North Finchley is a suburb of London in the London Borough of Barnet, situated 7 miles (11 km) northwest of Charing Cross.
It is centred on Tally Ho Corner, the junction of the roads to East Finchley, Church End, Friern Barnet and Whetstone. Church End is often known as Finchley Central, owing to the name of the tube station located there.
The area has mainly 19th-century housing, ranging from quaint Victorian cottages to substantially larger Victorian double-fronted houses. There is also a dominant Edwardian style toward Woodside Park and Nether Street, but with some modern houses—probably built between the 1930s and 1960s—towards Friern Barnet.
Tally Ho Corner and the High Road
North End, the old name for the area of North Finchley and Whetstone, was first recorded in 1462. North Finchley did not develop into an urban area until after the enclosure of Finchley Common in 1816. Prior to that, in 1627, Thomas Rawson was allowed to construct a windmill and house which by 1722 had also become an inn, the Windmill. By 1754 the inn was called the Swan with Two Nicks and had ceased as a mill. The site is now a police garage.
Ballards Lane is an ancient road which was probably named after the Ballard family of about 1300. It did not always connect with the High Road. For many centuries it terminated near where Victoria Park is today. In 1756 a raised way was constructed from the end of Ballards Lane to the High Road, then the Great North Road, making North Finchley a junction. This suggests that Ballards Lane had already become a link in a route from London via Hendon to the Great North Road. There was a beerhouse in 1814, licensed to provide gunpowder and shot, near the junction.
The name Tally Ho came in the 1830s when a coaching company of the same name based a staging post of 16 horses on the corner. But it was later, with the enclosure of the common after 1816 and the creation of the Finchley Road turnpike along Ballards Lane in the late 1820s, that the beginnings of a suburb were sparked.
Charles Jacques built twenty-one cottages in Lodge Lane around 1824 and constructed Torrington Cottage as a residence. By the 1830s there were other houses and in 1837 a dissenting chapel, "Cottagers Chapel", which had been converted from the stables of Orchard Cottage.
By 1839 North Finchley had at least five retail outlets including a blacksmith called Elizabeth Humphreys. These were on Lodge Lane rather than on the High Road. Incidentally, Lodge Lane was the home of Private John Parr the first British soldier to be killed in World War I, and the actor David Jason.