Underhill and Pricklers Hill


The Old Red Lion at Underhill started sometime in the 1720s. From the Red Lion up to High Barnet the main road ran a little to the south of its present line, and entered High Barnet where Victoria Lane is today.

The hill was very steep, and the Red Lion in Underhill would provide coaches climbing Barnet Hill with an extra pair of horses - sometimes called a Hercules pair. In the 1820s the road was rebuilt and the gradient lessened.

A sewage farm was started for Barnet in 1874 at Underhill. During the 1900s the effluent from the farm was used to produce crops of oats and vegetables. In 1957 the sewage was redirected into the Middlesex main drainage scheme, and the farm closed. Dollis Valley Housing estate was built on the site of the sewage farm in 1967 to house 2,600 people.

  • Underhill and the fields north of Mays Lane were the location of the famous Barnet Fair until 1977
  • in 1907 Barnet Football Club started playing at Underhill. The team had been founded as an amalgamation of different teams in the 1880s which had adopted the name Barnet by 1888
  • Barnet Playing Fields, consisting of 72 acres were laid out in 1926.

The clay around Barnet was good for making pottery and Potters Lane, which has been called this since the 1240s, is named after this craft. Twelve of the houses of the Jesus Hospital Almshouses were built in 1929, and the rest in 1950, and are a part of the James Ravenscroft charity. The Barnet Odeon was opened in 1935.

Pricklers Hill

Pricklers Hill takes its name from a medieval family called Prittle. The Prittle's house became Greenhill Park in the 16th century. The house was close to Hasluck Gardens, which is named after the last occupant of the house, Lancelot Hasluck.

  • the land was purchased by East Barnet Council in July 1926 for £20,000 as a park. Only the pond in Greenhill Gardens remains of the estate
  • the Meadow Works started as a laundry, Welm Laundry, around 1906. The works were expanded considerably during World War One when a munitions factory was built in the grounds.