Finchley: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 51°35′56″N 0°11′13″W / 51.599°N 0.187°W / 51.599; -0.187

Ballards lane.JPG
Ballards Lane, Church End, Finchley
Finchley is located in Greater London

 Finchley shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ255905
London borough Barnet
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district N2, N3, N12
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Finchley & Golders Green
London Assembly Barnet and Camden
List of places: UK • England • London

Finchley is a district in the London Borough of Barnet in north London. Finchley is on high ground, about out 11 km (7 miles) north of Charing Cross in the ceremonial county of Greater London and the historic county of Middlesex. It is predominantly a residential suburb, with three town centres.



Finchley probably means Finch's clearing or finches' clearing in late Anglo-Saxon; the name was first recorded in the early 13th century.[1] Finchley is not recorded in the Domesday book, but by the 11th century its lands were already included in those of the Bishop of London.[2] In early medieval period the area was sparsely populated woodland. During the 12th and 13th century proper farming began, and by the 15th and 16th century the woods on the eastern side of the parish were cleared to form Finchley Common.[3] The medieval Great North Road, which ran through the common, was notorious for Highwaymen until the early 19th century.[1]

St Mary's Church

In the 1270s the parish church of St Mary is first recorded. The settlement at Church End grow up around it.[4] Near the northern gate to the Bishop of London's park the hamlet of East End, later East Finchley had began to develop by 1365.[5][6]

The Edgware, Highgate and London Railway (later the Great Northern Railway) reached Finchley in 1867.[7] The route ran from Finsbury Park via Finchley to Edgware. The High Barnet branch opened from Finchley in 1872.

In 1905 tram services were established in Finchley, and extended shortly after to Barnet.[8] They were eventually replaced by trolley buses.[9]

In 1933, the Underground New Works Programme, 1935-1940 was announced, to electrify the lines through Finchley, and connect the Underground from Archway to East Finchley, via a new tunnel.

Much of the work was carried out, with East Finchley station being completely rebuilt, until stopped by the Second World War. All passenger services from Finchley to Edgware ended in September 1939. Nevertheless, Underground trains began running from central London to High Barnet in 1940, and to Mill Hill East, to reach the large army barracks, in 1941.

After the war, the introduction of London's Green Belt undermined pre-war plans, and the upgrading between Mill Hill East and Edgware (the 'Northern Heights' project) was abandoned, although the line continued to be used by steam trains for goods traffic through Finchley, until it closed completely in 1964.

Governance and politics

From around 1547 Finchley had a parish vestry, which became a local board in 1878, an urban district in 1895, and finally a municipal borough between 1933 and 1965. It is now subsumed into the London Borough of Barnet.[10]

Finchley was from 1959 to 1992 the Parliamentary constituency of Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990.[11] Finchley is now covered by the new constituency of Finchley and Golders Green and has been held by Labour MP Rudi Vis since his unexpected victory in 1997.[12]

In February 2010, The Green Party held their spring party conference at the artsdepot in North Finchley.[13]


Tally Ho Corner

Finchley is situated on a hill, 90 metres (300 ft) above sea level about 11 km (7 miles) north of Charing Cross and about 6 km (4 miles) south of Barnet. To the east is the Dollis valley formed by Dollis Brook which is the natural eastern boundary of Finchley.[1] Dollis brook's tributary Mutton brook forms the southern boundary. Geologically, Finchley is formed of three layers. Most of Finchley is on Boulder clay, skirted by a layer of gravel, then the underlying layer of London clay. This roughly triangular gravel line was the most fertile area, hamlets grew at the three corners, which evolved into Finchley's early population centres[5] corresponding to the three town centres in the area:

The residential areas West Finchley in postcode district N3 and Woodside Park in postcode district N12 are centred on their respective tube stations to the west of the area.

The area of London known as Finchley Road, around Finchley Road tube station, is not part of Finchley, but instead refers to a commercial district in Swiss Cottage, Camden. The area is named after a section of the A41 road, which eventually runs north to Finchley.


St Mary's at Finchley is the parish church, with parts dating from 13th century. Avenue House is a large Victorian house (Grade II listed) situated on East End Road. College Farm is the last farm in Finchley, it was a model dairy farm, then a visitor attraction. The Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley with its 1930s art deco facade is one of the oldest purpose-built cinemas in the UK.

