Jump to content

Potters Bar

Coordinates: 51°41′53″N 0°10′59″W / 51.698°N 0.183°W / 51.698; -0.183
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Potters Bar
The Old Manor, Potters Bar
Baker Street
Potters Bar is located in Hertfordshire
Potters Bar
Potters Bar
Location within Hertfordshire
Population22,536 2021 Census
OS grid referenceTL255015
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtEN6
Dialling code01707
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°41′53″N 0°10′59″W / 51.698°N 0.183°W / 51.698; -0.183

Potters Bar is a town in Hertfordshire, England,[1] 13 miles (21 km) north of central London. In 2011, it had a population of 21,882.[2][n 1] In the 2021 census, the four wards that make up Potters Bar - Bentley Heath & The Royds, Furzefield, Oakmere and Parkfield - had a combined population of 22,536. This includes several smaller outlying hamlets contained in the Bentley Heath & The Royds ward, such as Bentley Heath and Ganwick Corner. In 2022 the population was around 23,325.[3]

Within the historic county of Middlesex until 1965, the town dates to the early 13th century but remained a small, mainly agricultural, settlement until the arrival of the Great Northern Railway in 1850.[4] It is now part of the London commuter belt.[5]


The origin of the Potters element of the town's name is uncertain but is generally thought to be either a reference to a Roman pottery, believed to have been sited locally, or alternatively to the Pottere family who lived in neighbouring South Mimms parish.[6] The Bar is thought to refer to the gates leading from the South Mimms parish and into the Enfield Chase parish, or possibly from a toll on the Great North Road,[6] said to have been by what is now the disused Green Man pub, or at the current entrance to Morven House.


Potters Bar is located on the Great North Road, one of two road routes from the City of London to the north of England.[7] The road was originally numbered as the A1, and later the A1000.

Potters Bar was historically part of Middlesex[8] and formed the Potters Bar Urban District of that county from 1934.[9] From 1894 to 1934 its area had formed the South Mimms Rural District.[10] In 1965 the district was transferred to Hertfordshire County Council while most of the rest of Middlesex County Council became part of Greater London.[11][12]

The urban district covered an area of 6,129 acres (24.80 km2).[9] In 1939 it had a population of 13,681, increasing to 24,613 in 1971.[13] In 1974 the urban district was abolished and the area became part of the borough of Hertsmere. Having been part of Middlesex, the area continued to form part of the Metropolitan Police District; with the creation of the Greater London Authority it was transferred to the Hertfordshire Constabulary in 2000.[14]

Byng family[edit]

Wrotham Park estate, home of the Byng family, sits within Potters Bar and Barnet on 2,500 acres of land. The Byng family still own a lot of land in the Potters Bar area and The Admiral Byng pub in Darkes Lane is named after Admiral John Byng, who was executed for failing to obey orders in the Minorca campaign.[15]

Zeppelin L31[edit]

In the early hours of 1 October 1916, Lieutenant Wulstan Tempest shot down Germany's most famous zeppelin, the L31. It was captained by Heinrich Mathy with his crew of 18. All were killed when the flaming zeppelin fell into an ancient oak tree on the Oakmere Estate, Oakmere House at the time being rented by Mrs Forbes. The deadly raids over England declined after this. The 19 German sailors (zeppelins were naval) were buried in the local cemetery, and decades later reinterred at Cannock Chase German Military Cemetery. The Potters Bar Museum has a Zeppelin display, with relics of the L31.[citation needed][16]


As of the 2021 census, Potters Bar still had a Christian majority, making it more Christian than both England and Wales as a whole and the rest of Hertsmere. Potters Bar has a significant Jewish community and an Orthodox synagogue, but as a percentage of the overall population, the Jewish community, which numbers over 600, pales in comparison to every other settlement in Hertsmere, the most Jewish borough in the country.

Area All people Christian (%) Buddhist (%) Hindu (%) Jewish (%) Muslim (%) Sikh (%) Other (%) No religion (%) Not stated (%)
England and Wales 56,490,048 46.3 0.5 1.8 0.5 6.7 0.9 0.6 36.7 6.0
Potters Bar 22,536 52.33 0.56 4.22 2.76 4.13 0.16 1.17 28.34 6.34



Potters Bar experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) similar to almost all of the United Kingdom.

Climate data for Potters Bar
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 8
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 50.7
Source: [17]


Darkes Lane, Potters Bar, looking north towards the railway bridge

The A1 was built as a major 'arterial' road and a crossroads at Bignells Corner linked it to the BarnetSt Albans road. Potters Bar is now also served by junctions 23 and 24 of the M25 motorway.[1]

Potters Bar railway station is the highest on the line between London's King's Cross railway station and York. The Great Northern route serves various North London suburbs to the south before terminating at either King's Cross or Moorgate station. Northbound, the railway runs to Hatfield, Welwyn Garden City, Cambridge, and Peterborough.[18]

The nearest London Underground station is at Cockfosters, which is approximately 2.5 miles (4.0 km) south on the A111 from junction 24 of the M25.

