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Mill Hill
Mill hill village2009.JPG
A sign marking Mill Hill Village
Mill Hill is located in Greater London
Mill Hill
Mill Hill
Population 18,451 (2011 Census, ward)
OS grid reference TQ225925
• Charing Cross 9 mi (14.5 km) SSE
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district NW7
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
  • Hendon
London Assembly
  • Barnet and Camden
List of places
51°37′N 0°14′W / 51.62°N 0.23°W / 51.62; -0.23

Mill Hill is a suburb in the London Borough of Barnet, England. It is situated around 9 miles (14 km) northwest of Charing Cross. Mill Hill was in the historic county of Middlesex until 1965, when it became part of Greater London. Its population counted 18,451 inhabitants as of 2011.

Mill Hill consists of several distinct parts: the original Mill Hill Village; the later-developed Mill Hill Broadway (now the main hub of the area); and Mill Hill East - alongside large swathes of countryside. A further area at the western edge of the suburb, The Hale, is on the borders of Mill Hill and Edgware, and is partly in each.


1894 Carl Zeiss subsidiary in London (6892932398)
Carl Zeiss outlet in Mill Hill in 1894

The area's name was first recorded as Myllehill in 1547 and appears to mean "hill with a windmill". However, the workings of the original Mill are in the building adjacent to The Mill Field. Mill Hill Village is the oldest known inhabited part of the district, a ribbon development along a medieval route called 'The Ridgeway'. It is thought that the name 'Mill Hill' may be derived from a mill on The Ridgeway, built on an area of open ground (now a park) known as The Mill Field. The village is bounded on the north and the south by Green Belt land, and its High Street, at 100 yards, is the shortest in London. The area's proximity to the city made it popular as a country retreat from the 17th century onwards, and large houses and quaint cottages survive. William Wilberforce (MP, and abolitionist of the slave trade) and Sir Stamford Raffles (founder of colonial Singapore) both briefly resided here, the former being the patron of Mill Hill’s first church, Saint Paul’s. As late as 1960 five shops existed in the Village (Griffin's sub-Post Office, The Blenheim Steps, Cook & Son (sweets and groceries), Hawes Brothers (grocers) and Vincett's (butchers)) but although the buildings survive, they have all since been converted into private houses, as the retail focus in the area shifted to Mill Hill Broadway. As of February 2011, the only places in Mill Hill Village where money can be spent are The Three Hammers and Adam & Eve pubs and Belmont Farm (which includes the Waffle Café).


Inglis Barracks at Mill Hill East was home to the Middlesex Regiment between 1905 and 1966. The 1941 reopening of the railway station, under war-time conditions, was to allow easy access to the barracks.

Situated along Partingdale Lane is Seafield House. Now a private home, it was originally designed and operated as a nuclear bunker to house and protect the 'London North Group' emergency regional government between about 1951 and 1985.


Mill Hill's postal address is London NW7 (which also covers part of Arkley).

Mill Hill Village

The village is a ribbon development along The Ridgeway. It has green belt either side.

"Partingdale" and "Burtonhole" form a distinct valley north of The Ridgeway. North is Folly Farm and Folly Brook, a tributary of the Dollis Brook, running west to east. Between The Ridgeway and Folly Brook are the National Institute for Medical Research, Burtonhole Farm, a garden centre called Finchley Nurseries, and several sports grounds.

Arrandene Open Space and Featherstone Hill is a large open space which is bordered by Wise Lane, Wills Grove, Milespit Hill and The Ridgeway. While there are many open spaces in the area, Arrandene is unique because of its many open fields, meadows and woodland. The open fields were originally hay meadows which provided feed for the horses pulling carriages north to Barnet and beyond.

On Milespit Hill, there is a non-denominational Mill Hill Cemetery, formerly known as the "Paddington District Cemetery". The 1960s pop singer Billy Fury is buried there. The cemetery also contains 53 Second World War Commonwealth war graves and The Netherlands Field of Honour, which contains the graves of more than 250 servicemen of the Netherlands, many of them having been brought to the cemetery from other United Kingdom burial grounds.

To the southwest of Mill Hill Village is a small suburban district called "Poets' Corner", and to the north an old estate, now a nature reserve, Moat Mount Open Space.

Mill hill broadway 2009
Mill Hill Broadway towards Mill Hill Circus

Mill Hill Broadway

The modern-day centre of Mill Hill is at Mill Hill Broadway (previously known as Lawrence Street). This is a suburban district which developed from the 1890s onwards, and especially in the early part of the 20th century, after the arrival of the Midland Railway station in 1868. The Broadway itself is now an important local retail area with numerous shops and cafes and transport links.

Mill Hill East

Bittacy hill looking towards holders hill cir
Bittacy Hill looking towards Holders Hill Circus

Parts of the eastern side of Mill Hill have recently undergone redevelopment, with the old gas works replaced by a Waitrose supermarket and housing developments. The small local retail area at Mill Hill East is at "Kelly’s Corner" (officially Holders Hill Circus) east of the station. To the south of Mill Hill East are Copthall and Holders Hill.

