What and where is Whalebones Park?

Whalebones Park is 14 acres of green space in High Barnet, North London. It's situated just off of Wood Street and borders Barnet General Hospital.

Whalebones Park is part of the Wood Street conservation area and it contains 66 tree preservation orders

11 acres of of Whalebones Park is in negotiations to be developed. This is marked A, B and C on the map below.  A, B and C is currently in the ownership of trustees who were left the land in a trust set up by the late Miss Gwyneth Cowing in 1987.

The remaining three acres of Whalebones Park is privately owned by a family who live in Whalebones House, which is a grade two listed building . This part of the land is not in negotiations to be developed on.


Development map.jpg

Current development plans

The trustees of the land are strongly considering development for three reasons

  1. The costs of maintaining the estate are increasing

  2. The funds in Miss Cowings legacy are dwindling.

  3. There are increased incidents of trespassing on the land.

The trustees of the land are working with housing developers Hill,  architects Pollard Thomas Edwards, and community organisers GL Hearn in order to create plans for development on the land.

Hill et al held an initial workshop on 20th July with the aim of engaging the local community in discussing ideas for potential redevelopment on part of the estate. These three parts are labelled A, B and C on the map below.

Their vision at that time was to create.

  • Landscape-led, sensitive residential development on part of the estate land

  • Retention of much of the existing green space and the mature trees

  • New parkland spaces opened up for use by the whole community

  • An ongoing home for the artists and the beekeepers currently on the site

  • Improved community facilities on site

Please see for further details of their consultation.

The last Will and testament of Gwyneth Cowing

Miss Gwyneth Cowing was the owner of Whalebones Park until  she passed away on 15th August 1987. In her last Will and Testament, she left the property in a trust.

Miss Cowing left trustees in charge of Whalebones Park for an 80 year trust period. (See pages four and five).

It was the wish of Miss Cowing that the land on Whalebones Park be kept for agricultural purposes.

“It is my wish that my said freehold property shall if practicable continue to be used after my death for agricultural purposes in the same or similar manner as that in which it is now used”, (See page nine).

She granted her trustees power to lease her property as they see fit and to sell it at any price. She also said they would not be liable for not not making the most amount of money out of a sale, (See page nine).