Hadley, Barnet

A loosely scattered, picturesque village also known as Monken Hadley, situated to the north-​​east of Chipping Barnet

Two houses on Hadley Green

Hadley Green

The name was first recorded as Hadlegh in 1248 and was formerly thought to mean ‘a high place’ but is probably derived from the Old English forms of ‘heath’ and ‘lea’. A 24-​​acre common called Hadley Green lay on the edge of Enfield Chase and the first residents were recorded here in the 14th century.

St Mary’s church was built in 1494, according to the date inscribed on its west tower. A sizeable village grew up around the church and spread in every direction except onto the royal preserve of Enfield Chase. By the mid-​​17th century, houses ran in an unbroken line down to the High Street at Chipping Barnet.

In 1741 Sir Jeremy Sambrook erected an obelisk to the north of the green, supposedly at the site where the Earl of Warwick had fallen in the Battle of Barnet, and cottages and inns formed a group here that became known as Hadley Highstone. The monument was relocated a century later, but there is no evidence of the authen­ticity of either its original or present position.

In 1799, land to the east of the church was granted as compensation to parish­ioners for the loss of their rights on Enfield Chase after its enclosure. The 190 acres were sometimes called Hadley Wood but usually Hadley Common.

Nineteenth-​​century additions to the housing stock around the green were generally of a high standard and a wide swathe is now a conser­vation area. To the south-​​east of the green, the British Land Company bought Woodcock Farm in 1868 and laid out an estate as an extension of New Barnet.

Some older houses were demolished in the early 20th century but Hadley’s declining population rose again when new streets were laid out north-​​east of Chipping Barnet High Street. More suburban houses were built near Cockfosters after its station opened in 1933. Hadley had a brewery for two centuries until 1938 and the site continued to function as a distri­bution centre until 1969. This was replaced by three luxury detached houses in 1996.

The missionary and African explorer Dr David Livingstone stayed at what is now Livingstone Cottage in 1857–8.

Comedian Spike Milligan lived for many years at Monkenhurst, which was built in 1881 on The Crescent and which he saved from demolition.

Father and son authors Kingsley and Martin Amis lived at Lemmons, formerly Gladsmuir House, and poet laureate Cecil Day Lewis died there during a visit in 1972.

Postcode area: Barnet EN5


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