East Finchley Station

Post to the north Bounds Green Brook Strawberry Vale

Bishops Avenue
Beaumont Close. The Institute Arts Centre. This was built for the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute on the site of the Neurorehabilitation Unit. It is essentially an adult education establishment. They had left the Henrietta Barnett School in 2004 and gone to Park House opposite East Finchley Station and later used part of McDonald’s headquarters. Meanwhile, a purpose-built Institute Arts Centre was built here. This was designed by Irvington Studio In a challenging local environment, as a simple modern studio building with high ceilings and large windows, tempered by solar shading. This opened in 2006 and, when the Institute quit McDonald’s last year, became the main study base. However, there were financial difficulties at the Institute and it was thought it would have to be sold to placate the bank. Later there has been a co-location arrangement with the Archer ‘Academy’ school.

Cedar Drive
Housing on the site of a house called Woodlands, once the parsonage

Cherry Tree Wood
Cherry Tree Wood is a remnant of Finchley Wood, which once stretched from Highgate to Whetstone. Mutton Brook rises here flowing west to join Dollis Brook in Hendon. The boundary hedge of the Bishop's Park survived as a field boundary on 19th maps, and marks the northern edge of the wood. It was once known as Dirt House Wood because night soil and horse manure from London's streets was brought to the Dirt House for fertiliser. In 1863 the wood was reduced with the building of the railway and this also blocked the brook and the area became known as "the Quag" or "Watery Woods". As a result watercress beds were set up. In 1910 housing development to the south reduced the size of the wood even more. The woods were purchased by Finchley Urban District Council from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1914 and opened to the public a year later. They changed the name to Cherry Tree Wood, after Cherry Tree Hill which was the name of the hill running along the High Road from the station.  The park has a children’s playground, a pavilion and facilities.  An English oak was planted to celebrate the coronation in 1952.

Creighton Avenue
East Finchley Baptist Church. The church began in 1877 moving here in 1902 having previously been on other sites nearby.  There are two church buildings here. The original building has been converted to housing. It was built in 1902 by G. & R.P. Baines, in knapped flint with Art Nouveau iron work. When the newer church was built next door in 1931 the flintstone building was used for Sunday school classes, and youth work and later sold. The church currently in use dates from 1930 and by the same firm. 

Deanery Close
Housing and office development on the site of land previously in railway and allotment use.

Diploma Avenue
Housing development on the United Dairies site. This was a siding for the Manor Farm Dairy north of East Finchley station. They had been funded in 1875 and were part of United Dairies. From 1928 to 1948 bulk milk came here from Staffordshire. In 1936 the site was taken over by Wilts United Dairies who were a leading company in United Dairies and it became the head office of this company which has originated in Melksham. They eventually became part of the Unigate Group. It operated until 1960. The milk came in glass-lined railway tank wagons daily. A siding from the railway ran into the yard and the wagons were shunted in and out by a small petrol engined locomotive. The milk was bottled here and distributed by road to the surrounding areas – about 12,000 bottles of milk in the 1940s. There was also stabling outside for delivery by horse and cart. The site of the sidings is now the station car park and where the depot stood is housing and offices.

Durham Road
35a All Saints. This church was built in 1892 and designed by E. K. Q &. P. Cutts. In 1886 a fund was opened for a church and three plots, were ought in Durham Road. The Church Commissioners gave additional land extending into Coldfall Wood. Many items were donated to the church and it was consecrated in as a Chapel of Ease in the Parish of Holy Trinity. All Saints’ became a Shrine equipped for full Catholic Worship. In 1935, the old parish hall was built and it was used by various social and cultural organisations.  This was sold off in the 1980s and the proceeds used to re-order the church. A new hall and facilities were also installed. The organ had come from the Wesleyan Chapel in Clapham High Street built for them in 1878 by Alfred Hunter. It was rebuilt here by Noel Mander.  The church is in red brick with stone dressings. An intended tower was not built.
Pillar box. This is by A. Handyside & Co. Ltd. Derby & London at the Britannia Foundry and Engineering Works. 

