Golders Green

Golders Green is an area in the London Borough of Barnet in London, England. Although having some earlier history, it is essentially a 19th-century suburban development situated about 5.3 miles (8.5 km) north west of Charing Cross and centred on the crossroads of Golders Green Road and Finchley Road.

In the early 20th century it grew rapidly in response to the opening of a London Underground tubehere of a tube station of the London Underground, adjacent to the Golders Green Hippodrome - home to the BBC Concert Orchestra for many years. It has a wide variety of housing and a busy main shopping street; Golders Green Road. The area is noted especially for its large Jewish population.

The name Golders comes from a family named Godyere who lived in the area and Green alludes to the manorial waste the settlement was built on. Golders Green has been a place in the parish and manor of Hendon since around the 13th century. The earliest reference to the name of the adjacent district of "Temple Fortune" is on a map (c. 1754). However, this name reveals a much earlier history. It is likely that the name refers to the Knights of St John, who had land here (c. 1240). Fortune may be derived from a small settlement (tun) on the route from Hampstead to Hendon. Here a lane from Finchley, called Ducksetters Lane (c. 1475), intersected. It is likely that the settlement was originally the Bleccanham estate (c. 10th century). By the end of the 18th century Temple Fortune Farm was established on the northern side of Farm Close.

The building of the Finchley Road (c. 1827) replaced Ducksetters Lane as a route to Finchley, and resulted in the development of a small hamlet. Hendon Park Row (c. 1860s) is of this period, and consisted of around thirty small dwellings built by a George Stevens, which were, with two exceptions, demolished (c. 1956). A small dame school and prayer house run by Anglican deaconesses existed in the 1890s and 1900s, and developed to become St. Barnabas (1915). Along Finchley Road were a number of villas (c. 1830s), joined by the Royal Oak public house (c. 1850s). By the end of the 19th century there were around 300 people living in the area, which included a laundry and a small hospital for children with skin diseases. The principal industry was brick making.

In 1895 a cemetery was established adjacent to Hoop Lane, with the first burial in 1897. Golders Green Crematorium was opened in 1902 (although much of it was built after 1905). A significant moment in Temple Fortune's development into a suburban area occurred in 1907, when transport links were vastly improved by the opening of Golders Green tube station.

Although the area had been served by horse-drawn omnibuses (since at least the 1880s) and later motor buses (from 1907), the tram line of 1910, connecting Finchley Church End with Golders Green Station, led to the development of the area west of Finchley Road. The establishment of Hampstead Garden Suburb brought major changes to the area east of Finchley Road. Temple Fortune Farm was demolished and along the front of the road the building of the Arcade and Gateway House (c. 1911) established the Hampstead Garden Suburb's retail district.

Both the Golders Green Hippodrome and the police station opened in 1913. The now-demolished Orpheum Theatre (1930) was intended to rival the Hippodrome in Golders Green.

Hampstead Garden Suburb

Hampstead Garden Suburb was founded by Henrietta Barnett, who, with her husband, Samuel, had started the Whitechapel Art Gallery and Toynbee Hall. In 1906, Henrietta set up the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust Ltd, which purchased 243 acres of land from Eton College for the scheme and appointed Raymond Unwin as its architect.

Among the scheme's aims were the following:

  • It should cater for all classes of people and all income groups.
  • There should be a low housing density.
  • Roads should be wide and tree-lined.
  • Houses should be separated by hedges, not wall.
  • Woods and public gardens should be free to all.
  • It should be quiet, with no church bells.

This required a private bill before Parliament, as it was counter to local bylaws. The provisions of the new act allowed less land to be taken up by roads and more by gardens and open spaces.

The ideas for the "Garden Suburb" were clearly based on the ideas and experience of Parker and Unwin in the planning and development of Letchworth Garden City, the first development of its kind, inspired by the work of Ebenezer Howard. Other consultant architects involved with the Hampstead development include George Lister Sutcliffe and John Soutar.

