The History Of Finchley Way Open Space
This land was left to ‘the people of Finchley’ by Augustus Cooper, a watchmaker. His Will stipulates that ‘it shall be open for the use and enjoyment always of the public’.
The site first appears in records in 1448 when the area was farmland.
In 1810 Brent Lodge was built as a mansion ‘in the Italianate style’. In 1907 the estate was 26 acres with pig, cow and poultry houses, two kitchen gardens, an orchard, ornate gardens and more.
In the 1910s the site was bought by the Brent Garden Village Company Ltd. established by Alice Melville as a communal living initiative. Servants were to live in the Lodge where there was a kitchen, laundry, dining room and other communal services. In 1912 Cedar Court flats and later some of the houses in Finchley Way were built for the community’s residents.
Over the 1920s much of the land was sold to Francis Walker, a builder, later Sir Francis Walker.
The Sir Francis Walker Trust still owns most of the back alleys behind Brent Way and Hamilton Way.
Augustus Cooper bought the house and its gardens in 1922. The Lodge was demolished in 1962.
For a longer account of the history of the site from 1448 to the present day, click here.