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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 51°38′40″N 0°11′59″W / 51.6444°N 0.1997°W / 51.6444; -0.1997

High Street
Barnet is located in Greater London

 Barnet shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ245955
    - Charing Cross 10 mi (16 km)  SSE
London borough Barnet
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BARNET
Postcode district EN5
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Chipping Barnet
London Assembly Barnet and Camden
List of places: UK • England • London

High Barnet or Chipping Barnet is a place in the London Borough of Barnet, North London, England. It is a suburban development built around a twelfth-century settlement and is located 10 miles (16.1 km) north north-west of Charing Cross. Its name is often abbreviated to Barnet, which is also the name of the London borough of which it forms a part. Chipping Barnet is the name of the Parliamentary constituency covering the local area - the word 'Chipping' denotes the presence of a market (one was established here in the thirteenth century and persists to this day).



The town was the site of the Battle of Barnet in 1471 (more accurately, Hadley), where Yorkist troops led by King Edward IV killed the rebellious "Kingmaker" Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and Warwick's brother, John Neville, 1st Marquess of Montagu. Barnet Hill is said to be the hill mentioned in the nursery rhyme "The Grand Old Duke of York".

It is the site of an ancient and well-known horse fair, whence comes the rhyming slang of Barnet Fair or barnet for 'hair'. The fair dates back to 1588 when Queen Elizabeth I granted a charter to the Lord of the Manor of Barnet to hold a twice yearly fair.

Chipping Barnet was historically a civil parish of Hertfordshire and formed part of the Barnet Urban District from 1894. The parish was abolished in 1965 and the Chipping Barnet section of its former area was transferred from Hertfordshire to Greater London and the newly-created London Borough of Barnet.[1] In 1801 the parish had a population of 1,258 and covered an area of 1,440 acres (6 km²). By 1901 the parish was reduced to 380 acres (1.5 km²) and had a population of 2,893. In 1951 the population was 7,062.[2]

In Saxon times the site was part of an extensive wood called Southaw, belonging to the Abbey of St Albans. The name of the town appears in early deeds as 'Bergnet' - the Saxon word 'Bergnet'[3] meant a little hill (monticulus). Barnet's elevated position is also indicated in one of its alternative names ('High Barnet'), which appears in many old books and maps, and which the railway company restored. According to local belief, though not verified, "Barnet stands on the highest ground betwixt London and York." The area was historically a common resting point on the traditional Great North Road between the City of London and York and Edinburgh.

At the turn of the 21st century, a tongue-in-cheek movement calling for the name Barnet to be changed to "Barnét" began to gain the attention of the public and the national media, with many public road signs in the area regularly being altered to contain the accented character.[4][5][6] Despite some support from residents, Barnet Council has been treating any such alterations to public road signs as vandalism.


The tower of Barnet parish church — St John the Baptist — at the top of Barnet Hill claims to be the highest point between itself and the Ural Mountains 2,000 miles to the east.[7] However, the same has been said of numerous other points. Since the opening of the railway, development has increased considerably, especially in the west of the area near Arkley.


It has been said that “Barnet is the Market”. Charter for a market in Barnet was granted by King John over 800 years ago and the market still survives - it is currently held on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the car park across the road from the bus terminus on Stapylton Road. Barnet High Street is a busy shopping area, and includes a shopping centre (The Spires) behind which is the bus terminus on Stapylton Road. Shops of note in The Spires include a medium-sized Waitrose supermarket, two branches of W H Smith, Waterstone's books, a number of coffee outlets and most recently a Body Shop. Main shops on the High Street include Rymans stationers, Holland and Barrett health foods, Boots and Superdrug pharmacies and most recently a Sainsbury's Local and a Tesco Express. Over the past few years however there have been concerns about the closure of a number of premises on the High Street without replacement. This is a common concern in London suburbs where town-centre shopping areas can struggle to compete against larger shopping centres such as Brent Cross Shopping Centre which is accessible from Barnet by bus 326 and by car.[citation needed]


Barnet Hill is a major hill on the historic Great North Road. In coaching days, 150 stage coaches passed through Barnet daily. The modern Great North Road replacement the A1 avoids the town along Barnet Bypass.



A Transport for London map of the routes through High Barnet: map.

