Turnpike Lane

Turnpike Lane, Haringey

A tube station and locality at the southern tip of Wood Green, taking its identity from the road that runs west towards Hornsey

Turnpike Lane Station, November 5 2013 - David Holt

Turn­pike Lane branch­es west­ward from the point where Wood Green High Road meets Harringay’s* Green Lanes. It was for­mer­ly called Tot­ten­ham Lane, as it still is fur­ther to the south-west.

In the ear­ly 18th cen­tu­ry the road through Wood Green became increas­ing­ly busy as trav­ellers sought a route that avoid­ed the Whet­stone turn­pike on the Great North Road. An act of 1710 autho­rised the intro­duc­tion of a turn­pike at Hornsey although tolls were not levied until 1739. The Stam­ford Hill and Green Lanes Turn­pike Trust final­ly erect­ed a gate here in 1765. For the next 27 years this was the only toll­gate on Green Lanes, which at that time extend­ed much far­ther north.

The turn­pike sys­tem was abol­ished in 1872 and the gate was dis­man­tled. By this time, the Welling­ton pub­lic house was stand­ing at the cor­ner of Turn­pike Lane and the High Road, now the site of a Cos­ta cof­fee shop.

Turn­pike Lane sta­tion opened in 1932 on the new­ly extend­ed sec­tion of the Pic­cadil­ly line from Fins­bury Park to Arnos Grove.

The art deco Turn­pike Parade was built beside the sta­tion entrance, with a cin­e­ma that sur­vived until the enlarge­ment of the neigh­bour­ing bus sta­tion in 1999. The bus sta­tion was ren­o­vat­ed and upgrad­ed in 2014.

Togeth­er with West­bury Avenue, which runs north-east towards Tot­ten­ham, Turn­pike Lane has become a low-rent over­spill from the retail agglom­er­a­tion of Wood Green. Much of the lane is now lined with shops, take­aways and hair­dressers serv­ing the diverse local com­mu­ni­ty, which includes increas­ing­ly well estab­lished res­i­dents from the east­ern Mediter­ranean, the Caribbean and the South Asian sub-con­ti­nent – espe­cial­ly Bangladesh.

Riding Black Bess, the highwayman Dick Turpin allegedly leapt the spike-topped gate at Turnpike Lane, when pursued by a posse led by the chief constable of Westminster.

Postal district: N8, bordering N15 and N22
Station: Piccadilly line (zone 3)
* Note that the borough is spelt ‘Haringey’ while ‘Harringay’ is one of its constituent parts. Unsurprisingly, both derive from the same old place name – but, less obviously, so too does does ‘Hornsey’.
* The picture of Turnpike Lane station at the top of this page is adapted from an original photograph at Flickr, copyright David Holt, made available under the Attribution 2.0 Generic licence. Any subsequent reuse is hereby freely permitted under the terms of that licence.