The United Kingdom / Carl Zeiss / Bausch & Lomb Optical Works was established at the top of Bittacy Hill in 1912 and demolished about 1990, to be replaced by a large building owned by the Jehovah's Witnesses, to complement their nearby Watchtower House built on the site of the former Bittacy House.


Mill Hill electoral ward of Barnet has a population of 18,451 as of the 2011 UK Census. The census also showed that ethnically, 64% of the population is White (49% White British, 13% Other White, 2% Irish). The largest minorities were the 7% identifying themselves as Indian, 6% as Other Asian, and 6% as Black African. On religion, 39% identified as Christian, 19% Jewish, 14% no religion, 12% Muslim, 5% Hindu, 2% other religion and 8% religion not stated. The most spoken foreign language was Persian/Farsi. The majority of the 6,875 households are tenure owned. The vast majority (4,602) of the properties are in the "whole house or bungalow" category, of which most are semi-detached. 4.1% of economically active people were unemployed. The median age was 35.


Neighbouring areas


1930 OS map, showing Mill Hill to the east and in the centre, and Edgware to the west. The east-west railway line to the west of Mill Hill East station, on the right, was completely closed in 1964, and some sections of the track bed have since been built on. Inglis Barracks is at the top-right.


Stations in the area are:

The area was also served by another smaller station, Mill Hill (The Hale), opened by the Edgware, Highgate and London Railway in 1867, but passenger services ended in 1939, and freight traffic in 1964.

The branch was opened in 1867 as part of the Edgware, Highgate and London Railway, which also built the attractive Dollis Brook Viaduct to the east of the station. It originally continued west to Edgware and east to the Great Northern main line at Finsbury Park station, following the present Northern line route as far as Highgate.

In 1935, as part of the London Transport New Works Programme, plans were announced to modernise and electrify the railway and transfer it to the London Underground. Work was started, and steam passenger services between Edgware and Finchley Central were withdrawn in September 1939 to facilitate it. However, World War II soon caused the project to be cut short. The Finchley Central – Mill Hill East section had wartime priority (due to the Inglis Barracks) and was completed in 1941, but the plans to complete the modernisation and restart passenger services to Edgware were never resumed and were abandoned in 1950.

Steam freight trains continued to run between Finchley and Edgware until 1964; the track beyond Mill Hill East was lifted the following year. Although partly built over, including by the M1 motorway, most of the old track bed has become a footpath, and decaying 1930s concrete infrastructure, never used, can still be seen.


London Buses routes serving Mill Hill are 113, 114, 186, 221, 240, 251, 292, 302, 303, 305, 382, 605, 614, 628, 644, 688 and N113.


A41 Mill Hill S
The A41 in Mill Hill facing south

The A1 and A41 converge as they enter Mill Hill at Fiveways Corner, this section is known as the Watford Way. The dual carriageway passes through Mill Hill, and the routes diverge at Apex Corner (officially Northway Circus). The M1 motorway was built through the western part of Mill Hill in 1967. There is a disused southbound exit slip road which passes under the Watford Way and which covers part of the old railway between Mill Hill East and Edgware Town.


Mill Hill East has been designated by the Mayor of London in his London Plan as a 'proposed area of intensification', in and around the Inglis Barracks site. As a result, Barnet Council designated the 'Mill Hill East Area Action Plan' (AAP) and carried out public consultation events. An at-times noisy 'examination in public', to test the ‘soundness’ of the Council's submitted AAP proposals, was held in October 2008, conducted by the Planning Inspectorate, and the subsequent report broadly agreed with the Council's plans.

Representations were made to the Planning Inspectorate to reopen the railway line from Mill Hill East station to the west.

A small victory for local protesters was that the report reaffirmed that a local closed road, Sanders Lane, would not be reopened for traffic, if only because the road was outside the AAP boundary (this had already conceded by the council) and would need separate consideration. However, speakers at the enquiry drew attention to the 'co-incidence' that a collector road proposed in the AAP happened to meet the main road (Bittacy Hill) exactly opposite the short section of Sanders Lane still open to traffic. They suggested to the inspector that it was no coincidence at all, but the matter was left unresolved. The inspector stated in his report of December 2008:

Sanders Lane is outside the AAP boundary. Many of the matters that concern local residents and expressed at the Hearings can be addressed at a later stage.

The amended AAP was formally adopted by the Council on 27 January 2009.

Invention and discovery

Mill hill observatory 2009
University of London Observatory

In 1749 the botanist Peter Collinson inherited an estate which is now part of Mill Hill School, here he created a botanical garden. The lexicographer James Murray started work on the first Oxford English Dictionary in 1879, whilst teaching at Mill Hill School. He had a building built in the school grounds to house the quotation slips and his small editorial staff. Murray called this building his scriptorium, when the project moved to Oxford the building was used by the school as a reading room.