However, with no industry, no public houses and few shops or services, the suburb, unlike the garden cities, made no attempt to be self-contained. In the 1930s the "Suburb" (as it is known by locals) expanded to the north of the A1. While more characterful than most other suburban housing, some of the housing to the north is considered, overall, of less architectural value.

On Central Square, laid out by Sir Edwin Lutyens, there are two large churches, St. Jude's Church and The Free Church, as well as a Quaker meeting house. There are two mixed state primary schools in the Suburb; Garden Suburb and Brookland. There is also a state girls' grammar school, Henrietta Barnett School.

The school used to house The Institute, an adult education centre, but most of The Institute has now moved to accommodation in East Finchley, opposite the tube station, with the opening of a new purpose-built arts centre. Shops and other services are provided in the shopping parades of Market Place and Temple Fortune, with Golders Green and East Finchley, within walking distance, for those who live at either end. Little Wood houses an open air arena, which is used for summer theatrical performances.

Despite the founders' intentions, the steep increases in house prices across London, combined with the continual expansion of the Greater London area and the very small proportion of housing association housing, means that Hampstead Garden Suburb is now considered to be one of the wealthiest areas in the country.

Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust

Freehold houses, flats and commercial premises on the Suburb are subject to a scheme of management approved pursuant to the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 by an Order of the Chancery Division of the High Court, dated 17 January 1974, as amended by a further Order dated 17 February 1983.

The HGS Trust whose aim is to protect the character and amenity of the Suburb operates the scheme from an office in the Suburb on Finchley Road. Freeholders are required to get the prior approval of the Trust before altering the external appearance of their properties. Consent is also required for significant changes to gardens, erection of garden sheds and the felling or pruning of trees. The Trust is also the freeholder of the majority of the remaining leasehold property on the Suburb, which is mostly held on very long leases.

Childs Hill

Childs Hill was one of the first industrial districts in Hendon, and the centre of brick and tile production in the early 19th century. In the latter half of the century, laundries became the biggest industry. It was believed that clothes washed in London would be susceptible to cholera and typhoid; as Childs Hill was still very much the countryside, its water was supplied by a series of small streams, and therefore deemed to be disease-free.  Life in Victorian Childs Hill was bleak, and the housing in 1903 was described as being a “disgrace to civilization”.  In 1929 The Regal was built in Finchley Road, and was initially a skating rink, before becoming a cinema, and then a bowling alley.  Today, Childs Hill is a quiet residential area with good schools and a wonderfully diverse community.

For living

Some Victorian terraces have been demolished over the years, but many remain.  You will also find inter-war properties, together with detached and semi-detached homes.  There has been investment into the area recently, with many new apartment developments springing up.  If you would like to find out more about the properties available in the area, please contact a member of our team.

For enjoying

If you like to brave the elements then why not take a dip in one of the Bath Ponds on Hampstead Heath?  Open every day of the year, they are the only open water swimming facilities in the UK to be lifeguarded, but remember, they’re not heated!

Giacomo’s is a traditional Italian restaurant; with over 30 years’ experience they serve fantastic, honest Italian food.  Everything is cooked fresh, including their homemade ‘pasta di casa'.  Just over Golders Hill Park you will discover the delicious gastro pub The Old Bull and Bush; it’s a great place to relax in front of their open fires, especially on a cold and wet day.  You can enjoy a freshly prepared menu, including a number of homemade dishes.

If you like to cook at home and you are adventurous then make your way to Raging Bull Meats to purchase crocodile tail fillet, ostrich fillet and kingklip, a fish indigenous to the owner’s native South Africa.  All his beef is produced by cattle reared on the plains of Namibia.

For access

You can access Childs Hill via the following bus routes from Golders Green: 245, 260 and 460.  The closest train stations are Golders Green and Cricklewood, with the nearest Tube being on the Northern Line at Golders Green.

For families

Families will enjoy a visit to Kentish Town City Farm, which is free to enter, and houses over 50 animals, as well as a wildlife pond and community gardens.  They host a number of special events throughout the year, as well as pony rides and an educational programme for group visits.

