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Template:Other uses Template:Refimprove Template:Infobox UK place Arkley is a village in the London Borough of Barnet. It consists of a long village strung out between Barnet and Stirling Corner, roughly centred on the "Gate" pub, and is composed of the ancient hamlets of Barnet Gate, Rowley Green and Arkley hamlet. It is located Template:Convert north north-west of Charing Cross, and at Template:Convert above sea level is one of the highest points in London. It is also home to one of the oldest windmills in southern England.


Arkley (parish) population
1901 483
1911 494
1921 959
1931 1,929
1941 war #
1951 7,536
# no census was held due to war
source: UK census

Historical background

It is thought by some that Hendon Wood Lane was originally a minor Roman road. Certainly the name, 'Grendel's Gate' (now Barnet Gate, and formally known as 'Grims Gate'), is associated with the monster from the Saxon epic, Beowulf. This implies that the place was of modest importance as early as 1005. It may have been a centre of a small but significant community, founded on a woodland economy.

The area is latter referred to in medieval documents as 'Southhaw', and may have pre-dated the settlement at Chipping Barnet. Certainly, Barnet manorial court was held here in the 13th century. Nobody is sure what the 'Ark', part of Arkley means but the 'ley' means a "clearing of some sort". Its earliest appearance is about 1330. By the 16th century, these woods had been cleared, and the subsequent clearing formed common.

From at least the early 19th century until the 1890s, Arkley was commonly known as 'Barnet Common' or 'West Barnet'. The establishment of the civil parish [1] of 830 acres (3.4 km²) in 1894 confused matters further, as it was defined by the rural area around 'Barnet Town', and included places as far east as Duck Island and Underhill. It is from the civil parish, and the later ward of Barnet Urban District (from 1905) that we have our population statistics for Arkley. Between 1901 and 1971, Arkley's rose from 483 to 16,832. It was transferred from Hertfordshire to Greater London in 1965.


St Peter's Church, which was designed by George Beckett, was built in 1840 as a private chapel at a cost of £5,000. It contains a wall tablet of its benefactor, Enoch Durant, who died in 1848. The chancel was added in 1898. After Durant's death the advowson was transferred to the rector of Barnet, and an ecclesiastical parish was formed in 1905.<ref name=LGO>Template:Cite web</ref>

Arkley Windmill was in use by 1806. It is marked as "corn" windmill on the Ordnance Survey of the 1860s . From photographs, it appears to have had only two of its original sails by the 1890s, by which time it may have been powered by steam. It ceased to be a functioning mill during World War I, and was restored in 1930, but not as a working mill. The Gate Inn retains some of its original features. The sign, in the form of a hanging five bar gate, has an inscription which reads:

This gate hangs high,
and hinders none;
refresh and pay,
and travel on

According to the old article displayed on one of its walls, The Gate was once visited by Anna Pavlova and her dancing troop. Until the early 1960s a large tree grew up from the floor of the pub and out through the roof.

Nature reserves

For its size, Arkley has more Sites of Importance for Nature Conservations than any other district in Barnet:

  • Arkley Lane and Pastures
  • Arkley South Fields
  • Barnet Gate Wood
  • Glebe Lane Pastures
  • Rowley Green Common
  • Rowley Lodge Field
  • Totteridge Fields and Highwood Hill

In addition, Dollis Brook and Folly Brook, which are also Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation, rise in Arkley.


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Local industry

Local clay has been exploited for brick-making and pottery over the centuries. During the 1950s, a 13th-century kiln at Dyke Cottage was excavated, revealing a large cooking pot, and 19th century Ordnance Survey maps mark a "Tile Works". In the 1970s, John Britten produced a small racing car named the "Arkley" in the area. A War Memorial was erected in 1920. During World War II, a listening post for German messages was maintained in the area.<ref name=Leighton>Template:Cite web</ref>

Arkley is also home to Arkley Golf Club, founded in 1909 and designed by James Braid and Harry Vardon.

Notable residents


  • Tony Blackburn - DJ
  • Graham Hill - retired F1 driver and Embassy Hill car owner, lived between Borehamwood and Shenley. He was killed when his private plane crashed on Arkley Golf Course in 1975.
  • Rufus Hound - comedian
  • Trevor Howard (1913–1988) - actor, lived for many years in Arkley and also died there.
  • Humphrey Lyttelton - musician
  • W. E. Shewell-Cooper - organic gardener, used Arkley Manor for many years as a home and show garden
  • Norman Wisdom - comedian
  • Jermaine Jenas - footballer
  • Bacary Sagna - footballer
  • Marouane Chamakh - footballer

Transport links


  • 107 - New Barnet Station to Edgware Station via Borehamwood
  • 307 - Barnet General Hospital to Brimsdown via Barnet and Enfield
  • 614 - Queensbury Station to Hatfield Business Park via Barnet (Monday to Saturday)


  • 384 - Barnet (Quinta Drive) to Cockfosters Station

Tube stations


  • High Barnet - Northern Line



External links

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Early directories use the Victorian name, Barnet Common or West Barnet, for 'Arkley'.


Research articles

External links

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Template:Barnet history Template:LB Barnet