The Sternberg Centre for Judaism at 80 East End Road in Finchley is a Jewish cultural centre. It was founded to facilitate a number of important Reform and Liberal Jewish institutions, attached to the Movement for Reform Judaism.

The Archer is a ten-foot tall statue by Eric Aumonier of a kneeling archer captured as if having just released an arrow. Located on East Finchley tube station. The statue La Délivrance depicts a naked women holding a sword, it stands at the approach to Finchley from the south, in Regent's Park Road, just north of Henly's Corner.


East Finchley tube station

Being in Greater London Transport for London is responsible for transport in Finchley. Finchley is served by four London Underground stations, all on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line.

Two of London's major roads, the east-west A406 North Circular Road and the north-south A1 meet and briefly merge at Henly's Corner at the southern edge of Finchley.

North Finchley serves as a major bus hub with nine buses using bus stops around Tally Ho Corner.[14]


The old Christ's College, now a primary school

There are 17 primary schools in the district.[15]

There are six secondary schools. Three are voluntary aided schools, all Catholic: Bishop Douglass Catholic,[16] Finchley Catholic High[17] and St Michael's Catholic Grammar.[18] Two are community schools: Christ's College Finchley[19] and The Compton.[20] One is an academy, the 'Wren Academy',[21] named after Sir Christopher Wren, and sponsored by the Church of England.[22]

There is also a special school, Oak Lodge Special.

Woodhouse College in North Finchley is one of two colleges in the borough.[15]


The local football team is Wingate & Finchley which plays in the Southern League Eastern Division. It was founded as a specifically Jewish football club in 1946. The local rugby team is Finchley RFC. Finchley Cricket Club (founded 1832), plays in the Middlesex Premier League, with a pitch at Arden Field, East End Road, N3.[23]

Public services

Veolia Water Central Limited, formerly Three Valleys Water, supplies Finchley's water; the area is in the south-east corner of the company's water supply area[24]. EDF Energy Networks is the Distribution network operator licensed to distribute electricity from the transmission grid to homes and businesses in Finchley.[citation needed]

The Finchley Memorial Hospital, on Granville Road North Finchley, is a small NHS hospital administrated by NHS Barnet, a primary care trust. Built with local donations in 1908 it was originally called Finchley Cottage Hospital, but renamed and expanded after the First World War as a war memorial.[25] London Ambulance Service responds to medical emergencies in Finchley. Home Office policing in Finchley is provided by the Metropolitan Police Service. Statutory emergency fire service is provided by the London Fire Brigade, which has a station on Long Lane.

Community Facilities

The artsdepot, a community arts centre including a gallery, studio and theatre, opened in 2004, at Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley.[26]

Victoria Park is located in Ballards Lane between North Finchley and Finchley Central. It was opened in 1902, to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, and was Finchley's first public park.

Cultural references

March of the Guards to Finchley

William Hogarth painted his satirical 'March of the Guards to Finchley' in 1750. It is a depiction of a fictional mustering of troops on the Tottenham Court Road to march north to Finchley to defend the capital from the second Jacobite rebellion of 1745.

Perhaps because of its rather ordinary, middle-class suburban image, a number of fictional characters have been associated with the area, including:

Notable people

Sir William Shee, the first Roman Catholic judge to sit in England and Wales since the Reformation lived in Finchley [1].The novelist Charles Dickens wrote Martin Chuzzlewit whilst staying at Cobley Farm on Bow Lane, North Finchley. [27] Octavia Hill a social reformer amd a founder of the National Trust, Kyrle Society and the Army Cadet movement. She lived at Brownswell Cottages on the High Road in East Finchley just south of the junction with the North Circular Road today. [28][29] Harry Beck, an engineering draftsman who creating the present London Underground Tube map in 1931[30] lived in Finchey, there is a plaque commemorating him along with a copy of his original map on the south bound platform at Finchley Central tube station. Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, 1979-1990, was Conservative MP for Finchley from 1959 to 1992, [11] although she never lived in the area, instead preferring to live in Dulwich before and after her time in Downing Street. Spike Milligan, the comedian who was the chief creator and main writer The Goon Show, lived in Woodside Park from 1955 to 1974. He was president and patron of the Finchley Society. [31]


Finchley Borough had four twin towns, the London Borough of Barnet continues these links.