Potters Bar has a bus depot that services local bus routes as well as some London bus routes. The 84 bus route runs north-west to St. Albans. Other routes include the 298 to Arnos Grove, the 313 to Enfield and Chingford, the 242 to Waltham Cross, the 398 to Watford and the 610 to Enfield and Hatfield. There are also school bus services run from various places to Dame Alice Owen's School and to Chancellor's School.

Route Number Route Operation Operator
84 Disabled access St. Albans St Peters Street to Potters Bar Station National Rail via the High Street Daily Sullivan Buses
242 Disabled access Waltham Cross Bus Station to Potters Bar Station National Rail via Cuffley, Cheshunt.
Extended to Welwyn Garden City via Hatfield on Sundays
Daily Metroline (Mon-Sat)
TrustyBus (Sun)
298 Disabled access Potters Bar Cranbourne Road to Arnos Grove Station London Underground via Cockfosters Daily Sullivan Buses
313 Disabled access Potters Bar Station National Rail to Chingford Station London Overground via Enfield Daily Arriva London
306B Potters Bar Station National Rail to Watford via Elstree Sat Sullivan Buses
398 Potters Bar Station National Rail to Watford via Radlett Mon-Fri Sullivan Buses
610 Disabled access Cockfosters to Luton via Welham Green and Hatfield Business Park Mon-Sat Uno
PB1 Circular Disabled access Circular via Shillitoe Avenue, Potters Bar Station National Rail, High Street and Oakmere Mon-Sat Uno

Potters Bar rail accidents[edit]

Potters Bar has been the scene of three train crashes; two major and one minor. On 19 March 1898, a train crashed on the platform, but no one was killed or seriously injured. On the night of 10 February 1946, a local train hit buffers at the station, became derailed, and two express trains travelling in opposite directions struck the wreckage. On 10 May 2002, a northbound train derailed at high speed, killing seven people and seriously injuring another 11. On 10 May 2003, a small piece of art that resembles seven faces was erected at the station as a memorial to those killed.[19]


There are eight churches in Potters Bar. These include St Mary the Virgin and All Saints' Church at the top of the Walk,[20] the first Anglican parish in the town created from the parish of South Mimms in the 1800s.[21] The Church contains stained glass including some "fine portraits" of several saints as well as tributes to John Keble, and Randall Davidson. There is a Madonna Window in memory of John Goodacre, a long-time schoolmaster at Potters Bar.[22][23] Other churches include Our Lady and St Vincent (Roman Catholic), King Charles the Martyr, Christ Church, Potters Bar Baptist Church, St John's Methodist Church[24] and the Causeway Free Church. Potters Bar Spiritualist Church is on Hill Rise.[25] There was briefly a Salvation Army in Station Road.[26] There is also the Jain Temple at the Oshwal Centre, which "recreates a general Māru-Gurjara aesthetic".[citation needed]


There are six primary and infant state schools in Potters Bar and the surrounding area; they are Cranborne School, Ladbrooke JMI, Little Heath Primary, Oakmere Primary, Pope Paul RC Primary and Wroxham School.

Mount Grace School is a mixed grant maintained School in Potters Bar opened in 1954.[27]

Lochinver house school is an all-boys preparatory school in Potters Bar, which opened in 1947.[28]

Stormont School is an all-girls preparatory school in Potters Bar, which opened in 1944.[29]

Dame Alice Owen's School is a mixed grant-maintained school in Potters Bar.[30] Founded in 1613 and based in Islington until 1973, it is unusual in its 'Visitation' and 'Beer Money' traditions.[31]

The town also houses many veterinary medicine (mostly third, fourth and fifth-year) students from the Royal Veterinary College.

Sports, entertainment and recreation[edit]

Potters Bar has a King George's Field in memorial to King George V, which is situated behind the Furzefield Centre. There is a swimming pool and leisure centre run by Hertsmere council, which is home to St Albans and Hertsmere Canoe Club.[32] Also in the town are Potters Bar Town F.C., Potters Bar Swimming Club (PBSC),[33] a Scuba diving Club (the Potters Bar Sub Aqua Club), a tennis club, a cricket club. The Wyllyotts Centre is a theatre, cinema and events venue, and is also the location of the town's museum.[34] Potters Bar is also home to the Hertfordshire Showband (formally known as the Marching Blues).[35]

In December 2018, the golf course at Potters Bar closed after 95 years.[36]

In 1983, the area around Potters Bar was used for the on-location filming of the comic-horror film Bloodbath at the House of Death. Also, in 2005, David Walliams and Matt Lucas shot two scenes for the third season of the comedy Little Britain: one scene at Mount Grace School gym, the other at a wedding shop on the High Street.[37] Potters Bar is also home to a performing arts school, Top Hat Stage School, which has been running classes at Elm Court Community Centre since 1994.

