From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Gate - - 384654.jpg
The Gate pub
Arkley is located in Greater London
Location within Greater London
OS grid referenceTQ225955
• Charing Cross10.6 mi (17.1 km) SSE
London borough
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBARNET
Postcode districtEN5
Post townLONDON
Postcode districtNW7
Dialling code020
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°38′52″N 0°13′52″W / 51.6477°N 0.2311°W / 51.6477; -0.2311Coordinates: 51°38′52″N 0°13′52″W / 51.6477°N 0.2311°W / 51.6477; -0.2311

Arkley is an area of northern Greater London, England, within the London Borough of Barnet (historically Hertfordshire).[1] It is located 10.6 miles (17.1 km) north northwest of Charing Cross.

It consists of a long village strung out between Barnet and Stirling Corner, roughly centred on the "Gate" pub, and composed of the ancient hamlets of Barnet Gate, Rowley Green and Arkley. At 482 feet (147 m) above sea level, Arkley is one of the highest points in Greater London.


Arkley (parish) population
1901 483
1911 494
1921 959
1931 1,929
1941 war #
1951 7,536
# no census was held due to war
source: UK census


The origins of the name Arkley are unclear; it is first recorded as Arkleyslond in 1332. The first element of the name appears to come from the Old English word (e)arc (or ark, meaning a chest, bin or other wooden receptacle), while the second element is from leāh, a woodland clearing or glade. –lond in the earlier name means "cultivated ground". The name Arkley would thus mean "woodland clearing by the ark or by the place where arks are made".[2]

Historical background[edit]

A map showing Arkley parish in 1935

It is thought by some that Hendon Wood Lane was originally a minor Roman road. Certainly the name, "Grendel's Gate" (now Barnet Gate, and formerly known as "Grims Gate"), is associated with the monster from the Saxon epic, Beowulf. This implies that the place was of modest importance as early as 1005. It may have been a centre of a small but significant community, founded on a woodland economy.

The area is later referred to in medieval documents as "Southhaw", and may have predated the settlement at Chipping Barnet. Certainly, Barnet manorial court was held here in the 13th century. From at least the early 19th century until the 1890s, Arkley was commonly known as "Barnet Common" or "West Barnet".

The establishment of the civil parish [1] of 830 acres (3.4 km2) in 1894 confused matters further, as it was defined by the rural area around 'Barnet Town', and included places as far east as Duck Island and Underhill. It is from the civil parish, and the later ward of Barnet Urban District (from 1905) that we have population statistics for Arkley. Between 1901 and 1971, Arkley's population rose from 483 to 16,832. It was transferred from Hertfordshire to Greater London in 1965.


St Peter's Church, which was designed by George Beckett, was built in 1840 as a private chapel at a cost of £5,000. It contains a wall tablet of its benefactor, Enoch Durant, who died in 1848. The chancel was added in 1898. After Durant's death the advowson was transferred to the rector of Barnet, and an ecclesiastical parish was formed in 1905.[3]

Arkley Windmill was in use by 1806. It is marked as "corn" windmill on the Ordnance Survey of the 1860s. From photographs, it appears to have had only two of its original sails by the 1890s, by which time it may have been powered by steam. It ceased to be a functioning mill during World War I, and was restored in 1930, but not as a working mill. The Gate Inn retains some of its original features. The sign, in the form of a hanging five bar gate, has an inscription which reads:

St Peter's Church, Arkley
This gate hangs high,
and hinders none;
refresh and pay,
and travel on

According to the old article displayed on one of its walls, the Gate was once visited by Anna Pavlova and her dancing troupe. Until the early 1960s a large tree grew up from the floor of the pub and out through the roof.

Nature reserves[edit]

Bulls in Arkley

For its size, Arkley has more Sites of Importance for Nature Conservations than any other district in Barnet:

In addition, Dollis Brook and Folly Brook, which are also Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation, rise in Arkley.






  • 107 – New Barnet Station to Edgware Station via Borehamwood
  • 307 – Barnet General Hospital to Brimsdown via Barnet and Enfield
  • 614 – Queensbury Station to Hatfield Business Park via Barnet (Monday to Saturday)
  • 384 – Barnet (Quinta Drive) to Cockfosters Station

Local industry[edit]

Local clay has been exploited for brick-making and pottery over the centuries. During the 1950s, a 13th-century kiln at Dyke Cottage was excavated, revealing a large cooking pot, and 19th-century Ordnance Survey maps mark a "Tile Works". In the 1970s, John Britten produced a small racing car named the "Arkley" in the area.


Arkley Golf Club was founded in 1909. The course was designed by James Braid and Harry Vardon.[citation needed]. On 29 November 1975, a Piper PA-23 Aztec aircraft piloted by retired Formula One racing driver Graham Hill crashed on the golf course, killing all six people on board.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^,-0.23/centre=51.645,-0.230/zoom=12
  2. ^ Mills, A. D. (2010). A Dictionary of London Place-Names. Oxford University Press. p. 8. ISBN 9780199566785.
  3. ^ "St Peter's Church, Arkley". London Parks and Gardens Trust. Retrieved 3 April 2013.

External links[edit]

Media related to Arkley at Wikimedia Commons