Hendon Lane (Finchley N3)

St Mary's Finchley was originally built sometime in the 12th century, and it is documented from the 1270s. The building has been altered many times. The oldest parts of the north wall and the tower date from the reign of Henry VII. In 1872 the church was enlarged. Bombing in 1940 led to the substantial rebuilding of the church in 1953. There is a brass plate to Richard Prate (d.1487), and the monument to Alexander King (d.1618) and his wife are in marble.

Next to the church, on a site occupied by the library, stood the Old Queen's Head (named in honour of Queen Anne). In 1833 the original inn burned down and was rebuilt. From 1787 to 1880 a wooden cage for criminals stood between St Mary's Church and the Old Queen's Head. The building became Finchley Hall and became the school Christ's College Finchley in 1858. In 1860 a new school for Christ's College (now Pardes House) was constructed with its distinctive tower. In 1902 Finchley Council took over the old hall for offices, but it was destroyed in 1940.

In 1888 Finchley Council established a voluntary fire brigade near the top of Gravel Hill in Hendon Lane which remained at this location until 1933. In 1904 Finchley obtained the first motorised fire engine in Great Britain. At the bottom of Hendon Lane is Crooked Usage. Originally a part of Hendon Lane, its picturesque name dates only from the straightening of Hendon Lane in 1911-12.

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