Friern Barnet is located at the intersection of Colney Hatch Lane (running north and south), Woodhouse Road (taking westbound traffic towards North Finchley) and Friern Barnet Road (leading east towards New Southgate).
Lane was an important road by 1814.
’s road system was established by the late 15th century. The main north-south route of that date became known as Whetstone High Road in the north, as Friern Barnet
Lane between Whetstone and Colney Hatch, and as Colney Hatch Lane
from there to Muswell Hill. It had been the principal highway from London to Barnet
and the north of England but by the early 14th century the main road ran through Hornsey Park to Finchley and thence to rejoin Friern Barnet
Lane at Whetstone, along the route of the modern Great North Road.
Lane, also known as Friern Lane, was Wolkstreet c. 1518. Colney Hatch Lane
, so called from 1846, was Halliwick Street (Halwykstrete) in 1398 and Muswell Hill Lane or Aspen Lane in 1801. No route led westward, except via Whetstone. To the east a road led from Colney Hatch to Betstile, where it met roads to Enfield, Tottenham and Wood Green, East Barnet
, and the modern Oakleigh Road. It was known in turn as Betstile Lane between 1549 and 1785, Southgate Lane in 1801, High Road in 1879, and Friern Barnet
Road from 1889.
was an ancient parish in the Finsbury division of Ossulstone hundred, in the county of Middlesex.
The area was originally considered to be part of Barnet
, most of which was in Hertfordshire. By the 13th century the Middlesex section of Barnet
was known as Little Barnet
, before becoming Frerenbarnet and then Friern Barnet
(sometimes spelt in other ways, such as "Fryern Barnet
t"). The "Friern" part of the parish’s name derives from the French for "brother" and refers to the medieval lordship of the Brotherhood or Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.
The opening of railway stations on the Great Northern and Metropolitan Railways, in the mid-19th century, prompted some development.
But Friern Barnet
parish remained largely rural until after the First World War. The building of Colney Hatch asylum in 1851 helped to cut off the area to the south, and the location of railways caused the edges of the parish to be built up first.
In 1883 the most populous and prosperous district was that of All Saints’, Whetstone. Most of the population lived in the Freehold, Avenue, and Holly Park districts, which had grown up around Colney Hatch.
The working-class Freehold, so-called in the late 19th century when the original ownership of the land had been forgotten, lay south of Bounds Green brook and east of Colney Hatch Lane
. The Avenue
was a similar area north-east of Colney Hatch, in the angle between Oakleigh Road South
and Friern Barnet
Road and separated by the railway from Holly Park, to the west. Relative densities of population were altered by building in the central and northern parts of the parish after 1920. More than ten per cent of the land was still open as late as 1975, most of it in the southern part.
became part of the London Borough of Barnet