East End Road
East End Road was originally the route from Church End Finchley to the Great North Road. Where it met the Causeway, a hamlet developed called Park Gate; later known as Market Place.
Railway Bridge. This brick bridge may date to the origins of the line in 1867. There is said to be a bench mark on the south side.
214 Finchley Gospel Hall. The Primitive Methodists built a small iron chapel here in 1872.  They moved out in 1905 and by 1911 it was a Gospel Hall.  This appears to be still active.
250 Bobath Centre. This is a centre for children with cerebal palsy. It is about to move from this site. It is in the old primary school buildings. The Bobath Concept was a new approach to rehabilitation. Its founders were Berta Bobath a physiotherapist, and her husband Dr Karel Bobath. They had the ability to learn from experience and to adapt their concept with the changing needs of their patients.
East End National School was built in 1847 on demesne land from the Bishop of London. It was designed by Anthony Salvin, one of the original managing committee. It had separate boys', girls', and infants' departments and was designed to give a vocational education to poor children although it was never a purely industrial school. Boys were taught husbandry and girls were taught domestic service, with grounds where boys had their own garden plots. Money came from the National Society, charity estates, endowments, and school pence. By 1877 the industrial section was no longer officially subsidized, and was closed. In 1976 Holy Trinity primary school moved to a new building in Market Place the older buildings became a private school, the English Tutorial College and later the Bobath Centre.
273 Ismaili Jamatkhana. This mosque is on the site of the previous congregational church which stood on the junction with the High Road and was originally in the 1996 church built by the Congregationalists.

Eastern Road
Laid out by the National Freehold Land Society in 1852 and built on a field next to one already developed with big houses.  .

Finchley Common
East Finchley lay on the southernmost tip of Finchley Common as the Great North Road climbed into a large area of heathland which was apparently infested with highwaymen. It was once Finchley Wood and under the authority of the Bishop of London who cleared the woodland, leaving open land where local people exercised commoners rights.  From the 17th to the early 19th the common was sometimes used by the military and later mounted police were employed to deal with the highwaymen. Enclosure began with an Act of Parliament in 1811. 15 acres were set aside as the Fuel Lands, to be rented out and the money used to provide fuel to the poor. The Fuel Lands have been allotments since 1890. The common has now completely disappeared and the area covered with housing.

Fortis Green Road
Part of an old pilgrims’ road this was a track running along a ridge of ice age debris skirting the southern edge of Finchley Common. Before buildings obscured it there would have been extensive views to the south. It also provided an access route from the east to the north road. The area around the Clissold Pub and the police station is the hamlet of Fortis Green present from the 16th.
68 Fortis Green School. This was a co-educational progressive, independent, day and weekly boarding school set up on socialist and co-operative principles by Beatrix Tudor-Hart.  In the 1930s s was in a house called Westside built in the 1860s. Beatrix has founded first The Heath Nursery School for children aged 2-5, in Hampstead, and then Fortis Green School for children aged 4-11. It was a co-operative non-profit-making co-educational school owned and democratically controlled by a society of parents, teachers and educationalists. The site was demolished and redeveloped in the 1960s. The School became a Nursery School only, as it is today
Clissold Close. This development by architect Lee Miles for elderly people replaced Clissold Cottages in 1978
Woodside Cottages. An alley beside Denmark Terrace leads to them
6 Denmark Terrace. Home of the Davis brothers who founded The Kinks.
98 Alexandra public house. This is now closed and converted to housing. If now has a now has a 1930s roadhouse style exterior. The pub itself was a conversion of two cottages of the 1860s.
Fortis Green Brewery. This was here 1843 -1902. Charles Green was the brewer and then Susan Green & Son 1859 – 1884. It was hen managed by Norman & Co. from 1888 until 1901. It was taken over by Ind Coope & Co., whose district office was next door. In 1910 it became H. W. Wilson's Fortis Green brewery stores.
105 The Clissold Arms. This 19th building, remains on the site of the Fortis Green Brewery. The pub is where the Kinks first played.
115 Muswell Hill Police Station.  Built in 1904 with stabling for six horses. It was designed by J. D. Butler. The site and other buildings alongside were from 1845 to 1902 the Fortis Green Brewery.

