Finchley (/ˈfɪnli/) is a large district of north London, England, in the London Borough of Barnet. Finchley is on high ground, 11 km (6.8 mi) north of Charing Cross.

Ballards Lane, Church End, Finchley
Finchley is located in Greater London
Location within Greater London
Population65,812 (2011 Census[1]
OS grid referenceTQ255905
• Charing Cross6.8 mi (10.9 km) S
London borough
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLondon
Postcode districtN2, N3, N12, parts of N20
Dialling code020
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°35′56″N 0°11′13″W / 51.599°N 0.187°W / 51.599; -0.187
Parish boundary markers dated 1864 and 1871 between Finchley and Friern Barnet

Nearby districts include: Golders Green, Muswell Hill, Friern Barnet, Whetstone, Mill Hill and Hendon.

It is predominantly a residential suburb, with three town centres: North Finchley, East Finchley and Finchley Church End (Finchley Central). Made up of four wards, the population of Finchley counted 65,812 as of 2011.[2]

History Edit

Finchley (parish) population
1881 11,191
1891 16,647
1901 22,126
1911 39,419
1921 46,716
1931 58,964
1941 war #
1951 69,991
1961 69,370
# no census was held due to war
source: UK census

Finchley probably means "Finch's clearing" or "finches' clearing" in late Anglo-Saxon; the name was first recorded in the early 13th century.[3] Finchley is not recorded in Domesday Book, but by the 11th century its lands were held by the Bishop of London. In the early medieval period the area was sparsely populated woodland, whose inhabitants supplied pigs and fuel to London.[4]

Extensive cultivation began about the time of the Norman conquest. By the 15th and 16th centuries the woods on the eastern side of the parish had been cleared to form Finchley Common.[4] The medieval Great North Road, which ran through the common, was notorious for highwaymen until the early 19th century.[3]

St Mary's Church

St Mary-at-Finchley Church is first recorded in the 1270s.[5] Near the northern gate to the Bishop of London's park, the hamlet of East End, later East Finchley, had begun to develop by 1365.[6][7] By the 18th century Finchley was well known for the quality of its hay, which was the dominant agricultural activity until the second half of the 19th century. North Finchley only began to develop after the enclosure of the common during the 1820s.[citation needed]

It formed an ancient parish in the county of Middlesex, originally within the hundred of Ossulstone and later becoming its own urban district, which was then incorporated as a municipal borough in 1933. It has been part of Greater London since 1965.

The Edgware, Highgate and London Railway (later the Great Northern Railway) reached Finchley in 1867.[8] It ran from Finsbury Park via Finchley to Edgware. The branch from Finchley to High Barnet opened in 1872. In 1905 tram services were established in Finchley, and extended shortly afterwards to Barnet.[9] They were eventually replaced by trolleybuses.[10]

In 1933, the Underground New Works Programme (1935–1940), to electrify the lines through Finchley, and connect the Northern line from Archway to East Finchley, via a new tunnel was announced. Much of the work was carried out and East Finchley station was rebuilt, but the project was halted 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 army barracks, in 1941.

After the war, the introduction of London's Metropolitan 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 1964.

Governance Edit

Wards of Finchley Urban District in the 1930s
Wards of Finchley Municipal Borough in the 1950s

From around 1547 Finchley had a parish vestry, which became a local board in 1878, an urban district council in 1895, and finally a municipal borough council between 1933 and 1965. The area is now part of the London Borough of Barnet.[11]

From 1959 to 1992 the Finchley constituency was represented in Parliament by Margaret Thatcher, UK Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.[12] Finchley is now included in the new constituency of Finchley and Golders Green.

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

Geography Edit

Tally Ho Corner in North Finchley
Apartments in Finchley (Church End)

Finchley is on a plateau, 90 metres (300 ft) above sea level 11 km (6.8 mi) north of Charing Cross and 6 km (3.7 mi) south of Barnet. To the west is the Dollis valley formed by Dollis Brook the natural western boundary of Finchley.[3] Mutton Brook forms the southern boundary, joining the Dollis Brook to become the River Brent.

