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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Friern Barnet, (fn. 1) home of Colney Hatch asylum, is a small parish 7 miles north of London and, with Finchley, protrudes into Hertfordshire. (fn. 2) Its maximum length along the main north-north-west axis is 3 miles and nowhere is it more than 1½ mile wide. The extent of the civil parish was 1,304 a. in 1871. In 1891 a small detached portion of Hornsey at Colney Hatch was included in Friern Barnet. The area increased to 1,340 a. between 1931 and 1937, through adjustments to boundaries on the incorporations of Finchley and Southgate, and to 1,342 a. in 1951. (fn. 3) The parish acquired a local board in 1884, became a U.D. in 1895, and from 1965 was included in the London Borough of Barnet. (fn. 4)
There are no natural boundaries, the location of estates having probably determined the border with Hertfordshire to the north and north-east. Edmonton and Tottenham lie to the south-east, Clerkenwell detached (later part of Hornsey), and Hornsey to the south, Hornsey and Finchley to the south-west, and Finchley to the west. Boundaries with Clerkenwell detached were marked by 1339 and with Finchley and Hertfordshire by 1515. (fn. 5) Where woods extended into Tottenham, Edmonton, and Finchley, (fn. 6) the boundary may have been fixed later. The bounds were beaten annually by 1781 (fn. 7) and marked by posts from 1855. (fn. 8)
Most of the ground lies on London Clay. A narrow deposit of brickearth lines Bounds Green brook. Boulder clay from Finchley stretches into the north part of the parish as far as All Saints' Avenue and along the whole western boundary the clay is flanked by glacial gravel, which extends eastward to Russell Lane in the north and through Colney Hatch to New Southgate in the south. The Friary, Manor House Farm, and St. James's church stand on an outcrop of gravel beside Friern Barnet Lane. (fn. 9) The highest point is Whetstone High Road in the north, on a ridge of over 300 ft. which recedes gradually southward along the Great North Road in Finchley. The whole of Friern Barnet south and east of that line falls away sharply as far as Bounds Green brook. The 250-ft. contour curves from Oakleigh Park station to the parish church. The only areas below 125 ft. are farther east, including part of Bethune recreation ground, and to the south on either side of Bounds Green brook, south of which the land rises steeply to 250 ft. towards Muswell Hill. (fn. 10)
The streams are all tributaries of Pymme's brook. Blackett's brook, mentioned c. 1513, (fn. 11) runs southward from a re-entrant in the North Middlesex golf course, eastward across Friern Barnet Lane, and under the railway towards Hertfordshire. Streams also flowed eastward under Friern Barnet Lane from Friary park by the socalled Queen Elizabeth's well in 1826 and through a culvert near the alms-houses. Farther south Bounds Green brook flows along the line of the North Circular Road to Southgate. (fn. 12) Bridges called Ruffins bridge and Stone bridge were decayed in 1519 (fn. 13) and Queen's bridge at 'Mr. Graham's Bottom' was to be repaired in 1765, (fn. 14) but in 1783 and 1846 Blackett's and Bounds Green brooks crossed the road in watersplashes. (fn. 15) Both brooks had been bridged by 1865 and the two northernmost streams were later mainly culverted. (fn. 16)
About 1197 the church, lands, and woods lay in 'Barnet', (fn. 17) which was not distinguished from the neighbouring Barnets in Hertfordshire. The name denoted a 'place cleared by burning', which may have been only recently assarted and presumably was relatively unimportant in 1237, when Barnet in Middlesex was termed Little Barnet. Not until 1274 was it called Frerenbarnet, (fn. 18) recording the lordship of the brotherhood or knights of the Hospital of St. John and later crystallized into Friern Barnet. The name was applied not only to the parish but to the manor, which from the 15th century, however, was usually called Whetstone. (fn. 19)
There were early settlements at Whetstone in the north-west part of the parish, at Friern Barnet in the centre, and at Colney Hatch to the south-east. The name Whetstone occurred from 1398 (fn. 20) and so cannot have derived from a stone used to sharpen swords before the battle of Barnet. (fn. 21) Colney Hatch was first mentioned in 1409, (fn. 22) the 'hatch' perhaps being a gate of Hollick wood. (fn. 23)
