Granville Square is a prominent tree lined square surrounded by period homes, located north of Kings Cross Road.
It owes its origins and elevated location to being built however, on a rubbish tip, used to fill in a clay pit that used to be on the site. Being an infill, the land the houses stand on around the park suffered badly in the past with subsidence, and in the 1970s was a largely run down area. In the 1970s, the entire Square was bought by Islington Council, and renovated as rather fine council flats.
The park in the centre is a change from the original, as it used to be occupied by a large church. However, the aforementioned subsidence problems, and a diminishing population meant it was demolished in 1938.
The land had been earmarked for a council run nursery not a park, but when it was noted that the building would be a modernist design, sitting within a square lined with Georgian houses, there was resistance, and then the war killed off any such plans anyway.
The park was later created instead.
What is here today is a fairly municipal park, with a large fenced off area for children to play in. On my visit, the grass was also fenced off, although as a temporary measure following reseeding. A couple of large London Plane trees add a lot of shade, and in the summer, their legendary cooling effect must be a blessing to the surrounding houses.
Overall, it’s a pleasant park surrounded by pleasant homes, and all the more so for being almost entirely council housing and a council park.
That it has a steam train in the park adds to the appeal. Obviously.