A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 6, Friern Barnet, Finchley, Hornsey With Highgate. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1980.
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In 1627 the demesne of Whetstone was said to consist of the site of the manor-house, six houses, a dovecot, six gardens, 40 a. of land, 100 a. meadow, 100 a. pasture, and 200 a. woodland. (fn. 1) There were 627 a. in 1799, (fn. 2) covering nearly half the parish and mainly south of the modern Oakleigh Road and north of Friern Barnet Road. The Friary, Manor farm, and Friern Lodge (later Frenchman's farm) existed by 1661 (fn. 3) and in 1783 their dependent estates were 70 a., 176 a., and 234 a. respectively. (fn. 4)
The demesne lessee in 1519 was William Ward, (fn. 5) followed by John Spencer, clerk, and Francis Galliardietto in 1528, (fn. 6) by Galliardietto alone in 1531, (fn. 7) and later by Richard Clark, (fn. 8) whose term was extended in 1551 (fn. 9) and whose son William obtained a 99-year lease in 1564. (fn. 10) William Clark left the reversion to his stepson William Pert, whose mother's third husband John Povey tried unsuccessfully to convert her life estate to fee simple. (fn. 11) William Pert was succeeded in 1608 by his son Tindal, (fn. 12) whose son William in 1627 left the remainder of the term to William Gilley. (fn. 13) It was held by Alderman Sir Hugh Perry from 1628 until his death in 1635 and later by Andrew Perry, (fn. 14) but c. 1647 was conveyed by Sir Hugh's daughters to William (later Sir William) Domville and Ellen, wife of Sir Heneage Proby. Domville was assigned the manor-house, Manor farm-house, and 192 a., Lady Proby received Friern Lodge farm-house and most of the lands, and the reversions were settled on their respective heirs c. 1651. In 1649, however, Friern Lodge and 352 a. were sold to Sir Heneage Proby (fn. 15) and Domville's share passed in trust to a Mr. Johnson. At the Restoration Lady Proby and Domville resumed possession and in 1662 a backdated lease was made for them in trust. (fn. 16) In 1663 Sir Heneage left the lease to his widow with successive remainders to his sons Sir Thomas Proby, Bt., of Elton Hall (Hunts.), John, and Heneage. (fn. 17) As attorney-general of Ireland, Domville was non-resident in 1664. (fn. 18) In 1684 he conveyed 12 a. to John Proby (fn. 19) and in 1687 the lease was renewed for Sir Thomas and John Proby. (fn. 20) After Sir Thomas's death in 1689 John assigned the lease to Edward Jennings, who held it until 1718. (fn. 21) It was held by Samuel Strode, his widow Anne, and William Strode until 1783, (fn. 22) when it was sold to John Bacon (d. 1816), (fn. 23) editor of Ecton's Thesaurus Rerum Ecclesiasticarum. (fn. 24) Bacon leased the demesne until 1800, (fn. 25) when he sold it to the chapter of St. Paul's. (fn. 26)
All holders of the demesne were also copyholders. In 1815 John Bacon held 651 a. in the parish, of which 139 a. were in his own hands, 182 a. were held by his son John William, who lived at Manor Farm, 138 a. were leased to William Gaywood, and the rest distributed between eleven tenants. (fn. 27) John Bacon left his property to his sons John William and Francis Darcy Bacon, to hold a third each in their own right and a third in trust for their sister Maria, wife of Sir William Johnston, Bt. (d. 1844), for division among her children. Land was alienated from 1819 to meet John Bacon's debts (fn. 28) and in 1822 Chancery decreed the partition, which was ratified by a private Act (fn. 29) and which divided the estate into three broad bands stretching from Finchley eastward to the modern Oakleigh Road. Lady Johnston received the southern part, consisting of Friern Lodge Farm and 234 a., J. W. Bacon was assigned the Friary, Manor Farm, and 213 a., and F. D. Bacon c. 70 a. Both brothers also received land in Finchley. (fn. 30)
