Fallow Corner, Barnet
A late Victorian and Edwardian neighbourhood situated at the southern tip of North Finchley
Although now focused on the corner of Granville Road and Finchley High Road, this was originally uncultivated land at the corner of Finchley Common. Fallow Corner was first recorded in 1429 and Fallow Farm (originally Cobley’s) was in existence from the late 17th century. A small workhouse stood near Fallow Corner from around 1768 and had become very overcrowded 20 years later.
After the enclosure of the common in 1814 new roads were constructed, including Bow Lane, which was named for its shape, while Fallow Farm was much enlarged. The farmhouse stood just west of the present Heatherdene Close and its estate remained in the possession of the Cobleys and their descendants the Clulow and Child families until the late 19th century. In its latter days the 80-acre estate was renamed Etchingham Park, after the Clulow family home in Sussex.
The sale of the farm and the mooted arrival here of electric trams prompted a spate of activity at Fallow Corner in the very early years of the 20th century. Neighbouring Wimbush Farm was sold and its farmhouse demolished. The 13-acre grounds of another large house, Fallow Lodge, were divided into 101 plots and built on. Fallow Court Avenue was laid out around it. A mattress factory was built, with accommodation above, offering a same-day restuffing service.
In 1903 a county school opened and in 1908 a cottage hospital, which was extended in 1922 and renamed Finchley memorial hospital. The few remaining gaps were built on around this time, including the site of Fallow Farm’s farmhouse. Fallow Cottage was sold in 1939 to Wood and Wallers, who knocked it down and built flats on its site. Across the High Road, the Glebelands have been preserved as sports and recreation grounds.
Finchley memorial hospital was rebuilt in 2012 at a cost of £28 million. The new hospital is shown in the photograph above.*
A London Borough of Barnet blue plaque in the grounds of Finchley Memorial Hospital identifies the site of Joseph Grimaldi’s former home at Fallow Cottage. The great clown lived here from 1806 until around 1815, returning each evening after his performances on the stage in London.
Grimaldi’s two-volume memoirs were edited by Charles Dickens and published in 1838. Five years later Dickens retreated to Fallow Farm in order to complete Martin Chuzzlewit.