Alexandra Park in London
Alexandra Park is an 80 hectare, Green Flag Award and Green Heritage winning landscaped park in the Borough of Haringey in north London.
Alexandra Park is split between hilly terrain and flat ground. It is adjacent to Hornsey, Muswell Hill and Wood Green. It is dominated by Alexandra Palace. From 1936 to 1981, the BBC transmitted TV progammes from a tall mast built onto one of the towers of the palace. In 1980, most of the palace was gutted by a huge fire. The building has since been restored and is now a conference and exhibition centre.
The vast, tree-lined sloping hill has wide views over London. On a clear day, the Crystal Palace Transmitter on the far south-east side of London is visible.
An Act of Parliament in 1900 created the Alexandra Palace and Park Trust. The Act required the Trustees to maintain the Palace and Park and make them available for the free use and recreation of the public forever.
The park has a secondary school named after it called Alexandra Park School.
Until September 1970, Alexandra Park hosted horse racing, including many evening meetings that were televised by the BBC. The racecourse in the park grounds was nicknamed "the Frying Pan" owing to its shape, and boasted an ornate Victorian grandstand and cast-iron railings. Its most prestigious race was the London Cup.
Alexandra Park Cricket and Football Club is situated within the old racecourse providing sporting facilities for the local community.
Haringey Council also puts on a firework and music display on the nearest Saturday to Guy Fawkes Night.
As of spring 2010, Haringey council have stated that they will not be continuing with the firework display in 2010 in light of the 'current economic situation'.
At the foot of Muswell Hill, the park is host to a weekly farmers market selling fresh organic produce.
A medium-sized lake attracts a variety of waterfowl in all seasons, and a large enclosure houses a small herd of fallow deer.
Accessibility by public transport became well developed in the late nineteenth century, the park and its palace being well connected to both to the electric tram network and to London's train network through Alexandra Palace railway station (Muswell Hill branch), sited on the grounds of the palace itself. Since the closure of both, the attraction is accessible by the frequent W3 bus (connections at Wood Green and Finsbury Park tube stations), or by W3 or walking uphill from the current Alexandra Palace railway station which is currentily served by First Capital Connect services from King's Cross and Moorgate. Plans to link the park back into London's public transport network have several times been proposed, but at present car and bus access predominate.
- Friends of Alexandra Park - website promoting and protecting Alexandra Park in North London