On his bankruptcy J. W. Bacon's estates were sold in 1824. (fn. 31) Thomas Bensley (d. 1835), (fn. 32) who bought 81 a., planned a lunatic asylum and laid out roads, (fn. 33) which eventually were built up between 1846 and 1865. (fn. 34) After Bensley's bankruptcy the Friern Park estate was assigned to J. D. Holden and J. Lewin, who had lent him money held in trust under the will of Joseph Holden (d. 1820) for his daughter Sarah Gibson and her heirs. (fn. 35) The estate, 87 a. in 1846, (fn. 36) was sold for building in 1866 and 1868 on behalf of Mrs. Gibson's heirs. The Friary park of 23 a. was bought in several lots by E. W. Richardson (d. 1909). (fn. 37) The rest of Bensley's land, 48 a. east of Friern Barnet Lane, (fn. 38) had passed by 1846 to Mrs. Bethune, (fn. 39) probably because he could not pay off a mortgage by John Bacon. (fn. 40)
Manor farm of c. 29 a. was sold in turn to John Easthope, Charles William Allen in 1832, and Edmund Walker, who lived there. (fn. 41) Walker bought other lands and owned 57 a. in 1846. (fn. 42) Shortly before his death in 1851, he sold the house and 29 a. to John Miles the younger, (fn. 43) who was also resident. Miles made further purchases from the trustee of the Friern Park estate and others, leaving 117 a. at his death in 1886. On his widow's death in 1902 (fn. 44) 35 a. were sold to the National Land Corporation and built up as the Myddelton Park estate. (fn. 45) The remaining 81 a. passed to the North Middlesex Golf Co. (fn. 46)
The farm-house was mentioned in 1661 (fn. 47) and was large in 1777, when several rooms were sublet to the rector. (fn. 48) In 1851 there was a lodge and the main building housed five people. (fn. 49) A coachman's dwelling had been added in 1871, when John Miles's seat housed 17 people, including 10 servants. (fn. 50) The existing club-house, white and of three storeys with dormers, was probably built by him. It was screened from the west by trees but in 1975 had westward views; the farm buildings were then in decay but the lodge was inhabited and a shop for the club had been added.
Church farm originated in 73 a. between Friern Barnet Lane and Oakleigh Road, bought by William Radford from J. W. and F. D. Bacon in 1824. (fn. 51) It comprised 69 a. in 1846, when a farm-house and buildings existed, (fn. 52) and survived until the 1930s. (fn. 53)
The Friern Lodge estate was sold on Lady Johnston's death in 1847, on behalf of her children. The largest portion, Frenchman's farm, consisted of 86 a. (fn. 54) It was considered in 1875 as the site of a sewage farm (fn. 55) and before 1879 as that of a housing estate. (fn. 56) It was held by Thomas Sketchley in 1889 and 1893, (fn. 57) by John Jones in 1896-7, (fn. 58) and by Frederick Crisp in 1900-1. (fn. 59) The farm-house was first mentioned in 1605 and was a small two-storeyed building of brick and weatherboarding with adjacent barns, all derelict, in 1897. (fn. 60) Another 43 a. with frontages on Friern Barnet Road and 30 a. behind the Orange Tree were sold to G. K. Smith. (fn. 61)
Members of the Goodere family were active in Friern Barnet by 1417. (fn. 62) In 1540-1 they held the largest and in 1588 the second largest copyhold estate, (fn. 63) most of which was once Goodyers grove. (fn. 64) From 1486 until 1537 there were two branches of the family. In 1499 John Goodere settled a house, a cottage, 27 a. of land, and 30½ a. of wood on his son Richard Goodere of St. Albans, (fn. 65) whose son Albany in 1537 granted them in reversion to Francis Goodere, (fn. 66) grandson of another John Goodere who held 3 a. in 1486. (fn. 67) Francis was succeeded in turn by Henry Goodere, his son William (d. 1577), and his grandson Sir Henry Goodere of Hatfield (Herts.), (fn. 68) who sold the whole estate of 95 a. to James Woodford of Totteridge (Herts.) in 1628-9. (fn. 69) Woodford conveyed 29 a. to Richard Orme, tailor of London, (fn. 70) who left them in 1664 to his son Edward, with remainder to his daughter Mary and her husband Jeremy Becket the elder. (fn. 71) After their deaths Jeremy Becket the younger sold the land in 1669 to Oliver