Monday 19 June 2023

History, Architecture and Timber Windows in the London Borough of Barnet

Located within Greater London, the Borough of Barnet was originally part of Hertfordshire and the historic county of Middlesex.

The area dates back to the Celtic period, when the Celts cleared the land for farming. Then during the Roman period, the Romans built several forts and settlements locally. These were later occupied by the Saxons.

In the Middle Ages, Barnet was located on the main road between London and St Albans, making it a popular stopping point for travellers and a centre for inns and marketplaces. Permission was granted for the first weekly market in Barnet on the 23 August 1199.

The town grew rapidly in the Tudor period.  In 1588 Queen Elizabeth then granted a new charter to also add permission for an annual fair. The fair concentrated on the trading of livestock, particularly cattle and horses, but also included some amusements.

By 1756, Barnet was home to 25 inns, with beds and / or stabling, along Barnet Hill and High Street.

The area was too far to easily commute to Central London, meaning that not many people chose to live in Barnet.

As a result, before the arrival of the railways, Barnet had a disproportionately high percentage of wealthy residents. Some of the Georgian mansions they lived in can still be seen in areas of the Borough including in Hadley, Oak Hill, and Osidge.

The London-Birmingham railway line opened in the 1830s and had an immediate effect on Barnet, with vastly reduced numbers travelling by coach through the area. This was followed by additional railway lines, with eight railway companies operating in the borough by 1865.

However, although the number of visitors reduced, this was replaced by people choosing to move to live in Barnet and commute to Central London. With the population increasing, several Victorian houses were built and new towns, such as Hendon and Finchley, developed.

Barnet continued to expand throughout the Edwardian and 1920s and 1930s, with the majority of the Edwardian development being built near Barnet Hill.

The London Borough of Barnet was then created in 1965 and includes areas such as Hampstead Garden Suburb, Finchley, Church End, Monken Hadley, New Barnet, Totteridge, and Hendon.

Today the borough is predominantly residential and is home to many historical buildings.

Church Farmhouse

The Church Farmhouse, also known as the former Church Farmhouse Museum, is a Grade II* listed 17th Century building. The building is the oldest surviving dwelling in Hendon.

It is a two-storey, red brick farmhouse with timber sash windows. The building was a residential property for several years, and has a blue plaque commemorating Mark Lemon, who lived in the house as a child between 1817 and 1823.

In 1944 the farmhouse was bought by the council and later set up as a museum representing how life would have been for an ordinary farming family. The museum then closed in 2011.

The farmhouse was marked as “vulnerable” by English Heritage, in 2014 having stood empty for three years. However, Middlesex University took over the building and restored it in 2016.

Tudor Hall

Tudor Hall is Grade II listed and was built in 1577 for use by the Free Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth I. The date of 1573, which is located above the door, refers to the founding date of the Grammar School rather than when the hall was built.

The building continued to be used as a classroom until 1932, when Chipping Barnet’s Jesus Hospital brought the hall to use as offices and to accommodate visitors.

The hall was then sold to Hertfordshire County Council in 1958 and is today used as part of Barnet College.

Friern Hospital / Princess Park Manor

Friern Hospital was a large Victorian psychiatric hospital located in Friern Barnet. It was built between 1849 and 1850, before being opened in July 1851.

When it was originally built, the hospital was designed to take 1,000 patients. However, the building underwent several refurbishments and extensions to enable them to admit more patients. By 1898, there were 2,500 patients.

The building remained as a hospital until 1993, when the building and grounds were sold and converted into luxury apartments, known as Princess Park Manor.

Princess Park Manor today still has several arched sash windows and is Grade II listed.

The building has housed various famous residents over the years, both during its time as a hospital and since it became apartments. Among its more recent famous residents were members of the boy band, One Direction.

Casement Window Bay

Timber Windows in the London Borough of Barnet

Although few medieval structures remain, several Victorian and Edwardian properties can still be spotted in the London Borough of Barnet, along with a selection of Georgian buildings.

The Borough also has several notable buildings and landmarks, including All Saints Church in Barnet village which was designed by Augustus Pugin, one of the most influential architects of the Gothic Revival movement.

The Borough is home to several conservation areas, ten of which are covered by an article 4 direction, restricting the work that can be carried out on the property without planning permission.

There are also hundreds of locally listed and statutory listed buildings within the Borough, helping to preserve the traditional appearance of the area. As a result, timber sash windows and timber casement windows can still be spotted across the Borough.

At The Sash Window Workshop, we specialise in sympathetically replacing and upgrading traditional timber windows and doors to be more energy efficient. We have extensive experience working in Conservation Areas and can comply with listed building regulations when required.

To obtain a free, no obligation quotation for your windows or doors, contact us on 01344 868 668.

Church Farmhouse Museum London Borough of Barnet
Above image by © Grim23, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tudor Hall Chipping Barnet
Above image by © Philafrenzy, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.