High Road
This is the Great North Road which was the main highway between London and Scotland used as a coaching route for mail coaches between London, York and Scotland. Land to the south was owned by the Bishop of London and from 1350 he allowed travellers to go through his Hornsey Park and this route became the Great North Road. Where the road emerged into what became Finchley Common a small settlement grew up - and this became East Finchley
226 East Finchley Library. This was built in 1938 to a design by Percival T. Harrison, the Borough of Finchley architect and engineer, assisted by C.M. Bond. It has the arms of the old Borough of Finchley over the front door and a descriptive blue plaque about the opening. Upstairs it has an Assembly room with a stage and the library itself is reached through a circular inner hall. : Many of the original fittings survive, some using Indian Silver Greywood. The stairs have scrolled metal bannisters to match the balconies and there are the original wood counters and bookshelves.
197 East Finchley Wesleyan Methodist Church. The Methodist Society here was set up u a John Freeman with a number of sires before 1897 when this church was built by Elijah Hoole. A hall and school rooms were added in 1908. A Sisterhood was formed in 1906. In 1940 the building was damaged by a land mine damaged the roof, windows and organ. The church joined with the Primitive Methodist Church which had been bombed and in 1953 took in members of the King Street Chapel. The church was a founding member of the Finchley Council of Churches. The building has been adapted to a more modern flexible space. It remains a landmark
Church Hall. Built 1908 to the rear.
Hertford Court shops. Until the 1950s the Salvation Army citadel stood on this site. This oepend as a hall in 1896 and superseded in 1903 by a barracks, later designated a hall.
170 Athenaeum Cinematograph said to have opened here in 1910
Black Bess Temperance Tavern. Closed about 1964.
151 shown on 1950s maps as a ’Scientific Instrument Works’.  
East Finchley Congregational chapel originated with meetings of Independents in various buildings from 1804. They built a chapel 1830 and enlarged it in 1846. The building was damaged by fire in 1875 and subsequently restored as a lecture hall and Sunday school while a new chapel was built on a different site in 1878. The old chapel was sold n in 1895.
St Mary’s.  Roman Catholic Church.  This opened in 1898, when the old congregational building on the corner of the High Road and Chapel Street was sold. In 1940 the building was badly damaged in an air raid ns I was never reopened. St.Mary’s reopened on a different site.
142 Primitive Methodist Chapel
. This was moved here in 1905, and closed between 1939 and 1949.  It is s brick chapel with a vestry, cloak room and kitchenette and with a brick Church Hall to the rear built in 1936.   The church was damaged in bombing and the congregation combined with the Wesleyan Methodists to the north. It has since been used for young people’s activities
142 Finchley Youth Theatre. In 1947 the church was sold as a youth centre with support from Finchley Borough council and Middlesex County Council. It was opened as a Youth Hall in 1948. In 1952 the Finchley Youth Drama Festival for 1952 was moved to be held here in future.  In 1991 following a fire the running of the building was taken over by Barnet Youth Services. Considerable works had taken place to make it suitable as a theatre and studio.
Gibbet. This was used from the 1670s and stood on the junction with Bedford Road. A permanent gibbet was later erected near the intersection with Lincoln Road which remained until 1790.
Stone mason’s yard and field on the junction with East End Road, later the site of the Congregational Church.
71 Congregational Church. This was on the junction with east end road with the congregation moving here from a church to the north, later used by the Roman Catholics. The church was built in 1870’s designed in the Gothic style by J. Tarring & Son with a 130ft spire and clock. A new hall and Sunday school were built behind in 1895 It was demolished in 1960’s and in 1965 a new church on an adjacent site. In 1996 this was sold to an Islamic Muslim organisation and reopened as the North London Jamatkhana with an address in East End Road.
East End road junction. this was sometimes known as Park Gate –although the actual gate was to the south
69 Bald Faced Stag. Built on the Great North Road this was a local refreshment stop for stage coaches. It was in place however before 1730 and was called the Jolly Blacksmith- it was allegedly built by two blacksmiths. Now a large public house built in 1880. Above the roof is a stag on a plinth
52 Phoenix Cinema.  This was intended to be the Premier Electric Theatre in 1910 built by S. Birdwood, but the company went into liquidation and it was opened by Picturedrome Theatres Ltd. A 1910 date is inscribed on a headstone but it is thought to have actually opened in 1911. In 1925 under new owners it was re-named the Coliseum Cinema. Taken over again in 1936 it was re-named Rex Cinema and refurbished by architects Howes & Jackman. The auditorium was reversed and the floor was given a new rake and the side walls decorated by Mollo & Egan. Outside neon letters spelt out ‘REX’. The original 1910 ceiling with its discreetly decorated ribs curving over the single-floor auditorium survives. It continued to have a variety of operators until 1983 when it was scheduled for demolition. Following a community campaign it was taken over by the Phoenix Cinema Trust Ltd. And re-named Phoenix Cinema.