Wallis (d. 1700), (fn. 72) who was succeeded by his son John. Woodford's other lands in 1668 were settled in remainder on his daughter Judith, her husband Oliver Wallis, and their heirs. (fn. 73) John Wallis was admitted in 1725 (fn. 74) and left the whole estate in 1751 to his nephew Thomas Jackson, (fn. 75) who left it in 1762 to his three daughters. (fn. 76) Their shares were settled in 1772 on Mary Jackson (d. 1812) on her marriage to William Tash (d. 1818). (fn. 77) Tash held 86 a. in 1815 (fn. 78) and left the estate to Nicholson, Robert, Charles, and Walter Calvert, (fn. 79) who sold it to Sir Simon Haughton Clarke, Bt. (d. 1833), in 1821. (fn. 80)
Sir Simon Haughton Clarke also bought lands including 26 a. from Richardson Harrison in 1820, (fn. 81) 19 a. from J. W. Bacon in 1821, (fn. 82) and 19 a. formerly of the demesne. (fn. 83) In 1846 his family owned 135 a., mainly in Whetstone between Hertfordshire and Oakleigh Road on both sides of Russell Lane. (fn. 84) Since legacies could not be met by his sons Sir Simon (d. 1849) and Sir Philip Haughton Clarke, (fn. 85) the estate was broken up in 1857, (fn. 86) 86 a. in Whetstone being sold to John Nillson. (fn. 87) He sold it before 1869 to the Whetstone Freehold Estate Co., (fn. 88) which built on it as the Oakleigh estate. (fn. 89) Sir Philip retained 20 a., which he sold in 1860. (fn. 90)
John Nicholl the younger (d. 1747) bought piecemeal a block of c. 90 a. of copyhold land at Whetstone, (fn. 91) which passed to his daughter Margaret (d. 1768), (fn. 92) later marchioness of Carnarvon. On her husband's death in 1789 it descended to his daughter Anna Elizabeth and so to the dukes of Buckingham and Chandos. (fn. 93) Following the sale of c. 7 a. in 1837, (fn. 94) it consisted of 85 a. in 1846. (fn. 95) From 1868 it was held in trust by Henry John Smith, (fn. 96) who enfranchised it in 1892 before its sale. (fn. 97)
Halliwick manor-house and c. 88 a. (fn. 98) were sold in 1628 by John Trott the younger to his mother Susan and her second husband Edmund Underwood, grocer of London. (fn. 99) The lands, which they held in chief, (fn. 100) were settled jointly in 1637 on Underwood and his wife Isabel, who surrendered her rights to permit a mortgage. The mortgage was redeemed by Edward Nevett the elder (d. 1671-2), alderman of London, who took possession on Underwood's death in spite of Isabel's resistance. (fn. 101) In 1655 he bought from the third Lawrence Campe 12 a. and the house called Mayfield, (fn. 102) newly built in 1600 when it was enfranchised and granted by John Trott the elder to his son-in-law the first Lawrence Campe (d. 1613). (fn. 103) Coppetts farm of 64 a. was sold to John Rawlinson and Eleanor his wife, (fn. 104) probably before 1672 when the rest of the estate was settled on Edward Nevett the younger and Theodora his wife. (fn. 105) They mortgaged Mayfield and 12 a. to John Nicholl of St. Andrew Holborn (d. 1688) (fn. 106) and their son John released his right to another John Nicholl of St. Andrew Holborn in 1697. (fn. 107) The manor-house and remains of the estate were sold in 1694 by John Nevett to John Cleeve, soap-maker of London, (fn. 108) descending in 1725 to his son and namesake and in 1748 to the younger Cleeve's nephew Henry Neale, on whose bankruptcy they were sold in 1772 to George Power. (fn. 109) Power sold the house and c. 5 a. to Neale's son-inlaw Richard Down (d. 1814), (fn. 110) who bought the rest from Power's heirs in 1790 (fn. 111) and, in 1800, bought Coppetts farm from the Rawlinson family. (fn. 112) Richard Down left the estate to his second son Edward subject to the life interest of his wife, (fn. 113) who held 86 a. in 1815. (fn. 114) In 1826 she and Edward Down conveyed it to the Bank of England, (fn. 115) which mortgaged or sold it, (fn. 116) but in 1846 the whole estate was held by George Smith (d. 1847), owner of 119 a. in the parish. (fn. 117) The manor-house passed to his son Henry John Smith (d. 1868), from whose family it was bought in 1891 by Constance Hill. (fn. 118) The Hill family ran a ladies' school there in 1884 and 1900. It was acquired in 1918 as a furniture store by William Jelks, (fn. 119) who sold it in 1932 to the Oldham Estates Co., (fn. 120) which demolished it. Coppetts farm may have descended in the same way until 1898, when it was sold for building by H. J. Smith's trustees. (fn. 121) The farm-house of 1670 was occupied in 1907 by the Friern Manor Dairy Co. (fn. 122)
