The Finchley Society

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Society Activities > Local History > Finchley Local History Projects

Finchley local history projects

History Research Projects concerning Finchley, current and proposed, that are known to the group. You can contact those concerned via or this site's enquiries page.


  • Sellers Hall
    I am researching the origins of Sellers Hall. This small estate was on the eastern side of Nether Street, to the south of Lovers Walk. In 1954/5 Sellers Hall Close was built on the site of Sellers Hall. Tudor Cottage, a mock-Tudor house remains from the original estate. So far the earliest record that I have found of Sellers Hall is the early 1500s. Richard Arnell, a composer and professor at the Royal College of Music, was the last owner. His father and his father’s three brothers were all developers who lived and worked in Finchley and North London. One of Richard Arnell’s protégées was Sir Malcolm Arnold, who did not become a composer until his forties. Mike Dawson
  • Stained glass
    I am seeking out stained glass in situ in churches, public buildings and in domestic settings in North London. Such glass appears to be either Victorian, Edwardian or from the 1920s to 1930s with a few notable exceptions. I shall be compiling a proper listing of all the glass I find. Helene Davidian
  • Inclosure of the Common
    Very much a trial and error project, I am tracing the transfer of ownership of Finchley Common resulting from Inclosure, to see the effect it has had on North and East Finchley. I am starting from the Inclosure map and working both forwards and backwards in time. Tony Roberts
  • Finchley Boundary Markers
    I am recording boundary markers in the area and hope to get some of them listed by English Heritage. The earliest dates back to 1799 and several are dated 1864. There is also an interesting line of them separating the Islington and St Pancras cemeteries. Derek Warren
  • History of Dollis Brook
    I am looking into the history of the Dollis Brook and have found many old photographs. I would also like to investigate the Mutton Brook, and past and present ponds in the area. Derek Warren
  • Green and Open Spaces
    There are many Green & Open spaces in Finchley and Friern Barnet and I plan to obtain a record of every one, to include photographs, plans, and any details of its history, including post cards, leaflets, press cuttings. So please let me know if you have anything that can be copied or that you would like to donate to the archives. Derek Warren
  • Audio recordings
    Finding people with a knowledge of Finchley history before, during or after the war (life in general, the changes, shopping, retailing work etc.).Conducting a recorded interview of not more that 45 minutes during which questions are asked to bring out the ground agreed to be covered. The recollections of Finchley resident and retailer Mr Shewry and Martin Gladman, bookseller, and of residents of Finchley Homes are to come. The tapes are stored in the Archives and transcribing them to a word processor has started. Please contact Maggie for more information
  • Information display for La Delivrance
    Preparing the information and getting it agreed; getting budget approval; obtaining permissions. The late Robert Winton
  • Information display for St Mary at Finchley
    Following the successful completion of the plaque for La Delivrance, Robert Winton organised the plaque to be located at Finchley's original parish church shortly before his death. The late Robert Winton.
  • Information display at Bobath Centre
    Carrying on Robert's work, David Smith is organising a plaque to commemorate the original Holy Trinity school. David Smith
  • Dental care in Finchley
    I am researching the origins of dental care in Finchley. This will focus initially on the salaried school dental services and then hospital services. I will later examine general dental practice. It is assumed that I will have to examine the archives of the Middlesex education archives as well as those of the local medical officers of health. Stanley Gelbier Further details awaited.
  • The history of 47 Ridgeview Road
    My parents house c.1952-57 is thought to been constructed for the builder/developer, probably a member of the Harper family who ran the shop Hillside Bakery at Harper's Corner.
    The Electoral Roll after World War II lists a number of Harpers, and the Harper family had been involved in property in that area. A Kelly's Directory shows that Harpers owned an estate agency with premises on that block in Whetstone High Road.
    I should like to confirm all this, particularly in a context of the development of Ridgeview Road in the 1930s and the Harper Family history as a business dynasty. Robert Hogan
  • The parcelling-out of Northern Finchley Common with special reference to the railway
    Ridgeview Road may have been an off-cut from Whetstone Stray. Certainly properties on the other side of Woodside Lane were from Finchley Common. I would like to know more in this connection about two local Victorian worthies:
    (a) Holden. A big farm in that area belonged to the Holden family, and Mr Henry Holden seems to have been the main developer around Woodside Park Station. As Holden Road winds back over the railway to meet Woodside Lane, perhaps he was involved in negotiations with the railway company about the routing of the original tracks.
    (b) Turle. Dr Turle was a senior public health official for the County of Middlesex who commissioned Cubitt to build him a country seat in Finchley. The building still stands as the main block of Finchley Catholic High School. Robert Hogan
  • Recording North Finchley’s ancient hedgerows
    I am investigating and recording details of the vestiges of hedgerows in North Finchley that have survived from its rural past, together with their constituent plants. Ollie Natelson
  • The history of Grass Farm
    The land on which my house in Church End is situated used to belong to Grass Farm. I have therefore decided to uncover the history of the farm. Margaret Cullen
  • Crime and Punishment in Jacobean Finchley
    I shall be looking through court records of the period and producing an essay on this subject for the Archives, and possibly the newsletter. Stuart Baines
  • A location map for buildings of interest
    Maggie Ferguson, Archive Manager, has a list of buildings of interest to FinSoc members. With her help I have produced a computerised map and photos to go with the list. Suggestions for new entries are always welcome – contact Maggie. Now available to view in the Finchley Society Archives. Tony Roberts
  • Photographing the High Road
    Martin Bronkhorst is taking photographs of East Finchley High Road. Further details awaited.


