Mill Hill East station is on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line, and is the only station on a branch from Finchley Central. Mill Hill
Bittacy Hill is the name of a part of an old road which led from London to Mill Hill
Bittacy Hill was also the name for this area before the name Mill Hill
East came about in 1935 - just before the railway became part of the Northern Line in 1939.
Bittacy House and Bittacy Farm
were the main estates and the farm continued until 1908.
The North Middlesex Gas Company Works were opened in 1862 and continued until 2000 to be replaced by a supermarket.
In 1865 more than a hundred navvies arrived to build a viaduct across the Dollis Brook for the new railway.
In the triangle formed by Bittacy Hill, Saunders Lane and the railway, a small community formed when houses were built for railway and gas workers along Murray Road, Station Villas and the south side of Saunders Lane.
By the 1890s, there were shops, a mission hall and a chapel school. The local council built maisonettes north of Saunders Lane in 1932.
Barracks (Inglis Barracks) was the home of the Middlesex Regiment from 1905 to 1961. It was also used by the British Forces Post Office from 1962. During the 1960s and 1970s a large number of houses were built as married quarters.
North of the barracks the firm Carl Zeiss built an optical works in 1912. Being German-owned, it was closed during the First World War, but reopened around 1919 as the United Kingdom Optical Co Ltd. In 1988 the International Bible Students Association, associated with Watchtower House, took over the site. Bittacy House was demolished in 1950 and Watchtower house was built on the site in 1955.
East station was built by the Edgware, Highgate and London Railway (EH&LR) and was opened as Mill Hill
on 22 August 1867 by the Great Northern Railway (GNR) (which had taken over the EH&LR) in rural Middlesex. The station was on a line from Finsbury Park to Edgware via Highgate.
The EH&LR was built as a double track formation, but only a single track was laid, with the intention of doubling the track when business developed. However, when the GNR opened a branch from Finchley Central to High Barnet in April 1872 traffic on that section was greater, and the second track was never laid from Finchley Central to Edgware. For most of its history the service between those two stations was operated as a shuttle.
The station opened as Mill Hill
and was given its present name in 1928.
The area around Mill Hill
East has still the air of a village about it. It is quiet and very green with plenty of parks and golf courses to hand.
Parts of the eastern side of Mill Hill
have recently undergone redevelopment, with the old gas works replaced by a Waitrose supermarket and housing developments. The small local retail area at Mill Hill
East is at “Kelly’s Corner” (officially Holders Hill Circus
) east of the station. To the south of Mill Hill
East are Copthall and Holders Hill.
The United Kingdom / Carl Zeiss / Bausch & Lomb Optical Works was established at Mill Hill
East in 1912 and demolished in about 1990, to be replaced by a large building owned by the Jehovah Witnesses, to complement their nearby Watchtower House built on the site of the former Bittacy House.
East is the least used station on the Northern Line with only 10,000 passengers per week.