Friern Barnet parish remained largely rural until after the First World War. The building of Colney Hatch asylum in 1851 helped to cut off the area to the south, and the location of railways caused the edges of the parish to be built up first. In 1883 the most populous and prosperous district was that of All Saints', Whetstone. Sixty-one per cent of the total population, however, lived in the Freehold, Avenue, and Holly Park districts, (fn. 24) which had grown up around Colney Hatch. The working-class Freehold, so called in the late 19th century when the original ownership of the land had been forgotten, lay south of Bounds Green brook and east of Colney Hatch Lane. The Avenue was a similar area north-east of Colney Hatch, in the angle between Oakleigh Road South and Friern Barnet Road and separated by the railway from Holly Park, to the west. (fn. 25) Relative densities of population were altered by building in the central and northern parts of the parish after 1920. (fn. 26) More than ten per cent of the land was still open in 1975, most of it in the southern part. From the mid 19th century newcomers have worked mainly outside the parish, which by 1933 was largely residential. (fn. 27)
John Walker (d. 1807), actor and lexicographer, was born at Friern Barnet in 1732. (fn. 28) The philanthropist Dr. Samuel Wilson Warneford (d. 1855) was married at Colney Hatch in 1796. Charles Macfarlane (d. 1858), miscellaneous author, lived in a cottage at Friern Barnet in 1846. (fn. 29) Among those buried in the parish were Sir William Oldes, gentleman usher of the Black Rod, in 1718; (fn. 30) Admiral Sir Thomas Pasley, Bt. (d. 1808), whose hatchment hangs in St. James's church; (fn. 31) the song-writer Helen Selina Sheridan (d. 1867), later Lady Dufferin and countess of Gifford; and Herbert Kynaston (d. 1878), hymnologist and high master of St. Paul's school. Other notable inhabitants are mentioned below.
Friern Barnet's road system was established by the late 15th century. The main north-south route of that date became known as Whetstone High Road in the north, as Friern Barnet Lane between Whetstone and Colney Hatch, and as Colney Hatch Lane from there to Muswell Hill. According to Norden, it had been the principal highway from London to Barnet and the north of England but by the early 14th century the main road ran through Hornsey park to Finchley and thence to rejoin Friern Barnet Lane at Whetstone, along the route of the modern Great North Road. (fn. 32) Thus only Whetstone High Road, in the extreme north-west part of the parish, was left as a major line of communication.
Friern Barnet Lane, also known as Friern Lane, which was realigned c. 1790, (fn. 33) was Wolkstreet c. 1518. (fn. 34) Colney Hatch Lane, so called from 1846, (fn. 35) was Halliwick Street (Halwykstrete) in 1398 (fn. 36) and Muswell Hill Lane or Aspen Lane in 1801. (fn. 37) No route led westward, except via Whetstone. To the east a road led from Colney Hatch to Betstile, where it met roads to Enfield, Tottenham and Wood Green, East Barnet, and the modern Oakleigh Road. It was known in turn as Betstile Lane between 1549 and 1785, (fn. 38) Southgate Lane in 1801, (fn. 39) High Road in 1879, (fn. 40) and Friern Barnet Road from 1889. (fn. 41)
Oakleigh Road runs north-west from New Southgate parallel with Friern Barnet Lane to Whetstone High Road. The northern part or perhaps the whole was Avernstreet in 1499, (fn. 42) Hungerdown Lane from at least 1823 until 1881, (fn. 43) Blackhorse Lane in 1851, (fn. 44) Station Road from 1863 to 1871, and Oakleigh Road by 1873. (fn. 45) The stretch north of the Brunswick railway bridge became Oakleigh Road North, the rest Oakleigh Road South. Leading north-east from the centre of Oakleigh Road to East Barnet was Mare Lane, so called in 1522 and 1825 (fn. 46) but also known as Beldams Lane before 1820, when it was described as Blackhorse Lane, (fn. 47) and as East Barnet Lane by 1863. (fn. 48) In 1975 it was Russell Lane. By 1754 the modern Coppetts Road ran from Crouch End along the south-west parish boundary north towards Colney Hatch, (fn. 49) which by 1846 was linked by a track south of Bounds Green brook to Colney Hatch Lane. (fn. 50) At the northern end Coppetts Road met a route running westward from Colney Hatch shortly before it forked into two tracks crossing Finchley common, later Woodhouse Road and Summers Lane. (fn. 51) In the late 15th and early 16th centuries many copyhold lanes apparently led to individual holdings. (fn. 52)
South of Whetstone, in addition to Woodhouse Road and Summers Lane, roads on the lines of the later Torrington Park and Friary roads were planned in the 1820s (fn. 53) and had been laid out by 1863 (fn. 54) as Friern Park North and South. (fn. 55) Friern Barnet Lane and Oakleigh Road were linked only after 1903 by Myddelton Park. (fn. 56) Oakleigh Park North and South, following earlier footpaths, were laid out by 1888. (fn. 57) The principal roads of the Freehold in the south part of the parish existed by 1863, but access to Colney Hatch station was made difficult by the asylum to the north and the railway to the east, which apparently impeded growth in 1895. (fn. 58) A route across the railway line was not provided until the construction of the North Circular Road (Pinkham Way) after 1929. (fn. 59) In 1975 a fly-over was built over it to carry Colney Hatch Lane.