Notable residents[edit]


Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ This excludes a county ward which takes its name from the historic ecclesiastical parish but which contains Ridge and South Mimms; population 4,573 (2011).
  1. ^ a b in the historic County of Middlesex - Hertsmere Borough Council Archived 29 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine – Community Strategy First Review (PDF)
  2. ^ Neighbourhood Statistics Archived 6 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine Office for National Statistics 2011 Census. Retrieved 1 June 2013
  3. ^ "Potters Bar (Hertfordshire, East of England, United Kingdom) - Population Statistics, Charts, Map, Location, Weather and Web Information". www.citypopulation.de. Retrieved 1 September 2022.
  4. ^ PBHistory Archived 15 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine – The history
  5. ^ North Hertfordshire Archived 30 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine – A Housing Strategy for the London Commuter Belt Sub-region 2005 – 2008 (PDF)
  6. ^ a b PBHistory Archived 6 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine – Whats in a name?
  7. ^ PB History Archived 20 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine – The Great North Road
  8. ^ PBHistory Archived 6 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine – Potters Bar, Middlesex
  9. ^ a b Vision of Britain – Potters Bar UD (historic map Archived 1 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine)
  10. ^ Vision of Britain – South Mimms RD (historic map Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine)
  11. ^ Vision of Britain Archived 15 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine – Middlesex unit history
  12. ^ London Government Act 1963, 1963 c. 33, s. 3 (1)
  13. ^ Vision of Britain – Potters Bar UD historic population
  14. ^ HMSO, Greater London Authority Act 1999. 1999 c. 29
  15. ^ "JDweatherspoon.com The Admiral Byng History". Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  16. ^ "Heinrich Mathy: Commander of German Zeppelin L31 during air raids on London and the Home Counties during WW1". 20 December 2021.
  17. ^ "Averages for Potters Bar". Archived from the original on 20 August 2009. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  18. ^ First Capital Connect Archived 18 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine – Network and Stations
  19. ^ BBC News – In Depth Potters Bar Crash
  20. ^ "St Mary the Virgin and All Saints Church, Potters Bar". www.StMarysPB.org.uk. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  21. ^ "St Mary the Virgin and All Saints Church, Potters Bar Official website". Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  22. ^ Mee, arthur (1948). The Kings England, Middlesex. Little Home County. p. 163.
  23. ^ "Category: St Mary the Virgin and All Saints church, Potters Bar (stained glass)". Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  24. ^ "Potters Bar Religion". pottersbar.org. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  25. ^ "Causeway Free Church, Potters Bar Official website". Archived from the original on 18 January 2019. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  26. ^ "British History Online, Middlesex". Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  27. ^ "Mount Grace School Official website". Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  28. ^ "Lochinver House School Official website". Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  29. ^ "Stormont School Official website". Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  30. ^ "Dame Alice Owen's School". Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  31. ^ "Dame Alice Owen's School History". 26 June 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  32. ^ "Furzefield Centre". HertsmereLeisure.co.uk. Archived from the original on 20 February 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  33. ^ "Potters Bar Swimming Club". www.PottersBarSC.co.uk. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  34. ^ "Wyllyotts Centre". HertsmereLeisure.co.uk. Archived from the original on 17 February 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  35. ^ "Hertfordshire Showband Website". www.Hertfordshire-Showband.org. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  36. ^ Tania Longmire (3 December 2018). "95-year-old Hertfordshire golf club ceases trading". thegolfbusiness.co.uk. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  37. ^ "Bloodbath at the House of Death (1984)". BritMovie.co.uk. Archived from the original on 16 February 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  38. ^ a b "Sherlock's Amanda Abbington: 'actors need to remember how lucky they are'".
  39. ^ Scrumpy & Western Archived 25 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Acker Bilk biography
  40. ^ "Stage Award Semi-Finalists 2020". Funny Women. Retrieved 18 February 2024.
  41. ^ Have Guitar Will Travel – by David Canvanagh, Q Magazine Q 113 February 1996
  42. ^ "Welcome to Potters Bar Golf Club : Potters Bar Golf Club". www.PottersBarGolfClub.com. Archived from the original on 28 January 2019. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  43. ^ "Jazz musician Terry Lightfoot dies". ITV. 16 March 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  44. ^ Sweeting, Adam (18 April 2013). "Storm Thorgerson dies aged 69: 'the best album designer in the world'". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  45. ^ "John Yianni | Board Game Designer | BoardGameGeek". boardgamegeek.com. Retrieved 11 August 2021.

External links[edit]