Turnpike Lane

Turnpike Lane, Haringey

A tube station and locality at the southern tip of Wood Green, taking its identity from the road that runs west towards Hornsey

Turnpike Lane - long view

Turnpike Lane branches westward from the point where Wood Green High Road meets Harringay’s* Green Lanes. It was formerly called Tottenham Lane, as it still is further to the south-west.

In the early 18th century the road through Wood Green became increas­ingly busy as travellers sought a route that avoided the Whetstone turnpike on the Great North Road. An act of 1710 authorised the intro­duction of a turnpike at Hornsey although tolls were not levied until 1739. The Stamford Hill and Green Lanes Turnpike Trust finally erected a gate here in 1765. For the next 27 years this was the only tollgate on Green Lanes, which at that time extended much farther north.

The turnpike system was abolished in 1872 and the gate was dismantled. By this time, the Wellington public house was standing at the corner of Turnpike Lane and the High Road, now the site of a Costa coffee shop.

Turnpike Lane station opened in 1932 on the newly extended section of the Piccadilly line from Finsbury Park to Arnos Grove.

The art deco Turnpike Parade was built beside the station entrance, with a cinema that survived until the enlargement of the neigh­bouring bus station in 1999. The bus station was renovated and upgraded in 2014.

Together with Westbury Avenue, which runs north-east towards Tottenham, Turnpike Lane has become a low-rent overspill from the retail agglom­er­ation of Wood Green. Much of the lane is now lined with shops, takeaways and hairdressers serving the diverse local community, which includes increas­ingly well estab­lished residents from the eastern Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the South Asian sub-continent – especially Bangladesh.

Riding Black Bess, the highwayman Dick Turpin allegedly leapt the spike-topped gate at Turnpike Lane, when pursued by a posse led by the chief constable of Westminster.

Postal district: N8, bordering N15 and N22
Station: Piccadilly line (zone 3)

 

* Note that the borough is spelt ‘Haringey’ while ‘Harringay’ is one of its constituent parts. Unsurprisingly, both derive from the same old place name – but, less obviously, so too does does ‘Hornsey’.