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Finsbury Park London

Finsbury Park is a place in London, at the junction of the London Boroughs of Islington, Haringey and Hackney.

It is not to be confused with Finsbury, which is some miles further south, close to the City of London. Persons attending weddings at Finsbury Registry Office (also known as Islington Registry Office), need to be wary of this common confusion: the registry office is in Finsbury, not Finsbury Park.

The large public park which gives the area its name was one of the first of the great London parks that appeared in Victorian times. It was designed in the 1850s but was not actually completed until a little while later, in 1869. The park is not named for the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury, but probably for the Finsbury division of Ossulstone hundred.

The park was landscaped on the north-eastern extremity of what was originally Hornsey Wood, a large expanse of woodland that was cut further and further back during the period of London's great expansion in the 19th century. Today, Finsbury Park is the only real reminder of the past existence of Hornsey Wood. There was, in fact, until recently, a pub across the road from its eastern entrance called the Hornsey Wood Tavern a name which may have been confusing to those unfamiliar with the park's history, since Hornsey is actually a mile northwest. The tavern closed down in January 2005 and is now a modern wine bar.

Today, the park is managed by Haringey Council. Its use for large music events such as Madstock, the Fleadh and Big Gay Out has in recent years become contentious, with some local residents arguing that they should not be disturbed so much. The council, on the other hand, argues that it needs the money that such events generate, and that the events are popular and have attracted large audiences.

The park has a lake and children's playground together with one of the few permanent softball and baseball diamonds in London. There is also an athletics stadium and facilities for football and hurling.

Finsbury Park mosque had become associated with Islamic extremism in recent years, with the Charities Commission expressing concerns about the management of the mosque, and its apparent use for political activities. Finsbury Park mosque was raided by police in 2003. More recently, the mosque has taken successful strides towards throwing off its links with extremist preachers.