During the Second World War the Maudsley Hospital moved to the evacuated Mill Hill School as the Mill Hill Emergency Hospital. Here John C. Raven developed a verbal intelligence test called the Mill Hill Vocabulary scale.

University of London Observatory is a teaching astronomical observatory which is part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University College London. It is situated on the A41 Watford Way, southeast of The Broadway. The Observatory was opened on 8 October 1929 by the Astronomer Royal Frank Watson Dyson. In 2009, student astronomers at the observatory tracked the extrasolar planet HD 80606 b and for the first time accurately calculated its size.

The National Institute for Medical Research is a large medical research facility situated on the Ridgeway. Researchers at the Institute have, amongst other achievements, developed liquid and gas chromatography, discovered interferon and also discovered the sex determining gene SRY.

Religious sites

There are several religious institutions along the Ridgeway, including:

  • The Missionary Institute (which was present on the Ridgeway until 2007)
  • Holcombe House (part of the Institute)
  • the motherhouse of the British Province of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul
  • until 2007, Saint Joseph's College, a large seminary.
  • The Jehovah's Witnesses have had a centre since 1958, and they redeveloped the Carl Zeiss optical works to become the International Bible Students' Association in 1988.
  • The Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, an African church next to the Village Pond at the junction of Milespit Hill, High Street and The Ridgeway, occupying the former Methodist Church.
  • Mill Hill Synagogue is located near Mill Hill Broadway station. The Synagogue joined the United Synagogue as an affiliated synagogue in 1950.
  • John Keble Church, Mill Hill


Old Cholmeleians Sports Ground is on Hendon Wood Lane, and provides facilities for football and cricket. It is the home base for Old Cholmeleians Cricket Club.

The local rugby club is Mill Hill Rugby Football Club established in 1937 with 2 men's teams. The 1st XV currently compete in Herts Middlesex 2 and the 2nd XV are in the Herts and Middlesex Merit leagues.

Mill Hill darts team, the current Middlesex Superleague champions, are based at Mill Hill Services Club.


Mill Hill School May 6th 2004(2)
School House at Mill Hill School

Primary schools

  • Courtland, a mixed community school
  • Deansbrook Infant, mixed community school
  • Deansbrook Junior, mixed community school
  • Dollis Infant, a mixed community school
  • Dollis Junior, a mixed foundation school (now merged with Dollis Infant to form Dollis Primary)
  • Fairway, a mixed community school
  • Grimsdell, an independent co-educational pre-preparatory school run by Mill Hill School Foundation
  • Mathilda Marks Kennedy, a mixed Jewish voluntary aided school
  • St. Martin's, an independent co-educational preparatory school
  • St. Paul's CE a mixed, voluntary aided school
  • St. Vincent's Catholic Primary School
  • Etz Chaim Primary School, Free school
  • Millbrook Park Primary School

Secondary schools

  • Copthall School, a community girls school
  • Mill Hill County High School, a mixed foundation school

Independent schools

The Mill Hill School Foundation runs the following schools:

  • Mill Hill School – an independent boarding and day school for pupils aged 13–18
  • Grimsdell – a pre-preparatory day school for pupils aged 3–7
  • Belmont School – a day school for pupils aged 7–13
  • The Mount School/ Mill Hill International – a mixed day and boarding school for international pupils aged 11–16
  • Cobham Hall School – an independent day and boarding school for girls in the English parish of Cobham, Kent

Notable people

The racing driver Graham Hill lived at Mill Hill for much of his adult life, along with his son Damon Hill. Their house in Parkside has a blue plaque. The botanist Peter Collinson and the English traveller Celia Fiennes both lived here. The playwright and novelist Michael Frayn was born in Mill Hill. Actor Patrick McGoohan lived on The Ridgeway with his wife and three daughters. Fellow actor Patrick Troughton, best known as the second Doctor from Doctor Who, was born in Mill Hill and lived in Shakespeare Road. Other actors John Slater, Ian Carmichael (Nan Clark's Lane) and Graham Crowden (Hammers Lane) also lived locally. The founder of Singapore Sir Stamford Raffles, the abolitionist William Wilberforce, and the parliamentarian John Wilkes all lived locally. Pop singer Paul Young has lived at Hyver Hall, and songwriter Mitch Murray lived in Sunnyfield for many years. British billionaire retail entrepreneur Mike Ashley lived on Totteridge Lane. Pop singer Rachel Stevens from S Club 7 currently lives in Mill Hill. In addition, pop group Girls Aloud also resided at nearby Princess Park Manor. Actress Angela Lansbury lived with her parents at 7 Weymouth Avenue for the first half of the 1930s. Bandleader Edmundo Ros lived for many years in Page Street at Edritt House, named after himself and his wife.

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