East Finchley

Coordinates: 51°35′25″N 0°10′31″W / 51.59016°N 0.17534°W / 51.59016; -0.17534
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East Finchley
Clockwise from top: East Finchley Underground Station, Phoenix Cinema, Cherry Tree Woods, and Holy Trinity Church
East Finchley is located in Greater London
East Finchley
East Finchley
Location within Greater London
Population15,989 (2011 Census.Ward)[1]
OS grid referenceTQ265895
• Charing Cross5.75 mi (9.3 km)
London borough
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLONDON
Postcode districtN2
Dialling code020
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
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, immediately north of Hampstead Heath. Like neighbouring Muswell Hill, it straddles the London Boroughs of Barnet and Haringey, with most of East Finchley falling into the London Borough of Barnet. It has the greenest high road in London.[citation needed]

East Finchley is situated 5.4 miles (8.7 km) northwest of Charing Cross. Geographically, it is separated from the rest of Finchley by the North Circular, with North Finchley and West Finchley to the north, and Finchley Central (Church End) to the northwest.

East Finchley (East End) was first mentioned in 1365, when it formed a scattered hamlet, but by 1860 it was the most populous part of Finchley. Badly bombed during World War 2, and with the subsequent re-building, the street pattern of the Old Village was destroyed. However, the area retains a strong community feeling.[2]

The area collectively named Finchley, which included East Finchley (East End), Finchley Central (Church End) and North Finchley, was a parish until its incorporation into the ancient county of Middlesex in 1878; Finchley was incorporated into Greater London in 1965. Although most of East Finchley falls into the parliamentary constituency of Finchley and Golders Green, East Finchley is a village in its own right, and not considered to be part of the town of Finchley.


East Finchley High Road in 1962

The land on which most of East Finchley now stands was once part of the Bishop of London's hunting ground, to the south of Finchley Common, first recorded around 1400. The Bishop of London built a road through his land, named The Bishop's Avenue, which still exists today. Another road extended further north, weaving through what is now Market Place, The Walks, King Street, and Oak Lane. As a result, pubs such as The Old 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 Old 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 the 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.


From around 1547 Finchley had a parish vestry, which became a local board in 1878, an urban district council in 1895, and finally a municipal borough council between 1933 and 1965. The area is now part of the London Borough of Barnet.[3]

From 1959 to 1992 the Finchley constituency was represented in Parliament by Margaret Thatcher, UK Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.[4] Finchley is now included in the new constituency of Finchley and Golders Green, currently represented by a Conservative Member of Parliament. East Finchley ward is represented on Barnet Council by three elected Labour Councillors.[5]


East Finchley Southbound Platform

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, the 234 serving Barnet, The Spires from Highgate Wood and the 603 running between Swiss Cottage and Muswell Hill.


19th century terraced housing

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 are visible for miles around. A further even taller towerblock in Prospect Ring was completed in 2021.


Only one state primary school, Martin Primary School[6] (Ofsted outstanding) is situated in East Finchley itself, but the east and southern parts of N2 are covered by the catchment of Tetherdown, Coldfall and Highgate Primary Schools (all within the London Borough of Haringey). Pupils on the west side of the village attend Brookland Infant and Junior Schools which adjoin Christ's College. There are two faith primary schools - Holy Trinity (CofE), and Eden Primary School (Jewish).

East Finchley is home to two mixed non-selective non-denominational secondary schools - Archer Academy (opened 2013) and Christ's College (mixed, as of 2018) and a mixed Roman Catholic secondary school - Bishop Douglass Catholic School. Pupils on the east (Muswell Hill) side of the village also attend Fortismere School (mixed comprehensive, which falls under the London Borough of Haringey Local Education Authority).