  • 34 — Barnet Church to Walthamstow Central bus/tube/railway station
  • 84 — New Barnet railway station to St Albans
  • 107 — New Barnet railway station to Edgware bus/tube station
  • 184 — Barnet (Chesterfield Road) to Turnpike Lane bus/tube station
  • 234 — Barnet (the Spires) to Highgate Wood (Sussex Gardens)
  • 263 — Barnet Hospital to Archway tube station
  • 307 — Barnet (Arkley Hotel) to Brimsdown railway station
  • 326 — Barnet (the Spires) to Brent Cross Shopping Centre
  • 383 — Barnet (the Spires) to Woodside Park tube station — Monday to Saturday except late evenings
  • 384 — Barnet (Quinta Drive) to Cockfosters tube station
  • 389 — Barnet (the Spires) to Barnet (Western Way) — circular service — Monday to Saturday shopping hours only
  • 399 — Barnet (the Spires) to Hadley Wood railway station — circular service — Monday to Saturday shopping hours only
  • 614 — Queensbury tube station to Hatfield Business Park — Monday to Saturday
  • N20 — Trafalgar Square to Barnet Church — night service
  • 606 — Ravenscroft School (Barnet) to Queensbury tube station — school service
  • 626 — Dame Alice Owens School (Potters Bar) to Finchley Central — school service
  • 634 — Muswell Hill Broadway to Barnet Hospital — school service

Tube stations

Victorian Architecture of High Barnet Tube Station

High Barnet tube station is the terminus of the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line and is the northernmost station on the line.. (Trains run every 3–9 minutes to Morden via Bank, or to Kennington via Charing Cross, from three southbound platforms). Nearby is Totteridge and Whetstone, also on the Northern Line and located in Whetstone, near Finchley.

Railway stations

There are no overground railway stations in High Barnet itself, but these stations are nearby, and can be accessed from High Barnet by bus:

Religious sites

St John the Baptist Church

St John the Baptist Church (built 1560), which stands in what was the centre of the town, was erected by John de la Moote, abbot of St Albans, about 1400, the architect being Beauchamp. Playing on its antiquity, it continues to call itself "Barnet Church", although this is not an official title. It is in fact the parish church of Chipping Barnet only, whilst Christ Church is the parish church of High Barnet, St Mark's is the parish church of Barnet Vale, St James's is the parish church of New Barnet, and St Mary's is the parish church of East Barnet. The parish church of St Mary the Virgin Monken Hadley (rebuilt 1494) also has parish boundaries which include a significant part of High Barnet, including much of Barnet High Street.

St John the Baptist, the ancient parish church, consists of a nave and aisles separated by clustered columns which support four pointed arches; a chancel with an east window of good Perpendicular tracery; a vestry, built in the reign of James I by Thomas Ravenscroft; and at the west end, a low, square embattled tower. The living of Barnet is a curacy, held with the rectory of East Barnet till the death of the late incumbent in 1866, when the livings were separated.

Public services

Barnet is served by Barnet General Hospital which is run by Barnet and Chase Farm NHS Hospitals Trust as part of the English National Health Service. There is also a National Health Service clinic in Vale Drive (near Barnet Hill and High Barnet tube station). London Ambulance Service responds to medical emergencies in Barnet. Home Office policing is provided by the Metropolitan Police Service. Statutory emergency fire service is provided by the London Fire Brigade, which has a station on Station Road, built in 1992.

Sport and recreation

Barnet FC are the local football team, currently in Coca Cola league 2. They play at the Underhill Stadium. Barnet Cricket club also play their games at Underhill Stadium. Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers is a local athletics club. Chipping Barnet has a King George's Field in memorial to King George V.

High Barnet is home to an Odeon cinema, the Barnet Museum, the All Saints Art Centre, the traditional annual Barnet Fair, which was chartered in Medieval times, the Ravenscroft local park and Barnet recreational park, a now disused well that was frequented by, among others, Samuel Pepys, and many restaurants and public houses.

Cuisines on offer include Italian, French, Indian, Chinese and south east Asian. Amongst the most popular restaurants are branches of Pizza Express, Brasserie Gerard and Prezzo, as well as Dudley's Pancake House and Emchai (south east Asian cuisine). High Barnet also has a number of coffee/snack outlets, both independent ones such as The Coffee Bean and Oasis, as well as branches of Starbucks and Costa Coffee.

A small nightclub operated for a few years in the 1980s in the premises now occupied by The Misty Moon pub. The public houses and bars in High Barnet include: The Misty Moon, Toby Carvery, The Kings Head, The Monken Holt, The Black Horse, Ye Olde Mitre Inn, After Office Hours, The Hadley Oak, The Nelson, The Sebright Arms, and The White Lion.[8] The large number of inns in Barnet was a matter of note in Charles Dickens's novel Oliver Twist; it was here that Oliver met the Artful Dodger.

See also


  1. ^ Vision of Britain - Chipping Barnet parish (historic map)
  2. ^ Vision of Britain - Chipping Barnet parish - population
  3. ^ British history
  4. ^ Middle-class mischief-makers add accent to Barnet sign to give it French twist Daily Mail 7 January 2008
  5. ^ BBC News Player - Residents change road signs
  6. ^ Barnet by any other name is 'irresponsible' Times Series Newspapers 9 January 2008
  7. ^ According to "A New Survey of England: Middlesex" by Michael Robbins, 1973
  8. ^ London Barnet

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also barnet


Proper noun




  1. a borough in Greater London



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