In 1754 Whetstone High Road was turnpiked in spite of local opposition and after 1810, when it was managed by the Whetstone and Highgate turnpike trust, it was said to be one of the best roads in the country. (fn. 60) In 1856 the Compagnie Générale des Omnibus de Londres employed two omnibuses on the London-Barnet route via Whetstone (fn. 61) and c. 1870 the journey from Whetstone to the City took 1¾ hour. (fn. 62) In 1901 Middlesex C.C. and the Metropolitan Tramways and Omnibus Co. obtained light railway powers for routes from Highgate to Whetstone and from Tottenham via Southgate to Friern Barnet. (fn. 63) The first route was completed in 1905 and in 1906 workmen's trams left regularly from 5 a.m. (fn. 64) The second reached Oakleigh Road in 1906, (fn. 65) permitting travel to Wood Green and thence to Enfield or Finsbury, (fn. 66) but was not extended along Woodhouse and Friern Barnet roads until 1909. (fn. 67) In 1914 there were combined Underground and motor-bus tickets from London via Highgate to Colney Hatch Lane. (fn. 68) In 1933 a motor-bus ran from Friern Barnet across London (fn. 69) and in 1936 Oakleigh Road was served by so many buses from Palmers Green to Whetstone that Friern Barnet U.D.C. considered pruning the services. (fn. 70) There were good communications with all neighbouring parishes c. 1948: trolley-buses ran from Finchley via Colney Hatch to Holborn and regular motor-buses from Potters Bar via Friern Barnet Lane to Victoria station. Motor-buses in the east part of the parish and trolley-buses in the centre served stations on the Piccadilly line, (fn. 71) probably Bounds Green and Arnos Grove as in 1958, when there were also motor-buses to the City and west end of London. (fn. 72) An omnibus garage at no. 165 Sydney Road was opened c. 1931 by the London Passenger Transport Board, later London Transport. (fn. 73)
In 1845 the Great Northern Railway's line to York was planned to skirt the eastern edge of Friern Barnet. (fn. 74) It was built slightly farther west, through the eastern end of Hollick wood, (fn. 75) and helped to determine the choice of an adjoining site for the county lunatic asylum. In 1850 the G.N.R. agreed in principle to a station, after requests from the Middlesex justices, who insisted on a train's stopping daily. (fn. 76) The station was built next to the asylum, with a siding which connected by a tramway to the stores depot in the grounds. (fn. 77) There was one train hourly to Hatfield in the north and to Hornsey and King's Cross in the south in 1860, when the journey to King's Cross took 18 minutes. (fn. 78) Trains still ran hourly in 1975. Access to the City was eased by the opening of the Metropolitan Railway in 1863. (fn. 79) Colney Hatch station initially stood in Edmonton parish (fn. 80) but was moved in 1889-90 farther north to a position over the tracks. (fn. 81) It was renamed Southgate and Colney Hatch in 1855, New Southgate and Colney Hatch in 1876, and New Southgate and Friern Barnet in 1923. (fn. 82) The line was bridged for Friern Barnet and Oakleigh roads and tunnelled between Oakleigh Park and Brunswick Park. Oakleigh Park station, opened in 1873 (fn. 83) between Colney Hatch and New Barnet stations, was in Hertfordshire.
Residents in the western and north-western parts of the parish could use stations beyond the boundary at Woodside Park and at Totteridge and Whetstone, on the branch line to High Barnet opened by the G.N.R. in 1872. The branch ran from Finchley Central on the line to Edgware from Finsbury Park, whence trains ran to King's Cross (fn. 84) and, from 1904, along the Great Northern and City Railway to Moorgate. (fn. 85) In 1940 the line to High Barnet became part of the Northern line, with Underground trains to the City and west end of London. (fn. 86)
The Freehold was served by Muswell Hill station on the G.N.R.'s branch line from Highgate to the Alexandra Palace. The line, opened in 1873, finally closed in 1954. (fn. 87)
The original settlement may have bordered Friern Barnet Lane near the church, but the manor-house built soon after 1551 and two farm-houses existing by the mid 17th century were the only residences near by in 1754. (fn. 88) The surrounding area, in the centre of the parish, consisted entirely of demesne late in the 15th century and was still mainly wood in 1544. (fn. 89) By 1488 there were two areas of copyhold land, one at Colney Hatch and the other north-east and south-east of Whetstone. (fn. 90) There were two chief pledges for Whetstone and one for Colney Hatch, (fn. 91) and copyhold tenements such as Sayers, Newmans, Cuckolds, and Tromers (fn. 92) were named after former holders, implying that the pattern of settlement was several generations old.
