Barnet – Rich in History
If there was a town in America or any other country in the world that could boast of:
A church built in 1080, a larger church built in the 15th century, a battle that was voted in the top ten battles in world history, a market that has been here since 1199, a spa well that has been here since the 16th century and visited by Samuel Pepys, a High Street mentioned in Oliver Twist, a school that was founded in 1573, a coaching stop that saw 150 coaches pass through every day, a fair that has been going since the 16th century, a museum, over 20 public houses and over 90 eating establishments, 3 golf clubs, 7 parks, an Arts Theatre, the home of David Livingstone (who was on the front cover of the Beatles “Sergeant Peppers” album), and the best view of the capital city; it would have people coming in their droves to see a place seeped in history whilst being a modern shopping centre. That’s Barnet.
31 Wood Street, Barnet, Herts. EN5 4BE
Barnet Museum was opened in March 1938 at 31 Wood Street, to house the collection of the Barnet & District Local History Society. Its building is an attractive early Georgian house and the Museum contains archives, objects, prints, photographs, paintings and maps reflecting the development of Chipping Barnet and the surrounding area, as well as a notable collection of period costumes and accessories, domestic items and lace.
In addition to the town of Chipping Barnet the museum covers other nearby areas. One of these is East Barnet, which formed part of the original manor of Chipping and East Barnet. It is the latter that appears to have been the focus of the earliest settlement. The parish church of St Mary the Virgin, East Barnet dates from the first half of the eleventh century, whilst the church of St John the Baptist in Chipping Barnet dates from around 1250.
The town of New Barnet was created following the coming of the Great Northern Railway in 1850. Other areas that are covered by the Museum include West Barnet, Cockfosters, Arkley, Hadley, Whetstone and Totteridge. The Museum building is owned and maintained by the Borough, whilst the collection belongs to the Barnet & District Local History Society, whose members run the Museum itself.
Opening Hours Tuesday to Thursday 2.30pm – 4.30pm
Saturday 10.30am –4.00pm Sunday 2.00pm – 4.00pm Monday & Friday Closed
With thanks to Brian Carroll for this article, to read more of Brians’ fascinating history of Barnet, visit his website www.barnet4u.co.uk