Hidden London

Turnpike Lane

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Haringey

The southern tip of Wood Green, where the High Road meets Harringay’s Green Lanes. Turnpike Lane itself runs west to Hornsey and was formerly called Tottenham Lane, as it still is further to the south-west. In the early 18th century the road through Wood Green became increasingly busy as travellers sought a route that avoided the Whetstone turnpike on the Great North Road. An act of 1710 authorised the introduction of a turnpike at Hornsey although tolls were not levied until 1739. The Stamford Hill and Green Lanes Turnpike Trust finally erected a gate here in 1765. For the next 27 years this was the only tollgate on Green Lanes, which at that time extended much further north. Riding Black Bess, the highwayman Dick Turpin allegedly leapt the spike-topped gate on one occasion, when pursued by a posse led by the chief constable of Westminster. The turnpike system was abolished in 1872 and the gate was dismantled. By this time, the Wellington public house was standing at the corner of Turnpike Lane and the High Road, now the site of a Burger King restaurant. Turnpike Lane station opened in 1932 on the newly extended section of the Piccadilly line from Finsbury Park to Arnos Grove. The art deco Turnpike Parade was built beside the station entrance, with a cinema that survived until the enlargement of the neighbouring bus station in 1999. Together with Westbury Avenue, which runs north-east towards Tottenham, Turnpike Lane has become a low-rent overspill from the retail agglomeration of Wood Green. Much of the lane is now lined with shops, takeaways and hairdressers serving the diverse local community, which includes recent immigrants from the eastern Mediterranean as well as longer-established residents originating from the Caribbean and the South Asian sub-continent – especially Bangladesh.

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Turnpike Lane bus station

Postal district: N8, bordering N15 and N22
Station: Piccadilly line (zone 3)

Decorative ventilation grille, Turnpike Lane stn
 
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