Halliwick manor-house, new in 1602, (fn. 123) stood on the corner of Woodhouse Road and Colney Hatch Lane. It was thought a handsome villa in 1850. (fn. 124) In 1897 it was an L-shaped building with one wing of two storeys and another of three, each probably 18th-century, (fn. 125) and had 46 rooms, besides outbuildings and additions which included a gymnasium. (fn. 126) The grounds, stretching into Finchley and Hornsey, comprised 22 a. in 1909. (fn. 127) They contained a lake in the south-west part in 1850, many fine trees, and a garden celebrated for its vines. (fn. 128) Some trees had been felled by 1932, when the house had long stood empty. (fn. 129)
The lands of George Smith (d. 1847) north of Woodhouse Road passed to his son George Knights Smith (d. 1886), (fn. 130) who also acquired 30 a. of the Johnston estate there in 1850. (fn. 131) With further purchases from the Planet Building Society, Middlesex Freehold Land Association, and others, he built up the White House estate of c. 60 a. between Woodhouse Road, Torrington Park, and Friern Barnet Lane. After his death it was bought by Frederick Crisp of Holloway, later of the White House, who was planning building at his death in 1907. (fn. 132) G. K. Smith acquired a further 43 a. of the Johnston estate with frontages on Friern Barnet Road, (fn. 133) on part of which he built. (fn. 134) He sold 8 a. to James Ward in 1878 (fn. 135) and a further 33 a. by 1879, when it was laid out as the Holly Park estate. (fn. 136) He also acquired 12 a. adjoining the asylum from the duke of Buckingham and Chandos and still held them in 1882. (fn. 137)
At Colney Hatch 115 a. of the demesne of Halliwick were sold in 1801 by Earl Temple and his wife to George Curtis, (fn. 138) from whom they passed to Alderman Sir William Curtis, Bt. (d. 1829), who also acquired Muswell Hill farm. (fn. 139) They descended to his son Sir William (d. 1847) and consisted of 194 a. in 1846. (fn. 140) His widow Mary Anne and her son Sir William sold 8 a. between 1847 and 1849 to the G.N.R. and 119 a. to the Middlesex justices of the peace for a lunatic asylum, (fn. 141) the site being chosen for its position and proximity to the railway. (fn. 142) Colney Hatch asylum (Colney Hatch mental hospital in 1930, Friern mental hospital in 1937, and Friern hospital from 1959) was the largest asylum in Europe when opened in 1851. It served the eastern division of Middlesex until 1889, when it was transferred to the L.C.C., and from 1970 has served Islington, Haringey, and Camden L.B.s. Designed for 1,250 patients, it was extended to take 2,000 between 1857 and 1859, held a maximum of 2,700 in 1937, and contained 1,500 in 1974; additions after 1857 included seven villas between 1903 and 1913 and Halliwick House in 1958. The early buildings have been extensively modernized. In 1903 a temporary annexe was burnt down, causing 51 deaths in England's worst asylum disaster, and in 1941 five villas were bombed. The grounds were gradually extended to 165 a. by 1929, when 7 a. were cut off by the new North Circular Road and assigned to the L.C.C. as a playground. The estate included gardens, a farm of 75 a. later disused, a cemetery in use until 1873, and a chapel. The early buildings had 6 miles of corridor and a north front 1,884 ft. long, designed by S. W. Dawkes in an Italianate style, with ventilation towers and a central cupola. Once a household name, Colney Hatch asylum was often mentioned in literature. (fn. 143)
ECONOMIC HISTORY. AGRARIAN HISTORY.
