Did you know?
- Brunswick Park is Barnet’s 11th biggest ward, covering 3.25 square kilometres
- Just over 14,500 residents live in the ward
- 12% of Brunswick Park residents are retired, the highest of the council’s 21 wards
- More people own their own home with a mortgage in Brunswick Park than in any other ward in Barnet
- The most popular industry for Brunswick Park residents to work in is “real estate, renting and business activity”.
* Figures taken from the 2001 census.
It is believed that the name Brunswick Park was probably chosen for patriotic reasons. Both George I and II were Dukes of Brunswick, and the name increased in popularity after Duke Friedrich Wilhelm, also a Duke of Brunswick and a hero of the Napoleonic Wars, was killed at the Battle of Quatrebras in 1815.
In 1857 the Gold Smiths Company built the Clock and Watchmakers Asylum, as almshouses for 18 married couples and six widows. Situated at the southern end of Waterfall Road, they were rebuilt in the 1960s and still stand today as The Homesteads. The area also became associated with the name of New Southgate after the Great Northern Railway opened a station at Colney Hatch in 1850.
In 1861 the Great Northern Railway Company opened the Great Northern Cemetery, now New Southgate Cemetery , at the cost of £150,000. Until the 1870s the cemetery had its own private mortuary station on the Great Northern Railway line. The deceased were brought from another private station at Rufford Street, near King’s Cross, to the chapel-shaped station twice a week.
By the 1890s the cemetery occupied 80 acres.Today it covers just under 50 acres and its most famous grave is that of ShoghiEffendi , an important leader in the Bahá’í religion, who was interred in 1957.
Another famous resident of the ward was Sir Thomas Lipton, of Lipton Tea fame, who bought Osidge House, in Chase Side, in 1893. Lipton led a very interesting life. He opened his first grocery shop in his native Glasgow aged just 20; was a millionaire by the age of 30; attempted but failed to win the Americas Cup yachting event five times; and counted royalty among his friends. Osidge House became a home for retired nurses after Lipton’s death in 1931 and theSir Thomas Lipton Memorial Hostel for elderly women remains today.
In 1898 the North View Photographic and Stereoscopic Works were already established off Bruswick Park road, and they were joined in 1922 by Standard Telephones and Cables (STC). At its height, STC employed nearly 10,000 people and contributed to the production of radar equipment during the war.
On August 23 1944 a V-1 bomb, or Doodle Bug, landed between buildings 6 and 8. It destroyed building 6 and badly damaged building 8, killing 33 people and seriously wounding 212. Just one day later, a second V-1landed on the North Sports Field but no-one was hurt.**
Today the site is known as North London Business Park and is home to over 1,000 Barnet Council staff.
** Information taken from “Days of Darkness: The London Borough of Barnet at War” by Percy Reboul and John Heathfield.
This article was reproduced by kind permission of the PR department, London Borough Barnet