  1. ^ a b c d Baker & Elrington (1980). "A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 6". Victoria County History. pp. 38–55.. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  2. ^ Heathfield, John. "A short history of Finchley". The Finchley Society. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  3. ^ Nurse, Richard (2007-11-20). "Finchley and Friern Barnet". LB Barnet. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  4. ^ Nurse, Richard (13/02/2008). "Finchley N3 Hendon Lane". LB Barnet. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  5. ^ a b Weinreb, Ben; Christopher Hibbert. The London Encyclopedia. Julia Keay, John Keay (3rd ed.). Macmillan. pp. 290–291. ISBN 978-1-4050-4924-5. 
  6. ^ Nurse, Richard (13/02/2008). "Finchley N2 East End Road". LB Barnet. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  7. ^ Clive's Underground Line Guides, Northern Line, Dates
  8. ^ London Transport Museum Tram in Finchley, dated 1905 to 1915
  9. ^ London Transport Museum Trolley bus at North Finchley
  10. ^ Baker, T F T; C R Elrington (1980). [ "Finchley Finchley Local government"]. British History Online. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  11. ^ a b "Historic Figures Margaret Thatcher (1925 - )". BBC. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  12. ^ "Rudi Vis". BBC News. 17 October, 2002. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  13. ^ Lowe, Rebecca (21st February 2010). "Green Party conference held in Finchley". The Times Series. Retrieved 6 March 2010. 
  14. ^ "Buses from North Finchley". Transport for London. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  15. ^ a b Crouch, Suzanne (10/09/2009). "Schools and Colleges". LB Barnet. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 
  16. ^ Bishop Douglass School web site
  17. ^ Finchley Catholic High School web site
  18. ^ St. Michael's Catholic Grammar School web site
  19. ^ Christ's College Finchley School web site
  20. ^ The Compton School web site
  21. ^ Wren Academy web site
  22. ^ "why wren academy". Wren Academy. 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  23. ^ Lowe, Rebecca (10th December 2007). "Barnet cricket - 150 and not out". Times Series. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 
  24. ^ "Our supply area". Veolia Water. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  25. ^ "Honouring a century of care at Finchley Memorial Hospital". Times Series. Tuesday 21st October 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  26. ^ London Transport Museum artsdepot, 2006
  27. ^ Nurse, Richard (13/02/2008). "Finchley N12 Fallow Corner". LB Barnet. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  28. ^ "Early Social Reform Influences". Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  29. ^ "The Octavia Hill Society". The Finchley Society. September 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  30. ^ "Design Classics-The London Underground Map". BBC TV4. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  31. ^ "Spike Milligan Statue Fund". Finchley Society. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  32. ^ Godleman, Mike (04/07/2007). "Town twinning Jinja (Uganda)". LB Barnet. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  33. ^ Costello, Laura (2008-07-28). "Town twinning Le Raincy (France)". LB Barnet. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  34. ^ Costello, Laura (2008-07-29). "Town twinning Montclair (USA)". LB Barnet. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  35. ^ Godleman, Mike (2008-07-28). "Town twinning Siegen Wittgenstein (Germany)". LB Barnet. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

FINCHLEY, an urban district in the Hornsey parliamentary division of Middlesex, England, 7 m. N.W. of St Paul's cathedral, London, on a branch of the Great Northern railway. Pop. (1891) 16,647; (1901) 22,126. A part, adjoining Highgate on the north, lies at an elevation between 300 and 400 ft., while a portion in the Church End district lies lower, in the valley of the Dollis Brook. The pleasant, healthy situation has caused Finchley to become a populous residential district. Finchley Common was formerly one of the most notorious resorts of highwaymen near London; the Great North Road crossed it, and it was a haunt of Dick Turpin and Jack Sheppard, and was still dangerous to cross at night at the close of the 18th century. Sheppard was captured in this neighbourhood in 1724. The Common has not been preserved from the builder. In 1660 George Monk, marching on London immediately before the Restoration, made his camp on the Common, and in 1 745 a regular and volunteer force encamped here, prepared to resist the Pretender, who was at Derby. The gathering of this force inspired Hogarth's famous picture, the "March of the Guards to Finchley."

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