Whetstone village may have grown in the 14th century, when the diversion of the Great North Road made it an important road junction. (fn. 93) The bell at the Bell House summoned people from Whetstone to Friern Barnet church, (fn. 94) thought to be conveniently located in 1650. (fn. 95) By 1677 settlement was concentrated on both the Finchley and Friern Barnet sides of the Great North Road, (fn. 96) and in 1754 it adjoined the entrances to Oakleigh Road and Friern Barnet Lane. (fn. 97) Probably most of the five offenders against the assize of ale in 1492 lived in Whetstone, (fn. 98) where inns were always numerous. The Lion, one of two mentioned in 1636, (fn. 99) existed by 1521 (fn. 100) and may have been the same as the Red Lion, (fn. 101) later becoming the Green Man. (fn. 102) The Green Dragon existed by 1662, (fn. 103) the Bell House soon after, (fn. 104) and the Griffin by 1697. (fn. 105) There may have been seven public houses on the Friern Barnet side of the road in 1716 (fn. 106) and by 1800 five of the parish's six inns were at Whetstone: the Griffin, Green Man, King's Head, Blue Anchor, and Black Bull. (fn. 107) In 1876 and 1882 the inns catered for waggoners and stage coaches, as did forges and coach-houses. (fn. 108) Travellers have often stopped where the road widens in front of the Griffin, a red-brick Georgian building of two storeys, rebuilt c. 1929 and abutting on a plain two-storeyed late-18thcentury house. (fn. 109) The imposing Green Man, rebuilt in 1830, is of red brick in three narrow storeys and has been turned into a garage. In 1851 68 houses, with 367 inhabitants, were on the Friern Barnet side of the road, (fn. 110) where in 1876 buildings straggled for a considerable distance. (fn. 111) Apart from public houses, the village in 1882 consisted of shops and nondescript terraces, (fn. 112) many of them old-fashioned and poor. (fn. 113)
Colney Hatch was a hamlet in 1409. (fn. 114) Although on the edge of the manors of Whetstone and Halliwick and at the junction of Friern Barnet and Colney Hatch lanes with Friern Barnet Road, it lacked commercial importance. In 1795 it was estimated to have only twelve of the 78 houses in the parish (fn. 115) and those mostly belonged to gentlemen. Halliwick manor-house stood north of some cottages and on the south-west corner of the broad junction. The White House and the Orange Tree inn stood on the north-west, a little below Brook House, the Priory on the north-east, with the Woodlands, Greenbank, and Springfield farther north, (fn. 116) and the Hermitage and several cottages on the south-west by 1783. (fn. 117) Until rebuilt c. 1923 (fn. 118) the Orange Tree consisted of two red-brick buildings: that to the south was cramped and later disfigured by hoardings but the northern one remained an elegant 18th-century building, of three storeys and two bays. Each had a large garden. There was very little change in the 19th century before the construction of the county lunatic asylum, and in 1882 Colney Hatch was described as a village which had sprung up to serve the staff. (fn. 119)
South of Bounds Green brook there was only Coppetts Farm between 1783 and 1846. (fn. 120) At the eastern end of Friern Barnet Road was the hamlet of Betstile. Before 1815 most of the houses lay in Hertfordshire or Edmonton, apart from Betstile House on the corner of Friern Barnet and Oakleigh roads, (fn. 121) but by 1846 others stood north of the road, on the site of the former Friern great park, and the former Friern little park in Oakleigh Road had been divided into plots with cottages. (fn. 122) Since the mid 19th century Betstile has been better known as New Southgate.
