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Coordinates: 51°35′01″N 0°13′31″W / 51.5837, -0.2252
Hendon Town Hall.jpg
Hendon Town Hall

Hendon is located in Greater London

 Hendon shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ229887
London borough Barnet
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district NW4
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Hendon
London Assembly Barnet and Camden
List of places: UK • England • London

Hendon is a London suburb in the Borough of Barnet, 7 miles (11 km) northwest of Charing Cross. Hendon was an ancient parish in the county of Middlesex and has been part of Greater London since 1965. Hendon had a population of 52,972 in 2011 and includes the Hendon, Hendon West and Colindale wards.


Hendon (parish) population
1881 10,484
1891 15,843
1901 22,450
1911 38,806
1921 56,013
Edgware parish absorbed
1931 115,682
1941 war #
1951 155,857
1961 151,843
# no census was held due to war
source: UK census

Hendon was historically a civil parish in the county of Middlesex. The manor is described in Domesday (1087), but the name 'Hendun' – meaning 'at the highest hill' – is of earlier origin. Evidence of Roman settlement was discovered by members of the Hendon and District Archaeological Society and others; an urn burial of a headless child was found in Sunny Hill Park. The Midland Railway and the Great Northern Railways were built through Hendon in the 1860s. The underground (Northern line) arrived at Golders Green to the south in 1907, the line being extended to Hendon Central, Colindale and Edgware in 1923/24.

Much of the area developed into a suburb of London and now the area is mostly built-up with some countryside in the Mill Hill area, such as the Copthall Playing fields. Hendon's industry was mostly centred on manufacturing, and included motor and aviation works, and developed from the 1880s. In 1931 the civil parish of Edgware was abolished and its area was added to the great civil parish of Hendon.

Hendon became an urban district in 1894. In 1932 the urban district became the Municipal Borough of Hendon. The municipal borough was abolished in 1965 and the area became part of the London Borough of Barnet.

Hendon’s main claim to fame is in the early days of flying and Hendon Aerodrome[1] is now the RAF Museum.[2] The area is closely associated with pioneer aviator Claude Grahame-White. Another part of the Aerodrome site is the Hendon Police College, the training centre for the Metropolitan Police. The Metropolitan Police Book of Remembrance [3] is displayed in the entrance of Simpson Hall at the centre. There is also a memorial garden.

It is a former borough and ancient parish. The name means the high place or down, and Hendon's motto is Endeavour. The Burroughs is a civic centre for the London Borough of Barnet, and also the site of Middlesex University Business School.

The River Brent runs through Hendon. On 30 Nov 2009 the Environment Agency warned residents of flooding along River Brent from Hendon to Brentford, after a day of notably heavy rain. Several premises were temporarily flooded in Brentford and Perivale.[4]

Church End[]

The Claddagh Ring pub.

Hendon and District Archaeological Society has found a number of interesting Roman artifacts at Church End but nothing conclusive, and the Saxon settlement near to St Mary's Church may not be a continuation of its Roman predecessor. The Domesday Survey mentions a priest, and a church building was documented in 1157. The oldest fabric of the present church is 13th century. The 50 ft tower (c1450) was much restored in the 18th century when the weathercock in the form of a "Lamb and Flag", the badge of St. John, was added. However, the church is dedicated to St Mary, an enigma that defies local historians to this day. It may be a sign of the (heretical) cult of Mary Magdalene said to have been promoted by the Templars and their successors. Eastern extensions carried out between 1913–15 to designs by architect Temple Moore have greatly expanded the church.

Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore in 1819, is buried in the church. Another grave of distinction in the churchyard is that of football manager Herbert Chapman who had great success in charge of Northampton Town, Leeds City, Huddersfield Town and finally Arsenal before his sudden death from pneumonia in 1934. Bram Stoker may well have had St Mary's graveyard in mind when he created the fictional "Kingstead", the uneasy resting place of Lucy Westenra, in his book Dracula. However, St Mary's graveyard is also the resting place of a more benign spirit, Coventry Patmore's wife Emily, the model for the poem The Angel in the House (1854), and upon whom the Victorian ideal of domesticity "the Angel of the Hearth" is based.

Adjacent to the church at the top of Greyhound Hill is the Greyhound pub, which was rebuilt in 1898. Originally called the Church House, it was used for vestry meetings from the 1600s to 1878. In 1676 the inn, by then known as the Greyhound, burned down in a fire. In 1855 a fire brigade was established, renamed the Hendon volunteer fire brigade in 1866, and a manual fire engine was kept in a building near the church. Further west is the oldest building in Hendon, the former Church Farmhouse Museum (1955–2011), which is scheduled to become part of the campus of nearby Middlesex University.

