The Finchley end of Forts Green was part of the land held by the Bishop of London. His ' Great Park ' extended to about where East Finehley Underground Station now stands, with a curving boundary to The Spaniards Inn and The Gatehouse, Highgate. Bishop's Avenue was within the Park. Bordering the Great Park were certain freehold lands belonging to the Bishop of London who was Lord of the Manors of Finchley and Hornsey. These included the Waste along Fortis Green and a field running along the High Road, between Fortis Green and Cherry Tree Woods. The eastern side of the field ran about where Park Hall Road now stands, to give a total area of about twelve, or thirteen acres. 12In the 1820s, Nevil Smart, a developer, built four houses on this field.

Nevil Smarts houses. Built about 1820

The first house Nevil Smart built was No 1 Park Place, at the corner of Fords Green and the High Road, where Barclays Bank now stands. No 2 he sold to Charles Mahood; No 3 went to Isaac Sutton Cooper, who himself became a developer later; and No 4, built in 1822, to John Lowe. Most houses had about one and a half acres of land, but No. 3 was larger. Sutton Cooper later acquired No 4 as well and the whole became known as Park Hall. It was described as a very fine building, but unfortunately we know little about it as the auction particulars were destroyed when the Guildhall Library was bombed, in 1941.



12 Nevil Smart, Barnet Press and Finchley News, 14 Dec 1935

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