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London Gardens Online


St Mary-at-Finchley Churchyard Barnet


A Norman church existed on the site from C12th but in 1872 Saxon foundations were discovered dating from an earlier church. The tower and main body are C15th with two later aisles. Bombed in WWII, the church was later restored. The churchyard is enclosed with C20th fence and iron railings, and has some good C17th and C18th tombs. An obelisk to Major John Cartwright (d.1824) was raised by public subscription and erected in 1835. The churchyard is densely shaded, and trees include ancient yew, cedar, holly, larch and hornbeam.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
Finchley Parish Church

Site location:
Hendon Lane, Finchley

N3 1TR ( Google Map)

Type of site:



Listed structures:
LBII*: St Mary's Church. LBII: chest tombs to Edward Burford, Elizabeth Norris, 2 unidentified chest tombs, Cartwright Monument, tombstones to Roberts, Sarah Gee.


Site ownership:
Church: Diocese of London.

Site management:
Churchyard maintained by LB Barnet, Leisure and Youth Services, Green Spaces Division

Open to public?

Opening times:

Special conditions:



Public transport:
Tube: Finchley Central (Northern) then bus. Bus: 125.

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 09/05/2009
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ249905 (524928,190522)

Size in hectares:

Green Flag:

On EH National Register :

EH grade:

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

Local Authority Data

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.

On Local List:

In Conservation Area:

Conservation Area name:
Church End Finchley

Tree Preservation Order:

Nature Conservation Area:

Green Belt:

Metropolitan Open Land:

Special Policy Area:
Yes - Area of Special Archaeological Significance

Other LA designation:
Article 4 Direction

St Mary-at-Finchley Churchyard

St Mary-at-Finchley Church, September 2008. Photo: S Williams

Click photo to enlarge.

Fuller information

A Norman church existed on the site from the C12th but in 1872 Saxon foundations were discovered dating from an earlier church founded by Bishop Erkenwald of London in c.675 AD to serve workmen felling timber to build the old St Paul's Cathedral. The tower and main body of the church are C15th with two aisles, one C19th the other C20th. Bombed in World War II, the church was later restored. The oldest brass dates from c.1480, other monuments include a tiny figure of Joan Prate in a horned head-dress; Thomas White, a grocer of London kneels with 3 wives and their 13 daughters some of whom are in swaddling clothes.

The churchyard on the west and north side of the church is enclosed with C20th fence and iron railings. There are some good C18th railed tombs and C17th tombs. Trees include ancient yew trees, cedar, holly, larch and hornbeam and the churchyard is densely shaded with little grass or undergrowth. It is bisected with paths that are in frequent use for access to adjacent streets. The path skirting the west nave is of York stone paving, the rest asphalted.

The Obelisk to Major John Cartwright (d.1824) was raised by public subscription and erected in 1835. Cartwright was a radical and one of a group of brothers famous for their tracts on parish reform. John Cartwright left the Navy refusing to fight against the Americans seeking their independence, and was removed from the militia for approving the Taking of the Bastille. Others buried in the churchyard include 'Honest Tom Payne' (d.1799), a bookseller who was responsible for producing the first known list of books on sale in 1740. The tomb for Richard Norris (d.1779) has a reclining veiled woman and urn. Two good tombstones near the south door date from the 1730s with cherubs' heads, skull and hourglass.

Across the road from the church is the gothic Pardes House school, red brick with blue brick patterning and an extraordinary turret, formerly Christ's College and built in 1860/1 by Edward Roberts.

Sources consulted:

Arthur Mee 'The King's England: London North of the Thames except the City and Westminster' (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 1972); Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998).

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