Finchley Road, NW3

It was originally named Finchley New Road and it was built as a turnpike to provide a bypass to a much hillier route north through the village of Hampstead. Haverstock Hill and Rosslyn Hill in Hampstead were difficult for horses with carriages to negotiate when muddy.

The Finchley Road Act was passed in 1826 and by 1835, the new turnpike road was complete. It ran north from what was then called the ’New Road’ (now Euston Road and Marylebone Road). Four miles further north, the road crosses the boundary of Finchley and its name becomes Regents Park Road (after the reverse destination). Originally there was a tollgate at Childs Hill.

Once Finchley Road was finished in the 1830s, many large houses were built alongside it – especially at Fortune Green and Childs Hill.

By 1856 up to ten Atlas Line stage coaches a day ran along Finchley Road. Atlas Line was based at Swiss Cottage. Bus services started before 1880. Motor buses had replaced horse omnibuses by 1911.

Today the route follows the A41 which becomes Finchley Road at St John’s Wood tube station and runs to the North Circular Road at Henlys Corner.

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