Section 3: The connection between the Manor House and Manor View
The location of the Manor House is shown centre bottom of the above Ordnance Survey map (revised 1895) (ref j). The front entrance of the Manor House is on East End Road (East Finchley appears as 'East End' on early maps), and the road opposite the entrance to the Manor House grounds is Squires Lane. The name of this road dates back for many years ... as it was the route people would have taken to go to the Squire's House from Finchley Common, on the old Great North Road. However, the 1754 Rocque Map shows the section of Squires Lane between East End Road and Long Lane as 'Place Lane'. In addition to the remains of a Moat around the house and gardens, there is also a rectangular body of water next to Squires Lane, with an island in the middle. This was commonly known as ‘The Moat’, but it is believed more likely to have served as a fish pond – providing fish for the occupants of the big house; and the clay from the original excavation may also have been used to make the bricks to build the original Manor House. The above map shows a narrow path to access the island (to take those cows lying on the island in the image below for milking at Manor Farm? And is that white structure in the distance a bridge or a gate?)
Next to the ponds lies Manor Farm - this covers the whole area between the GNR line (later the Northern Line), Green Lane (now the North Circular), East End Road, and the section of Squires Lane which is now Manor View.
Note that in the period shown in this map, there were no properties evident in Squires Lane; the only properties visible in this section of the map in East End Road were Avenue House and the Manor House, plus Manor Farm and an unidentified property opposite; terraced houses had begun to be constructed near the station in Station Road and Lichfield Grove and also in Long Lane; however there was development around St Mary's Church and school, Christ's College; and along Regent's Park Road and Hendon Lane. A substantial amount of land is described as 'Claigmar Vineyard' where the Kay family had been producing vegetables, grapes (and maybe wine) in around 160 greenhouses. This land was eventually built over in the 1920s (ref k)
The photo on the left shows the view from what is now the Cricket Field (the cows are on the central island), while the one below was probably taken from where Briarfield Avenue is now located – with Manor View to the right of the fence where the boys are fishing and the island on the left. In the second photo, you can also see the original gates to The Avenue on the other side of Squires Lane.
House building in Manor view - the first wave
The first houses to be built in what is now known as Manor View were the twelve Victorian semi-detached properties called 'Manor Villas' located on the section of the road that now lies between Rosemary Avenue and Briarfield Avenue. These were all occupied in the 1901 census, and from details relating to this row of houses in the 1910 Lloyd George 'Domesday' Survey (ref l), it seems likely that they were built in around 1898.
Part of the land adjacent to the 'Moat', which appears as Manor Farm on early maps, was renamed 'Arden Field' and acquired by Finchley Cricket Club in 1902. Finchley Cricket Club had existed with a variety of names and playing on a variety of grounds around the borough since at least 1832, but Arden Field seems to have been their first ground they could call their own (ref m).
The 1910 Lloyd George ‘Domesday’ Survey recorded exactly how far building of the second wave of building had progressed, and the written records which form part of this survey also provide some information on how sales were progressing of the houses that had been completed. The record for our own house shows that the first inhabitant – Hugh Williams – had taken out a 99 year Lease from 1910, though at the time of the survey, his property was described as ‘Land Site'’:
(ref j) I895 London NE map from National Library of Scotland maps collection https://maps.nls.uk/view/96804969
(ref k) The Claigmar Nursery in The Underground Map website
(ref l) The Lloyd George 'Domesday' Survey was accessed at The Genealogist website at https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/advanced/landowner/1910-survey/
(ref m) Finchley Cricket Club in the 19th century, researched by Brian Warren for FCC https://www.pitchero.com/clubs/finchleycricketclub/d/documents.html?group_id=5535
(ref n) C. O. Banks, 'Romances of the Finchley Manor', (Warden & Co Ltd, North Finchley,1929)
The map associated with the 1910 Survey is shown above (I have added letters relating to the alphabetical House names allocated by the builders, though in fact the GPO numbering system commenced at the East End Road end). Even by the time of the 1911 census, the four end houses (numbers 2 to 8) in Manor View were not yet completed, and several other houses were still unoccupied.
The relationship between the section of Squires Lane which is now known as Manor View and both the Manor House and Avenue House has always been present, with stories in the publication 'Romances of the Finchley Manor' (ref n) about ghosts and headless horsemen seen riding up and down the Avenue. The Avenue was said to be the route used by the Lord of the Manor of Finchley to ride to the church of St Mary at Finchley, and even after Henry Stevens built Avenue House, the Avenue was still accessible through the farm land belonging to Avenue House (part of which is shown on the 1910 map above left) which abutted the section of Squires Lane which is now known as Manor View. The gates at each end of The Avenue were particularly lovely!
BELOW: the old gate into The Avenue from Squires Lane/ Manor View;
RIGHT: the old gate into The Avenue from Regents Park Road
The two photos above were purchased from the Barnet Council website at https://boroughphotos.org/barnet/ - you can view and purchase many more images of old Finchley, including many of Manor View/Squires Lane, the Moat, The Avenue and Avenue House as well as the surrounding area, from this website.
The second wave of house building
At some point before 1909 the land between the Cricket Club's newly acquired ground and Manor View (which was still the site of the 'moat' and central island) was purchased by builders R & J Ellwood. Entries in the 1910 Survey confirm that before the first of the houses on the south eastern side of Manor View were built (i.e. the even numbers 2 – 32) and the first four houses in East End Road opposite the Manor House, which together comprised the 'Manor View Estate', the moat was drained and filled in. And although the houses were built on ‘solid’ land that formed the original ‘island’, the wide pavement, plus part of the front and back gardens were located on the infilled sections of the Moat.
This photo, courtesy of FCC, shows the original cricket club pavilion, located roughly behind 18 Manor View. This traditional wooden building was removed and the current pavilion was built on the opposite side of the field in the late 1950s.
I can recommend a recently published book by Alan Rayment: 'Punchy through the Covers - the early years 1928-1949', which recalls his memories of growing up in Manor View through the war years, attending primary and secondary school and singing in St Mary's choir, as well as his promotion through the Colts to the 1st XI of Finchley Cricket Club, and his progress to becoming a professional cricketer.
(Available from Amazon, or AbeBooks.co.uk)
The final wave of house building
I have not been able to discover any documents which throw light on precisely when the odd numbered houses 3-35 on the north east side of Manor View between East End Road and Lichfield Grove were constructed - though I have been told it was 'between the wars'. From available maps it is clear that they were completed before 1938, which means the only comprehensive documents available to view relating to occupancy of these houses is the 1939 Register (plus the occasional telephone directory or register of electors, which provide only minimal information).
I have marked the 1938 map shown on the right, produced after all the houses on BOTH sides of Manor View were completed. to show the probable location of the moat before it was filled in (this possibly explains why the ends of the gardens on the south-eastern side of the road regularly become waterlogged when there has been heavy rain and the water table in the cricket field is very high!)