Edgware – Chipping Barnet Walk – 07.10.2012

This walk to was to make the most of the Autumn sunshine and we planned to make most of it. We started out along Deans Lane in Edgware, which was just further along from Deansbrook where we had completed our walk in September 2011!

If we had been walking Deans lane many autumns ago, we would have been kicking autumn leaves beneath our feet and enjoying the country fields that would have been surrounding us. This road was once a country lane but during C20th things changed, particularly in 1932, when the “John Keble” Church was built here. The idea for the name for the John Keble Church originated from Dr. Milner-White (later Dean of York). The Bishop of London who had acted on this idea and decided to dedicate the Church to this 19th century Anglican clergyman, the poet and reformer. John Keble’s poetry was captured in the book called “The Christian Year” which was published in 1827.

We walked on past the church, along Hale Lane and on into Mill Hill town Centre. The town centre is not that large to walk along and seems to be a singular high street, rather than a sprawling development. As we left the high street we soon came across the large north circular road which does not seem to help Mill Hill having a sense of togetherness. The reason I would say this is because as we reached the other side of the road, we came across Mill Hill’s Village Green “Simmonds Mead”. The Green sits nearer the residential area of Mill Hill and is very lush against the background of the large roads that surround it! The residents in the area have been using the ground for many years but it was not officially recognised as a Village Green until 2007.

From 2012 – 07.10.2012 – Edgware – Chipping Barnet Walk

As I turned to look behind me I could see in the distance an unusual looking building. The structure that I could see is “St Josephs College”. We were able to see this a lot closer as we walked up Lawrence Street. St Joseph College was founded in 1869 by the Catholic missionary Herbert Vaughan. He had been teaching his students “Holcombe House” since 1866, sadly the house became too small for him and his students. Vaughn decided to found St Josephs College which was opened in 1871. Incidentally, Holcombe House was used by the first Warden of John Keble Church. I have discovered since writing this blog, that the college is now abandoned and has been used for a filming location, particularly the BBC TV Series “Call the Midwife”.

We continued up Lawrence Street to Highwood Hill. As we passed by the Junction, we saw “The Old Forge”, I presume that this was an old blacksmiths, however, I am unsure about much of its history, anyone with any ideas? Our walk took us up into Mill Hill Village. This is distinctly different from Mill Hill Town Centre. It is quieter, smaller and seems much more quaint! The best way to tell we had reached a village was the presence of a village pub, in this instance the “Rising Sun”, which had been in the area since the C17th. We did not pop in for a drink, may be next time 🙂 .

Passing through the village, I was surprised to be faced with some very large houses. I couldn’t help myself to take a sneak peek as they looked very impressive and as I did I spotted a blue plaque. It seems that in one of these lovely houses, Sir Stamford Raffles, who was known as the founder of “Singapore” briefly lived here during his lifetime. Just as we turned away from Sir Raffles residence, we also discovered that William Wilberforce an MP and abolitionist of the slave trade in C19th also lived in the area.

From 2012 – 07.10.2012 – Edgware – Chipping Barnet Walk

Our route took us along Highwood Hill, which indeed was very woody, as there was quite a number of trees lining the hill preventing us from enjoying the views across Mill Hill. We did think about taking a different route away from the road, at one point, when we saw a footpath away from the road, but that would have taken us back to Mill Hill. The path would have taken us via “Belmont Farm” near Sheepwash pond, which decided not to walk too it on this occasion, however, we did find it on our next walk in the area! . We therefore decided to continue our journey onwards, where it was to lead us to “Totteridge Common”.

“Tatarige” as the area became known in the C13th when the settlement was probably named after a founder or farmer named “Tata”. The whole of the common sits on a ridge which is on high ground between the valleys of the Dollis Brook and Folly Brook. Walking along the common was not really a problem as the path was set back from the road and the area was quite green. However, I did find the road rather noisy, which was quite surprising for a Sunday walk! I did need to cross the road at one point as spotted something I wanted to see, but I found it quite difficult to do so as their was lots of traffic!

From the opposite side of the road, I could see a picturesque looking pond, which is known as “Long Pond”. It was lovely to walk along and in fact a couple of anglers were busy using it! I can see why it is named the Long Pond, as it very “long” indeed but not worthy of the title lake. It was definitely worth crossing the road to enjoy the ponds beauty. However, it was shame the road was nearby as it could have been really peaceful to enjoy.

From 2012 – 07.10.2012 – Edgware – Chipping Barnet Walk

Across the road from the pond, I spotted another interesting house“Old Manor House”, which was built in C18th, for Sir William Lee, Chief Justice of the Kings Bench. The Manor changed hands and design throughout the years but of particular note was the redesign by Sir Charles Allom in the early C20th. Sir Charles Allom was a celebrated interior designer and was knighted for his work in Buckingham Palace during King George V reign. Apparently the curtains hanging in the Victorian room are the same as the ones in the Throne room as Buckingham Palace! I would love to see all of this, but hasten to point out to you all this is private property!

As we ambled onwards, we came across the local parish church, St Andrews. The C18th church was built on the site of the earliest church that was recorded in the area of Totteridge which was in 1250AD. It was nice to see an old Yew tree in the Churchyard, the tree is reckoned to be between 1000 and 2000 years old. The Yew tree with its evergreen leaves was a traditional symbol of immortality. We continued to saunter along Totteridge lane where we found a great path to follow “Dollis Valley Greenwalk”. The walk is 10 miles in total and goes from Barnet to Hampstead Heath, on this Sunday afternoon we decided to walk towards Barnet. At this point we actually decided to sit down and finally eat lunch.

This lovely Greenway provided a nice escape away from the roadway and feels quite countrified particularly with the brook running by. However, I will issue a word of warning, that the Barnet Branch of the Northern Line runs near this part of the walk so it is quite noisy when a train goes past! Despite that, this part of our walk was very enjoyable. The route took us through Barnet playing fields and it was here we decided to leave the greenway and leave the rest for another time. We decided to walk up towards Barnet Hill and into Chipping Barnet, which is also known as “High Barnet”. We did not really mind walking through the town as the high street as it seemed quite pleasant. The parish Church seemed to be the central feature, but what struck me more was a red brick building that was opposite to the church. It is the “Tudor Hall” which was built was the free Boys grammar School which was founded by Queen Elizabeth 1 in 1573.

Unfortunately, we did not spend a huge amount of time here, which was a great shame as we came across the Barnet museum as we were about to leave and finish our walk. We will need to come back and explore more of Barnet 🙂 as I felt I was on the brink of discovering so much more!

For all the photos from the walks, please click on the photo below –

2012 – 07.10.2012 – Edgware – Chipping Barnet Walk

4 responses to “Edgware – Chipping Barnet Walk – 07.10.2012

  1. Pingback: Mill Hill Broadway – Mill Hill Village Walk – 29.03.2013 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

  2. Pingback: Mill Hill East – Totteridge and Whetstone Walk 09.03.2014 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

  3. Pingback: High Barnet – Chingford – Via London Loop – 27.04.2014 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

  4. Pingback: Edgware – High Barnet Walk – 08.03.2015 | Karen's Sponsored Walks

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