Oakleigh Road (Finchley N20)

Oakleigh Road has had many names. It was called Avernstreet (1499), Hungerdown Lane (1823 - 1881) and Station Road (1863 - 1871). It became Oakleigh Road by 1873.

Russell Lane is another road which has had many names, including Mare Lane (1522), Beldams Lane (1700s) and East Barnet Lane (1860s).

A few houses were built along Station Road (now the southern end of Oakleigh Park Road) by the 1840s, but most of the land was farmland. 

The railway passes under the area through a tunnel called The Whetstone Tunnel, and although there was a railway by the 1850s, there was no Oakleigh Park Station until 1873. The opening of the railway station led to the building of a number of substantial suburban houses, on estates like the Oakleigh Park Estate.

In 1882 a local land owner called John Miles built All Saints church. It was designed by J. Clarke, and the first vicar was John Miles’s son Henry Stewart Miles. All Saints School was opened two years later in 1884. Local entertainment was provided by the Athenaeum Institution (1881 - c1892), which could seat 400 people, and provided concerts, lectures on science and literature, and a library. By 1898 the Ordnance Survey map shows 52 houses and semi-detached villas in Oakleigh Park, all occupied by wealthy families.

The area around Russell Lane was developed between the First and Second World Wars, but many of the trees and the greens were preserved along the road. The Cavalier Public house dates from this time. Many of the large houses by this time were too large to be maintained. Sacred Heart School, opposite to All Saints, was opened in one of these old Victorian houses in 1936.

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