Inventory Site Record

Rosemary Gardens (Islington)

Brief Description

Rosemary Gardens was built on the site of the 'Islington Vauxhall', the name given in 1836 to the popular pleasure gardens of the Rosemary Branch. A tavern of that name had existed here from the C16th. The park is also on the site of a C19th Independent School, a factory and various small residential streets; fragments of the north wall of Carmarthen Street, and cobbled streets remain in the park. The park was extended in 1976, and tennis court were added in 1983.

Practical Information
Site location:
Shepperton Road/Sherborne Street/Southgate Road (near Rosemary Street)
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Park
Open to public?
Opening times:
Part unrestricted. Part: 8am - 10pm
Special conditions:
Children's playground, accessible play equipment, water play feature, sandpit, toilets; sports facilities: football pitch, tennis courts, basketball hoops, table tennis
Public transport:
Rail: Essex Road. Tube/London Overground: Highbury & Islington (Victoria), Angel (Northern). Bus: 76, 141, 271, 341
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

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

The public park was designed and opened to the public in June 1960 by Edwin Bayliss, Member of the LCC for East Islington. The 'Islington Vauxhall' site was taken over in 1783 for white-lead works with two windmills erected in 1786 and 1792, later supplanted by steam and no longer in use by 1835 at which time the mill pond was dry. A new tavern was rebuilt nearby next to Islington Common and had popular tea gardens, a pond supplied by the New River, elevated terraced walks and entertainment included pony racing and tightrope displays. The park has notable trees in the north-east corner of the ground; the south-west area is hummocky with scattered trees. Phased improvements have taken place in Rosemary Gardens, with phase I opening in late 2007 to provide new sports facilities, with funding from Islington Council, Barclays Spaces for Sport and Arsenal Football Club. In spring 2009 phase 2 was completed, providing further improvements such as new planting, paths and benches. This was funded by Islington Council and the Department for Children, Schools and Families, and was undertaken with schools and community involvement.

Sources consulted:

Eric Willats, Streets with a story: The Book of Islington, (London,1988); Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993)

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ326839 (532724,183905)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Islington
Site management:
Greenspace; Friends of Rosemary Gardens
1960; 1976
Edwin Bayliss, member of LCC for East Islington
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:
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.