Growth was uneven from the mid 19th century. In 1801 there were 56 inhabited houses in Whetstone, 55 in Friern Barnet, and 33 in Colney Hatch, and by 1841 the population had doubled over forty years. (fn. 123) After 1852 several schemes for the central area were abandoned or only partially carried out: 35 new houses were inhabited there by 1883, (fn. 124) when it contrasted with the built-up periphery of the parish, (fn. 125) and no estate was completed before 1914. Until that date most houses were built for labourers and clerks in the Avenue, Freehold, and Holly Park districts, although all parts experienced some growth. In 1909 there were 971 dwellings in the south, 722 in the central, and 403 in the north wards, when it was proposed that the south ward should elect 5, the central ward 4, and the north ward only 3 members to the U.D.C. (fn. 126) After 1920 there was little building in the south ward but the centre and north were steadily covered. The U.D.C. was a leading builder from 1919, until in 1953 there were 674 council houses in a total of 8,162. (fn. 127)
In 1828 new roads were proposed for central Friern Barnet, (fn. 128) where early plans were made for access to the Great North Road rather than Friern Barnet Lane. In 1852 Finsbury Road (later Finchley Park), a cul-de-sac from the Great North Road into Friern Barnet with two southern spurs, had been laid out as the Finsbury estate in at least 36 plots. (fn. 129) There were a few houses in 1865 (fn. 130) but the estate was not completed until after 1900. (fn. 131) It was bordered on the north by Goslings and Dovescroft of 13½ a., which in 1853 were acquired by Morgan Godbold and Co., (fn. 132) who laid out the Finchley freehold estate of 114 allotments. Opposite the Swan with Two Necks in the Great North Road, Britannia Road stretched to the edge of John Miles's estates and was to form a square with other streets. Presumably there was little demand for housing, as by 1857 Miles had purchased almost the whole, redeeming certain lots from other buyers. (fn. 133) Only the west end of Britannia Road was constructed. A little farther south Torrington Park and Friary Road were laid out on Thomas Bensley's former estate between Friern Barnet Lane and the Great North Road by 1865, (fn. 134) where between 1866 and 1868 the land was sold by H. D. Holden. Some lots were incorporated in the estate of John Miles, later the North Middlesex golf course, (fn. 135) but most were sold to the Planet Building Society, which planned a road south-westward from Friern Barnet Lane across Torrington Park to the Great North Road. (fn. 136) The western stretch, intended to join Friern Park, was laid out as Torrington Road in the Finchley estate of the Middlesex Freehold Land Association on land that had not belonged to Bensley. (fn. 137) It was hardly built on by 1865 and was not finished until after 1897, (fn. 138) while the eastern end was never developed. Edmund William Richardson, secretary of the building society, bought most of the plots between Friary Road and Torrington Park as his garden, (fn. 139) in 1975 Friary park, and others were retained for agriculture by George Knights Smith. (fn. 140) There were a few houses between the roads by 1897 but the whole area was built over only between the World Wars. (fn. 141) It contained the Friern Watch estate of Newcombe Estates, which consisted of the avenues between High Road, Finchley Park, and Friary and Torrington roads. (fn. 142) Central Friern Barnet grew slowly as transport improved and was mainly farm-land until after the First World War. In 1883 it contained only 90 houses. (fn. 143)
The opening of Colney Hatch asylum and station brought new residents to the area east of the railway. In 1854 G. K. Smith was letting cottages in Carlisle Place and in 1864 Cornwall Terrace, Ely Place, and Railway Cottages had been built in Oakleigh Road South and Southgate Cottages in Friern Barnet Road. (fn. 144) Betstile House had been replaced by terraced cottages before 1888, (fn. 145) when Smith sold 8 a. between the two roads for further building. (fn. 146) Better known as the Avenue, the land was sold in 1890 to the United Estates & Investment Co. (fn. 147) St. Paul's, Holmesdale, and Stanhope roads, the Avenue, and Carlisle Place, with small houses close together, were laid out. (fn. 148) There were 185 houses with 925 occupants in 1883, when only the Freehold had a lower rateable value, (fn. 149) and in 1891 the district was considered one of the roughest in the northern suburbs. (fn. 150) Houses of similar type, such as Rathbone Cottages, were erected c. 1865 north of the Brunswick railway bridge. (fn. 151)