The Claddagh Ring pub, originally known as The Midland Arms, in Church Road, Hendon, is somewhat more than nine miles from Athenry (see photo). The sign is genuinely Irish, giving pleasure to a significant Irish community in this area. Another pub, the Midland Hotel, close to Hendon station, was opened in 1890 by The Midland Railway Company to provide liquid refreshment for commuters using the Midland Railway. At the time when both of these pubs were open The Midland Arms (The Claddagh Ring) was known as The Upper Midland and The Midland Hotel was known as The Lower Midland. The Irish connection with Hendon goes back at least to the early 19th century when many of that country came here to make the hay, for which Hendon was then famous.

The Burroughs[]

Hendon town hall.

The Burroughs was a distinct hamlet until the 1890s, known from 1316 until the 19th century as 'the burrows', which no doubt referred originally to the keeping of rabbit warrens. After the UK outbreak of myxomatosis in the 1950s, rabbits were smoked out of the area using steam engines.

Parson Street and Holders Hill[]

During the 18th century, some of the immediate estate surrounding Hendon Place was auctioned off for large houses, with much of the land being used for building other mansions. Of these, Hendon Hall (now a hotel owned by Hand Picked Hotels), built in 1756 at the corner of Ashley Lane, is the last remaining and perhaps the best known. The suggestion that David Garrick, the actor, lived here while he was Lord of the Manor (1765–79) is without foundation. A small obelisk in the hotel garden dedicated to William Shakespeare and David Garrick originally stood in Manor Hall Road until 1957. A ceiling painting by Tiepolo, Olympia and the Four Continents, was uncovered in 1954 [1], now in the Met [2]; but two other large ceiling paintings are still in the house.

A Mr. Somerville laid out Waverley Grove and Tenterden Grove in the 1860s, and by the end of the 19th century the estate saw further development by C.F. Hancock, including houses. On Parson Street, St Swithans was for many years a convent and training house of the Sisters of Nazareth. It is now a Jewish School. Further north is Holders Hill House, now Hasmonean High School.[5]

Hendon Central[]

This busy area around a major road junction contains parades of shops and Hendon Central tube station.[6]

Brent Street area[]

Brent Street was part of a northern route out of London, and at the Quadrant a seven-mile stone – the last piece of physical evidence for the road – is set into a wall. Much of the original small hamlet in Brent Street, which had been there since at least 1613, burned down in a fire in 1861. Brent Street had a parish pump, which was in disrepair in 1818 owing to the numerous thirsty travellers using the road, and from 1796 there was a cage for criminals (removed in 1883), which stood at the junction of Brent Street and Bell Lane and is now commemorated by a blue plaque outside the public lavatory. By the 1850s there were at least 13 shops in Brent Street.

Congregationalists built a chapel (1855) and a school in New Brent Street (1856), which later moved and became Bell Lane Board School (1901). Tenby House is the last of three large properties that were built between Finchley Lane and Victoria Road. The Victoria Estate was developed around Victoria and Stratford Roads in the 1870s and 1880s. The cricketer and footballer Denis Compton was brought up here and lived at 20 Alexandra Road, attending Bell Lane Primary School. New Brent Street was the address of the local police office in 1855 (a later station, next to the Post Office at the corner of Brampton Grove and dating from 1884, was demolished in 2002). Christ Church was opened in October 1881 as a chapel of ease for St. Mary's, becoming a parish church in 1923.

During the 20th century, a number of small factories were established in the area. The largest was Tilley Lamps Ltd (1915 to 1961), which employed around 300 people and manufactured pressure paraffin lamps (rather charmingly called Aladdin lamps in the 1930s). In December 1969, planning permission was granted for the development of a new shopping precinct on Brent Street to be called Sentinel Square, at a cost of £1.5 million, and within a year the old Rose and Crown pub, the Classic Cinema (once called the Gala), and a number of shops had been replaced with a collection of modernist shops and a Tesco supermarket. The Odeon at the Quadrant was opened in 1939 at what had been Cook's Corner in Parson Street. It was pulled down in 1979 and the site redeveloped for housing.

Salisbury Plain is a piece of wasteland in front of The Load of Hay (a pub demolished in 2004), where animals destined for Smithfield were penned overnight. The pub had been a favourite of Peter Mandelson in his youth. There is a small collection of 18th-century houses along Shirehall Lane, two with fire plaques. Penfold House in Brent Street (not far from the site of The Load of Hay) is said to have been built in 1713. It is believed it had been a lodge for drovers bringing cattle up to London, and it was known as Albert Cottage until 1923.

