Did you know that there are three pubs in North Finchley that have been trading for at least 100 years? Hugh Petrie, Heritage Development Officer at Barnet Council, reveals the history behind The Elephant, The Tally-ho!, and the Malt & Hops and other pubs in North Finchley’s history.
The oldest public house in North Finchley, until the 1990s, was The Swan and Pyramids, situated just south of Woodside Grove on the High Road. In 1627 Thomas Rawson built a windmill on Finchley Common which by 1722 had become the Windmill Inn and which in turn was renamed the Fighting Cocks and then the White Swan. A short way north along the High Road, and just north of Swan Lane, was another inn called The Swan. For 100 years there was much confusion and the lower Swan became the Swan and Pyramids in 1891.
The next inn was built on the corner of Lodge Lane and the High Road in 1828 by a William Walker and was named The Torrington. The house had a very bad reputation and in 1829 it was cited in famous poisoning case, in which a Mr. Phillips murdered his older wife so he could inherit her property. Rebuilt twice, once in 1898, and then again in 1962, it eventual gained some fame as music venue, with acts like Paul Young, The Stranglers, Georgie Fame, Dr John and the Average White Band. It eventually closed in 2004.
The “Tally-ho!” started life just before 1851 as a small beer house called the “Park House”, and run by Richard Jackson, who was probably related to Samual Jackson, a blacksmith on the site employing five other blacksmiths, two journey men, and three apprentices, as well as a wheelwright. By 1868 it had been rebuilt and named after the road the Park Road Hotel. In 1927 the route of Ballards Lane was changed, and what had been Park Road, became a continuation of Ballards Lane. The Park Road hotel was rebuilt and renamed the Tally-ho!
As North Finchley gradually developed in the second half of the 19th Century, four more inns opened. The Malt and Hops probably started in the 1850s. It became the terminus for horse bus service. It was rebuilt in 1897 with its familiar gateway into the yard where the horses were stabled. Elsewhere George Pope appears to have been the first incumbent of the Cricketers, but we don’t quite know when. He applied for a full license in March 1868, at which time it was said that he had had the house for a number of years and that there had been no complaints made against him. The Belgrave Tavern opened in 1869 and a year later The Moss Hall Tavern in 1870, which was rebuilt as the public house we see today in 1927, and now known as the Elephant Inn.
There’s lots going on in our local pubs, whether it be The Elephant, The Tally-ho!, and the Malt & Hops or The Bohemia, Toolans and The Finchley Tavern; find out more in our events calendar and business directory.