Golders Green clock tower
Golders Green shown within Greater London
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||NW11, NW2|
|UK Parliament||Finchley & Golders Green|
|London Assembly||Barnet and Camden|
Golders Green is an area in the London Borough of Barnet in London, England. Although having some earlier history, it is essentially a 19th-century suburban development situated approximately 5.3 miles (8.5 km) north west of Charing Cross and centred on the crossroads of Golders Green Road and Finchley Road.
It was historically part of Middlesex, and formed part of the Municipal Borough of Hendon until 1965. In the early 20th century it grew rapidly in response to the opening here of a tube station of the London Underground, adjacent to the Golders Green Hippodrome - home to the BBC Concert Orchestra for many years. It has a wide variety of housing and a busy main shopping street, Golders Green Road. The area is noted especially for its large Jewish population as well as for being home to the largest Jewish Kosher hub in the UK which attracts many Jewish tourists.
The name Golders comes from a family named Godyere who lived in the area and Green alludes to the manorial waste the settlement was built on. Golders Green has been a place in the parish and manor of Hendon since around the 13th century. The earliest references to the name of the adjacent district of "Temple Fortune" is on a map (c. 1754). However this name reveals a much earlier history. It is likely that the name refers to the Knights of St John, who had land here (c. 1240). Fortune may be derived from a small settlement (tun) on the route from Hampstead to Hendon. Here a lane from Finchley, called Ducksetters Lane (c. 1475), intersected. It is likely that the settlement was originally the Bleccanham estate (c. 10th century). By the end of the 18th century Temple Fortune Farm was established on the northern side of Farm Close.
The building of Finchley Road (c. 1827) replaced Ducksetters Lane as a route to Finchley, and resulted in the development of a small hamlet. Hendon Park Row (c. 1860s) is of this period, and consisted of around thirty small dwellings built by a George Stevens, which were, with two exceptions, demolished (c. 1956). A small dame school and prayer house run by Anglican deaconesses existed in the 1890s and 1900s, and developed to become St. Barnabas (1915). Along Finchley Road were a number of villas (c. 1830s), joined by the Royal Oak public house (c. 1850s). By the end of the 19th century there were around 300 people living in the area, which included a laundry and a small hospital for children with skin diseases. The principal industry was brick making.
In 1895 a Jewish cemetery was established adjacent to Hoop Lane, with the first burial in 1897. Golders Green Crematorium was opened in 1902 (although much of it was built after 1905). A significant moment in Temple Fortune's development into a suburban area occurred in 1907, when transport links were vastly improved by the opening of Golders Green tube station.
Although the area had been served by horse-drawn omnibuses (since at least the 1880s) and later motor buses (from 1907), the tram line of 1910, connecting Finchley Church End with Golders Green Station, led to the development of the area west of Finchley Road. The establishment of Hampstead Garden Suburb brought major changes to the area east of Finchley Road. Temple Fortune Farm was demolished and along the front of the road the building of the Arcade and Gateway House (c. 1911) established the Hampstead Garden Suburb's retail district.
Both the Golders Green Hippodrome, former home of the BBC Concert Orchestra, and the police station opened in 1913. The now-demolished Orpheum Theatre (1930) was intended to rival the Hippodrome in Golders Green.
The area is situated within the Golders Green electoral ward of the Finchley and Golders Green parliamentary constituency, which encompasses parts of the NW11 and NW2 postcode areas within its geographical borders. The remainder of the Golders Green area is covered by the Childs Hill and Garden Suburb electoral wards. The same boundaries are used for the Golders Green, Childs Hill and Garden Suburb wards of the Metropolitan Police Service.
||Hendon||Temple Fortune||Hampstead Garden Suburb|
|Brent Cross||Hampstead Heath|
The area is adjacent to the Heath Extensions part of Hampstead Heath.
