The Hale

The Hale is a part of the parish of Hendon, and as such came under Hendon in Domesday Book.

  • the Hale (or Healh) has been known since about 1294
  • it was divided into Upper Hale and Lower Hale
  • it was the smallest settlement, a hamlet, in Hendon, and had a handful of houses
  • the name is probably derived from the Saxon word for heal, or corner
  • there was a ford where Hale Lane crossed Dean's Brook, until a bridge was built in 1926
  • the brook flooded regularly in the winter
  • there was a small poor house at the Hale, which, until it was sold off in 1837, provided accommodation for the homeless of Mill Hill and Burnt Oak as well as the Hale
  • what is now Matilda Marks Kennedy school was once a house called Maxwellton, and before that Shakerham farm. It is an 18th century house and the oldest building left in the Hale

In the 1860s the Midland Railway built a line which cut through the district north south, and the Edgware, Highgate, and London Line (later part of the GNR) built one east to west. But as the Hale was only a small hamlet, there did not seem any reason to open a station.

In 1873 the Convent of St. Mary at the Cross (Anglican), started just north of the Hale. The convent was a home for children and adults with incurable conditions. It was greatly expanded in 1937 and in the 1970s. There are now only a handful of full time nuns, but the convent has become home to nuns from Ethiopia (Coptic) and Zimbabwe.

The Green Man

Until the 1860s there was only one public house, The Green Man (known since 1751).

  • the old Green Man was demolished in 1929 and rebuilt by the Cannon Brewery, and is at present a Harvester
  • it was well known as a sporting house
  • Middlesex Farmers Drag Hounds and the Colindale Farmers Drag Hounds would have champagne lunches at the Green Man until the early 20th century
  • the house was famous as a place for boxers to be trained in the 1890s and 1900s
  • one of these boxers, a Frenchman called Eugene Corrie, became the first boxing referee to work within the ring

Holidays and transport

Until the late 1920s the Hale was a popular place to come during bank holidays in what was then the countryside. It was even visited by Princess Alexandra, who stopped for tea at The Green Man. It is these various activities which explain why such a small place as the Hale should have two inns. The Railway Inn, a beer house in 1894, was the only retail outlet apart from The Green Man in 1914. In 1906 Hale Station was opened at the bottom of Hale Lane near Mill Hill Broadway. It enabled people to catch trains to Finsbury Park. The line was closed in September 1939.

Other areas of interest

Stoneyfields Farm was sold in 1924, and it was followed the year after by Upper and Lower Hale Farms. Building was slow however, and it was only by the end of the 1920s that the area really developed.

In 1932, the John Grooms Crippleage was established on the Edgware Way. The homes provided disabled girls with accommodation and work making paper flowers.

By 1930 there were shops surrounding the new Green Man, and by 1935 the whole of what we know of the Hale was developed into suburban streets.

The Edgware Synagogue opened in 1934. Originally in Mowbray Road (now Rosh Pinah School), it moved to its present site in Parnell Close in 1957.

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