Greenhill Gardens, New Barnet
Greenhill Gardens is a 1.6 hectare public park in New Barnet in the London Borough of Barnet. Its main feature is an ornamental lake with a wooded island, which attracts many birds, and it also has a grassed area with scattered mature trees. It is a Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation.
The park is the small surviving part of large country estate known as Pricklers, named after a medieval family called Prittle. The estate was owned by the descendents of John Marsh, passing to Margaret Marsh when her father Captain William Marsh died. She married firstly John Nicholl, having a daughter by this marriage also called Margaret, and as a widow in 1694 married John Woolfe, soon to be knighted. Sir John and Dame Margaret Woolfe had issue of three daughters and a son Marsh Woolfe. On Dame Margaret`s death in 1713 she left Pricklers to her son Marsh Woolfe ,although he was then only thirteen years of age. Until he came of age, the estate was administered on his behalf by the executors of the will, namely Margaret Nicholl (Dame Margaret`s daughter by a previous marriage) and John Godden Woolfe (Sir John Woolfe`s son by a previous marriage).
At that time the house was always called Pricklers by the family. Marsh Woolfe in turn left his estate in 1748 to his half-nephew by blood Thomas Brand of The Hoo, the son of Dame Margaret Woolfe`s daughter Margaret. .
A watercolour painting of the house was made in about 1800. Thomas Brand sold the house in about 1767 and after passing through a number of hands it was bought by Thomas Wyatt around 1820. He rebuilt it and named it Willenhall House, after his Warwickshire birthplace. It was demolished in 1890.
Most of the land was developed for housing in the twentieth century. In July 1926 East Barnet Council purchased the land which is now a public park for £20,000. In 1965 East Barnet became part of the London Borough of Barnet, which now owns and manages the park.
There is access from Pricklers Hill and Greenhill Park.
- "Greenhill Gardens". Greenspace Information for Greater London. 2006. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- Greenhill Gardens, London Gardens Online
- "iGiGL – helping you find London's parks and wildlife sites". Greenspace Information for Greater London. 2006. Archived from the original on 2012-11-29.
- Will of Dame Margaret Woolfe,September 4th 1712 National Archives
- Will of Marsh Woolfe, September 6th 1748 National Archives
- Collage, City of London
- Royal institute of British Architects
- Underhill and Pricklers Hill, Barnet Online