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FINCHLEY
Description and History from 1868 Gazetteer

FINCHLEY, a parish in the Finsbury division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county Middlesex, 4 miles S. of Barnet, and 7 N. of London.

The Great Northern railway passes about half a mile E. of the village, and has a station at Colney Hatch. A branch line is now in course of construction which will pass through the centre of the parish and join the Great Northern in Holloway. The village is situated on the Great North Road, in the vicinity of the river Brent, and includes the villages of Whetstone and East End, as well as some other small places, of which Church End and Brown's Wells are the principal. Finchley Common was long noted for its highwaymen, and there is a tree still standing known as Turpin's Oak. General Monk, on his march from the North in 1660, previous to the accession of Charles II., halted his army here; and nearly a century later, in 1745, the Guards stopped to refresh on their way to repress the rising in favour of the Pretender. This halt has been rendered immortal by Hogarth's picture of the "March to Finchley" (preserve in the Foundling Hospital), the scene of which is laid at Tottenham Court Road turnpike. The place is of great antiquity, though it is not noticed in the Domesday Survey. The 'S' division of police have a station here. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of London, value 417, in the patronage of the bishop, who is also lord of the manor, which has belonged to this see from the earliest times. The church is a stone structure of the middle ages, and is approached through an avenue of fine old elm trees. It is dedicated to St. Mary, and has some brasses of the 15th century, with monumental records of several families. In the churchyard there is a monument in the form of an obelisk to Major Cartwright, of political notoriety, who flourished in the early part of the present century. There are also the following district churches, viz: Holy Trinity and Whetstone St. John's, both perpetual curacies* of the respective value of 150 and 170, and in the presentation of the bishop. The endowments of the parish produce upwards of 300 per annum, arising chiefly from lands, and are under the management of a committee of twelve, by whom they are applied to various charitable objects of local interest. Here are chapels belonging to the Independents and Wesleyans, also National and infant schools, and a day school in connection with the Independents. Those belonging to St. Mary's and to the Holy Trinity are held in handsome Gothic buildings recently erected, with teachers' residences. In this parish are situated the cemeteries for Marylebone, Islington, and St. Pancras.

[Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland" (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson 2003]
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[Last updated on 9 Oct 2003 by David Hawgood. 2003]