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Alexander McKenzie Landscape Designer
11th December 2023 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
This is an online talk organised by London Parks and Gardens.
Alexander McKenzie (1829 – 1893) designed and laid out some of the great open spaces in the metropolitan and greater London area, including Alexandra Park and some of Finsbury Park. His designs were inspired by the social vision that public parks should improve the conditions and lives of the urban population.
Beginning his career in his native Scotland, McKenzie moved to England in his 20s and took on a nursery in Brighton. In 1863, he was appointed Superintendent of Alexandra Palace Park and before long he had taken up residence in Muswell Hill. Moving subsequently to 5, Campsbourne off Hornsey High Street, his final residence in Hornsey was Ferrestone Lodge at the junction of Church and Tottenham Lanes.
At Alexandra Palace, McKenzie laid out a park of over 200 acres surrounding the building. Subsequently, he became the superintendent of open spaces for the Metropolitan Board of Works, which gave him responsibility for Finsbury Park, Hampstead Heath and many of London’s other open spaces. From 1879 Alexander McKenzie was employed as Superintendent of Epping Forest.
This talk covers the early period up to and including McKenzie’s work at Alexandra Park.
About the speaker
Lisa White worked as an Accountant for most of her life. After studying horticulture on a part-time basis, she changed career. She now holds a Master’s Degree in Garden and Landscape History and is currently undertaking research on Alexander McKenzie for her PhD with the University of Sheffield. She has also been a regular visitor to the Hornsey Historical Society’s Old School House where our volunteers have been happy to help her find her way around our extensive archives.