39 Diploma House.  This office block fronted the milk depot to the rear and was the head office of Wilts United Dairies. The name may be connected to Diploma Cottage which stood to the rear.
11-59 Hospitality House. Barnet Southgate College. A training and meeting facility for employers, employees, learning providers and students, suppliers and professional bodies of the hospitality and retail industry. Established in 2013 by Hilton Worldwide, People 1st, Compass Group, City & Guilds and McDonalds. The building was provided free by Macdonalds. This was once the Hamburger University where you got a Hamburgerology Degree
11-59 Macdonald’s Head UK office. This is a brown brick horseshoe. Built 1987-92 by Ardin Brookes & Partners
East Finchley station.   Opened in 1867 this now lies between Finchley Central and Highgate Stations on the Northern Line. It was originally planned by the Finchley, Edgeware Highgate and London Railway from 1862 and opened in 1867 on their line between Finsbury Park and Mill Hill. I was Opened as ‘East End Finchley’ with two side platforms and originally a single line only but doubled within six months. In 1887 the name was changed to ‘East Finchley’ because of local pressure. More goods roads opened here in 1898 and 1902.  In 1939 the Northern Line opened with a new station by Charles Holden and L. H. Bucknell – originally to be part of the never finished line to Elstree. It was built as the terminus with staff offices and two platforms in red brick. The platforms have cantilevered concrete roofs with integrated signs and lights, and a bridge of offices approached by curved glazed staircases. On a parapet outside is a stylized metal statue of an archer by Eric Aumonier, symbolizing the former hunting forest of North Middlesex. In 1996 it was refurbished by Avanti Architects.  Jerry Springer, the US chat show host is said to have been in the underground here during the Second World War.
Car park. This is on the site of goods sidings put in in 1879 and 1898. Closed 1964
Carriage sheds for the London and North East Railway were converted to a Northern Line depot and rebuilt again in 1969. There was also a railmens' depot here.
Railway Bridge. This was replaced in 1939.
Toll gate. This was near the White Lion and remained in place until 1901.
Old White Lion. Pub. Once called the Dirt House because refuse carts would stop there to avoid paying to go through the toll gate. As a coaching inn The Manchester Mail changed horses here, having completed its first stage of six miles.  The pub was also called the Fleur de Lys and was rebuilt in 1838. The original had casement windows facing south but it the rebuild is in gabled mock Tudor with tall brick chimneys. The name is a reference to the badge of Edward IV
Gate to Bishop's park. One of the gateways through the hedge that surrounded Hornsey Park, created by 1227 by its owner the Bishop of London for hunting purposes. By the 14th century, people were allowed to travel through the park on payment of a toll. This was the West Lodge of Bishop's Lands estate. 
The boundary hedge of the bishop's park survived as a field boundary into the 19th continuing northwards and passed to the___14 south of East Finchley station
Pillar-box. This is on the corner of Baronsmere road, it is by A. Handyside & Co. Ltd. Derby & London.  And their Britannia Foundry and Engineering Works.  1884  
12-18 GLH House. This was present in 1841, and in the 1860s it was called Valona House but by the 1880s had been renamed The Shrubbery. In 1953, it was let out as flats, and a Car Hire Service moved to the yard. In 1968, GLH took over the established minicab business, working from Portacabins in the yard until earlier this year, when it took over the house. It is now scheduled for redevelopment/demolition.
Park House. Local government buildings on the site of the original Park House was a villa in extensive grounds. It was demolished in the 1960s.  In the 1940s a Spitfire was parked on the lawn which belonged to the Royal Airforce Association, who were in a building to the rear and where two tennis courts had been turned into allotments. Park House is thought to have been built by Neville Smart, probably in the 1820s for himself. It was lived in for many years by doctors. In 1938 Grays Brothers’ Coal Office, based at the station, had an office at the front,
Neurorehabilitation Unit, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. In the 1870s the management committee of the National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic in Queen Square decided to establish a country branch where patients could be sent to convalesce. They bought The Elms, two semi-detached villas in East End Road. The Home opened in 1871. By the mid-1890s a larger site was needed and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners released a 3-acre field here and the new building opened in 1897.  A plaque stated that it was for "the benefit of a class of patients inadmissible to any other convalescent home in the kingdom". Designed by R Langton Cole. It had the appearance of an attractive country house with donated by well-wishers.  Outside were lawns, flower borders, shrubberies, a fruit and vegetable garden, and specimen trees - also planted to screen the railway.  A spring, a source of the River Brent, was landscaped, with ferns, water lilies and carp, and willows. In 1948, it joined the NHS and closed in 1999.  The home has been demolished, except for the gatehouse. The site was redeveloped by Octagon and now contains a new gated residential estate and the Institute Arts Centre which is now entered from Bishops Avenue.
Half-timbered lodge for the National Convalescent Hospital.