More than half of the working population was engaged in agriculture in 1831 (fn. 144) and 67 per cent of the area was still farm-land in 1887. (fn. 145) Little more than a third of the parish was wooded by 1544 and 94 per cent of the land had been cleared by 1846. (fn. 146) Farm-land dwindled to 990 a. in 1887 and 905 a. in 1897. By 1917 that amount had been halved, in 1937 it was 115 a., and in 1957 there was no agricultural land apart from allotments. (fn. 147)
Common fields probably never existed in Whetstone manor. In 1519 the demesne consisted only of large inclosures, (fn. 148) numbering 15 by 1531 (fn. 149) and forming a compact block. The copyhold estates were concentrated in the north part of the parish and consisted of small groves and closes, (fn. 150) the latter apparently taken from the woods. (fn. 151) As assarting continued, the number of copyhold tenants rose from 10 in 1506 (fn. 152) to 15 in 1541-2 and 1564 (fn. 153) and to 18 in 1588. (fn. 154) Halliwick manor was already inclosed by the early 17th century. (fn. 155)
Apart from cartage, which was commuted, copyholders of Whetstone manor owed a common fine and rendered 11 days' work and 99 days' boon reaping in 1506. (fn. 156) In 1783 pasture was four times as extensive as arable (fn. 157) but by 1815 arable made up 42 per cent of the farm-land, including 110 a. in Manor farm, (fn. 158) perhaps resulting from improvements said to have been introduced by John Bacon. (fn. 159) Leases of the Chandos estate in the 18th and 19th centuries penalized conversion to tillage. (fn. 160) The parish as a whole was mainly meadow in 1795. (fn. 161) Arable fell from 36 per cent of agricultural land in 1815 (fn. 162) to 24 per cent in 1846, (fn. 163) 5 per cent in 1887, (fn. 164) and 4 per cent in 1897. (fn. 165) By 1937 there were no draught horses. (fn. 166)
Hay, probably for London, was made on 74 per cent of the 940 a. of pasture in 1887, when only the remaining 233 a. were used for grazing; (fn. 167) 18 a. in Myddelton Park produced hay in 1887 and the whole of Frenchman's farm in 1891. (fn. 168) School children in the late 19th century were given a fortnight's holiday for haymaking. (fn. 169) There were 240 dairy cattle in 1897 but only 69 in 1937, (fn. 170) perhaps mainly on the asylum's farm. In 1920 all Friern Barnet's milk was said to be brought in by railway and in 1923 there was a single herd of 11 cows, probably those for which Friern Watch Dairy had difficulty in finding pasture in 1924 and which were ageing in 1930. (fn. 171) Sheep had been the chief stock on John Nicholl's Colney Hatch estate in 1747, (fn. 172) but there were only 59 in the parish in 1887 (fn. 173) and by 1917 there was none. (fn. 174) Rights to pannage had figured in early leases. (fn. 175) Between 1887 and 1937 the number of pigs rose from 310 to 380; (fn. 176) probably some were kept in gardens, as in 1895 in Cromwell Road. (fn. 177) Three piggeries existed in 1954 but none in 1955. (fn. 178)
A nursery bordered Oakleigh Road in 1871. (fn. 179) There were several others near by in the late 19th and early 20th centuries but most had been built over by 1939. (fn. 180) The largest lay between Oakleigh Road, Friern Barnet Lane, and Whetstone High Road, and was extended around a small nursery by J. Sweet, who moved from Leyton (Essex) in 1862. By 1898 20 a. out of 29½ a. were under glass, and expansion was planned. Sweet, using glasshouses with larger panes and lighter frames, was described as 'the father of the modern hothouse nursery business'. (fn. 181) The land was requisitioned during the Second World War by the army, which controlled 33 a. in 1946. (fn. 182) In 1969 it became the site for Sweet's Way.
