Barnet Gate

Barnet Gate, Barnet

A western satellite of Barnet, at the junction of Barnet Road and Hendon Wood Lane in Arkley

Barnet Gate pub sign
The inscription on this sign is borrowed from a country pub in Hook Norton, Oxfordshire.

There was never a tollgate or turnpike here – as is often the case with places named ‘Somewhere Gate’ – just a barrier that prevented cattle from straying onto Barnet Common.

This place was first called Grendel’s Gate, after the monster slain by Beowulf, and it has been suggested that the use of such a portentous name may have indicated a place of some signi­ficance in Saxon times.

It was certainly more important than it is now, for manor courts were held here in the Middle Ages and Hendon Wood Lane was a busy thoroughfare that may have been a Roman road. Roman coins, now lost, were found at Barnet Gate some years ago.

The settlement lay on the edge of Southaw, a large wood belonging to the Abbey of St Albans, much of which was oblit­erated by the creation of Chipping Barnet.

Barnet Gate mill (also known as Arkley windmill) was built in 1806 and survives today in the back garden of a private house, east of Brickfield Lane. The mill is visible slightly above and to the left of the centre of the satellite map below.

The extens­ively altered Gate public house is of Victorian origin, and was originally called the Bell. Dating from the same period, Bell’s Cottages have also been renovated.

The British Library has the Barnet Court Book, a record of a manor court held at Barnet Gate in 1354.

Postcode area and postal district: Barnet, EN5 and NW7