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Hog Market and Church Lane (Finchley N2)

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The Market Place takes its name from a large pig market which started around the 1660s. By the end of the 18th century Finchley's pig market was the largest in Middlesex, with market days on Wednesday and Thursday. Pig drovers from as far away as Shropshire would sell the pigs to London butchers or to local farmers. Deals were done at houses with names like The Sow and Pigs. It was said that the pigs were fed on grain that had been used for distilling gin. The highwayman Jack Sheppard was held at The George Inn, after his arrest disguised as a butcher.

In the 1840s the market had decreased in importance and was only held on Mondays. By the 1890s there were only auctions every few months. However the pig tradition continued and in 1955 25 pigs were kept around Prospect Place and at the Fuel Land Allotments. Prospect Place was built during the 1820s and Chapel Street took its name from the Congregational chapel on the main road. By the 1930s the area was considered in need as many of the houses were small and not suitable for living in. 

On 15 November 1940 the area was heavily bombed during the Blitz. Many of the houses were destroyed. In the early 1960s three 11-storey flats were built, the first being opened in April 1960 by Margaret Thatcher,  then MP for Finchley. In 1927 Burton's Bakeries built a large bakery on the walks which by the 1930s was the Merry Miller and Clarks Bakery during the 1960s. It closed after a fire in the early 1980s.

Church Lane was called Bull Lane from the 17th century until around the 1900s. Before 1816 the lane opened up on to Finchley Common at the junction of King Street and the walks. Shortly after enclosure a number of houses were built, some of which still stand. Others, such as Albert Terrace and Elm Cottages, were sold in April 1875, but may be slightly older. Around the back of the houses is P.O. Joyces Timber yard, which opened in East Finchley in 1863 (near the station) and moved to Church Lane in the 1900s. 

Holy Trinity Church was built in 1846 to designs by the architect Anthony Salvin. It was felt necessary due to the area's descent into a 'godless' hamlet, particularly with the boxing at the Five Bells Public House. The church hall (now a Hindu Temple) was built in 1913.

East Finchley's first streets after the railway, Trinity Road and Manor Park Road, both appear in the 1871 census. Where Hobbs Green is today was a house built in the first half of the 19th century called Glencroft, which later became Summers Brown Ltd cricket bat manufacturers in 1911.

Contacts

  • Local Studies Centre
  • Hendon Library (first floor), The Burroughs, London NW4 4BQ
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  • Tel: 020 8359 3960
  • Email: library.archives@barnet.gov.uk

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