Holders Hill

Holders Hill, Barnet

The exclusive northernmost tip of Hendon, separated from Finchley to its east by Dollis Brook

Hidden London: White House by Steve Cadman

The route that is now Hold­ers Hill Road was in exis­tence by the 14th cen­tu­ry and dur­ing the fol­low­ing cen­tu­ry the land came into the pos­ses­sion All Souls Col­lege, Oxford. The hill was called Old­er­shyll in 1584 and by its present name in 1750.

The undu­lat­ing and wood­ed land­scape attract­ed some pret­ty vil­las, includ­ing Hold­ers Hill House, a cot­tage orné that stood for most of the 19th cen­tu­ry.

The builder CF Han­cock put up sev­er­al prop­er­ties in the Par­son Street and Hold­ers Hill area in the 1870s but oth­er attempts to devel­op the neigh­bour­hood over the next two decades were large­ly unsuc­cess­ful because trans­port links were poor.

The Abney Park Ceme­tery Com­pa­ny con­vert­ed the 42-acre Dol­lis Farm into Hen­don Park (now Hen­don) ceme­tery in 1899 and soon after­wards Hen­don golf club was estab­lished on part of Hold­ers Hill Farm.

Demand for hous­ing picked up with com­mu­ni­ca­tions improve­ments that cul­mi­nat­ed in the arrival of the North Cir­cu­lar Road in the late 1920s. Strips of golf course and ceme­tery land were sold for house­build­ing and Hold­ers Hill Road was lined with expen­sive hous­es and blocks of pri­vate flats. None of these dwellings is archi­tec­tural­ly excep­tion­al, so – for the moment at least – this page fea­tures a pho­to­graph* of the White House, which stands near the north­ern end of the street called Dow­nage, just to the south-west of Hold­ers Hill. Eng­lish Her­itage calls the White House “an unusu­al­ly large, ear­ly and imag­i­na­tive exam­ple of a tra­di­tion­al­ly-planned house from the 1930s giv­en mod­erne fea­tures.”

The rebuilt Hold­ers Hill House became Ravens­field col­lege in 1931 and then the Has­monean school in 1947. A sep­a­rate girls’ school is locat­ed a mile to the west. The school caters pri­mar­i­ly for Ortho­dox Jew­ish chil­dren and has been rat­ed among the best com­pre­hen­sives in Lon­don. The North Hen­don Adath Yis­roel syn­a­gogue moved to its present pur­pose-built home in the boys’ school’s grounds in 1965.

Hold­ers Hill is extreme­ly pop­u­lar with wealth­i­er mem­bers of the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty and in recent years more lux­u­ry flats have been squeezed into every avail­able space on and off the main road.

The political economist Jeremy Bentham did much of his writing at Dollis Farm on Holders Hill Road in the late 18th century. The farmhouse was demolished in 1930.

Postal districts: NW4 and NW7


* The picture of The White House, on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Steve Cadman, at Flickr, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is hereby freely permitted under the terms of that licence.