Highgate: An original London village with a fiercely protected heritage
- Credit: Archant
Ask anyone who lives in Highgate why they love the area and the phrase ‘village atmosphere’ is bound to come up. With the surrounding greenery of Hampstead Heath and Queen’s Wood, the description is certainly understandable
Highgate High Street lies on the border of Camden and Haringey but the whole of Highgate has the N6 postcode. The parliamentary constituency is Holborn & St Pancras. The total annual Council Tax bill which the smallest properties in Band A would expect to pay is £891.32. Properties in the average Band D should receive a bill of £1,336.81. The most expensive homes in Band H would receive a Council Tax bill for £2,673.62.
The average price of a two bedroom flat in the area is £674,699; for a terraced house it’s £1,305,496; for a semi-detached home it’s £1,729,680, and for a detached house it’s £4,439,464. Property in Highgate offers a range of fantastic options from grand Georgian town houses and large Victorian homes to some world famous Modernist buildings.
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The Holly Lodge Estate is a prime example of inter-War planning, complete with mock-Tudor facades. The mansion blocks on the estate were originally designed as bedsits to house single working women but have since been converted into self-contained flats.
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St Joseph’s RC primary school received an Ofsted rating of ‘outstanding’, while St Michael’s is a C of E primary school is rated good. Highgate and Channing are well-respected and high achieving private options for both primary and secondary education.
Highgate is in zone 3 on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line, between Archway and East Finchley. The 214 bus goes to Camden Town, King’s Cross and terminates at Moorgate; the 210 goes between Brent Cross, Golders Green, Hampstead Heath, Archway and Finsbury Park; while the 603 travels up past East Finchley to Muswell Hill on weekdays, mostly serving the school crowd.
Landmarks and history
The first mention of Highgate Hill is recorded as far back as 1565, but the area’s village stretches even further back to the 15th century. By the later 17th houses were being built for City men, many of which are still standing, and nowadays still house City men and women and their families. For over 400 years, the road structure of Highgate Village has barely changed; nor have many of its 17th and 18th century buildings.
Visitors come from all over the world to visit the famous Highgate Cemetery, which is the resting place of icons including Karl Marx and Douglas Adams. The site was originally commissioned for burial use in 1836 when, during a period of particularly high mortality rates, an Act of Parliament was passed to create The London Cemetery Company, who bought 17 acres of land in the area for £3,500.
Shopping and culture
The high street boasts a number of independent boutiques. Institutions include Highgate Butchers, Bailey & Saunders Highgate Pharmacy, Highgate Bookshop, Brooksby Newsagents and the bakery Highgate Pantry, while on Archway Road a slightly edgier selection of outlets, including Wild Guitars, can be found. Named after Roald Dahl’s imaginary crocodile, notsobig is a children’s clothes boutique on the High Street stocking clothes for newborns to 16 year olds.
Eating and drinking
Watering holes in and around the village include the Bull, dog-friendly Red Lion and Sun, and historic pub The Flask, parts of which date back to before the 18th century.
Locals’ favourite The Wrestler’s on North Road has a beer garden for summer drinking and open fires for cosy winter evenings. Nearer the tube station, Boogaloo hosts live bands and club nights for a merry band of locals.
Sports and leisure
For the artistically inclined, there’s plenty of local culture on offer; Jackson’s Lane is a hub for experimental art, while the historical Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution, established in 1839, runs a Tuesday night lecture series, courses in a range of subjects and houses a library, which specialises in Highgate and north London.
Upstairs at the Gatehouse is a small, award-winning fringe theatre in the upper room of the Gatehouse pub. It has its own in-house company, Ovation, which produces a varied programme of shows each year.
Local art galleries include Highgate Contemporary Art and North and South Ideas Gallery, both on the High Street. Lauderdale House also puts on exhibitions, fairs and workshops, as well as performances and can be hired out for weddings and children’s parties.
Waterlow Park provides 20-acres of grassland with some of the best views in London for those in need of a peaceful spot to walk the dog or go for a jog.