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Clissold Park

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A much-loved 55-acre park located in north-west Stoke Newington. In 1790 the Quaker banker Jonathan Hoare commissioned his nephew Joseph Woods to build a mansion here, demolishing four houses on the north side of Church Street in the process. Brick earth was excavated in the grounds, leaving two depressions that were later made into ornamental lakes. Hoare had previously lived across the road on Paradise Row and called his new home the Paradise House. Within ten years financial difficulties forced him to move out and in 1811 the estate was sold to the Crawshay iron-making family. Eliza Crawshay inherited the property on her father’s death in 1835, when she married the Reverend Augustus Clissold. The couple had previously been conducting a secret affair that had allegedly prompted Eliza's father to build a high wall around the estate to keep out the lovelorn parson. From the mid-nineteenth century streets began to be laid out on former glebe land to the south. One of the first was Park Road, now Clissold Road. After the death of Augustus Clissold in 1882 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners bought the estate with the intention of profiting from a property development scheme. However, this was a time of popular and municipal zeal for public open spaces and the Metropolitan Board of Works bought the house and grounds in 1887 for the creation of Clissold Park. Joseph Beck and John Runtz were leading proponents of the purchase and the twin lakes were named Beckmere and Runtzmere in their honour. The park was endowed with a lodge soon after it opened but this was replaced in 1936 by the flats of Clissold Court. Opposite the surviving Georgian houses of Paradise Row a dip running along the edge of the park marks where the New River ran until this stretch was filled in during the 1950s.

click to open the Clissold Park User Group website
click for area map (opens in a new window)
Clissold Park rose garden and Clissold mansion

Postal district: N16
Population: 10,438 (Clissold ward)
Further reading: David Solman, Clissold Park, Abney Park Cemetery Trust, 1992

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

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