Child’s Hill

Child’s Hill, Barnet

A socially diverse community straddling the Finchley Road south of Golders Green, with Jewish, Arabic and Somali groups among its minorities

geograph-4372116-by-Marathon - In Childs Hill Park

Child’s Hill’s name prob­a­bly refers to a for­mer res­i­dent – pos­si­bly Richard Child, who was liv­ing around here in 1321. His­tor­i­cal­ly, the own­er­ship of Child’s Hill was dis­put­ed by the manors of Hen­don and Hamp­stead, with the for­mer even­tu­al­ly win­ning.

This was one of the Hen­don area’s first indus­tri­al dis­tricts, with brick and tile mak­ing in the ear­ly 19th cen­tu­ry and hand-laun­der­ing that served the gen­try of Hamp­stead. One laun­dry was used as a chapel until the con­se­cra­tion of All Saints church in 1856.

The arrival of the Finch­ley Road spurred fur­ther growth from the late 1820s, when a toll­gate was set up near the Cas­tle Inn. An indi­ca­tion of the ear­ly sig­nif­i­cance of Child’s Hill is that this was the name giv­en to what is now Crick­le­wood sta­tion when it opened in 1870.

A terraced house offering car rental with a pot-bellied man in a t-shirt and shorts walking past
Parts of Child’s Hill are dis­tinct­ly down­mar­ket com­pared with most local­i­ties in the bor­ough

Shown in the pho­to­graph above,* Child’s Hill Park was laid out on land that was gift­ed for this pur­pose by the Eccle­si­as­ti­cal Com­mis­sion­ers in 1891.

Child’s Hill became one of the poor­est parts of Hen­don urban dis­trict. Its hous­ing was described by one coun­cil­lor in 1903 as a “dis­grace to civil­i­sa­tion.”

A tram link with Crick­le­wood opened in 1909 and in 1914 the coun­cil chose Child’s Hill for its first hous­ing estate, con­sist­ing of 50 dwellings. Semi-detached hous­es were added around Child’s Hill Park in the 1930s. Dur­ing the ear­ly 1960s the coun­cil used its pow­ers to move indus­try out of Granville Road and into new accom­mo­da­tion beside the North Cir­cu­lar Road.

The dis­tric­t’s prici­est homes tend to lie in the south of the local­i­ty, off Hen­don Way, notably on the exclu­sive Hocroft estate.

Postal districts: NW2 and NW11
Population; 20,049 (London’s second most populous ward after Millwall in the 2011 census)
Further reading: Stewart Gillies and Pamela Taylor, Hendon, Child’s Hill, Golders Green and Mill Hill, A Pictorial History, Phillimore, 1993


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* The picture of Child’s Hill Park at the top of this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Marathon, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse of this image is freely permitted under the terms of that licence.
NB The apostrophe is omitted from Child’s Hill’s name more often than not nowadays. But Hidden London is reluctant to let go of it.