Several tenants of Whetstone manor paid more than 6s. rent in 1540-1 but Henry Goodere owed as much as 21s. 5d. (fn. 183) In 1588 Goodyers was one of three leading tenements, the others belonging to Richard Smith and Robert Sanny, who owed at least 14s. 10d. (fn. 184) or about three times that of anyone else. In 1664 and 1671 the parish contained 59 and 61 houses respectively, several of them vacant, and in 1664 only three had ten or more hearths, while 15 with one or two hearths were not taxed. (fn. 185) Thirty-seven houses were assessed for poor-rate in 1673: one at £140, ten at £50 to £100, and fourteen at less than £10. (fn. 186) There were few outstanding landowners in the late 17th or the early 19th centuries. Seven farms had over 50 a. in 1815 and 1846 but by the latter date only two exceeded 100 a., compared with five in 1815. On both occasions there was one farm of over 200 a. (fn. 187) Of the 84 people employed in agriculture in 1831, 71 worked on eight farms and the others as smallholders. (fn. 188) By 1917, when there were only two farms of over 50 a., there were still eleven smallholders. (fn. 189) In 1937 as many as 94 people were employed full-time and 112 part-time, probably in market gardening. There was one farm of 50-100 a., presumably the asylum's, and one of 20-50 a., which may have been Sweet's nursery. (fn. 190)
Probably the whole of the east part of the parish was once wooded. There were other woods in the south-west part and the centre, as well as Friern wood bordering Finchley common. In 1544 probably more than 450 a. (fn. 191) were woodland but by c. 1700 two-thirds of that had been felled. Friern wood had gone and the western half of the parish was farm-land before 1814, when the inhabitants were assigned allotments on Finchley common. (fn. 192) There were 127 a. of woodland in 1815, (fn. 193) 69 a. in 1846, (fn. 194) and only 8 a. after the clearance of Hollick wood by 1852. (fn. 195)
The demesne of Whetstone contained c. 200 a. of woodland in 1544. (fn. 196) Until 1574 woods were excluded from leases of the demesne by the Hospitallers and the chapter of St. Paul's. (fn. 197) Supplies of timber from Whetstone were often guaranteed when the Hospitallers leased other properties. (fn. 198) In 1506 the heaviest services due from the copyholders, equal in value to their rent, concerned the cartage of timber. (fn. 199) The woods were fenced, Friern wood gate being mentioned in 1545 and Woodgate in 1577, (fn. 200) and in 1549 Robert Standish received custody of the key to the lord's park. (fn. 201) There was a woodward between 1528 and 1564. (fn. 202) Clauses restricting the lessees' rights were not closely observed but there were still c. 60 a. of woodland in 1783 (fn. 203) and valuable standing trees in 1799. (fn. 204) The woods survived the tenure of John Bacon but consisted of only c. 5 a. in 1846. (fn. 205)