Most of Finchley is on boulder clay or glacial moraine, skirted by a layer of gravel, then the underlying layer of London clay. This roughly triangular gravel line was the most fertile area; hamlets which grew at the three corners evolved into Finchley's early population centres[6] corresponding to the three town centres in the area:

The residential areas of West Finchley, in postcode district N3, and Woodside Park, in postcode district N12, centre on their respective tube stations to the west of the area. Between East Finchley and Finchley Central is Long Lane, which runs parallel to the tube line and is dotted with small shopping parades.

The area of London known as 'Finchley Road', around Finchley Road Underground station, is not part of Finchley, but instead refers to a district further south at Swiss Cottage, Camden. The area is named after a section of the A41 road, which runs north to Golders Green and eventually continues to Henlys Corner on the North Circular Road and on to Finchley.

Demography Edit

According to the 2011 UK Census in Finchley Church End ward, 67% of the population was White (47% British, 18% Other, 2% Irish), 8% Indian and 6% Other Asian. The largest religion was Judaism, claimed by 31% of the population, whereas Christians made up 28%.[14] West Finchley ward was 61% White (40% British, 18% Other, 3% Irish), 13% Indian and 8% Other Asian.[15]

Landmarks Edit

St Mary's at Finchley is the parish church, with parts dating from the 13th century.

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 façade is one of the oldest purpose-built cinemas in the United Kingdom.

The Sternberg Centre for Judaism in the old Manor House (formerly convent and school of St Mary Auxiliatrice) at 80 East End Road in Finchley is a Jewish cultural centre. It was founded to facilitate Reform and Liberal Jewish institutions,[clarification needed] attached to the Movement for Reform Judaism.

The Archer, on East Finchley tube station, is a 10-foot-tall (3.0 m) statue by Eric Aumonier of a kneeling archer having just released an arrow. The statue La Délivrance depicts a naked woman holding a sword (and is informally known as the Naked Lady); it stands at the approach to Finchley from the south, in a small garden beside Regent's Park Road, just north of Henlys Corner.

Transport Edit

East Finchley tube station

Transport for London is responsible for transport in Finchley. Finchley has four London Underground stations, all on the High Barnet branch of the Northern line, which serves the West End and City (financial district).

  • East Finchley in zone three, serves East Finchley and is 21 minutes from Charing Cross.
  • Finchley Central in zone four, serves Finchley, Church End and is 25 minutes from Charing Cross.
  • West Finchley in zone four, serves North Finchley and is 27 minutes from Charing Cross.
  • Woodside Park in zone four, serves North Finchley and is 29 minutes from Charing Cross.
  • Whetstone in zone four, serves Whetstone / sections of North Finchley and is 31 minutes from Charing Cross.

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

North Finchley bus station is a hub with nine bus routes using bus stops around Tally Ho Corner.[16]

Education Edit

The old Christ's College, now a secondary school

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

There are seven secondary schools:

There is also a secondary special school, Oak Lodge Special School in East Finchley.

Woodhouse College in North Finchley, on the site of the old Woodhouse Grammar School, is one of two colleges in the borough.[17]

Sports Edit

The local football team Old Finchleians formed in 1901 who play home games at The Old Finchleians Memorial Ground in Southover and are members of the Southern Amateur League. Nicknamed The OF's the club have had well-known players like Gordon Finnie, Wayne Gosling and Cliff Brooks on their books.

Wingate & Finchley plays in the premier division of the Isthmian league. The club was formed in 1991 following the merger between Finchley Football Club (est. 1874) and Wingate Football Club (est. 1946). Although the club is sometimes incorrectly perceived to be exclusively Jewish, it is open to people of every religion and ethnic background. Wingate & Finchley play home games at Summers Lane, N12.

The local rugby team is Finchley RFC. Finchley Cricket Club (founded 1832), plays in the Middlesex premier league, at Arden Field, East End Road, N3.[25] Finchley golf club on Frith Lane was designed by five-times Open Champion James Braid. Ken Brown, Ryder Cup player and BBC presenter, described it as "The best presented golf course for club play that I have seen in years".

