Golders Green

Golders Green, Barnet

Created by American property developers at the beginning of the 20th century, Golders Green has historically been renowned as a home of London’s middle-class Jewish community

Golders Green Road

The ‘Golders’ name probably derives from a 14th-century resident called Godyere. A number of ‘orna­mental villas’ appeared from the late 18th century and the cross­roads that forms the hub of Golders Green was created by the arrival of the Finchley Road in the late 1820s.

The London County Council’s acqui­si­tion of Golders Hill House and its gardens in 1898 brought the first public park to the urban district of Hendon. This was followed by rapid suburban devel­op­ment of the neigh­bour­hood and Golders Green’s first shopping parade was estab­lished in 1908.

The Golders Green Hippo­drome opened in 1913. It has served as a music hall, cinema, theatre and BBC recording studio.

After the First World War a large number of Jewish families began moving into the new housing from the crowded East End and syna­gogues were built to serve the community. Immigrant Jews fleeing Nazi perse­cu­tion augmented the settle­ment during the 1930s. At the same time, the builders Laing laid out the racetrack-shaped Golders Green estate in the south-west corner of the district. Crick­le­wood Aerodrome had occupied the site from 1916 to 1930. The 1930s also saw the erection of mansion blocks in central Golders Green.

In recent years new commu­ni­ties, espe­cially Korean and Japanese, have been moving into Golders Green – but Judaism remains the ward’s predom­i­nant faith, well ahead of Chris­tianity in second place.

The Hippo­drome was acquired for conver­sion to an Islamic centre in 2017, prompting a local campaign of resis­tance based on a variety of objec­tions, most of which were osten­sibly about the [allegedly excessive] “use of the building rather than the user”. In October 2021 the Hippo­drome was sold to the Hillsong ‘inter­na­tional megachurch’.

The London Cremation Company opened the capital’s first crematorium on Hoop Lane in 1902. Among those cremated at Golders Green Crematorium have been Sigmund Freud, Neville Chamberlain, Bram Stoker, Marie Stopes, Ivor Novello, Anna Pavlova and Amy Winehouse.

Postal district: NW11
Population: 18,818 (2011 census)
Station: Northern line (zone 3)
Further reading: Hugh Petrie, Hendon and Golders Green Past, Historical Publications, 2005
and Pam Fox, The Jewish Community of Golders Green, History Press, 2016
* The picture of Golders Green Road on this page is slightly modified from an original photograph, copyright Martin Addison, 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.