Friern wood of 88 a. was the largest wood in 1544, (fn. 206) probably stretching to the Finchley boundary from Friern Barnet Lane and perhaps bounded on the south by Blackett's brook. (fn. 207) It sheltered the manor-house (fn. 208) and consisted mainly of oaks in 1563, when the lessee had felled some without licence. (fn. 209) It was being wasted c. 1581 (fn. 210) and still covered c. 21 a. in 1661, (fn. 211) but by 1783 no trace remained. (fn. 212)
Damsells grove, 5 a. in 1544 (fn. 213) and adjoining Friern little park on the east, (fn. 214) had been cleared by 1649. (fn. 215) Friern little park faced the south end of Oakleigh Road and was bounded on the north by Blackett's brook in 1512-13. (fn. 216) It covered 28 a. in 1544, (fn. 217) 30 a. in 1649, (fn. 218) 23 a. in 1815, (fn. 219) and 19½ a. in 1825, when it was sold to James Wood, (fn. 220) who had divided it into plots with cottages by 1846. (fn. 221) Friern great park, north of Friern Barnet Road, probably adjoined Betstile grove to the west and was once separated from the little park only by Blackett's brook. (fn. 222) It comprised 54 a. in 1544, (fn. 223) 46 a. in 1649, (fn. 224) and 38 a. in 1815, (fn. 225) but had been divided into fields by 1846. (fn. 226)
The area north of Oakleigh Road may once have been wholly wooded. Much of it had been cleared by 1544 when, apart from Luckins grove of 9 a., Priests coppice of 1½ a., (fn. 227) and Wypers wood, there were many copyhold groves. Most of them were small: five groves held by John Goodere in 1498-9 amounted to only 22½ a. (fn. 228) Much the largest was Goodyers grove on the boundary with Hertfordshire. Totalling 67 a., it was divided into seven closes by 1628 (fn. 229) but had still contained 30½ a. of woodland in 1499 (fn. 230) and 20 a. in 1537. (fn. 231) There were frequent references to fields formerly woods. (fn. 232) Little Wypers wood of 4 a. survived in 1783, (fn. 233) the others probably having been cleared by the mid 17th century.
Hollick and Tottenham woods were joined in 1623, when the king asked that gates be provided between them for his hunting. (fn. 234) In 1689 Hollick wood adjoined Muswell Hill Lane (fn. 235) and probably extended to the junction with Friern Barnet Road, where a hatch gate stood in 1810. (fn. 236) It consisted of 160 a. in 1652 (fn. 237) but only c. 60 a. in 1716, (fn. 238) when several fields had been carved out of it. In 1783 they separated it from the roads to the north and west and it was bordered on the south by Bounds Green brook. (fn. 239) The wood still covered 61 a. in 1846 (fn. 240) but had been cleared for Colney Hatch asylum by 1852. (fn. 241) In the 18th century large numbers of oaks had been felled annually. (fn. 242) James de Audley had been granted free warren in 1252 (fn. 243) and the lord continued to take game during the 18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 244)
There was woodland on the site of Coppetts farm before 1565. (fn. 245) In 1628 two fields of 10 a. and 12 a. were called Small Harts wood and Deadmans Pitt heath. (fn. 246) The second had been cut down by 1565. (fn. 247) William Trott had a wood on the corner of Friern Barnet Lane and Friern Barnet Road in 1649. (fn. 248) The location of other coppices and woods is uncertain.
Trade and Industry.
