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