There has been a prominent Jewish community since the 20th century. The ultra orthodox took root after Hitler's rise to power with the first German immigrants forming the Golders Green Beth Hamedrash. Soon after, Galician Polish immigrants formed other synagogues. With it came the formation of Jewish schools such as Menorah before the onset of World War II. By the 1950s the Jewish population tripled. There are close to 50 Kosher restaurants and eateries under rabbinical supervision in Golders Green, and over 40 synagogues dotted throughout the area continuing into neighbouring Hendon, as well as thirty schools (some in outlying areas due to space restriction), many of them private. The Jewish community of Hendon and Golders Green is viewed as one, sharing the schooling system as well as Rabbinical guidance. In the early 1970s South Asians and Africans, notably from Uganda, settled in Golders Green. There are also many Japanese and Southeast Asian families living in the district.
The area has restaurants with cuisines from all over the world, from Kosher food, through to Indian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Italian eateries. These are over a dozen coffee bars; together with a number of niche food stores, including two Japanese, two Iranian, two Korean and one Malaysian.
Golders Green station is a London Underground tube station on the Northern line in zone 3. It is the first surface station on the Edgware branch when heading north. On the station's forecourt is Golders Green bus station. This is a major hub for London Buses in North West London. National Express coaches also stop at the bus station before/after central London.
There are six state aided primary schools in Golders Green; these include: Brookland infant & junior, Garden Suburb infant & junior, Menorah primary school and Wessex Gardens. Henrietta Barnett School is located in nearby Hampstead Garden Suburb.
The Carmelite Monastery was established in Bridge Lane in 1908 and sold in 2007. The Anglican parish church of St. Alban the Martyr in North End Road was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and in 1933 replaced the original eponymous church on the site which is now the parish hall. The latter was built in 1910 and made a parish church in 1922. St. Edward the Confessor, a Roman Catholic church, was built in 1915 and consecrated in 1931. There are also a Greek Orthodox cathedral on Golders Green Road, and a Coptic Orthodox church, both having been Anglican churches for most of the 20th Century. Golders Green Synagogue opened in Dunstan Road in 1922. The Golders Green Beth Hamedrash opened in Golders Green in 1935, moving to The Riding in 1956. The Sassower Beis Hamedrash Helenslea Ave moved to Golders Green from the east end in 1938 as well as the Beis Yissochor Dov currently in Highfield Ave, the most sought after and busiest. The Machzike Hadath Synagogue moved to Golders Green in the 1970s, opening its present building in 1983. In about 1960 the Eastern Jewish Community established the Ohel David Eastern Synagogue at the Lincoln Institute, the former site of the Golders Green Beth Hamedrash. The Synagogue Beth Shmuel opened in 1942 in Oakfields Rd and relocated at 169-171 Golders Green Road since 1952  and is one of the most prominent synagogues in North West London with Grand Rabbi Elchonon Halpern the longest serving Rabbi since its inauguration in 1942. The onetime Hindu temple atop Helenslea Avenue, decommissioned in 2013, was previously St Ninian's Presbyterian Church, built in 1911 by T. Phillips Figgis who was also noted for designing some stations on the Northern line. The congregation merged with Golders Green Methodist Church (now Trinity Church, Hodford Road) in 1979. There is a Unitarian chapel built in the Romanesque style on Hoop Lane which contains some interesting murals from the 1920s. The former Hippodrome theatre is now an El Shaddai International Christian Centre.
Golders Hill Park, adjoining the West Heath of Hampstead Heath, is a formal park, which includes a small zoo, a walled horticultural garden, pinetum, duckponds, a water garden and a café. During the summer, children's activities are organised and there is often live music on the bandstand. Close to the park, also adjoining the West Heath is the Hill, a formal garden with an extensive and imposing pergola.
