Road after road was built until, by 1939, the back fences of Abbots Gardens and Howard Walk reached the trees of Elmhurst, which Anthony Salvin, the architect who had built in Fortis Green, had left in the 1860s. Anne Salvin, Anthony's daughter, wrote that 'the house is closely shut in with trees in all directions', so that today any really large tree still left on that boundary may have been planted by Anthony Salvin himself.

After Salvin left, Elmhurst it became a private house, a school, and finally the house of Alderman Pulliam, Mayor of Finchley. In 1939 it was was sold by auction. By that time Salvin's view across the valley to Bishop's Wood had been blocked by Hampstead Garden Suburb, and later by the buildings of Falloden Way and Brim Hill. As the auctioneer said in his sales notice, Elmhurst was 'in a locality which has been in demand for residential purposes for many years and comprises practically the last available site of its size in the district.'

The site was zoned for residential purposes at a density of twelve houses to the acre on the frontage, to a depth of 150 feet and at a density of ten houses to the acre on the remainder. The old house was demolished in 1939, to be replaced by Elmhurst Crescent and Pulham Avenue. Hampstead Garden Suburb had spread from its old centre at The Institute right up to the Bald Faced Stag?

Similar developments were taking place elsewhere in Muswell Hill, where the Church was selling off even more land. Coldfall Woods north of Creighton Avenue, which had lost land for Tollington (now Fortismere School ) playing field, years before, was being developed. By 1935 Twyford Avenue and Church Vale were complete and two more roads were marked out ready for development.

In 1930 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners had granted a lease to Ernest Nathan, of Cansick of Royston, and Chumley Crescent, Highgate, who was a builder. Two years later he had built Church Vale and was selling the houses. One lease reads:

'the site, the messuage or dwelling house, motor car house and buildings erected thereon for £1375 and a ground rent of £12 per annum.'

The site was 191 feet deep by 36 feet wide and, like the Greenhalgh Walk ones, it was set in a wide road and well built. These houses, designed for professional people and managers, were among the top of the range for speculative building.

It was only when the lower half of Coldfall Wood was bought as a public open space that the erosion of the Wood was stopped. After 1945 the houses marched again: the allotments along Coppetts Road were quickly covered with houses and finally the Coldfall School Playing Field, a wide, open space with splendid views, was sold off and well.

Then, in 1994 there was a Public Inquiry into the status of the remaining Coldfall School grounds. The DoE inspector told Haringey that these should be designated as metropolitan open land, which would rule out further development. However, in February 1995 it is reported that Haringey may decide to ignore the inspector's report and may sell sell off the land. I do not know about later developments here.



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