Concept

Burnt Oak

Summary
Burnt Oak is a suburb of London, England, located northwest of Charing Cross. It lies to the west of the M1 motorway between Edgware and Colindale, located predominantly in the London Borough of Barnet, with parts in the London Boroughs of Brent and Harrow. It was part of Middlesex until it was transferred to Greater London in 1965. The earliest recorded use of the name Burnt Oak was in 1754, when it was used to refer to a field on the eastern side of Edgware Road (Watling Street) in the Ancient Parish of Hendon. The name originates from the fact that the field had contained an ancient oak tree some time before the 1750s, having been burned by a lightning strike. The tree stood at the boundary of the Little Stanmore parish with the Kingsbury parish. Parts of modern-day Burnt Oak lie on what was once a 33-acre field known as Sheves Hill Common Field. However, outside of Sheves Hill, most areas of farmland had been owned by the Goldbeaters Farm since the 14th century. The Goldbeaters estate may have originated in a grant of land and rent by John le Bret to William of Aldenham, goldbeater of London, in 1308. John Goldbeater held a house and some land of the manor of Hendon in 1321. This land had been cultivated for hay and became enclosed by the late 1500s. A known custom from the area from the early 19th century had been established by hay farmers, who would assemble at the Bald Faced Stag pub and lead a procession to London. By the 1840s, two other notable farms existed in the area, known as Burntoak Farm and Redhill Farm, both also producing hay alongside being used as livery stables. In the 19th century, Sheves Hill field was rented out in divisions of land to 46 tenants, and later became the site of the Hendon Union Workhouse, commonly known as Redhill Workhouse, in 1838. The institution housed around 130 inmates in 1863, and was governed by Rev. Theodore Williams, Vicar of Hendon, who developed a reputation for cruelty toward inmates. The infirmary of the workhouse is now the site of Edgware Community Hospital.
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