Brownswood Park

Brownswood Park, Hackney

A little-used name for the part of Finsbury Park that lies between Blackstock Road and Green Lanes, in the borough’s extreme north-western corner

Hidden London: Brownswood Park

Brownswood was for­mer­ly the local manor, dat­ing back to the 12th cen­tu­ry. An ear­ly ver­sion of the name (Bran­deswode, c.1250) indi­cates that the land­lord (specif­i­cal­ly the prebendary) may have been called Brand. Alter­na­tive­ly, that spelling could have arisen because of con­fu­sion between Roger Brun (an ear­li­er land­lord, c.1154), who did give his name to the manor, and the lat­er land­lord named Brand. Both Brun and Brand were canons of St Paul’s Cathe­dral, which owned the manor. Apolo­gies if that’s not clear but I’m con­fused too.

In 1852 the New Riv­er Company’s fil­ter beds were con­struct­ed on the west side of Green Lanes and 150 acres of sur­round­ing land began to be built up soon after­wards. With­in two decades there were over a thou­sand homes on the Brownswood Park estate. Black­stock Road lat­er became a part of the Fins­bury Park shop­ping dis­trict. Dur­ing the 1990s the fil­ter beds were filled in and more was hous­ing built. As seen in the pho­to above, some of the orig­i­nal pipework was retained as a cen­tre­piece for the hous­ing devel­op­ment that replaced the fil­ter beds.

Some years ago, the area’s use as a red light dis­trict prompt­ed the instal­la­tion of bar­ri­ers to con­vert streets into cul-de-sacs in an attempt to deter kerb crawl­ing.

The north-east­ern end of Sev­en Sis­ters Road has the only ‘hotel zone’ in the Lon­don Bor­ough of Hack­ney.

Brownswood ward has a high pro­por­tion of young, sin­gle, uni­ver­si­ty-edu­cat­ed res­i­dents.

Postal district: N4
Population: 11,091 (Brownswood ward, 2011 census)