In Saxon Times Barnet was part of an extensive wood called Southaw,
belonging to the Abbey of St Albans. There have been a couple of theories
about how the town got its name as it appears in early deeds as Bergnet,
the Saxon word signifying a monticulus or little hill while others believe
it comes from the Saxon word, Baernet, meaning 'the place cleared by
As Barnet was nothing but a big wood in the 11th and 12th century this
seems the most likely.
There were tracks and paths leading out of London and eventually people
settled here and a small settlement was formed.
It is known that Chipping, meaning 'the market' was added to the town
in 1199, when permission was granted to the Abbot of St Albans by King
John to hold a weekly market in Barnet. The population of the manor
of Barnet in 1348 numbered 350 of which many residents died in the Black
Just over a hundred years later there were six pubs in the town and
thousands of thirsty soldiers after a battle on Hadley Common. Chipping
Barnet was once the main coach stop during the days of horse drawn traffic
and this part of Barnet has the majority of eating /drinking places
and a wide selection of shops in the High street, including the Spires
If High and East Barnet have the history it was New Barnet that brought
them both together when in 1850 the Great Northern Railway Company (GNR)
took over the running of the railway line that avoided Barnet hill.
They opened Barnet Station a mile and a half to the east of High Barnet
and renamed it New Barnet in 1884. With the railways came the people
and suddenly the population of Barnet rose as new houses were built
for those that wanted to live away from the city.
Main lines were not particularly intended for commuter travel, but the
company soon realised their potential, and another station was opened
on the edge of the expanding suburb of Oakleigh Park in 1873. Privately
run buses, transported people from the stations and a newly built Station
Road and a well-used footpath, the Meadway become the route to High
Today New Barnet has become the most populated area in Barnet with an
abundance of flats in Station Road where once big houses (and churches)
stood. Sainsbury’s is a popular shopping place and it has a good
selection of pubs and eating places. There is a rumour that this area
will have major building developments in the not too distant future
and we will keep you informed of this
Although High Barnet has the history it is East Barnet that is the oldest
Barnet. Since the Norman Conquest, East Barnet has been part of the
manor of Chipping Barnet. The church, St Mary the Virgin, consists of
a nave, built by an Abbot of St Albans early in the 12th century.
East Barnet village has been there for years and many of the locals
have seen the changes. The biggest park in town is Oakhill Park, which
is the venue for the East Barnet Festival. Walk the dog or watch a game
of football, this park has it all with tennis courts and children’s
playground. There is also supposed to be the ghost of a medieval knight
who has appeared in full armour on horseback galloping across the park
and an ancient oak tree burst into flames on a clear summer's day early
in the 20th century’
There use to be a cinema where Budgens now stands and at this moment
in time there are now three pubs in the village with the Cat and Lantern
being renamed as The Village Bar.
It only takes a few minutes to walk through the village and it does
have a car park.
Hadley, or Monken Hadley, owes its name to "its elevated situation,
Headleagh signifying in the Saxon “a high place" (To the
west the land rises to 400 feet above sea level).
The manor belonged to the Mandevilles till the middle of the 12th century,
when it was alienated by Geoffrey de Maneville to the Abbey of Walden,
hence the designation Monken (or Monk's) Hadley.
History should have taught us about “The Battle of Hadley”
but it is Barnet that is remembered when in fact the battle was fought
Hadley Green. This is a place of history and big houses are still prominent.
Hadley church is as picturesque as any other and there are so many walks
for all nature lovers. In Hadley woods is Jacks Lake and you can fish
The woods are a great favourite with dog walkers and there are a couple
good golf courses near by.
David Livingstone (who was on the front cover of the Beatles “Sergeant
Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band”) lived here, as did Lennox Lewis.
You can see cricket on the green and dream of owning one of the houses.
The majority of Hadley residents are a tight community and rightly proud
of where they live.