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
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.