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's name is explained by the fact that it was designed for the recreational use of the people of Finsbury, which at that time was a large London borough stretching from east central London all the way to the new park's southern boundary. Today, most of Finsbury has been swallowed up by the borough of Islington, but the connection still survives in the park's name.
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 Nineteenth Century. Today, Finsbury Park is the only real reminder of the past existence of Hornsey Wood. There is still, in fact, today, a pub across the road from its eastern entrance called the Hornsey Wood Tavern, a name which may be confusing to those unfamiliar with the park's history, since Hornsey is actually several miles away to the west.
Today, the park is managed by Haringey Council. Its use for large music events such as the Fleadh has in recent years become contentious, with local residents arguing that they should not be disturbed so much. The council, on the other hand, argues that it needs the money which such events generate, and that the events are popular and have attracted large audiences.
The park has a lake, children's playground etc.
Finsbury Park mosque was built to serve the large Muslim population in the area. Finsbury Park mosque has 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. The mosque had apparently been used as an Al Qaeda recruitment center.