Finchley Area Guide
Finchley is an area of north-west London in the London Borough of Barnet. Finchley is on high ground, 6.8 miles north of Charing Cross. It formed an ancient parish in the county of Middlesex, becoming a municipal borough in 1933, and has been part of Greater London since 1965.
It is predominantly a residential suburb, with three key centres: North Finchley, East Finchley and Finchley Church End (Finchley Central).
Finchley probably means "Finch's clearing" or "finches' clearing" in late Anglo-Saxon; the name was first recorded in the early 13th century.
Whilst Finchley is not recorded in the Domesday Book, by the 11th century its lands were held by the Bishop of London. In the early medieval period the area was sparsely populated woodland, whose inhabitants supplied pigs and fuel to London.
Extensive cultivation began about the time of the Norman Conquest and by the 15th and 16th centuries the woods on the eastern side of the parish had been cleared to form Finchley Common. The medieval Great North Road, which ran through the common, was notorious for highwaymen until the early 19th century.
The St Mary-at-Finchley Church is first recorded in the 1270s.
The Edgware, Highgate and London Railway (later the Great Northern Railway) reached Finchley in 1867. It ran from Finsbury Park via Finchley to Edgware. The branch from Finchley to High Barnet opened in 1872.
In 1905 tram services were established in Finchley, and extended shortly afterwards to Barnet. They were eventually replaced by trolleybuses.
In 1933, the Underground New Works Programme, 1935-1940 to electrify the lines through Finchley, and connect the Northern line from Archway to East Finchley, via a new tunnel was announced.
Much of the work was carried out and East Finchley station was rebuilt, but the project was halted by the second world war. All passenger services from Finchley to Edgware ended in September 1939.
Nevertheless, Underground trains began running from central London to High Barnet in 1940, and to Mill Hill East, to reach the army barracks, in 1941.
After the war, the introduction of London's Metropolitan Green Belt undermined pre-war plans and the upgrading between Mill Hill East and Edgware (the 'Northern Heights' project) was abandoned, although the line continued to be used by steam trains for goods traffic through Finchley, until 1964.
Finchley now has four London Underground stations (East Finchley, Finchley Central, West Finchley and Woodside Park, all on the High Barnet branch of the Northern line, which serves the West End and City.
With its excellent transport links into Central London and excellent shopping, schooling and recreational facilities, Finchley is a popular area with business professionals and families and offers a range of property from apartments to large family housing.