Universal British Directory,
Volume 2, circa 1792
[Plus some old prints]
This town is partly in Herts and partly in Middlesex, 11 miles N. West of London, on the great North road. It is called High-Barnet, from its situation on a hill; and Chipping, or Cheaping-Barnet, from the market, which was granted here, by King Henry II. to the monks of St Albans, which is famous for cattle, especially swine. At the 12-mile-stone beyond the town, stands a high stone, erected as a memento of the battle fought on that spot, on the 14th of April, 1481, between King Edward IV, and Guy Earl of Warwick, in which the noble earl was slain, with many of the prime nobility, and 10,000 men. It may be truly said, that this victory placed Edward firmly on the throne, though another battle was afterwards fought at Tewkesbury, in which the Queen and her son were taken prisoners, which was soon followed by the murder of that young prince and his father, (Henry VI.) The Queen was spared, and ended her days in France, being ransomed for 50,000 crowns by Louis XI.
Here the road divides, the right hand to York, and the left to Liverpool: hence to St. Alban's. 10 miles; 14 to Hertford, 9 to Hatfield, and 10 to Watford. This town is a great thoroughfare; four mails pass through every night, at half past 9 o'clock, and return at 5 next morning; Chester, Leeds, Manchester, and Liverpool. Near the 10-mile-stone, at the bottom of the hill, from London, is the Red-Lion-inn, and at the top of the hill in the town is the Red-Lion-inn, which is the post-office; and the Mitre. The Excise-office is kept at the Royal Waggon.
This town is governed by a magistrate, high constable, and petty-officers; and a court-leet is held at Easter. John Long, Esq. is Lord of the manor. The Market is on Monday; and the fairs on July 24 and 25, for toys; September 4, 5, and 6, for horses, cows, sheep, and cheese, and October 18 and 19, for English, Welch, and Scotch Cattle.
The church is situated in the centre of the town, and is a very ancient edifice; it is a chapel of ease to the village of East Barnet. Here is a free-school for boys, founded by Queen Elizabeth, and endowed partly by that queen, and partly by Alderman Owen, of London, whose additional endowment is paid by the Fishmongers' company, who appoint 24 governors, by whom the master and usher are chosen to teach 7 children gratis, and the rest of the parish for 5s a quarter. Here also are 12 alms-houses, with good allowance and other donations to the poor. This parish has a vary large common-right, in the midst of which is a mineral, formerly of great note; the town and country around is very healthy and friutful, and is famous for good hay, which is sent to the London markets.
[The list of traders includes the following]
About two miles North-west from Barnet, on the left hand, lies Dunlans, formerly the seat of the Austins, but since of the Earl of Albemarle, who purchased it of Sir John Austin, and greatly beautified it, by laying most of the neighbouring fields belonging to the estate into a park, and turning and repairing the roads. The house stands on an eminence, situated in a small valley, surrounded with pretty high hills at a little distance, so that in the summer months it is an agreeable retirement; but, the soil around it being a strong clay. all the rain which falls in winter, being detained on the surface, renders the situation very cold and moist. Add to this the want of good water and timber near the house, except the young trees, which have been planted by his lordship.
Totteridge is a pleasant village, situated on a fine eminence, looking to the north, over the St Alban's road, into the forest; and on the South, over the Edgware road, to Harrow, etc. It is very clean, and has several very good houses.
Hadley is a small pleasant village, in the county of Middlesex, adjoining to Barnet, and is chiefly inhabited by gentry. The church is a very ancient edifice, and is supposed to stand on the highest ground of any church in England; it has a beacon on the top, which was used as a signal in the times of the Rebellion. From the church-yard and around it, are fine prospects over Enfield Chase, the river Thames, and the county of Essex.
Here are 6 alms-houses, with suitable allowances. Here is also a very good academy, kept by the Rev. David Garrow.
The following are the seats of the nobility and gentry in the neighbourhood of Barnet: Green-hill-plain, 2 miles to the South, the sear of Andrew Read, Esq, at present the residence of Lord Stormont; near which is Belmont, the seat of William Roughton, Esq. and within a quarter of a mile, is that of Lord Chomondeley; a mile North is Rutham-park, the seat of George Byng, Esq. member of parliament for Middlesex; a mile East is Beech-hill, the seat of W. Franks, Esq. 4 miles North is Gubbins, the seat of James Hunter, Esq. and near this is North Mymms, the seat of the Duke of Leeds.
Page created January 2009