East Finchley High Road looking south towards the tube station
East Finchley shown within Greater London
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Finchley & Golders Green|
|London Assembly||Barnet and Camden|
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2008)|
East Finchley is an area in the London Borough of Barnet, in north London, and situated 5.4 miles (8.7 km) north-west of Charing Cross. Geographically it is somewhat separate from the rest of Finchley, with North Finchley and West Finchley to the north, and Finchley Central to the west.
The land on which East Finchley now stands was once part of the Bishop of London's hunting ground. More recently, it was home to some grand 'country' estates of wealthy Londoners, from which several roads take their names (e.g. Summerlee Avenue, Park Hall Road). The suburb began to be developed in the 1890s.
East Finchley tube station is marked by a well-known statue of an archer by Eric Aumonier in the Art Deco style, and pointing his arrow towards the opening of the tunnel which starts south of the station and runs all the way to the end of the Northern Line at Morden. This 17.3 miles (27.8 km) long tunnel was for many years the longest in the world. There was originally an arrow at Morden Station to match the archer at East Finchley, but this was stolen not long after the station was opened.
Housing in East Finchley is diverse in its nature, encompassing many housing styles, from 19th-century terraced housing and 1960s council estates to multi-million pound mansions on The Bishop's Avenue. The three ten-storey tower blocks of Prospect Ring, near to the centre of East Finchley, are visible for miles around.
East Finchley has several state primary schools, including Our Lady Of Lourdes RC primary school, Martin Primary School, and Holy Trinity Primary School. There are two secondary schools in East Finchley itself - Bishop Douglass RC High School (Roman Catholic and mixed) and Christ's College (boys only up to Year 11, mixed sixth form). Many local children attend schools elsewhere in the London Borough of Barnet. For those living in the direction of Muswell Hill to the east of the High Road, Fortismere School (mixed comprehensive, which falls under the London Borough of Haringey Local Education Authority) is an option and many East Finchleans also fall into the catchment area for Brookland Junior School, which neighbours Christ's College. The Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute's new facilities are on the High Road.
||Church End||North Finchley||Friern Barnet|
|Temple Fortune||Muswell Hill|
|Hampstead Garden Suburb||Highgate||Fortis Green|
Amenities and features
The independent Phoenix Cinema (once called the Rex and before that the Coliseum) is located on the High Road, and regularly shows films with more individual appeal than is the case with the cinema chains. It is the oldest purpose-built cinema in the UK (the only older ones having started life as theatres). Time Out, the arts magazine, describes the Phoenix as the best single-screen cinema in London. Film critic Mark Kermode has written that the Phoenix Cinema "remains the single most significant cinema in my development as a bona fide cinema obsessive."
There is a listed Neo-Georgian public library located on the High Road opposite Leslie Road. Behind the library are some award-winning allotments, owned by Barnet Council. Adjacent to these are the Fuelland allotments which are held in trust. The massive St. Pancras and Islington Cemetery is located on the High Road. Established in 1854, it is the oldest municipal cemetery in London and the largest. The Victorian painter Ford Madox Brown is buried there.
Opposite the tube station is Cherry Tree Wood, approx. 4.5 ha in size, and contains both woodland and grassland. Nearby parks include Coldfall wood to the north, and Highgate Wood, Queens Wood and Hampstead Heath to the south.
The Archer, founded in the 1990s by Andrew Taylor, is East Finchley's free monthly community newspaper, run by volunteers. It takes its name from the eponymous statue at East Finchley tube station.
Peter Sellers lived with his mother at 211b High Road, and in his Goon Show persona as Bluebottle was usually referred to as an East Finchley boy scout. George Michael, the 1980s singer was born in Church Lane. Sir Ronald Fisher was born in East Finchley. Gracie Fields lived in The Bishop's Avenue. Thomas Pierrepoint, the official British hangman in the early 1900s lived in Huntingdon Road, by chance not far where the 18th-century gibbet stood in Lincoln Road.
The poet, playwright and educator Clive Sansom was born in East Finchley in 1910. The musical comedy actress and picture postcard beauty Marie Studholme lived and died at Croftway in Finchley Road and Studholme Court was named after her. Jerry Springer was born in East Finchley tube station in 1944 when his parents lived at Belvedere Court.
- Kermode, Mark. It's Only a Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive. London: Random House, 2010; page 26.
- "List Entry: East Finchley Library". English Heritage. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- Cherry, Bridget; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1998). London. ([New ed.] ed.). London: Penguin. p. 122. ISBN 0-14-071049-3.
- "The Archer". Retrieved 2009-10-21.
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