West Finchley is a station on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line.
Brent Lodge was built on land which had been part of ’Warren’s Gift’, a charitable estate, sometime between 1817 and 1824.
It was a substantial property whose grounds were considerably reduced.
Nearby at Elm Park, west of Nether Street
, where building had started in 1882, land was offered in 1900 for good-class villas which were said to be in great demand. By 1908 housing was continuous up to Brent Lodge, which was offered with 26 acres for immediate building.
The Finchley Co-Partnership Society was then formed to lay out a garden village like Hampstead Garden Suburb for the ’less wealthy middle classes’. In 1910 it decided to preserve Brent Lodge and to develop the 24 acres estate on a co-operative system.
The house was demolished in 1962 despite efforts by the comedian Spike Milligan.
West Finchley benefits from being near to several shopping areas and supermarkets. There is a large entertainment complex on the High Road
with an eight screen cinema, bowling alley, lido, bar and restaurants. Sporting facilities include clubs for rugby with a leading junior club, tennis and squash. Finchley and Hendon Golf Clubs lie less than a mile away and there are several play and recreation areas with way-marked walks. Finchley Arts Centre opened in 2004 and caters for performing and visual arts.
In 1867 the Great Northern Railway opened a line to Mill Hill (later Mill Hill East) and Edgware with stations at East Finchley and Finchley (later Finchley Central). A branch from Finchley to High Barnet
, with stations at Woodside
Park and Whetstone (called Totteridge and Whetstone) opened in 1872.
West Finchley station at Nether Street
, south of Woodside
Park, was only added in 1933. The railway greatly increased accessibility from London. The railway became part of the London Passenger Transport Board’s Northern line, which was electrified to East Finchley in 1939, to High Barnet
in 1940, and to Mill Hill East in 1941.
Intermediate or east-west journeys were less easy. Trams had been suggested in 1880 but it was not until 1898 that the Metropolitan Tramways and Omnibus Co. seriously proposed to introduce them to Finchley and only in 1905 that a route was opened by Metropolitan Electric Tramways (the M.E.T.) between Highgate and Whetstone. It was extended to the Hertfordshire boundary in 1906 and to Barnet
in 1907 and was crossed by one from New Southgate to North Finchley and Golders Green from 1909.
A tramway depot opened just off the Great North Road near Tally Ho Corner by 1908 became the focus of the M.E.T.’s system before it was superseded by trolley-buses in 1938.All trolley-buses disappeared between 1959 and 1962. In 1959 and 1964 the deficiencies of London Transport buses were such that Finchley B.C. considered running its own.