Golders Green

Golders Green

infobox UK place
country = England
map_type = Greater London

static_image_caption = Golders Green clock tower
region= London
official_name= Golders Green
latitude= 51.5734
longitude= -0.1982
constituency_westminster= Finchley & Golders Green
post_town= LONDON
london_borough= Barnet
dial_code= 020
os_grid_reference= TQ248876

Golders Green is an area in the London Borough of Barnet in London, England. Although having some earlier history, it is essentially a 19th century suburban development situated about 5.3 miles (8.5 km) north west of Charing Cross and centred on the crossroads of Golders Green Road and Finchley Road. In the early 20th century it grew rapidly in response to the opening here of a station of the London Underground Railway (which at this point is above ground). It has a wide variety of housing and a busy main shopping street (Golders Green Road). The area is considered a pleasant, affluent, sought-after district with relatively expensive property, and is noted especially for its large Jewish population, although there are also a large Hindu Temple, a Greek Orthodox cathedral and a considerable Japanese community.


Golders Green has been a place in the parish and manor of Hendon since around the 13th century. The earliest references to the name of the adjacent district of "Temple Fortune" is on a map (c1754). However this name reveals a much earlier history. It is likely that the name refers to the Knights of St John, who had land here (c1240). Fortune may be derived from a small settlement (tun) on the route from Hampstead to Hendon. Here a lane from Finchley, called Ducksetters Lane (c1475), intersected. It is likely that the settlement was originally the Bleccanham estate (c900s). By the end of the 18th century Temple Fortune Farm was established on the northern side of Farm Close.

The building of the Finchley Road (c1827) replaced Ducksetters Lane as a route to Finchley, and resulted in the development of a small hamlet. Hendon Park Row (c1860s) is of this period, and consisted of around thirty small dwellings built by a George Stevens, which were, with two exceptions, demolished (c1956). A small dame school and prayer house run by Anglican Deaconesses existed in the 1890s and 1900s, and developed to become St Barnabas (1915). Along the Finchley Road were a number of villas (c1830s), joined by the Royal Oak public house (c1850s). By the end of the 19th century there were around 300 people living in the area, which included a laundry and a small hospital for children with skin diseases. The principal industry was brick making.

In 1895 a [ Jewish Cemetery] was established adjacent to Hoop Lane, with the first burial in 1897. Golders Green Crematorium was opened in 1902 (although much of it was built after 1905). A significant moment in Temple Fortune's development into a suburban area occurred in 1907, when transport links were vastly improved by the opening of Golders Green tube station. The [ Carmelite Monastery] was established in Bridge Lane in 1908.

Although the area had been served by horse-drawn omnibuses (since at least the 1880s) and later motor buses (from 1907), the tram line of 1910, connecting Finchley Church End with Golders Green Station, led to the development of the area west of the Finchley Road. The establishment of Hampstead Garden Suburb brought major changes to the area east of the Finchley Road. Temple Fortune Farm was demolished, and along the front of the road the building of the Arcade, and Gateway House (c1911) established the Hampstead Garden Suburb's retail district.

Both the Golders Green Hippodrome, former home of the BBC Concert Orchestra, and the Police Station opened in 1913. [ [ St Edward Home page ] ] St Edward the Confessor, a Roman Catholic church, was built in 1916. The now-demolished Orpheum Theatre (1930) was intended to rival the Hippodrome in Golders Green.

Famous people connected with the area are on whole connected to the [ Aida Foster School of Drama] (1929–1969) Finchley Road. Former students include [{33db9f2f-799f-4254-a403-d97fd1d14e41} Barbara Windsor] , Elizabeth Taylor, and [ Jean Simmons] . New York Giants defensive lineman Osi Umenyiora was born in Golders Green and lived there for seven years.

There is also a very large student population in Golders Green, most notably those attending the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Originally Golders Green was part of the NW4 (Hendon) postal district,Fact|date=March 2007 but due to expanding population the district was split in two, creating the new NW11 district. This is why it does not follow the London postal districts alphabetical pattern, starting from the second district in each area.