Finchley Victoria Bowls and Croquet Club, with two greens and a modern clubhouse in Victoria Park, offers lawn bowls, croquet and pétanque facilities in the summer and year-round social activities.

Public services Edit

Veolia Water Central Limited, formerly Three Valleys Water, supplies Finchley's water; the area is in the southeast corner of the company's water supply area.[26] EDF Energy Networks is the Distribution network operator licensed to distribute electricity from the transmission grid to homes and businesses in Finchley.[citation needed]

Finchley Memorial Hospital, on Granville Road, North Finchley, was a small NHS hospital administered by NHS Barnet, a primary care trust. Built with local donations in 1908 it was originally Finchley Cottage Hospital, renamed and expanded after the First World War as a war memorial.[27] A modern new hospital on adjacent land opened in September 2012; the old hospital buildings were demolished.

London Ambulance Service responds to medical emergencies in Finchley. Policing in Finchley is by the Metropolitan Police Service. Statutory emergency fire service is by London Fire Brigade, which has a station on Long Lane.

Community facilities Edit

The artsdepot, a community arts centre including a gallery, studio and theatre, opened in 2004, at Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley.[28]

Finchley Film Makers was founded as the Finchley Amateur Cine Society in 1930, making it one of the oldest clubs in the Country. It meets at the Quaker Meeting House in Alexandra Grove, North Finchley.

Victoria Park is off Ballards Lane between North Finchley and Finchley Central. It was proposed in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria's golden jubilee and opened in 1902 to be Finchley's first public park.[29] It is home to tennis courts and Finchley Victoria Bowling and Croquet Club. There is also a small nature reserve adjacent to the North Circular Road known as Long Lane Pasture.

Avenue House in East End Road was built in 1859. In 1874 it was acquired by Henry Charles Stephens, known as "Inky" Stephens, the son of the inventor of indelible blue-black ink Dr Henry Stephens. On his death in 1918 he bequeathed the house and its grounds to "the people of Finchley". The estate, a public park, is now known as Stephens House and Gardens.

It has a visitor centre with a small museum, the Stephens Collection, which covers the history of the Stephens Ink Company and the history of writing materials. The bequest also included Avenue House Grounds, designed by the leading nineteenth-century landscape gardener Robert Marnock. This has a tearoom, a children's playground, a walled garden called The Bothy, a pond and rare trees. A recent attraction is a bronze statue of Spike Milligan sitting on a bench.[30]

Cultural references Edit

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 London's Tottenham Court Road to march north to Finchley to defend the capital from the second Jacobite rebellion of 1745.

A number of fictional characters have been associated with the area, including:

The Monty Python's Flying Circus comedy sketch "The Funniest Joke in the World" is set in Finchley.

In various episodes of the Channel 4 comedy Peep Show Finchley is used as an on-site shooting location.

The background of the cover of Iron Maiden's second studio album, Killers, depicts Etchingham Court, North Finchley, where artist Derek Riggs lived at the time.

The 2013 David Bowie song 'Dirty Boys' on The Next Day album makes reference to Finchley Fair.[34]

Notable people Edit

In birth order

Twinning Edit

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

Gallery Edit

See also Edit

  • The Finchley Gap – a corridor of low-lying land between the drainage basin of the rivers Colne to the north and Brent to the west, possibly the remains of an Ice age overflow channel.

