Dull area of north London between Highgate and Kentish Town, named after the arched tunnel that was originally dug under the east-west road in the early 1800s to create a north-south bypass, feeding traffic away from Highgate and onto the Great North Road. The underground work collapsed, and was replaced by a northward road, called Archway Road, and an overhead bridge carrying Hornsey Lane. This large bridge over a very busy road is commonly called Suicide Bridge, for obvious reasons.

That's the rationale for the suburb of Archway, and it's hard to say that there's anything else there. There is nothing notable to see, and no more history than the story of the archway. There's a Tube station at the crossroads, on the Northern Line between Tufnell Park and Highgate. Actually this was the original "Highgate" tube station, opened in 1907. In 1939 it was renamed "Archway (Highgate)", in 1941 "Highgate (Archway)" and finally just "Archway" in 1947. The present Highgate station, the next one up, opened in 1941.

Entering the crossroads from the south are Holloway Road and Junction Road, and leaving it to the north as well as Archway Road (which is the A1) is Highgate Hill.

A little up Highgate Hill is the Whittington Hospital, which like many nearby places is named after Dick Whittington, who turned around there; or was advised to by his cat or by the bells of London, according to legend.

Oolong, who lives there, makes various extravagant claims, such as that it's distinguished by (a) a swimming pool, (b) a Quasar (a kind of place for firing pretend laser beams at people, is it?), and (c) being too inner-city to count as a suburb. To this I might add a municipal library, several lesser supermarkets, a large plumbing shop, and the world's hardest-to-cross intersection. No doubt if I lived there I'd boast of these too.

And a Dick Turpin connection. Try and keep him out of North London, dear reader.

Arch"way (#), n.

A way or passage under an arch.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.