Finsbury Park is a public park in the London neighbourhood of Harringay. It is in the area formerly covered by the historic parish of Hornsey, succeeded by the Municipal Borough of Hornsey. It was one of the first of the great London parks laid out in the Victorian era. The park borders the neighbourhoods of Harringay, Finsbury Park, Stroud Green and Manor House.
During the early part of the second quarter of the 19th century, following developments in Paris, Londoners began to demand the creation of open spaces as an antidote to the ever-increasing urbanisation of London. In 1841 the people of Finsbury on the northern perimeter of the City of London petitioned for a park to alleviate conditions of the poor. The present-day site of Finsbury Park was one of four suggestions for the location of a park.
Originally to be named Albert Park, the first plans were drawn up in 1850. Renamed Finsbury Park, plans for the park’s creation were ratified by an Act of Parliament in 1857. Despite some local opposition, the park was opened in 1869.
The park has a mixture of open ground, formal gardens, avenues of mature trees and an arboretum. There is also a lake, a children’s play area, a cafe and an art exhibition space. Sports facilities in the park include football pitches, a cycling club, a bowling green, a skatepark, an athletics stadium, and tennis and basketball courts. Unusually for London, the park hosts two facilities for “American” sports: an American football field, home to the London Blitz, and diamonds for softball and baseball, home to the London Mets.
The Parkland Walk provides a pedestrian and cycle route that links the park with Crouch Hill Park, Crouch End, and Highgate Underground station.