Friary Park is on land formerly around The Friary/Friern House, built in the C19th. The site was acquired in 1909 and opened as a public park in 1910. At the park's highest point is a large bronze statue of The Peacemaker, donated by Sidney Simmons JP and dedicated to Edward VII, who had died just before the new park was due to be officially opened. The park was laid out with bowling green and pavilion, tennis courts, putting green and playground, with more formal gardens around the house, now a café.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2009
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Friary Park, Statue of Peace, September 2000. Photo S Williams
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Friary Park is on land formerly around The Friary/Friern House, built in the C19th. Friern Barnet is so-called, Friern meaning 'belonging to the Brotherhood', because the land here was in the possession of the Order of St John of Jerusalem between c.1199 and the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the mid C16th. Prior to this the manor had belonged to the Abbot of St Albans until it was given to the Bishop of London by William the Conqueror, upon which the deprived Abbot joined Hereward the Wake against the King. The site of Friary Park was acquired in 1909 and opened in 1910 although the official ceremony was cancelled because of the death of Edward Vll to whom 'The Peacemaker', the park's Statue of Peace was dedicated. This large bronze statue was donated by Sidney Simmons, JP, and stands on a rockwork plinth on the highest point in the park. Friary Park was dedicated on 7 May 1910 on the day following the King's death. The park was laid out with a bowling green and pavilion, tennis courts, a putting area and playground, with more formal gardens around the site of the house, now a café. A stream runs through the north of the park, crossed by a rustic bridge and numerous mature trees are found in the grounds, including oak, lime, hornbeam, horsechestnut and a line of London plane along the stream. Green Flag Award in 2007/8; 2008/9.
Arthur Mee 'The King's England: London North of the Thames except the City and Westminster' (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 1972); Victoria County History; S Gillies and P Taylor, 'Finchley and Friern Barnet, a Pictorial History' (1992); Jan Hewlett, Ian Yarham, David Curson, 'Nature Conservation in Barnet', (London Ecology Unit, 1997).