Old Church Farm Museum
About the farmhouse - The Church Farmhouse Museum is a Grade II listed 17th century farmhouse in Hendon, north London. It is the oldest-surviving dwelling in London. The red brick, two storeys and three gables are typical of architecture in 17th century Middlesex. Inside are a period kitchen, a scullery and two exhibition spaces. Outside is a large garden with a pond.
Austerity measures - In 2011, funding was withdrawn from the museum by Barnet Council in spite of much local opposition among a number of other local-council austerity measures in the country. The museum closed in March 2011. The final exhibition was “Harry Beck and the London Tube Map”. The building was put on the market shortly after but remained unsold at the start of 2014.
Selling of collection - After comments were made about the disposal of the museum’s collection, Councillor Robert Rams, said, “The money from these items will be used to fund the upkeep and development of the retained local items as well as helping us to maintain and develop the local studies collection.” However, some local residents remained unhappy with the decision.
History of the farmhouse – The home formerly belonged to the Dunlop family who lived there from 1869 to 1943. During World War Two, the council bought farmhouse, outbuildings and the adjoining land. Recently, the house has been used to show how an ordinary family once lived.
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The London Borough of Barnet, the owners of the Museum, closed it on 31 March 2011 as part of their austerity measures and made the staff redundant. Regrettably, the general interest shown by HADAS (the Hendon And District Archaeological Society) in maintaining the Museum as part of their activities did not bear fruit. More info at www.barnet.gov.uk