East Finchley

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East Finchley
East finchley high rd.JPG
East Finchley High Road looking south towards the tube station
East Finchley is located in Greater London
East Finchley
East Finchley
East Finchley shown within Greater London
Population 15,989 (2011 Census.Ward)[1]
OS grid reference TQ265895
• Charing Cross 5.75 mi (9.3 km)
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district N2
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°35′25″N 0°10′31″W / 51.59016°N 0.17534°W / 51.59016; -0.17534Coordinates: 51°35′25″N 0°10′31″W / 51.59016°N 0.17534°W / 51.59016; -0.17534

East Finchley is an area in north London, in the London Borough of Barnet, and situated 5.4 miles (8.7 km) northwest 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 (Church End) to the west.


East ward of Finchley Urban District in the 1930s
Wards of Finchley Municipal Borough in the 1950s

The land on which most of East Finchley now stands was once part of the Bishop of London's hunting ground, named Finchley Common, first recorded around 1400. The Bishop of London built a road through his land which weaved through what is now Market Place, The Walks, King Street and Oak Lane up to the north. As a result, pubs such as The White Lion, The Bald Faced Stag and The Five Bells (on East End Road), all of which survive today, sprang up to provide rest for the people using the road.

The area of "East Finchley Village" around Church Lane was west of the common and Bulls Lane (now Church Lane) dates back to at least the 17th century. With the coming of the Great Northern Railway in 1868 the area began to emerge, and property was built gradually between the 1870s and the 1930s. However, it was not until 1914 that a more recognisable East Finchley High Road and surrounding area was visible.

Welcome to East Finchley village, East End Road.


East Finchley Underground station is marked by a well-known statue of an archer by Eric Aumonier in the Art Deco style. The archer is pointing his arrow towards the entrance to the tunnel which starts south of the station and runs for 17.3 miles (27.8 km) to the end of the Northern line at Morden. For many years this was the longest tunnel in the world. There was originally an arrow at Morden Station to match the archer at East Finchley, but this was stolen a few months after the station was opened.

The station is on the High Barnet branch of the Northern line which serves the city (via Bank) and the west end (via Charing Cross) with trains every 2–3 minutes. Buses also serve the high street with the 263 route going from Barnet Hospital to Highbury Barn; the 143 bus linking East Finchley to Archway, London and Brent Cross; the 102 from Edmonton Green, and the 234 serving Barnet, The Spires from Highgate Wood.

East Finchley Southbound Platform


Housing in East Finchley is diverse in its nature, encompassing many housing styles, from 19th-century terraced housing, large 30s houses, and multimillion-pound mansions on The Bishop's Avenue. The three eleven-storey tower blocks of Prospect Ring & Norfolk Close, 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[2] (Ofsted Outstanding), 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). The Archer Academy, a new non-denominational, non-selective community secondary school[3] opened in East Finchley in September 2013 and is already oversubscribed.

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[4] new facilities are on the High Road.


52% of the ward's population is White British and 16% is Other White, according to the 2011 census.[5]

Amenities and features[edit]

The Phoenix Cinema

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."[6]

There is a listed Neo-Georgian[7][8] 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.

Also opposite the tube station is the head office to McDonald's UK, this is seen by the flags and logos on the building.


The Archer, founded in 1993, is East Finchley's free monthly community newspaper, run by volunteers.[9] It takes its name from the eponymous statue at East Finchley tube station.

Literary references[edit]

In Evelyn Waugh's novel Scoop, Lord Copper, owner of the newspaper The Beast, lived in East Finchley. "That evening, Mr Salter, foreign editor of The Beast was summoned to dinner at his chief's country seat at East Finchley".[10]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Barnet Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  2. ^ Martin Primary School
  3. ^ The Archer Academy
  4. ^ The Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute Archived 12 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ http://www.ukcensusdata.com/east-finchley-e05000049
  6. ^ Kermode, Mark. It's Only a Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive. London: Random House, 2010; page 26.
  7. ^ Historic England. "East Finchley Library (1390575)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  8. ^ Cherry, Bridget; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1998). London ([New ed.] ed.). London: Penguin. p. 122. ISBN 0-14-071049-3.
  9. ^ "The Archer". Retrieved 2009-10-21.
  10. ^ Waugh,Evelyn, 1938, Scoop, Book one, chapter 3: ISBN 141187492
  11. ^ http://barnet4u.co.uk
  12. ^ Front Page Barnet4U