2011 United Kingdom Census[7]
Country of birth Population
United Kingdom United Kingdom 10,492
Republic of Ireland Ireland 420
Poland Poland 350
India India 341
South Africa South Africa 206

According to the 2011 UK Census, 72% of the ward's population was White (52% White British, 4% Irish, 16% Other White), 10% Asian British (5% Indian, 1% Pakistani, 1% Chinese, 3% Other Asian), 7% Black British (5% African, 1% Caribbean, 1% Other Black); the remaining population consists of mixed ethnic groups (2.0% White and Black African/Caribbean, 1.9% White and Asian, 1.7% Other Mixed), Arab and others .[8]

The largest religion was Christianity, claimed by 41% of the population, followed by Judaism and Islam claimed by 9% and 7% of the population respectively.[8] Of the population, 36% either stated they had no religion (27%) or did not state their religion (9%).[8]

The Ismaili Muslim community, headed by the Aga Khan, worship at a Jamatkhana opened in 1996, which had been built in harmony with the neighbourhood as per the aims of this community.[9] It is located behind the site of the Congregational Church that had been demolished in 1965 to make way for the shops of Viceroy Parade.[9]

Amenities and features[edit]

Phoenix Cinema by night
The auditorium

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."[10]

There is a listed Neo-Georgian[11][12] 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 East Finchley 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 close to the tube station is the head office of 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.[13] It takes its name from the eponymous statue at East Finchley tube station.

Literary references[edit]

In Evelyn Waugh's satirical novel Scoop, Lord Copper, owner of the newspaper Daily 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."[14]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Barnet Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Finchley: Introduction | British History Online". British-history.ac.uk. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  3. ^ Baker, T F T; C R Elrington (1980). "Finchley Finchley Local government". British History Online. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
  4. ^ "Historic Figures Margaret Thatcher (1925 - )". BBC. Retrieved 27 April 2009.
  5. ^ "Your Councillors". Barnet.moderngov.co.uk. 31 August 2021.
  6. ^ "Home | Martin Primary School". Martinprimary.org.uk. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  7. ^ "A summary of countries of birth in London". Census Update. 2011. data.london.gov.uk: 1. 17 May 2013. Archived from the original on 12 September 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
  8. ^ a b c "East Finchley - UK Census Data 2011". Ukcensusdata.com.
  9. ^ a b Ann Bronkhurst (September 2004). "East Finchley's religious heritage" (PDF). The-archer.co.uk. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  10. ^ Kermode, Mark. It's Only a Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive. London: Random House, 2010; page 26.
  11. ^ Historic England. "East Finchley Library (1390575)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  12. ^ Cherry, Bridget; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1998). London ([New ed.] ed.). London: Penguin. p. 122. ISBN 0-14-071049-3.
  13. ^ "The Archer". The-archer.co.uk. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
  14. ^ Waugh, Evelyn, 1938, Scoop, Book one, chapter 3: ISBN 0141187492
  15. ^ "BarnetHistory". Barnet4u.co.uk. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  16. ^ "BarnetHistory". Barnet4u.co.uk. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  17. ^ Howie, David. Interpreting Probability: Controversies and Developments in the Early Twentieth Century. p. 52.
  18. ^ "Jerry Springer: 'I was a poor refugee'". The JC. Retrieved 9 March 2024.
  19. ^ Offord, Jen (24 August 2018). "Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris charged with drink-driving". Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  20. ^ Johnstone, Nick (2011). Amy, Amy, Amy : the Amy Winehouse story (1983-2011 memorial updated ed.). London: Omnibus. ISBN 9780857126993. OCLC 804876901.
  21. ^ Hutchinson, John (Guitarist) (12 June 2014). Bowie & Hutch. Bridlington, [England]. p. 96. ISBN 9781291904031. OCLC 904347639.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  22. ^ Charney, Noah (9 January 2013). "Will Self: How I Write". Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  23. ^ Décharné, Max (2012). Capital crimes : seven centuries of London life and murder. London. pp. 263–284. ISBN 9781847945907. OCLC 794137000.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  24. ^ Self, Will (27 May 2001). "How to be an economics goddess". The Independent. London. pp. 6–8.