|St James's Churchyard, Friern Barnet||Barnet|
The land here once belonged to the Abbot of St Albans, later given to the Bishop of London by William the Conqueror, and in c1199 it passed to the Order of St John of Jerusalem from where the name Friern comes. When the Order was dissolved Henry VIII bestowed it to St Paul's Cathedral. The original church of St James the Great dates from the C12th; after 1853 it was rebuilt and enlarged to provide additional seating. The churchyard was enlarged a number of times in the C18th and C19th and although it has mature trees including oak and yew, some of its trees were felled in 1974.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/09/2000
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.parishoffriernbarnet.co.uk
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
St James's Church Friern Barnet, September 2000. Photo: S Williams
Click photo to enlarge.
The land here once belonged to the Abbot of St Albans and was then given to the Bishop of London by William the Conqueror; the Abbot thus deprived of his land joined Hereward the Wake's rebellion. In c.1199 the manor passed to the Order of St John of Jerusalem from where the name Friern comes, meaning belonging to the Brotherhood. The Order was dissolved when Henry VIII gave his patronage to St Paul's Cathedral, to whom bestowal of the living still belongs. Queen Elizabeth I gave lands at Friern Barnet to Sir Walter Raleigh who sold it to the Bacon family.
The original church of St James the Great dates from the C12th, and there were various additions to the building in the C18th and C19th. After 1853 the building was restored and enlarged in order to provide an additional 300 seats to accommodate the congregation, the new porch covering the remains of the C12th doorway with zigzag carving. Although the church spire fell in 1930 it was later restored. On the exterior of the east wall of the south aisle of the church is a tablet with a Latin inscription to Edmund Duncon, the C17th rector who attended George Herbert on his deathbed.
The churchyard was enlarged a number of times in the C18th and C19th. It was the burial place of Thomas Cavendish, the son of Cardinal Wolsey's servant Charles Cavendish. A pleasant churchyard with a countrified air and surrounded by a wooden fence, it has grass and trees throughout including mature yew and oak, with a yew avenue, although in 1974 some of its mature trees were felled.
When the area expanded following the opening of the Great Northern Railway's New Southgate station in 1851 a larger church was needed and the current building of St John the Evangelist was designed by J L Pearson, architect of Truro Cathedral. Across the road from the church is a drinking fountain erected c.1926 when the road was widened, with a small landscaped area with paving, raised beds, shrubs and seating. This is on the site of an old well called Queen Elizabeth's Well and the old pound.
Arthur Mee 'The King's England: London North of the Thames except the City and Westminster' (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd) 1972; parish website