The Freehold's roads were defined in 1863, (fn. 152) probably by the Westminster Freehold Land Society, (fn. 153) and by 1867 they had c. 130 houses, with c. 1,000 inhabitants. (fn. 154) The influx was of labourers employed on the Alexandra Palace in Wood Green, whom the parish could not immediately absorb. In 1866 the roads, drains, and water supply were considered as bad as the moral condition of the newcomers, (fn. 155) many of whom left the district (fn. 156) when the first palace was burnt down. (fn. 157) Seven occupants per house was considered a modest estimate in 1867, (fn. 158) only two families kept servants in 1877, (fn. 159) and there were 870 inhabitants in 174 houses in 1883. (fn. 160) The rented houses, neglected and difficult to keep sanitary in 1893, (fn. 161) accommodated many young, poor, and abnormally large families in 1904. (fn. 162) As late as 1920 the inhabitants were mainly artisans and casual labourers. (fn. 163) In spite of such expansion, land east of Colney Hatch Lane was still being farmed in 1902 and was not built on until the 1930s. (fn. 164) The Albion Estates Co. had laid out half of its Halliwick Manor estate west of Colney Hatch Lane for 800 houses c. 1899 (fn. 165) and there was land for 500-700 houses, with four miles of road frontage, in 1901. (fn. 166) The houses were intended for sale. (fn. 167) In 1909 4,537 people lived in 971 houses in the south ward. (fn. 168)
Holly Park, the district north of Friern Barnet Road and so called after 1871, attracted the first commuters after the opening of Colney Hatch station. (fn. 169) In 1904 they were mainly London clerks, keeping up appearances on small incomes. (fn. 170) They lived in small semi-detached houses, described as smart villas in 1876, (fn. 171) or in superior terraced houses with bay windows, such as Edith, Glen, and Thorne villas and Cyprus and Clydesdale terraces in Glenthorne Road. (fn. 172) The Holly Park estate of 33 a. adjoined the railway, with a frontage on Friern Barnet Road. It was laid out in 424 plots in 1879, when Beaconsfield, Glenthorne, and intervening roads were said to have been sewered, although only 47 plots on the main road had then been sold (fn. 173) and the roads were mere tracks in 1910. (fn. 174) By 1883 there were 198 houses with 900 occupants (fn. 175) and in 1889 Glenthorne Road contained 66 and Holly Park Road 74 houses. (fn. 176) The estate was virtually complete by 1897. (fn. 177)
Southgate Park, an estate of 24 a. which bounded Holly Park on the west, (fn. 178) included the Priory and fronted Friern Barnet Lane and Road. Still fields in 1889, (fn. 179) it had been divided into 314 plots around Stanford, Ramsden, Hartland, and two unnamed roads before the bankruptcy of the London Land Co. in 1887, (fn. 180) when 200 plots were put up for sale. (fn. 181) There were only 12 houses in Macdonald Road and 15 in Stanford Road in 1896, (fn. 182) and some of the estate was incomplete in 1920, (fn. 183) although the whole of the north side of Friern Barnet Road had been finished by 1900. (fn. 184) Building was mainly by local firms, notably Brown & Sweetland. (fn. 185)
North of Southgate and Holly parks Frenchman's farm, extending from Friern Barnet Lane to the railway, was offered for sale before 1879. (fn. 186) As the Bethune Park Garden estate of 110 a., it was intended to be the 'prettiest garden suburb to London', with a network of roads from Friern Barnet Lane to Oakleigh Road and with access to Friern Barnet Road via Holly Park. The plots had wide frontages and the quality of building was to be controlled on the whole estate, which would include Friern Barnet Garden Village on the Ridgeway. The Crescent was lined with expensive houses in 1910, when the area between it and Holly Park Road had been built over and the Ridgeway and Bethune Avenue had been constructed, (fn. 187) but little more was done before 1920. (fn. 188)
The Hollyfield estate, in the south corner of Friern Barnet Road and Colney Hatch Lane and previously part of Hillside farm, was laid out for building in 1903 by E. C. Day. St. John's and Hollyfield roads were to have houses and the frontages to the main roads were to have shops, (fn. 189) most of which had been built by 1912. (fn. 190)
West of Friern Barnet Lane and north of Woodhouse Road the White House estate of c. 55 a. of Frederick Crisp was acquired in 1908 by the British Land Co. (fn. 191) By 1911 Ashurst, Petworth, Bramber, Warnham, and Buxted roads had been laid out between Woodhouse Road and Friern Park and the first two had been built up. (fn. 192) Lewes Road was later inserted and Horsham Road was constructed across the grounds of Brook House, but contained little housing in 1920. (fn. 193)
