Search for the name, locality, period or a feature of a locality. You'll then be taken to a map showing results.

Highgate Wood (also known as Gravel Pit Wood)


Highgate Wood is a remnant of the Great Forest of Middlesex and has evidence of prehistoric earthworks, and 1st-/2nd- century pottery kilns.

It was originally part of the ancient Forest of Middlesex which covered much of London, Hertfordshire and Essex and was mentioned in the Domesday Book.

Predominantly an oak, hornbeam and holly wood, Highgate Wood is also home to more than 50 other tree and shrub species which have self-seeded there. The wild service tree, a rare deciduous tree with brown berries, can be found in Highgate Wood. Presence of the wild service tree is commonly taken as an indicator of ancient woodland.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

The park is open from 7.30am - dusk.


Highgate Wood is connected to public transport by Highgate Station on the Northern Line, as well as by several bus routes.

Tube: Highgate (Northern). Bus: 43, 134, 263.


City of London Corporation


From at least 1227 it was part of the Bishops of London's hunting park and it went by various names over the centuries.

In 1885, known as Gravel Pit Wood, it was presented to the Corporation of the City of London by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for public open space, following the successful campaign against development by Henry Reader Williams, Chairman of Hornsey Local Board, who fought to preserve 'the lungs of London' for the people.

Highgate Wood opened to the public in 1886 with alterations to the landscape including tree-felling, clearing of undergrowth, provision of paths and rides, enclosure by fence and railings and a neo-Tudor style Lodge near the east entrance.

In 1888, a drinking fountain was erected in the wood commemorating poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge who reputedly walked here.

Features & Designations


  • Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation

Key Information





Principal Building

Parks, Gardens And Urban Spaces





Open to the public