References Edit

  1. ^ Finchley is made up of 4 wards in the London Borough of Barnet: East Finchley, Finchley Church End, West Finchley, and Woodhouse. "2011 Census Ward Population Estimates | London DataStore". Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  2. ^ "2011 Census Ward Population Estimates | London DataStore". Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Baker & Elrington (1980). "A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 6". Victoria County History. pp. 38–55. Retrieved 27 April 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Finchley, Friern Barnet and Totteridge". London Borough of Barnet. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Hendon Lane (Finchley N3)". London Borough of Barnet. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  6. ^ a b Weinreb, Ben; Christopher Hibbert (2008). The London Encyclopedia. Julia Keay, John Keay (3rd ed.). Macmillan. pp. 290–291. ISBN 978-1-4050-4924-5.
  7. ^ Nurse, Richard (13 February 2008). "Finchley N2 East End Road". LB Barnet. Archived from the original on 26 April 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  8. ^ "CULG – Northern Line".
  9. ^ London Transport Museum Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Tram in Finchley, dated 1905 to 1915
  10. ^ London Transport Museum Archived 25 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Trolley bus at North Finchley
  11. ^ Baker, T F T; C R Elrington (1980). "Finchley Finchley Local government". British History Online. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
  12. ^ a b "Historic Figures Margaret Thatcher (1925 – )". BBC. Retrieved 27 April 2009.
  13. ^ Lowe, Rebecca (21 February 2010). "Green Party conference held in Finchley". The Times Series. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  14. ^ Services, Good Stuff IT. "Finchley Church End – UK Census Data 2011". UK Census Data.
  15. ^ Services, Good Stuff IT. "West Finchley – UK Census Data 2011". UK Census Data.
  16. ^ "Buses from North Finchley" (PDF). Transport for London. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 June 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2009.
  17. ^ a b Crouch, Suzanne (10 September 2009). "Schools and Colleges". LB Barnet. Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2009.
  18. ^ "Home Page | Archer". 12 January 2012.
  19. ^ "Bishop Douglass Catholic School - Home".
  20. ^ Christ's College Finchley School web site Archived 10 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ The Compton School web site[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "Finchley Catholic High School web site". Archived from the original on 12 November 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
  23. ^ "Home – St Michael's Catholic Grammar School".
  24. ^ "Website temporarily unavailable - Wren Academy Trust".
  25. ^ Lowe, Rebecca (10 December 2007). "Barnet cricket – 150 and not out". Times Series. Retrieved 24 September 2009.
  26. ^ "Our supply area". Veolia Water. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
  27. ^ "Honouring a century of care at Finchley Memorial Hospital". Times Series. 21 October 2008. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
  28. ^ London Transport Museum Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine artsdepot, 2006
  29. ^ "Victoria Park, London Gardens Online".
  30. ^ "The history of Avenue House Estate". Avenue House Estate. 2008. Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  31. ^ Dickens, Charles (2012). The Old Curiosity Shop. Dover Publications. p. 129.
  32. ^ Carpenter, Humphrey (2011). Spike Milligan. Hodder & Stoughton.
  33. ^ Diem-Wille, Gertraud (2018). Latency The Golden Age of Childhood. Taylor & Francis.
  34. ^ Pegg, Nicholas (2016). The Complete David Bowie (Revised and Updated 2016 ed.). Titan Books.
  35. ^ Nurse, Richard (13 February 2008). "Finchley N12 Fallow Corner". LB Barnet. Archived from the original on 27 April 2010. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
  36. ^ "Early Social Reform Influences". Octavia Hill's Birthplace House. Archived from the original on 11 May 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
  37. ^ "The Octavia Hill Society" (PDF). The Finchley Society. September 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
  38. ^ "Bevington, Louisa Sarah, 1845–1895" Retrieved 28 April 2015. Archived 8 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ "Design Classics-The London Underground Map". BBC TV4.
  40. ^ "Spike Milligan Statue Fund". Finchley Society. Archived from the original on 26 March 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
  41. ^ "The Rt Hon John Bercow MP". City, University of London. 23 November 2020.
  42. ^ "Bercow v Boris". Archived from the original on 15 November 2019. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  43. ^ "Inside DeepMind's epic mission to solve science's trickiest problem". Wired UK – via
  44. ^ Godleman, Mike (4 July 2007). "Town twinning Jinja (Uganda)". LB Barnet. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
  45. ^ Costello, Laura (28 July 2008). "Town twinning Le Raincy (France)". LB Barnet. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
  46. ^ Costello, Laura (29 July 2008). "Town twinning Montclair (USA)". LB Barnet. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
  47. ^ Godleman, Mike (28 July 2008). "Town twinning Siegen Wittgenstein (Germany)". LB Barnet. Archived from the original on 4 September 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2009.

Further reading Edit

External links Edit