Fallow Corner

Fallow Corner, Barnet

A late Victorian and Edwardian neighbourhood situated at the southern tip of North Finchley

geograph-5257273-by-Julian-Osley - Finchley Memorial Hospital - 742

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.

Postal district: N12
* The picture of the Finchley Memorial Hospital on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Julian Osley, 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.