Golders Green: Wikis


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Coordinates: 51°34′24″N 0°11′54″W / 51.5734°N 0.1982°W / 51.5734; -0.1982

Golders Green
Golders Green clock tower in 2007.jpg
Golders Green clock tower
Golders Green is located in Greater London
Golders Green

 Golders Green shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ248876
London borough Barnet
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district NW11
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

Golders Green is an area in the London Borough of Barnet in London, England. Although having some earlier history, it is essentially a 19th century suburban development situated about 5.3 miles (8.5 km) north west of Charing Cross and centred on the crossroads of Golders Green Road and Finchley Road.

In the early 20th century it grew rapidly in response to the opening here of a tube station of the London Underground Railway (which at this point is above ground). It has a wide variety of housing and a busy main shopping street (Golders Green Road).

The area has relatively expensive property,[citation needed] and is noted especially for its large Jewish population.



The name Golders comes from a family named Godyere who lived in the area and Green alludes to the manorial waste the settlement was built on.[1] Golders Green has been a place in the parish and manor of Hendon since around the 13th century. The earliest references to the name of the adjacent district of "Temple Fortune" is on a map (c. 1754). However this name reveals a much earlier history. It is likely that the name refers to the Knights of St John, who had land here (c. 1240). Fortune may be derived from a small settlement (tun) on the route from Hampstead to Hendon. Here a lane from Finchley, called Ducksetters Lane (c. 1475), intersected. It is likely that the settlement was originally the Bleccanham estate (c. 900s). By the end of the 18th century Temple Fortune Farm was established on the northern side of Farm Close.

The building of Finchley Road (c. 1827) replaced Ducksetters Lane as a route to Finchley, and resulted in the development of a small hamlet. Hendon Park Row (c. 1860s) is of this period, and consisted of around thirty small dwellings built by a George Stevens, which were, with two exceptions, demolished (c. 1956). A small dame school and prayer house run by Anglican deaconesses existed in the 1890s and 1900s, and developed to become St. Barnabas (1915). Along Finchley Road were a number of villas (c. 1830s), joined by the Royal Oak public house (c. 1850s). By the end of the 19th century there were around 300 people living in the area, which included a laundry and a small hospital for children with skin diseases. The principal industry was brick making.

In 1895 a cemetery was established adjacent to Hoop Lane, with the first burial in 1897. Golders Green Crematorium was opened in 1902 (although much of it was built after 1905). A significant moment in Temple Fortune's development into a suburban area occurred in 1907, when transport links were vastly improved by the opening of Golders Green tube station.

Although the area had been served by horse-drawn omnibuses (since at least the 1880s) and later motor buses (from 1907), the tram line of 1910, connecting Finchley Church End with Golders Green Station, led to the development of the area west of Finchley Road. The establishment of Hampstead Garden Suburb brought major changes to the area east of Finchley Road. Temple Fortune Farm was demolished and along the front of the road the building of the Arcade and Gateway House (c. 1911) established the Hampstead Garden Suburb's retail district.

Both the Golders Green Hippodrome, former home of the BBC Concert Orchestra, and the police station opened in 1913.[2] The now-demolished Orpheum Theatre (1930) was intended to rival the Hippodrome in Golders Green.


Originally Golders Green was part of the NW4 (Hendon) postal district,[citation needed] but owing to expanding population the district was split in two, creating the new NW11 district. This is why it is out of sequence with the London postal districts' alphabetical pattern, starting from the second district in each area.


Golders Green is a cosmopolitan district. It has had a prominent Jewish community since the 1900s.[3] There is a considerable Japanese community.[citation needed]


The area has restaurants with cuisines from all over the world, from Kosher food, through to Indian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Italian eateries. These are over a dozen coffee bars; together with a number of niche food stores, including two Japanese, two Iranian, one Korean and one Malaysian. The area is well known for late-night bagels, but has relatively few pubs, owing to tight control by the Church Commissioners, who own most of the land in Golders Green.[citation needed] One is the White Swan on Golders Green Road towards Hendon and the other is what was the Refectory, under the railway bridge crossing Finchley Road. In the 1960s, the Refectory was a well known and popular venue where many great musicians played, including John Mayall's band featuring Eric Clapton, Paul Butterfield's Blues Band, Lee Dorsey, Doris Troy and many others.[citation needed]


Golders Green station is a London Underground tube station on the Northern Line. It is the first surface station on the Edgware branch when heading north. On the station's forecourt is Golders Green bus station. This is a major hub for London Buses in North West London.[4] National Express coaches also stop at the bus station.


