Inventory Site Record

Royal Northern Gardens (Islington)

Brief Description

Although Royal Northern Gardens is a new park created in 2002 it is on the former site of the Royal Northern Hospital, which opened here in 1888. A new Casualty Department was opened in 1923 following WWI as a war memorial to the people from Islington who died during the war. The hospital later transferred to Whittington Hospital and most of the old buildings were demolished in 1997, and the site was developed for housing. A condition of planning permission was the creation of a new public open space, and this was laid out incorporating a war memorial wall that contained fragments of the old hospital masonry.

Practical Information
Site location:
Manor Gardens
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Gardens
Open to public?
Opening times:
8am - dusk
Special conditions:
Children's playground, tarmac ball court with basketball hoops
various events
Public transport:
Tube: Holloway, Archway. Rail: Upper Holloway. Bus: 17, 43, 263, 271
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 Royal Northern Hospital was founded in 1856, and moved to Holloway Road in 1888, the new building opened by the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII. Following WWI a new Casualty Department was built fronting onto Manor Gardens and was dedicated as a war memorial to the 1300 people from Islington who had died in the war, with funds raised by public subscription. It was opened in 1923 by the then Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII. A new nurses home was opened by Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyle, in 1924. The main benefactor of the hospital was Sir Howell Williams. The hospital facilities were transferred to Whittington Hospital and in 1997 the buildings were demolished, with the exception of the original building and the memorial arch, and the site was developed for housing by Bellway Homes.

A condition of planning permission was the creation of a new public open space. The memorial arch was restored and incorporated into the new development, where a memorial service is held each Remembrance Day. The original plaque of the Casualty Department and other fragments of masonry from the hospital, which included fine finials, were incorporated into a memorial wall that serves as the new park's main focal point for its function as a war memorial. In 1993 a group of local residents had formed the Manor Gardens Development Committee and through their auspices a mosaic was commissioned in 2002 from the Mosaic Workshop in Holloway Road, who worked with school children from Grafton School on designs, with funding provided by Awards for All. The original hospital building on Holloway Road was refurbished and extended by Camden and Islington NHS Trust as a health centre for children and GP surgery.

The new park was officially opened on 2 June 2002 by the Mayor of Islington, Cllr Margot Dunn. In addition to the memorial wall, there are facilities for play and sport, a wildflower meadow was planted in 2005, and seating has been created from reclaimed millstones. A rockery has been created with stones donated by St Pancras and Islington Cemetery (q.v.), including a plaque dedicated to Michele Latour, whose body was discovered in the foundations when the site was being cleared prior to redevelopment; a small garden has been planted in her memory. In 2007 the Friends of Royal Northern Gardens were established.

Sources consulted:

Royal Northern Gardens Management Plan 2007-2012

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ302863 (530230,186340)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Islington
Site management:
Greenspace; Friends of Royal Northern Gardens
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:
Public Open Space

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.