There are a large number of good schools in the area, including some that have achieved ‘Outstanding’ in their last Ofsted inspection. These include: Emmanuel Church of England Primary School; Christ Church Primary School; Menorah Primary School; and The Henrietta Barnett School.

Ignite your children’s passion for stories by taking regular visits to the Childs Hill Library.  Complete with a coffee lounge, they host a number of interactive activities, including read and rhyme sessions. 

Hendon

The vibrant area of Hendon is home to one of the largest shopping centres in London, Brent Cross.  The Hendon and District Archaeological Society were part of a group who discovered evidence of a Roman settlement here, but what has put Hendon on the map is its aviation history - the Hendon Aerodrome was a centre for aviation in the 1900s.  The first Aerial Derby was held in 1912, where around 3 million people formed a human ring around the circuit to watch the pilots fly round - it is thought two thirds of these had never seen a plane in flight before.  Today, Hendon is home to the London arm of the Royal Airforce Museum, consisting of a number of buildings housing a range of exhibitions, including “Our Finest Hour” in the Battle of Britain Hall.

For living

Hendon enjoys an eclectic selection of architectural styles from beautiful period properties fill of character to 1920s and 30s semi detached homes.  You will also find million pound detached homes as well as apartments in modern developments and converted properties.  If you would like to know more about the properties available in Hendon, please contact a member of our team.

For enjoying

You can’t be in Hendon without trying something from the bagel bakeries; The Hendon Bagel Bakery is a London Kosher bakery producing artisanal, handmade breads using traditional methods.  You can buy anything, from sweet filled danishes and rich cream cakes to tasty biscuits and baked challahs.

Iskele is described as the finest Turkish ocakbasi restaurant in Hendon, and serves a wonderful selection of humus, falafel, doner, kebab, fish, salad and vegetarian dishes. Beit Hamadras is a kosher Indian restaurant in the heart of Hendon, serving up authentic Indian cuisine mixed with speciality dishes.

Close to Middlesex University is the Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture, which houses collections showcasing the history of domestic interiors, including designs, magazines, wallpapers, catalogues, textiles and books.  Their textile collection was all designed between 1800 and the 1960s for British homes, by well-known companies, such as Sandersons and Liberty & Co.

We can’t forget Allianz Park, home of Rugby Union team the Saracens.  It is also a venue for community and elite athletics, and the base for the Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers and the Barnet & District Athletics Club.  It hosts a full range of activities for young and old to get involved in, from fencing to bowls, judo to dance, so it is well worth investigating.

For access

The Underground station Hendon Central serves the area, and is on the Northern Line.  Hendon also benefits from a mainline train station that can take you to St Albans, Luton, London Blackfriars and Sutton.  There are a number of bus routes running through Hendon, including the 83, 113, 143, 186, 324, 326, N5 and N113.

For families

Barnet Copthall is a great leisure centre with three swimming pools: the main 25-metre pool; the training pool, where you can work on your technique; and, if you want some fun, you can enjoy the activity pool.  You will also find a fully equipped gym, a studio hosting over 50 fitness classes a week, and personal trainers who will give you the motivation and support you need to meet your goals.

Parents will be pleased to hear that there are a large number of good schools in the area, with the following receiving ‘Outstanding’ in their last Ofsted report: Hendon School; the Independent Jewish Day School; Hasmonean High School; Menorah Primary School; and The Hyde School.

Finchley

Close to woodlands, Finchley has a relaxed feel, with its leafy streets and period homes, which is probably why, for centuries, it has attracted artistic and creative professionals.  Charles Darwin wrote some of his greatest works here, and Spike Milligan is honoured with a life-size bronze statue sitting on a park bench within the public gardens of Stephens House and Gardens.  Spike Milligan lived in Finchley for 19 years, and was President of the Finchley Society, and later patron.  Another striking statue decorates the Finchley landscape - La Délivrance, originally called La Victoire, is by French sculptor Émile Oscar Guillaume.  Depicting a naked lady, it was commissioned to celebrate the German Army’s failure to capture Paris in August 1914.

