens, April 2019. Photograph provided by Penn Road Residents Association
2019
Penn Road Gardens, photograph 1955. Courtesy of Islington Local History and Archives Centre
1955

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.