Park Farm

Park Farm, Finchley give much of its land to the later Hampstead Garden Surburb.

One of the last occupiers of Park Farm was the circus proprietor Lord’ George Sanger, who retired there in 1904.

Sanger was an English showman and circus proprietor who set up the enterprise with his brother John. The first show was in February 1854 at the King’s Lynn Charter Fair in Norfolk. His circus visited over 200 towns in a nine month season, giving two shows a day, every day except Sunday.

In 1905 he sold off his zoo and some circus effects - these were auctioned by circus auctioneer Tom Norman. His descendants continued the circus in operation until the 1960s.

While he owned Park Farm, he allowed the circus animals to winter on his land. An elderly resident of Denman Drive - constructed in 1908 on what was once Westminster Abbey’s land - used to recall elephants grazing’ in the field between Big Wood and Little Wood, before Denman Drive North and Denman Drive South - constructed in 1912 on what was once the Bishop’s land - were completed.

Sanger was notoriously murdered with a hatchet by a farm hand - Herbert Charles Cooper - in 1911. The murderer’s motive was never established and the case was something of a cause celebre at the time. Cooper later committed suicide.

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