For living

Architecturally speaking, Finchley is extremely diverse, with many large Victorian and Edwardian detached houses, as well as modest terraces.  There are areas dominated by 1920s and ‘30s properties, but it’s the extremes that make this area fascinating - you could easily find a multimillion pound mansion close to blocks of flats.  If you would like us to show you the wealth of property available in this wonderful part of London, contact a member of our team.

For enjoying

Sat in the heart of North Finchley is Arts Depot, an award-winning cultural hub providing a vibrant programme of theatre, dance, comedy, music, family events and art.  They welcome over 140,000 each year, and with two intimate auditoriums, its striking contemporary design and inspiring atmosphere, you would be remiss to not take a look.

In complete contrast, the Phoenix Cinema was built in 1910 and is one of the oldest cinemas in the UK.  It is operated by the local community and boasts a number of high profile patrons, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Dame Judi Dench, Michael Palin and Maureen Lipman.  They screen artistic performances from companies such as the Bolshoi Ballet, the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as notable independent and foreign films.

The Finchley Lido and Leisure Centre is a fantastic place to have a swim or a work out, all year round.  With an 80-station state-of-the art gym, a 25-metre lined pool, a leisure pool complete with wave machine, a studio that hosts 32 classes a week, and not to mention the outdoor pool for those hot summer days, there is certainly something for everyone.

If you’re looking for a bite to eat then we can recommend the award-winning Two Brothers fish restaurant.  Open for over 20 years, the interior embodies casual elegance, and they source only locally grown produce and high quality seafood, and all dishes are cooked to order. Vynam is an authentic Vietnamese restaurant within walking distance from Finchley Central station.  They serve an infusion of traditional and contemporary recipes and have a large variety of dishes for you to enjoy.

For access

Finchley has four underground stations, all on the Northern Line; East Finchley is in Zone 3, and Woodside Park, West Finchley and Finchley Central are all in Zone 4.  There are a number of bus routes also servicing Finchley, including the 82, 125, 145, 382, 460, 626, N13 and N20.

For families

Fired Treasures is a great place for your children to get creative; they offer a range of activities from pottery, decopatch, foam clay and painting.  With afterschool workshops and even classes for toddlers, they really do cater for all the family.  A short distance away you will find Belmont Farm, a delightful petting farm with a variety of animals that your children can get up close and personal with.  They also hold a variety of events throughout the year, as well as classes and a Young Farmers Club.

There are an abundance of good schools in the area, which will give you peace of mind when moving here; the following also achieved ‘Outstanding’ in their last Ofsted report: Manorside Primary School, St Mary's CofE Primary School, Moss Hall Infant School, Our Lady of Lourdes RC School and St Michael's Catholic Grammar School.

Cricklewood

From a small settlement in 1321, Cricklewood transformed into an industrial and commercial centre by the 20th century.  One of the major landmarks is The Crown; in the 1750s it was just a coach house, but cottages began to appear in the 1800s, and the area became known for its ‘pleasure gardens.’  The Crown was rebuilt in 1860 and is now Grade II Listed, and known today as the Clayton Crown Hotel.  In recent years the area has seen improvements to its infrastructure, plus the creation of new homes, thanks to the £1.65 million awarded to the area in 2012 by the Mayor of London’s office.

For living

Many Victorian terraces remain in Cricklewood, and these are joined by some impressive Edwardian homes.  You can also find properties converted into flats, together with contemporary purpose-built apartment buildings, and let’s not forget the lovely properties from the 1930s.  If you would like more information on the types of property available in Cricklewood, contact a member of our team.

For enjoying

Opened in 1976, the Brent Cross Shopping Centre is home to many major brands, with two of its largest stores being John Lewis and Fenwicks.  You will find everything from fashion to technology, food and drink to banks, and even Amazon lockers allowing you to collect your online orders at any time.

Specialising in Ethiopian cuisine and cultural food, the Abyssinia Ethiopian restaurant offers a wealth of dishes, including vegetarian and vegan dishes, all of which are gluten-free.  A short distance away you will discover Sanzio, feeding people “Italian food with an innovative twist”.  Established by Maria Sundrica, whose dishes are inspired by her grandmother and her home on the Adriatic Sea.

