East Finchley is an area in north London, in the London Borough of Barnet, and situated 5.4 miles (8.7 km) north-west of Charing Cross. Geographically it is somewhat separate from the rest of Finchley, with North Finchley and West Finchley to the north, and Finchley Central to the west.
The land on which most of East Finchley now stands was once part of the Bishop of London's hunting ground, named Finchley Common, first recorded around 1400. The Bishop of London built a road through his land which weaved through what is now Market Place, The Walks, King Street and Oak Lane up to the north. As a result, pubs such as The White Lion, The Bald Faced Stag and The Five Bells (on East End Road), all of which survive today, sprang up to provide rest for the people using the road.
The area of "East Finchley Village" around Church Lane was west of the common and Bulls Lane (now Church Lane) dates back to at least the 17th century. With the coming of the Great Northern Railway in 1868 the area began to emerge, and property was built gradually between the 1870s and the 1930s. However, it was not until 1914 that a more recognisable East Finchley High Road and surrounding area was visible.