Finchley Road, NW3

Road in/near Finchley Road, existing between 1835 and now

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Road · Finchley Road · NW3 ·

Finchley Road is one of north London’s main roads.

It was originally named Finchley New Road and it was built as a turnpike to provide a bypass to a much hillier route north through the village of Hampstead. Haverstock Hill and Rosslyn Hill in Hampstead were difficult for horses with carriages to negotiate when muddy.

The Finchley Road Act was passed in 1826 and by 1835, the new turnpike road was complete.

It ran north from what was then called the ’New Road’ (now Euston Road and Marylebone Road). Four miles further north, the road crosses the boundary of Finchley and its name becomes Regents Park Road (after the reverse destination).

Originally there was a tollgate at Childs Hill.

Once it was finished in the 1830s, many large houses were built along it, especially at Fortune Green and Childs Hill.

By 1856 up to ten Atlas Line stagecoaches a day ran along Finchley Road. Atlas Line was based at Swiss Cottage.

Bus services started before 1880. Motor buses had replaced horse omnibuses by 1911.

Today the route follows the A41 which becomes Finchley Road at St. John’s Wood tube station and runs to the North Circular Road, crossing it at Henlys Corner and becoming Regents Park Road.

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Finchley Road

Finchley Road is on the Jubilee line, between West Hampstead and Swiss Cottage and on the Metropolitan line between Baker Street and Wembley Park.

The station was opened on 30 June 1879 by the Metropolitan Railway (MR, now the Metropolitan line) on its extension from its now closed station at St. John's Wood (a different station from the current St. John's Wood Jubilee line station). The station was rebuilt in 1914 with entrances incorporated into a new parade of shops.

By the mid-1930s the Metropolitan line was suffering from congestion on its main routes from north west London, caused by the limited capacity of its tracks between Finchley Road and Baker Street stations. To alleviate this congestion new sections of deep tube tunnels were bored between Finchley Road and Baker Street to carry some of the traffic from the Stanmore branch and stations south of Wembley Park. These new tunnels opened on 20 November 1939 and from that date Finchley Road station was also served by Bakerloo line trains running from Baker Street using the new tunnels. The Bakerloo line services were subsequently transferred to the Jubilee line when that line commenced operation on 1 May 1979.

Analysis of earth removed when tunnelling towards the station revealed that its site was the southern limit of a glacier which covered Britain in one of the Ice Ages, as illustrated in episode 3 (Ice Age) of the BBC series British Isles: A Natural History
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