If you head towards Hampstead you will come across The Freud Museum.  The property was the place that Sigmund Freud and his family called home after they escaped Austria in 1938 following the Nazi annexation.  The study is filled with a remarkable collection of antiquities, and is preserved just as it would have been during his lifetime.

Gladstone Park became a public park at the beginning of the 20th century and is home to a children's playground, café, art gallery, terraced garden and areas of abundant wildlife.  It is a wonderful place to work, rest and play.

For access

Golders Green Tube station on the Northern Line is the nearest for the residents of Cricklewood, but a short distance away you will find Willesden Green and Kilburn, both on the Jubilee Line.  There are a number of bus routes serving the area, including bus numbers 16, 22, 189, 226, 245, 260, 266, 316, 332, 460, C11 and N16.

For families

BAYSIXTY6 is an all-weather skate park for all ages; it offers a Skate Academy with beginners’ sessions, one-to-one tuition and even a Skate Camp in school holidays.  If you like the outdoors then just a short distance away you will find Kensington Memorial Park, complete with children’s playground, football, tennis and junior cricket courts.  There are a range of good schools in the area, including Our Lady of Grace RC Infant and Nursery School, the Convent of Jesus and Mary RC Infant School, Emmanuel Church of England Primary School, and Our Lady of Grace Catholic Junior School, which all received an ‘Outstanding’ rating in their most recent Ofsted reports.

Temple Fortune

Just north of Golders Green you will find Temple Fortune, which is believed to have first been identified on a map in 1754, as a single farmhouse near a small green.  It remained isolated until Finchley Road was established in the late 1820s, and the arrival of coaching inn The Royal Oak saw the creation of terraces of cottages, and by the end of the 19th century around 300 people lived in the area.  Temple Fortune continued to develop, especially after the Golders Green Tube station was built in the early 1900s.  Today, the area offers a collection of independent stores and a mix of big brands, as well as being just a short walk away from some of the best bakeries in North London.

For living

This residential suburb benefits from having both Hampstead Heath and Golders Green within a short distance.  It is blessed with sought-after bungalows, as well as a wealth of detached and semi-detached family homes, and contemporary apartment buildings too.  If you would like to know more about the property available in Temple Fortune, contact a member of our team.

For enjoying

Baran Ocakbasi is a cosy Turkish charcoal grill restaurant specialising in serving freshly cooked dishes, including grilled fish, kebabs and a selection of vegetarian delights.  That’s Amore is a wonderful Italian restaurant offering true Italian cuisine, including pizzas made with yeast brought from Italy; they also offer a takeaway service for those treat nights in.

Brent River Park has seen some improvements over recent years, with more planned for the future as part of the River Brent Project.  It is a wonderful space to play, with its parks, sports grounds and golf courses, and you can walk your dog along the 7km curving strip.

Sat on the edge of Hampstead Heath you will find Kenwood House; surrounded by peaceful landscaped gardens, it is home to a world-class art collection.  The house itself is known for its stunning interior, and is the masterpiece of Robert Adam, the famous 18th century Scottish architect.

For access

The closest Tube stations to Temple Fortune are Golders Green and Brent Cross, both of which are on the Northern Line.  The area is served by a number of bus routes, including the 13, 82, 113, 187, 268, C11, N13 and N113.

For families

Not too far away you will find the RAF Museum, which houses a wonderful collection of aircraft, artefacts and uniforms.  Opened in 1972, it is free to enter. You can enjoy the Milestones of Flight, a timeline of flying machines, and in the Bomber Hall you will find an impressive number of aircraft, including the legendary Avro Lancaster.

The area is surrounded by a number of good schools, including the following who achieved ‘Outstanding’ in their latest Ofsted report: The Henrietta Barnett School; Menorah Primary School; Brookland Junior School; Brookland Infant and Nursery School; Independent Jewish Day School; Hendon School; and Oak Lodge School.