Greenfield Drive
Housing development on a playing field site alongside the edge of the reservoir

Hertford Road
Baptist church. The congregation moved here in 1889 but later it passed to the Salvation Army
Salvation Army. A small yellow- and red-brick hall was still used in 1976. It superseded the larger building in the High Road and is now used as a nursery.

Huntingdon Road
Huntingdon Works. Printers, and other workshops. Mews style buildings at the back of shops.

Keynes Close
34 old people’s bungalows built in 1947 by Hornsey Council in conjunction with Hornsey Housing Trust as the first post war municipal scheme.

Leicester Road
Mews style workshops behind High Road shops

Lincoln Road
There is what appears to be a sewer vent pipe at the east end, south side

Lynmouth Road
2 The Martyrs Memorial House. This is the home of a Hungarian baron whose family was killed by the Nazis and is painted black as a public memorial to Archduke Otto Von Habsburg, who he credits with unifying post war Europe. The Archduke was the final heir of a 640 year old dynasty He had a career in elected politics as one of the European Parliament’s longest serving members.

Market Place
The original centre of East Finchley.
The Hog market was opened by Thomas Odell in 1680 and became the largest pig market in Middlesex. Pigs were fattened on distillery waste before being sold. The market began to decline in the 19th and was held weekly, and then only occasionally. After destruction in Second World War bombing the market was redeveloped rebuilt and the shops closed. No trace of the market remains. The market place itself was to the north of the street and in the square to the west
33 Royal Mail Sorting Office and Post Office. Built in 1901 and designed by Jasper Wager
35 George Inn. As a Truman’s pub built in the 1880s it was demolished in 1999. The pub was however very much older Highwayman and burglar Jack Sheppard was held here following his fourth arrest I 1724.
72 Duke of Cambridge. This pub was closed in 2009 and has now been demolished. In 1865 1866 Peter Coulson leased the old market pig pound and to build Cambridge Cottages and added a pub. Originally it may have been The Blue Lion.

Prospect Ring
Local authority housing from the 1950s. Foundation stone laid by the Mayor of Finchley in 1959 for the silver jubilee year of the incorporation of the borough. Built on the site of demolished housing.

Southern Road
Fortis Green Reservoir.  This was originally planned with an Act of 1897 by the New River Company on their western boundary.  Water was to be pumped here from the Staines Resrvoirs via a 42 inch trunk main 17 miles long from Kempton Park. There were also intermediate pumps at Cricklewood. Construction was underway when the Metropolitan Water Board took over in 1904. Diesel engines were installed by the Board.  The Diesel engines were removed in 1981. This covered reservoir is grassed over.
Aquarius Archery Club – uses the grassed area of the reservoir.

Summerlee Avenue
Summerlee Auxiliary Military Hospital.  Summerlee was a large mansion built around 1822 which during the Great War was used as an auxiliary hospital and convalescent home for wounded servicemen. It was connected to the Edmonton Military Hospital and run by the local Voluntary Aid Detachment.  By 1917 there were 100 beds. In 1919 the house was loaned to the Great Northern Central Hospital for convalescent patients. The mansion has since been demolished

The Causeway
Ancient path connecting the Bishops Gate with East End Road
Entrance to East Finchley Station. This goes to a passage under the tracks to the booking hall.

Western Road
14 Letter Box on the pavement outside with a VR cypher. It was saved from replacement in 1985 by spot listing.

All Saints Church. East Finchley. Web site
Barnet Southgate College. Web site
Blake and James. .Northern Wastes
Bobath Centre. Web site
British History Online. Finchley. Web site
British History Online. Hornsey. Web site
British Post Office Architects. Web site
Cinema Treasures. Web site
East Finchley Baptist Church. Web site
East Finchley Methodist Church. Web site
Eer.Web site
Field. Place Names of London
GLIAS Newsletter
Great North Road
Hidden London. Web site
Historic England. Web site
Jackson. London’s Local Railways
Live in London. Web site
Locallocalhistory. Web site
London Borough of Barnet. Web site
London Borough of Haringey. Web site
London Footprints. Web site
London Railway Record.
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Metropolitan Water Board. Fifty Years Service
Middlesex Churches,
Mosque Directory. Web site
Pevsner & Cherry.  London North
Pub History. Web site
The Archer. Web site
Walford. Village London
Wikipedia. As appropriate


Unknown said…
Dear Edith
My dad Leonard Willcocks used to work at the Scientific Instrument Works at 151 High Road East Finchley mentioned in your East Finchley blog. Do you know how I can access the 1950s maps which show this building and also if I can find other information? The factory was bombed in 1940 alongside Chapel Street but rebuilt as they provided valuable war work. My dad mentions it in this article:


The factory was sold off in about 1956.
Paul Willcocks
M said…
No sorry Paul - Edith is really very very superficial. I assume you've tried the local archive because that would be the best place to start. Or try the London Metropolitan Archive who have some building surveyors material from the London County Council. Good luck!

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