Golders Green is a very cosmopolitan district. It has had a prominent Jewish community since the 1900s. [ [ "Kosher in the country" "The Economist" 01 Jun 2006] accessed 14 August 2007] The area benefits from restaurants exhibiting cuisines from all over the world, from the obvious choice of Kosher food restaurants (notably Bloom's (with traditional Ashkenazi fare) and the larger Solly's (Israeli restaurant)) to Indian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Italian eateries. These are complemented by over a dozen coffee bars; together with a number of niche food stores, including two Japanese, two Iranian, one Korean and one Malaysian. The area is well known for late-night bagels and a growing street café culture - by contrast, the area has relatively few pubs. One is The White Swan, on Golders Green Road towards Hendon, and the other is what was The Refectory, under the railway bridge crossing Finchley Road. In the 1960s, The Refectory was a well known and popular venue where many great musicians played, including John Mayall's band featuring Eric Clapton. Dunstan Road Synagogue opened in 1922. There are now a number of synagogues and schools in the area, with one of the best schools in the borough of Barnet, Henrietta Barnett School, found in Hampstead Garden Suburb. During the winter festival of Hanukkah a large menorah, a nine-branch candle holder, is lit each night of the festival's eight days. The expanding Orthodox, and particularly Haredi, Jewish community is considered to be one of the most important in the United Kingdom with several yeshivas (seminaries) and prominent rabbis. The area also forms one of the main centres for Israeli citizens in the UK.


Golders Hill Park, adjoining the West Heath of Hampstead Heath, is a formal park. The site of a large house which burnt down in the 1930s, it has a walled garden, ponds, a water garden and a small children's zoo. The zoo has been renovated and contains many varieties of birds and other creatures. The park also contains a café and an ice cream bar.

During the summer, children's activities are organised and there is often live music on the bandstand. The park is adjoined by The Hill, a formal garden with an extensive and imposing pergola.


Golders Green Crematorium is perhaps the area's most famous feature, and has an extensive garden with features such as a special children's section and a pond. Its main buildings have a distinct Italianate air. It is sometimes referred to as the 'celebrity crematorium' because of the high proportion of nationally and internationally renowned public figures to have been cremated there. Famous people whose cremations have taken place there include Anna Pavlova, Stanley Baldwin, Marc Bolan, Neville Chamberlain, Kingsley Amis, T. S. Eliot, Keith Moon, John Inman, Ivor Novello and Sigmund Freud.

Appearances in popular culture

A "Monty Python's Flying Circus" episode aired in December 1969 features a sketch called "The Llama" billed as "Live from Golders Green".

Pete Ham, guitarist/vocalist with the group Badfinger, recorded a number of demos in the late 1960s until his death in 1975 that were grouped together into a posthumously-released 1999 album titled "Golders Green". Ham and his fellow bandmates in his previous band The Iveys lived here at 7 Park Avenue (behind Golders Hill Park) for a time prior to his joining Badfinger.

In the episode of "Are You Being Served" entitled "Wedding Bells" first aired 27 April 1975, Mr. Humphries discusses getting lost in Golders Green while dressed as an Arab for a fancy dress party. He is escorted home by two policemen for his own safety.

In the Hollywood film "Marathon Man", Laurence Olivier, playing a Nazi torturer, tries in vain to disguise his identity when stopped in the street in New York, by saying that he actually runs a jewellery shop in Golders Green.

Harold Abrahams, who was immortalised in the 1981 film "Chariots of Fire", lived at Hodford Lodge, 2 Hodford Road (Now known as White Lodge), from 1923 to 1930, years in which he achieved 'great success including his famous 1924 Olympics win in Paris for the 100m sprint. Abrahams has been recognised with an English Heritage Blue Plaque at his former home.

The area is the setting of the humorous short story "The Ghoul of Golders Green".(May Fair, 1925) by Michael Arlen.

George Harrison recorded an unreleased track called "Going Down to Golders Green". This came about because he would visit members of the pop group Badfinger, who lived at 7 Park Avenue, off North End Road, situated on the borders of Golders Hill Park.

Golders Green is the name of a character in the 2002 film "9 Dead Gay Guys".

Places of interest

*Wessex Gardens Primary School
* Golders Green Beth Hamedrash []
* Golders Green Crematorium
* Hampstead Heath Youth Hostel
* Golders Green Hippodrome
* Golders Hill Park
* Ginger Bread House

Nearest places

* south is Childs Hill
* north-west are Hendon and Brent Cross
* south-east is Hampstead and North End
* north-east is Hampstead Garden Suburb

Transport links

* Golders Green tube station
* [ Buses and Coaches]


External links

* [ Golders Green Library]
* [ The Hendon and Finchley Times]
* [ Hampstead and Highgate Express]

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