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History of Church End Dental Clinic

The practice was originally located at 49 Long Lane, Finchley and re-located to its present site in April 2012.

In 1969, my parents, Mr Pyarelal Agrawal and Mrs Pushpa Agrawal, converted their integral garage to create a small single-chair surgery with a tiny but functional waiting room.

With a lot of hard work, sweat and tears, they built up the surgery over 21 years, establishing a service that was well regarded in the local community, with an emphasis on good quality dentistry delivered in a friendly and relaxing environment.

Sadly, in 1990, after a period of illness, my father passed away. The surgery closed.

After some persuasion from the Local Health Authority, and with a lot of support from her family, my mother re-opened the surgery and managed it successfully with 14 different Associate Dentists for the next 21 years.

I joined the practice in 1996 after qualifying at University of Liverpool Dental School in 1995, working on a full-time basis from 1999 as the Principal Dental Surgeon.

Today, the relocation of the small single-surgery practice to our new state-of-the-art clinic in Regents Park Road not only complies with new Government and Care Quality Commission regulations and standards but also allows me to expand the dental services we can provide to create a multi-disciplinary clinic.

Church End Dental Clinic is a testament to the inspiration and hard work laid down by my parents over the past 42 years, and my role is to continue in their tradition of delivering high quality dentistry, in an environment that is both beautiful and relaxing.

Mr Neeraj Agrawal BDS

History of Finchley/Church End

There is no mention of Finchley in the Domesday Book, which was compiled in 1086. At that time Finchley was part of the Bishop of London’s land and was probably not shown separately.

Finchley Common ran northwards towards the edge of the Bishop’s park.

The soil in the area is heavy, poorly drained clay, which was difficult to cultivate and therefore supported woodland. Steady clearances to provide timber for housing and firewood for cooking and heating allowed settlements to develop. By the end of the 13th century settlements had grown to the edge of the common but the population remained low with only isolated cottages and dispersed settlements.

St-Mary-at-Finchley Church is first mentioned in 1274. Finchley Church End derives its name from this. In 1350 a new northerly route from London was opened as the Bishop allowed travellers to pass through his park. This ran from the north of the city, through Highgate, Finchley, and Chipping Barnet and on to St. Albans. A small settlement grew up near a gate at the foot of the hill. This became known as East End (now known as East Finchley). North End (which is now known as North Finchley) developed when the road from Totteridge met the new highway. The enhancement of The Great North Road provided the stimulus for the establishment of inns, smithies and other supporting services along the route and clusters of development such as Finchley Church End began to grow. The Avenue, which runs east from Regents Park Road, is derived from a line of trees planted by Elizabeth King whose husband was Lord of the Manor in 1600.

In 1659 Hendon Lane, running from Hendon to Church End was known as Finchley Hill. Around this time the common was gradually tamed and put to pasture. In turn small dairies grew up, each one serving a hinterland of about five miles, but the most important crop was hay for the large horse population of London. Apart from a scattering of services to support the north-south route, Finchley Church End was inhabited, in the main, by agricultural labourers associated with these crops. The Anglican community set up a National School in 1813. It was later established as St. Mary’s School. The infant school building still remains on the site. The Queens Head Public House was located next to the Church in Hendon Lane but it burned down in 1833 and was eventually relocated to the junction of Regents Park Road and East End Road.

In the 1820s the look of the area was changed by the further development of London’s transport network. Until this time the only route from Temple Fortune to Finchley was along a road called Ducksetters Lane. This ran parallel to the present Regents Park Road, to the west, and terminated where Gravel Hill is today. The road then passed along the very top part of Hendon Lane, before continuing north as Ballards Lane.

In 1826 an Act of Parliament meant the construction of a new turnpike road between Marylebone and North Finchley. Today, in Church End, this road is called Regents Park Road, which replaced Ducksetters Lane. The area still provided for the needs of travellers until the coming of the railways in the 1830’s, when the local economy began to suffer following a decline in coaching. At this point new development began to appear, in particular market gardens. Avenue House was built in 1859, with its neighbour Hertford Lodge built in 1869. Both villas were built in a similar style in stucco and slate with tall chimneys in the Italianate style. Avenue House was owned by Henry Charles Stephens, the ink manufacturer, and was left to the people of Finchley on his death. Today the estate comprises of a picturesque collection of buildings and landscaped grounds used as a local park. In 1867, the Edgware, Highgate and London Railway opened a station at Finchley, now known as Finchley Central Station, on the Northern Line. This provided the stimulus for the rapid development of new housing estates. News of the creation of a tramline between Golders Green and North Finchley encouraged further suburban development as it provided ordinary people with a means of travelling into central London for work. From 1874 a nursery, known as Clements Nursery, was trading at the junction of Regents Park Road and Hendon Lane. The area was still a village at this time, with the village pond at the junction of Hendon Lane with Gravel Hill being filled in on 1st January 1885. In 1888, Finchley Council established a voluntary fire brigade near the top of Gravel Hill which remained at this location until 1933. From 1940 onwards the centre of Church End moved closer to the station, where newer shops had emerged along Ballards Lane. Parades of shops were built along the route from 1899 onwards. In 1911, King Edwards Hall replaced Clements Nursery at the junction of Hendon Lane and Regents Park Road.

Archaeological significance

The central section of the Conservation Area is of considerable archaeological interest. Finchley Church End was agricultural and only lightly populated before the 19th century, although St-Mary-at-Finchley Church on Hendon Lane has its origins in the 12th century. Recent excavations have yielded pottery securely dated to between AD 1150 and 1250 as well as evidence of structures (post holes, beam slots and ditches) from the same time period. It seems that a small hamlet grew up about the church in early medieval times. There appears to have been occupation on the site ever since. Of older times, a small quantity of worked flints from the Mesolithic period have been found in a number of excavations. The western part of the Conservation Area, including Hendon Lane, has been identified as a Local Area of Special Archaeological Significance.

Reference:

Borough of Barnet: Planning Consultation Department, 2011

Last Edited on 12/09/2019 01:09