Visit Highgate



Nothing is known of the village area before the 13th Century, though prehistoric and Roman occupation have been found in the area. Its originated as the site of a toll gate controlling the south-eastern entrance to the mediaeval Bishop of London’s 1,000-acre Deer Park.  The name Highgate probably derives from the existence of the toll gate at the top of the hill; but it could also derive from the Old English Haia Gat – the road through the boundary hedge.

Much of the area was owned by the Bishops of London until the end of the 19th century (according to ancient charters, from the early 7th century), when the land was sold for development. The name Bishopswood Road records the name of the large and ancient Bishop’s Wood, which was destroyed, though many of its veteran oaks still survive. It started to grow in the 15th century, with the foundation of Highgate School in 1565. By the 17th century had become a fashionable place to live, where the wealthy built substantial mansions., and by the 18th century it was a thriving small country town. In 1813 the Archway Road was built as a by-pass to Highgate Hill, which was almost impassable for horse-drawn traffic in winter.

The High Street still retains fragments of its ancient coaching inn yards; it was the last stop on the main livestock droving road from the north to London’s Smithfield meat market, and over the centuries has had over 40 pubs and inns.

Highgate has long been split between two Boroughs; the boundary between Camden and Haringey – formerly between St.Pancras and Hornsey – runs down the middle of the High Street, which causes great difficulties for holistic local town planning.

There is a Highgate in Vermont, a Highgate Ostrich Farm in South Africa, a Highgate Hill in Brisbane and a Highgate in Adelaide, all named for Highgate, London., Highgate in Perth, Australia, is probably named for Highgate in Kent.

Highgate School

Highgate School

Highgate is one of the UK’s leading co-educational independent schools. Founded over 450 years ago, we provide means-tested bursaries and welcome pupils, aged 3 to 18, from a range of backgrounds across London. Highgate offers high-calibre, academically-minded teaching with a focus on scholarship...

Jackson’s Lane

Jackson’s Lane

For the best in contemporary theatre and circus, a wide range of arts-based classes and activities and a large-scale outreach programme for hard-to-reach communities. A cultural and creative hub.Map ref: 3; Grid ref: T7