Village Life in Finchley, London
Preserved by its residents, together with Barnet Council, for over a century, the harmonious character of FINCHLEY GARDEN VILLAGE created a special place of architectural and historic interest, with a community spirit passed down from one generation to the next.
In recognition of its unique character, it was designated a Conservation Area in 1978 by London Borough of Barnet. Forty years on, we take a look at what makes this unique area in Finchley Church End, whose origins can be traced back to 1908, worth preserving.
A Special Community
Although only eight miles from Oxford Circus, Village Road was always unlike the ordinary suburban road. Since the beginning, everybody knew everybody else and villagers used to wander in through their neighbours’ back doors and call out ‘Anyone at home?’ and be invited in.
Village Road cuts across the central green, creating two irregular-shaped village greens. These are the principal and most striking features of the conservation area and provide the idyllic setting for the cottage-style houses to display their distinctive architectural character. Cherry, chestnut and oak trees lining the road, further contribute to the semi-rural atmosphere.
A single monument on the lower village green, built of Portland stone with a lantern mounted on a wrought iron bracket, stands testament to the history of the village. It is dedicated to residents who lost their lives during both the First and Second World Wars, as well as Frank Stratton, the village architect and its first resident, who died in 1922.
Dollis Valley Greenwalk
This country-style, village haven backs onto the green expanses of Windsor Open Space, with pathways leading to Dollis Brook (listed in the Domesday Book 1085). It is renowned for its listed Walk, spanning 17 km and home to over 30 species of bird, including much loved herons, egrets and swans. Many bridges offer enchanting access from neighbourhoods on both sides.