There is also a very large student population in Golders Green, most notably those attending the Central School of Speech and Drama.[citation needed]Henrietta Barnett School is located in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

Religious sites

Golders Green Parish Church (Church of England)

The Carmelite Monastery was established in Bridge Lane in 1908. St. Edward the Confessor, a Roman Catholic church, was built in 1916. Dunstan Road Synagogue opened in 1922. There are now a number of synagogues. During the winter festival of Hanukkah a large menorah, a nine-branch candle holder, is lit each night of the festival's eight days. The expanding Orthodox, and particularly Haredi, Jewish community is considered to be one of the most significant in the United Kingdom. There are also a large Hindu temple and a Greek Orthodox cathedral.

Community facilities

Golders Hill Park, adjoining the West Heath of Hampstead Heath, is a formal park. The site of a large house which burned down in the 1930s, it has a walled garden, ponds, a water garden, café, butterfly house and a small zoo. The zoo has been renovated and contains many varieties of birds and other creatures. During the summer, children's activities are organised and there is often live music on the bandstand. The park is adjoined by the Hill, a formal garden with an extensive and imposing pergola.

Golders Green Crematorium is perhaps the area's most famous feature, and has an extensive garden with features such as a special children's section and a pond. Its main buildings have a distinct Italianate air. It is sometimes referred to as the 'celebrity crematorium' because of the high proportion of nationally and internationally renowned public figures to have been cremated there. Famous people whose cremations have taken place include Kingsley Amis, Stanley Baldwin, Marc Bolan (born, Mark Feld), Neville Chamberlain, T. S. Eliot, Sigmund Freud, Hugh Gaitskell, John Inman, Keith Moon, Ivor Novello, Anna Pavlova, Frank Rutter,[5] Peter Sellers, Ghisha Tuckman (born, Ghisha Koenig) and Michael Foot.

Appearances in popular culture

The area is the setting of the humorous short story "The Ghoul of Golders Green" (May Fair, 1925) by Michael Arlen.

A 1950s 'Goon Show' radio broadcast described a character travelling 'faster than an Arab cycling through Golders Green'.

A Monty Python's Flying Circus episode aired in December 1969 features a sketch called "The Llama" billed as "Live from Golders Green".

In the episode of Are You Being Served entitled Wedding Bells first aired 27 April, 1975, Mr. Humphries discusses getting lost in Golders Green while dressed as an Arab for a fancy dress party. He is escorted home by two policemen for his own safety.

In the Hollywood film Marathon Man, Laurence Olivier, playing a Nazi torturer, tries in vain to disguise his identity when stopped in the street in New York, by saying that he actually runs a jewellery shop in Golders Green.

George Harrison recorded an unreleased track called "Going Down to Golders Green". This came about because he would visit members of the pop group Badfinger, who lived at 7 Park Avenue, off North End Road, situated on the borders of Golders Hill Park. The actor Lewis Collins (best known for The Professionals) also lived in Park Avenue for some years.

In a 'Derek and Clive' dialogue with Dudley Moore, Peter Cook claimed to have absent-mindedly 'slaughtered about 18,000' residents of Golders Green after watching a documentary about Hitler, ascribing this to the insidious influence of television.

Golders Green is the name of a character in the 2002 film 9 Dead Gay Guys.

Andrew Sanger's novel The J-Word (Snowbooks, 2009) is set in Golders Green. Protagonist Jack Silver is attacked by an anti-semitic mob behind the tube station. He saves a rabbi's life before they turn on him. Jack often goes walking in Golders Green Park.

The song Sugar and Spice by pop band Madness released as a single in August 2009 references Golders Green and the Hippodrome in the lyrics.

Places of interest

Notes and references

  1. ^ Weinreb, Ben (2008). The London Encyclopaedia (3rd ed.). pp. 328-329. ISBN 978-1-4050-4924-5. 
  2. ^ St Edward Home page
  3. ^ Kosher in the country The Economist 01 Jun 2006 accessed 14 August 2007
  4. ^ "Buses from Golders Green". Transport for London. July 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  5. ^ "Deaths", The Times, 20 April 1937, p. 1.

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