The northern part of the parish had no houses in 1866 except in Whetstone High Street. (fn. 194) East of it and north of Oakleigh Road lay the district that became known as Oakleigh Park. The Whetstone Freehold Estate Co. had acquired land formerly of the Haughton Clarke family known as Matthews farm by 1869, when it diverted footpaths to lead to Oakleigh Park station. (fn. 195) In 1871, apart from the cottages in Beldhams Place, the whole area contained only six large houses. (fn. 196) The estate included long frontages in Oakleigh Road, which attracted buyers in 1875, when 25 large houses were occupied and other plots were for sale. (fn. 197) Demand persisted in 1888, when 40 such houses were occupied, some with tennis courts and stabling and many described as genteel villas. (fn. 198) In spite of building the area in 1882 was thought to be prettily timbered and undulating, with extensive rural views. (fn. 199) In 1883 the whole district of All Saints, which included Whetstone High Road, contained 271 houses with 1,255 inhabitants and had the highest rateable value in the parish. (fn. 200) In 1889 only 33 houses stood in Oakleigh Park North, 13 in Oakleigh Park South, and 10 in Athenaeum Road, which was lined with sports grounds. (fn. 201) By 1920 Oakleigh Gardens was partly built up but Oakleigh Avenue, (fn. 202) laid out as All Saints' Road in 1905, (fn. 203) was still an empty track. (fn. 204) The former estate of the duke of Buckingham and Chandos was sold in 1892 (fn. 205) but Chandos Avenue alone had been constructed by 1920, when its eastern end was lined with houses. (fn. 206)
Myddelton Park, a short cul-de-sac from Oakleigh Road opposite the entrance to Oakleigh Park South, was built by John Miles before 1882, when he erected All Saints' church and Vicarage near by. (fn. 207) In 1903 the whole of his estate between Friern Barnet Lane and Oakleigh Road was acquired by the National Land Corporation which planned freehold houses for prosperous commuters and extended Myddelton Park to Friern Barnet Lane along an existing path, Loring and Pollard roads, and Queen's Avenue. (fn. 208) Initially 86 plots, fronting Oakleigh Road and in the part of Myddelton Park where there was roadway, were offered for sale. (fn. 209) Successive sales followed, including those of 58 plots in 1905, when Loring and Pollard roads were still projected, (fn. 210) but there were only c. 50 houses by 1920: the frontage to Friern Barnet Lane was built up but not that to Oakleigh Road, and houses formed isolated groups elsewhere in the estate. (fn. 211)
In 1921 the population outside the lunatic asylum was 14,821, of whom 2,419 lived in All Saints' district including Whetstone, 4,598 in the Freehold, and 5,512 in the parish of St. James, which included Holly Park and Colney Hatch. (fn. 212) By 1920 most of the Freehold east of Colney Hatch Lane and south of Albion Avenue farther west was covered with building, as were the Avenue, Holly Park, and the Hollyfield estate. Housing was less concentrated in the north-west part of the parish, in Myddelton Park and Oakleigh Park, and large areas were almost rural. (fn. 213) In 1920 the population density in the north ward was 5.26 per acre, compared with 19.1 in the central and 26 in the south wards, (fn. 214) but only 448 a. or a third of the total land was built up. (fn. 215) Most of the remainder was built on between the World Wars. (fn. 216)
After the First World War the council was a major builder, following a scheme of 1919 by two projects for 100 houses each in 1925 and 1926. There were two main sites, the western part of the Freehold and 36 a. north of Oakleigh Road, (fn. 217) on the second of which houses were built along Russell Lane, Road, and Gardens, Simmons Close and Way, Miles Way, and Barfield Avenue. Under the initial scheme Russell Road was finished in 1921, (fn. 218) and by the end of 1926 73 houses had been built on the northern site and 38 on the southern. Nonetheless in that year, when the council was particularly active, it was responsible for only 78 of 266 houses under construction. (fn. 219) The schemes were complete in 1928. (fn. 220)
The southern and western parts of the Bethune estate were built as planned, although considerable space was left along the Crescent. Most of the northern part was acquired by the council for allotments and a recreation ground, cutting off Holly Park from the Church farm estate, which, on the completion of Myddelton Park, was laid out to the south by Church Farm Estates Ltd. between Friern Barnet Lane and Oakleigh Road North. (fn. 221) The first roads were Oakleigh Crescent, Church Way and Crescent, St. James's Avenue, and Friary Avenue, and building was still in progress in York Way in 1935. (fn. 222) The estate contained uniform semidetached housing and blocks of flats, built to prescribed densities. (fn. 223) Building likewise occurred west of Friern Barnet Lane, where a network of roads linked the existing cul-de-sacs. The sites of large older houses were also used: on the death of Sydney Simmons's widow in 1935 her house Okehampton was demolished and a private road (Okehampton Close) between Torrington and Friern parks and two- and three-storeyed flats were approved for the site. (fn. 224) Similar building was carried out in Oakleigh Park, where only sports grounds were left. Even the Freehold provided space for high density blocks (fn. 225) and new roads, such as Bedford Close off Colney Hatch Lane in 1936. (fn. 226) The Orange Tree and White House at Colney Hatch were rebuilt c. 1923, (fn. 227) and the site of Halliwick manor-house was acquired in 1932 by Oldham Estates, who originally planned five new roads, 218 houses, and 57 shops. (fn. 228) In 1931 27.7 per cent of the population was considered to belong to the two highest social classes and only 14.5 per cent to the two lowest. (fn. 229)
