Church End, Finchley
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|Population||15,715 (2011 Census. Finchley Church End Ward)|
|OS grid reference|
|• Charing Cross||7 mi (11.3 km) SSE|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Church End (often known as "Finchley Central") is a locality within Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet in London, England. Aside from its church it centres on Finchley Central Underground station. Church End is an old village, now a suburban development, centred 7 miles (11 km) north-northwest of Charing Cross.
Church End was named in 1683. The name is formed from Middle English 'churche' and 'ende' and means 'district by the church'. The name refers to the parish church of Finchley, St Mary. Finchley Church End is the name of a ward in Barnet.
The main road runs on a south-north axis, and is called Regents Park Road (previously Ducksetters Lane) from the North Circular Road until it reaches the road bridge at Finchley Central station (Northern line), where the name changes to Ballards Lane. Its heart is the ancient district around St Mary’s Church, where the imposing tower of Pardes House Primary School (formerly Christ’s College Finchley) is a landmark.
There is a public library in Regents Park Road in Gateway House, a new building facing the junction with Hendon Lane. The library was relocated in September 2017 from its former home in Hendon Lane, next to the church. To the north, along Regents Park Road and Ballards Lane, close to the station, is a retail district with a Victorian and Edwardian shopping parade as well as a couple of pubs and modern shops including Sainsbury's and Tesco.
Further north, Victoria Park is the home of the Finchley Carnival, a large fun fair held every year in July, dating back to 1905. Victoria Park has a lawn bowls and croquet club with a modern clubhouse.
To the southeast along East End Road are two institutions of note: Avenue House, built in 1859 and home to the Finchley Society, and a Jewish cultural centre, the Sternberg Centre. Avenue House was the home of Henry 'Inky' Stephens (1841-1918), son of Dr Henry Stephens (1796-1864) who founded the Stephens Ink Company, the first producers of "Blue-Black Writing Fluid" in 1832.
A small museum - The Stephens Collection - commemorates this invention and the Stephens family, along with the history of writing materials including many photographs and artefacts. In December 2016 the museum closed temporarily in order to move to a new location within the estate's new Visitor Centre established within the former stables block.
'Inky' Stephens, a former local MP, left Avenue House to "the people of Finchley" on his death in 1918. The house and ten acres of fine landscaped gardens and parkland open to the public are now run by a local charitable trust. In February 2014 the estate was relaunched and rebranded, in conjunction with a Heritage Lottery Fund bid, as Stephens House and Gardens.