Friern Barnet Parish church of St James (1674)
Friern Barnet lies south of East Barnet, eight miles from London. The parish includes the hamlet of Colney Hatch and the east side of Whetstone, and the population, exclusive of the 2117 inmates of the County Lunatic Asylum, Colney Hatch, was 2230 in 1871. Friern Barnet itself is a quiet, retired, and very pretty place, hardly to be called a village, the houses lying dispersed between the Barnet road and Colney Hatch. Many are the residences of wealthy citizens, stand in spacious grounds, and are embowered among old elms and limes, and altogether he aspect of the place is verdurous and flourishing. But here as elsewhere the builder is making inroads. The manor of Friern Barnet belonged to the Knights of St John of Jerusalem; on the suspension of monastery it was assigned to the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's, and now belongs to J Miles Esq. The Manor House close by the church retains few vestiges of antiquity. When Norden wrote his 'Survey of Middlesex' in 1592, Lord Chief Justice Popham resided there. In the olden times the Great North Road passed through Friern Barnet by way of Colney Hatch, but becoming inconvenient "by reason of the deepness and dirty passage in winter season," the Bishop of London undertook to make a new and more direct road to Whetstone through his park at Highgate; and to compensate the inhabitants of Friern Barnet for the loss of the traffic on their road, they were made free of toll levied at the Bishop's Gate.
The church, St James, has a Norman doorway; nave with windows all filled with painted glass. It is of flint and stone; small but picturesque; and was restored, somewhat enlarged, and a tower and square pyramidal shingled spire and glazed porch on the south-west added in 1853. Beyond the church, towards Whetstone, is a range of Almshouses, founded in 1612 by Lawrence Campe for 12 aged persons, who besides lodging, received two shillings a week each. It is the original building, but repaired and stucco-fronted in 1843.
St James, Friern Barnet. Formerly the parish church, now a Greek Orthodox church St Katherine's.
St John the Evangelist
Christ Church, Friern Barnet