From 1488 there were several brewers, mainly on the highway at Whetstone. Many inns had fields attached to them and so served drovers' herds as well as wayfarers: in the late 17th century the lessee of the Green Dragon invested £120 to improve his land for travellers' cattle and sheep (fn. 249) and in 1851 the landlord of the Black Bull employed most of his servants on the land. (fn. 250) Innkeepers at Whetstone, also employing ostlers and domestic servants, supported 34 people in 1851. Travellers also accounted for the presence of wheelwrights, carriers, blacksmiths, (fn. 251) and in 1882 a veterinary surgeon. (fn. 252)
Trade at first was concentrated at Whetstone. In 1831 there were 48 families chiefly occupied in trade or manufacture, the second largest form of employment, 8 carpenters or professional men, and 14 non-agricultural labourers. (fn. 253) Most common trades were practised at Whetstone in 1851 (fn. 254) but, probably because of the opening of the asylum, there were also many artisans at the Avenue in 1871 and at the Freehold, where women worked in occupations such as dress- or bonnet-making. Everywhere there was a considerable rise in the number of unskilled labourers. (fn. 255) Colney Hatch was becoming a shopping and service area by 1888 (fn. 256) and was the main retail district c. 1948, when the absence of a shopping centre was attributed to municipal policy. (fn. 257) In 1911 there were 39 shops, in 1959 there were 312, (fn. 258) and in 1975 the only large departmental stores were at Whetstone. There were five laundries in 1893 and a dry-cleaning works was among the largest employers in 1954. (fn. 259)
Brickearth could be dug by the manorial lessee in 1551. (fn. 260) The soil in the central area was found suitable for bricks in 1828 (fn. 261) and the asylum was largely built from bricks made locally. (fn. 262) Gravel ballast was used for road repairs (fn. 263) and in 1848 much of that north of Friern Barnet Road had been extracted. (fn. 264) There was a brickworks at Betstile in 1851, when a bricklayer with 12 employees lived at Whetstone. (fn. 265) Eleven householders at the Freehold in 1871 were bricklayers, six were carpenters, three were builders, and four were plasterers. (fn. 266) The construction industry prospered as the parish was built up.
In 1893 there were dairies, a bakehouse, and two slaughter houses. Only one workshop was visited under the Factories Act, probably the creosote works that emitted black smoke. (fn. 267) In 1911 there were four factories (fn. 268) and in 1920 there was a factory making boxes, another leather goods, and a third electrical instruments, probably Cambridge & Paul. (fn. 269) In 1924 there were said to be very few factories and workshops but eleven were listed in 1925, when there was no heavy industry except Biggs Wall & Co. and another unnamed engineering works. (fn. 270) An independent survey in 1933 considered that there were no factories in Friern Barnet. (fn. 271) There were said to be 74, mostly small, in 1954 and 84 by 1959. The five largest in 1954 included an electricity depot, a motor-bus garage, and the dry-cleaning works, and only the Cambridge Instrument Co. and Priory Handbag Co. were engaged in manufacture. (fn. 272)
In 1897 Robert Paul acquired land in Sydney Road in the Freehold for a film studio, alleged to be the first of its kind in Europe. In 1900 he moved his instrument workshop from Hatton Garden and in 1903 produced a galvanometer and later his prototype of the pulsator, a forerunner of the iron lung. From 1912, when Paul disposed of his rights, the firm made mainly measuring instruments, notably thermometers in the period between the World Wars. The premises were extended in 1937-9, 1959-61, and from 1963, but in 1975 production in Sydney Road and at another factory, in Finchley, together employing 750 people, was transferred to St. Neot's (Hunts.). In 1920 the firm amalgamated with the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Co. to form Cambridge & Paul, after 1924 the Cambridge Instrument Co. It merged in 1968 with George Kent and in 1971 with Foster Instrument Co., another subsidiary of the George Kent Group, to form Foster Cambridge. In 1974 it was taken over by the Swiss firm of Brown Boveri. (fn. 273)
The Priory Handbag Co., founded in Kilburn in 1942 to make ladies' handbags, moved to premises erected c. 1925 for a sawmill at Roman Road, the Freehold, in 1950. It produced footwear from c. 1971, changing its name to Priory Footwear, and in 1975 it employed 75-100 people. (fn. 274)
H. M. Creek began making tape-recorders c. 1950 at the rear of a radio shop and developed into the Magnetic Recording Co., leading the limited field of British tape-recorders. By 1958 it had been incorporated as the Wyndsor Recording Co. and occupied a model factory in Bellevue Road, Colney Hatch, where it produced c. 200 machines weekly in 1975. (fn. 275)
In 1951, 10,089 residents comprising 35 per cent of the total population worked outside the parish, 4,527 of them in central London. On the other hand 4,042 people who did not live in Friern Barnet worked there, (fn. 276) many of them presumably in offices at Whetstone.