Near to Brent Green was Goodyers House (demolished in 1934), named after an important Hendon family. Where Goodyers House was is now a cul-de-sac called Goodyers Gardens with about 10 or 11 houses. Number 11 was the main house when Goodyers House was still standing. Hendon Park was laid out on Step Fields, part of the Goodyers House estate, and was opened as Queen's Park in 1903. In July 1940, there was a particularly large propaganda rally held in Hendon Park – "Rout the Rumour", the first of its kind in England. Hendon House was home to John Norden, the renowned 16th-century cartographer, but was demolished and replaced with Hendon School. Famous alumni include Peter Mandelson, Rabbi Lionel Blue, and author Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

A little further down the road is a small gothic complex called the Alma White Centre. In 1893 the Rev W.H. Seddon, Hon Secretary of the Church Army, purchased Fosters, in Brent Street, with the intention of building "a Rescue Home (for fallen women), with a Chapel attached". The site became St Saviour's Homes in 1897, caring for "feeble minded" women. In 1926 it was taken over by the Pillar of Fire Society as a bible college, school and chapel. This site has now been redeveloped as 'The Pillar' boutique hotel and function suites.

Demography and religion[]

According to the 2011 census in Hendon ward, 64% of the population was white, with White British the largest group at 39%, followed by 23% Other White. 7% was Indian, 6% Black African, 5% Other Asian and 4% Chinese. Religiously, 32% was Christian and 31% Jewish.[7]



Hendon is served by Hendon Central Tube Station [8] on the Edgware Branch of the Northern line (Zone 3/4 on the London Underground network) and by Hendon railway station on National Rail First Capital Connect line (still referred to many as the Thameslink line and also the Bedpan Line (BEDford to St. PANcras)), as well as by numerous bus routes. Buses come and go from Brent Cross Shopping Centre, London's West End and the new Wembley National Stadium. Buses run as far south as Central London, and as far north as Watford Junction.

Numerous minicab companies operate within Hendon. Main routes which pass through Hendon are the A1 (Great North Road) A41 (North Western Avenue) also at various stretches called Hendon Way and Watford Way, and this intersects with the A406 (North Circular Road) at a junction called the Brent Cross flyover, also a known as a traffic blackspot.

Further north is the site of Hendon Aerodrome in an area of Hendon now known as Colindale, famous for the first airmail delivery; the first parachute descent from a powered aircraft; the first night flights; and, from RAF Hendon during World War II the RAF provided the first aerial defence of a city. It is believed that the first casualty in the Battle of Britain was an RAF Hurricane pilot from Hendon. It closed to flying in 1968 and is now the site of the RAF Museum, as well as the housing developments at Grahame Park and Beaufort Park.


Secondary schools in the area include Hendon School[9] and St Mary's and St John's CE School. Brampton College is a private sixth form college located in the area. Hendon is also home to Middlesex University.

Football, athletics and hockey[]

The local football club is Hendon F.C. [10] and until recently there was a local athletics club. Hendon also has a golf club [11] and a Leisure Centre.[12]

The local ladies hockey club is Hendon & Mill Hill Hockey Club

Notable people[]

  • David Bohm – physicist
  • Joe Beevers – professional poker player
  • Gary Breen – footballer
  • Sir John Clements – actor and producer
  • Denis Compton – cricketer and footballer
  • Henry Cooper – heavyweight boxer
  • Harry Demetriou- professional poker player
  • Henry HicksRoyal College of Surgeons, President of the Geological Society, Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS).
  • Rafi Gavron – Actor
  • Claude Grahame-White – pioneer aviator
  • Ruth Prawer Jhabvala – novelist
  • Benjamin Pell – 'Benji the Binman'[13]
  • Richard Llewellyn – writer
  • Peter Mandelson, Lord Mandelson – Labour politician
  • Michael Podro – art historian
  • John Cyril Porte – pioneer aviator
  • Oliver Postgate – animator, puppeteer and writer.
  • Thomas Tilling – omnibus operator was born here in 1825
  • Lacey Turner – actress who plays Stacey Slater in EastEnders


  1. ^ "Museums in London, Tourist Attraction London, RAF Museum Hendon". Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  2. ^ "RAF Museum in London & RAF Museum Cosford – Royal Air Force RAF Museum Aviation History – free family fun activities". Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  3. ^ "Metropolitan Police Book of Remembrance". Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  4. ^ "Flood warning for River Brent (From Richmond and Twickenham Times)". 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  5. ^ "Hasmonean High School". Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  6. ^ The Kolberg Partnership, London. "Hendon Central Tube Station London – Nearby Clubs and Bars, Restaurants, Shops, Hotels and Attractions". Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ The Kolberg Partnership, London. "Hendon Central Tube Station London – Nearby Clubs and Bars, Restaurants, Shops, Hotels and Attractions". Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  9. ^ "Welcome to Hendon School". Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  10. ^ "Greensnet – Official Hendon FC: Home". Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  11. ^ "Welcome to Hendon Golf Club : CLUB View". Hendon Golf Club. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  12. ^ Empowerinc ( "Hendon Leisure Centre". Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  13. ^

External links[]

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