What one word or phrase describes Finsbury Park and the surrounding streets in your opinion?

I am collecting primary research for my geography a level independent investigation, and it would be really valuable to have different types of data including a word-cloud about the Finsbury Park town centre. Which word or words come to mind when you think of the station and surrounding area? Thanks again so much!


  • "Overlapping" - not just because it's te meeting point of three boroughs, but because the communities of the distinct areas that feed into it all intermingle there. Very different moods and community groups come down off Stroud Green Road, Blackstock Road, Fonthill Road and Seven Sisters Road, but they all tie into a big knot around the station.
  • Vibrant; multi-ethnic.
  • Diverse. (Much better with an introduction, geog_research!)
  • (By the way, I wouldn't refer to the "station and surrounding area" as the "town centre". There isn't a centre to Finsbury Park, and it certainly isn't a town, nor has it ever been. The Finsbury Park section of Green Lanes, right over the other side of the park itself, is as much an urban centre (in terms of shopping, services and transport) as the area around Finsbury Park station.)
  • @Scruffy: But that part of green Lanes is Harringay, not Finsbury Park.

    See the survey results here: http://mailchi.mp/3fb504db00e4/fpsg?e=649a3cf63d
  • @Arkady This gets very messy and confusing. Anywhere around the park (the station predates it by a few years, originally being called "Seven Sisters Road (Holloway)") could be called Finsbury Park. If Harringay is more specific, then are we Stroud Greeners in Stroud Green? Or Hornsey? Tollington Park? Or N4 (which does seem to be centred around the park and includes a good southern chunk of the Harringey ladder)? If we're to think of Finsbury Park as an area centred around the station, rather than around the park, that could be just as confusing, even though referring to an area by its nearest tube or rail station is, I think, pretty common in London. The station is more or less at a point where Haringey, Islington and Hackney boroughs meet, which might not help, as those boundaries might be based on even older toponyms.

    Harringay is an ancient name, and judging by the comments on HarringayOnline, Haringey Council have been trying to get rid of it, much to the annoyance of its (Harringay's) residents.

    At least two prominent politicians referred to the area where the recent van attack happened as "Finsbury" (which is a few miles from park, and certainly not thought of as being in the same area by any means). Do we go by council wards, ancient parishes...? I'd love a definitive answer to this, or even better, a definitive map.
  • It does get messy. Identities are indeed layered. But I'd point out that it is rare (maybe unheard of) in London for neighbourhoods to be centred on a major park. A major park is always surrounded by multiple neighbourhoods, even if one of them has the same name as the park. That's true of FP too. Some of those surrounding neighbourhoods overlap or have poorly-defined boundaries of course - the boundary survey I linked to is part of an attempt to resolve that.

    Administrative boundaries are largely worthless when it comes to defining neighbourhoods - they are too arbitrary. In the end all that matters are the views of the residents - even though those shift over time of course. Postcode boundaries are even worse than most - they were created overnight during the war to assist the new women posties (who were unfamiliar with their new postal routes).

    In short, yes we are Stroud Greeners in Stroud Green, even if part of Stroud Green might also be considered part of Finsbury park. Harringay is just Harringay though - only a small minority of the Harringay survey results came back saying that residents felt part of Finsbury Park. Indeed Stroud Green is unique in having a majority of residents who felt that SG was part of FP.

    If you're interested in this stuff you should sign up to be a member of the Neighbourhood Forum!
  • edited July 2017
    @scruffy apologies, I have been referring to the phrase used by the Islington council to describe the area involved in the redevelopment plans for Finsbury Park, of which the boundaries are specified in the supplementary planning document- though the phrase threw me initially too. However in the interest of collecting as much data as possible, it seems more realistic for me to use opinions regarding a wider area, which as of yet I haven't been organised enough to define. Generally it seems "finsbury park" is a clearer descriptor when describing the area to people, despite any inaccuracies.

  • _Bee_Bee Stroud Green Road
  • Both councils have been using the term town centre for Finsbury Park
  • edited July 2017
    No need to apologise, Geog. You, Arkady, and Ali are right. It seems that the station area IS being called the town centre, at least by Islington Council (thanks for the links, Geog and Arkady). I think that's horrible, though, and I think we should resist it, because it distorts the history of the area. Town centres typically have municipal buildings and meeting places, such as town halls. We don't have one! We never did. I think the closest thing to either of those would be the library on Blackstock Rd. I don't mean this in a disparaging way, but we were never a centre for anything except transport, then the rag trade (to a small extent), and more recently restaurants and small shops. Crouch End is more like a genuine town centre than anywhere around the station. I think this "town centre" naming is sad (and has a whiff of estate agent about it, which might draw ridicule), but it might catch on (if it hasn't already).
  • "Independent."

    I tried describing Stroudy and what made it special while I was living up north, and the independent businesses are what stood out for me. And best of luck with your A-level, @geog_research!
  • edited July 2017
  • edited December 2017
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