Ducks Island

Ducks Island, Barnet

A compact, little-known locality situated in south-west Barnet, separated from Totteridge by Dollis Brook

Almost a Cross Roads - Des Blenkinsopp

Ducks Island for­mer­ly lay iso­lat­ed on the edge of Bar­net Com­mon, but was nev­er cut off by water – and the brook rarely runs deep enough now to sup­port water­fowl. The local­i­ty’s name may relate to a 17th-cen­tu­ry fam­i­ly called Duck who were local landown­ers, or have been a humor­ous ref­er­ence to the bog­gy clay ter­rain, which was fit only for ducks, or it may have referred to duck shoots that took place in the fields.

Dur­ing the lat­ter part of the 19th cen­tu­ry a clus­ter of dwellings formed around the junc­tion of Mays Lane and Chester­field Road and a mis­sion hall was estab­lished. It was super­seded in 1896 by St Stephen’s church, Bells Hill. In 1906 an iso­la­tion hos­pi­tal was built to care for patients with diph­the­ria and scar­let fever. It lat­er became St Stephen’s hos­pi­tal, part of Bar­net gen­er­al hos­pi­tal.

Streets of drab semi-detached hous­es were laid out on part of Whit­ings Hill Farm short­ly before the Sec­ond World War and Bar­net coun­cil added a small estate of 15 hous­es on Con­naught Road in 1953.

St Stephen’s hos­pi­tal was demol­ished in 1999 and replaced with Dar­lands Dri­ve.

Postal district: Barnet EN5
Web page: Barnet council information about Mays Lane and Duck Island
* The photo entitled Almost a Crossroads on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Des Blenkinsopp, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is hereby freely permitted under the terms of that licence.