Barnet Commons – old and new

The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) is a month-long celebration of architecture and city-making that takes place every June across London. This year, for the first time, Barnet is an official destination in the LFA’s exciting and varied programme of events. The Barnet Society is delighted at the chance to introduce new visitors (and reintroduce old friends) to Chipping Barnet’s historic centre and the lovely countryside that almost completely surrounds our town.

This year’s LFA theme is ‘In Common’, so we’re leading four walks that we’re calling Barnet commons – old and new. Our Chair Frances Wilson, Vice President Jenny Remfry and I will guide walkers around some of the almshouse gardens and newer shared spaces in and around the town centre.

We’ll see fine architecture including (depending on the walk) the remarkable Arts & Crafts Thomas Watson Cottage Homes, Ravenscroft Cottages and the modern New Ground co-housing for older women. We’ll ramble across remains of the ancient Barnet Common as well as more recent parks such as Highlands Gardens and Ravenscroft Park. And we’ll pass allotments, climb Whitings Hill and follow the secluded Dollis Brook. All these places are inspiring examples of common space across the centuries.

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