  • History booklets for library
    I did a series of history articles on East Finchley in conjunction with The Archer and have expanded them into the form of an A5 booklet. Potentially we could prepare a booklet for each of the libraries. Much of the information would be common but there would be pages specific to Church, East, and North Ends. I am willing to lead the East Finchley booklet and Margaret Cullen has volunteered to lead the Church End booklet, so as soon as we have a volunteer for North Finchley this project will become current. Proposed by Tony Roberts
  • Updating of Finchley Charities
    The current book on the history of Finchley Charities stops in 1988. The book could be brought up to date and re-issued. Proposed by Barbara Warren
  • Information displays for listed buildings
    Prepare the information and get it agreed; get budget approval; obtain permissions. Further to the two already complete and in progress the EC have suggested Camp Almshouses, Finchley Manor House, Avenue House, Holy Trinity School. Proposed by David Smith
  • Photographing buildings at risk
    When businesses close down or buildings may be demolished, to obtain permission and make a photographic record of the building inside and out; to interview the outgoing occupiers and to seek documents and records of value to future historians. [Liaison is required with Friern Barnet Local History Society, particularly for the buildings along the shared boundary] proposed by Robert Winton
  • Listing of information sources
    Creating a database of books, writings, archives and other sources of information on the history of Finchley. This work has already been started – see Finchley Society web site – but it would be desirable to liaise with Barnet Archives to ensure the data is stored in a meaningful and consistent fashion before continuing further Proposed by Robert Winton and Percy Reboul
  • Investigate the Finchley connection with Captain Scott’s snow machines
    Ranulph Fiennes’ book Captain Scott mentions a snow machine, based on the then novel idea of a continuous looped track, being developed in Finchley. Investigations in 1985 (FinSoc web site) and subsequently, revealed that the designer was Belton T Hamilton, and his firm, Autolec Syndicate, Ltd was at 3, The Mall, Ballards Lane. There are many known leads to follow up concerning the designer and the machines so that the complete story may be documented. Proposed by Robert Winton
  • A Finchley Museum
    To investigate the feasibility of a Finchley museum. Proposed by David Smith

Prepared by the Finchley Society Local History Group ,