After the Second World War the council was the only large-scale builder. It used few new sites, since little land not reserved as open space was left, although 215 a. were available for new schools. (fn. 230) The Freehold estate was extended westward before 1969 by the construction of Halliwick Road, George Crescent, and the west frontage of Colney Hatch Lane, (fn. 231) as planned in 1949. (fn. 232) Gardens in Oakleigh Park were appropriated between 1951 and 1957. (fn. 233) Wellington House, the Hollies, a large brick and concrete range of flats with flat roof and balconies on the corner of Oakleigh Road North and Oakleigh Park South, won a design award in 1953. (fn. 234) Since 1969 Sweet's Way has replaced the former nursery at Whetstone: it consists of small houses grouped in cul-de-sacs around lawns. By 1969 (fn. 235) Friern Lodge north of the golf course had been replaced by Friern Court, a block of flats. The site of Derwent Lodge west of the links was built on in the 1950s (fn. 236) and Haldane Close was constructed on the former Cromwell recreation ground by 1975. Houses built before 1900 were considered worn out in 1930 (fn. 237) but it was not until 1958 that the first slums were demolished at nos. 16-22 East Road, nos. 1-10 Lilly Villas, and nos. 1-21 Ada Villas. (fn. 238) The adjoining Link Road crossed the north-east corner of Bethune recreation ground by 1969. The near-by Avenue district was cleared after 1969; (fn. 239) by 1975, when there were still vacant patches, the Avenue itself, Stewards Holte Walk, Coppies Grove, and flats called Holmesdale and Stanhope had been built. Slum clearance had been proposed for the Freehold as early as 1933, (fn. 240) and in 1975 flats were being put up on the north frontage to Hampden Road. Four new schools included two in Bethune Park between the Crescent and Hemington Avenue.
Private building since 1945 has also been mainly on old sites, for flats. At Oxford Gardens, off Athenaeum Road, a cul-de-sac of town houses was partly finished by 1968. (fn. 241) In Stanford Road on the site of St. John's school (closed in 1968) a block of flats has been called Gilmore Court after the rector. Others stand in Whetstone High Road on either side of Friern Mount Drive, and Torrington Court, in the town-house style, occupies a single plot in Torrington Park. Wide frontages in Oakleigh Park have permitted the piecemeal construction of new houses. No part of the parish is without in-filling.
In 1975 Friern Barnet was still divided by the asylum and a large empty tract on either side of the North Circular Road. To the south the Freehold was orientated towards Muswell Hill, with buildings along Colney Hatch Lane straggling into north Hornsey. To the east terraces were interspersed with small corner shops, little changed since 1909 and concealing factories, some of them large employers. Many slums had been replaced and the west Freehold built up, except its extreme south part and the playing fields and recreation ground in the north.
In the north half of the parish only the eastern section from the Avenue to Russell Lane, dominated by council estates, is like the Freehold. Although parts remain waste, the Avenue has been rebuilt and the terraces in East and Oakleigh roads are being cleared. As in 1882 the largest shopping area is Whetstone High Road, with several blocks of shops, including multiple stores, public houses, and offices, most of them modern. It is not rivalled by Colney Hatch, New Southgate, or Oakleigh Road North, where small shops serve a local clientele. The rest of the parish is covered mainly by commuters' semi-detached houses. Some of the Victorian and Edwardian terraces in Holly Park are decaying and others are divided into flats, but most are structurally sound. Friern Barnet Lane, bordered by Friary park and the golf course, is the least populous part; with grass verges, it still seems rural, despite the felling of trees in the churchyard and in front of the alms-houses. After insertions and some rebuilding Oakleigh Park, with its winding roads lined with mature trees, preserves a distinct character. Apart from the alms-houses and an 18thcentury building beside the Griffin, there are no buildings earlier than 1850.
There were 80 communicants in Friern Barnet in 1544 (fn. 242) and 84 adult males took the protestation oath in 1642. (fn. 243) The population rose steadily from 432 in 1801 to 974 in 1851 and 3,344, including 2,009 in the lunatic asylum, in 1861. The rate of growth then accelerated to reach a total of 6,424 in 1881, 14,994 in 1911, 17,375 in 1921, and 23,101 in 1931; the figures include 2,351 in the asylum in 1881, 2,452 in 1911, 2,854 in 1921, and 2,880 in 1931. From a peak of 29,163 in 1951, numbers fell slightly to 28,813 in 1961. Friern Barnet ward, covering 313 hectares and about three-fifths of the size of the former U.D., had 15,112 persons in 1971. (fn. 244)