Hackney Downs from the centre of the Downs looking northeast (October 2005)
|Hackney Downs shown within Greater London|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Hackney Downs is a park and an area of historically common land in the Lower Clapton area of the London Borough of Hackney. The name is sometimes also used to apply to the neighbourhood around the park.
Hackney Downs Park
The Downs open space was originally common land, preserved from the 1860s as parkland as a result of pressure by the Commons Preservation Society. At 16 hectares (40 acres), the park is one of the larger open spaces wholly within the London Borough of Hackney. It has a play area, basketball courts, football pitches and a bowling green.
Occupying, as it does, a fairly central place in Hackney, the park used to be the yearly venue for the popular Hackney Show, but this event — which helped to give a sense of community and identity to an often-troubled borough — has been discontinued in recent times as a cost-cutting measure, as have the regular Fireworks Night shows. The park was given a Green Flag award in July 2008.
The ‘Hackney Downs’ neighbourhood can be described as the western part of Lower Clapton; the area to the west of Cricketfield Road.
It borders on Stoke Newington and Dalston to the west (on the other side of the railway line) – Stoke Newington and Upper Clapton to the north, Hackney Central to the south and the rest of Lower Clapton to the east.
The streets north and south of the park are dominated by social housing – these areas were largely rebuilt during the 1930s and 1960s.
There is a Hackney Downs electoral ward, but as with most wards, its extent is very different from that of the neighbourhood from which it takes its name.
Transport and locale
- Hackney Downs Common 30 June 2009 (Planning Inspectorate Casework) accessed 19 Sept 2009
- Hackney Today 188 21 July 2008