Nearby Golders Green Crematorium has an extensive garden with features such as a special children's section and a pond, in keeping with the distinct Italianate air. It is sometimes referred to as the 'celebrity crematorium' because of the high proportion of nationally and internationally renowned public figures to have been cremated there. Famous people whose cremations have taken place include Kingsley Amis, Marc Bolan (born, Mark Feld), Neville Chamberlain, T. S. Eliot, Sigmund Freud, Hugh Gaitskell, John Inman, Keith Moon, Ivor Novello, Anna Pavlova, Frank Rutter, Peter Sellers, Ghisha Tuckman (born Ghisha Koenig), Amy Winehouse, Michael Foot, Tommy Vance and Wendy Richard.
Appearances in popular culture
The area is the setting of the humorous short story "The Ghoul of Golders Green" (May Fair, 1925) by Michael Arlen.
George Harrison recorded an unreleased track called "Going Down to Golders Green". This came about because he would visit members of the pop group Badfinger, who lived at 7 Park Avenue, off North End Road, situated on the borders of Golders Hill Park.
A second posthumous album release of the music of Pete Ham of the pop group Badfinger is entitled Golders Green. The first posthumous album release was entitled 7 Park Avenue, named after the address of Badfinger's band residence in Golders Green.
Dannie Abse, the Welsh-Jewish poet, was once a resident of Golders Green. It provides a backdrop to a couple of his poems such as "Odd" and "3 a.m. in Golders Green Road".
Places of interest
- Golders Green Hippodrome
- Ivy House on North End Road, former home of the renowned Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova
- Michael Allmand VC (1923–1944), recipient of the Victoria Cross, was born in Golders Green.
- Helena Bonham Carter, actress, was born in Golders Green.
- Jemma McKenzie-Brown, actress, lives in Golders Green.
- Alex Clare, singer-songwriter, was born in and lives in Golders Green.
- Anthony Joshua, Olympic Gold medallist in Boxing, currently lives in Golders Green.
- Kathleen Simon, Viscountess Simon, abolitionist, lived and died in Golders Green.
- Osi Umenyiora, defensive end for Atlanta Falcons, was born in Golders Green.
- Michael McIntyre, grew up in Golders Green.
- Evelyn Waugh, novelist, author of Brideshead Revisited lived on North End Road at Underhill.
- Steven Wilson, musician, lived in Golders Green during the 1990s and early 2000s.
- Ghada Karmi, author, lived in Golders Green with her family after fleeing Palestine in 1948.
- Michael Grosvenor Myer, theatre, book and folk music critic, grew up in Golders Green.
Notes and references
- Weinreb, Ben (2008). The London Encyclopaedia (3rd ed.). pp. 328–329. ISBN 978-1-4050-4924-5.
- St Edward Home page
- "Finchley and Golders Green BC". Boundary Commission for England. 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
- "Finchley and Golders Green BC". Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime 2014. 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
- Kosher in the country The Economist 1 June 2006 accessed 14 August 2007
- "Buses from Golders Green". Transport for London. July 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
- Carmelite monastery Bridge Lane
- Kevin Bradford Developers do not rule out demolishing Carmelite monastery, in Golders Green, after winning a High Court ruling against Barnet Council 26 November 2009 Hendon & Finchley Times Retrieved 1 May 2012
- AIM25 Retrieved 29 November 2013
- St Edward the Confessor
- The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Cross & St. Michael Retrieved 1 May 2012
- St. Mary & Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church Golders Green, U.K. Retrieved 1 May 2012
- Golders Green Synagogue
- Jewish Communities & Records 12 December 2011 Retrieved 1 May 2012
- Jewish Communities & Records 14 December 2011 Retrieved 1 May 2012
- Shree Swaminarayan Temple London Retrieved 29 November 2013
- "Deaths", The Times, 20 April 1937, p. 1.
- "X Factor house on the market for a song, as asking price drops by over half a million". Daily Mail. 25 March 2010.
- "Helena Bonham Carter - Biography on Bio". Bio. 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
- Oldfield, Sybil (January 2008), "Simon, Dame Kathleen Rochard, Viscountess Simon", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press), retrieved 4 January 2013 (subscription required)
- McIntyre, Michael. Life and laughing (Large print ed. ed.). Bath: Paragon. ISBN 1-4458-5618-2.
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