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High Barnet or Chipping Barnet is a suburban market town in north London, a part of the London Borough of Barnet. The settlement is located 10+1*2 miles (17 km) north of Charing Cross, 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Borehamwood, 5.2 miles (8.4 km) west of Enfield and 3.2 miles (5.1 km) south of Potters Bar. In 2011, its population included East Barnet, New Barnet, Hadley Wood, Monken Hadley, Cockfosters and Arkley.
The town’s name is commonly abbreviated to Barnet, which is also the name of the borough of which it is a part. Barnet has been a part of Greater London since 1965, following the abolition of Barnet Urban District in Hertfordshire. It is also the name of the local Parliamentary constituency – the word “Chipping” refers to the area’s market, which was established here at the end of the 12th century and is still active today. The town centre of Chipping Barnet is one of London’s highest urban settlements, standing at a height of about 427 feet (130 meters).
The legendary Barnet Market in London turns 820 this year (2018). During November 1199, King John issued a charter to the Abbot of St. Albans, John de Cella, for a market at Barnet. From 1894, Chipping Barnet was a civil parish in Hertfordshire, part of the Barnet Urban District. After the parish was abolished in 1965, the Chipping Barnet section of its former area was transferred from Hertfordshire to Greater London and the newly created London Borough of Barnet. The parish had a population of 1,258 in 1801 and a total area of 1,440 acres (5.8 km2). By 1901, the parish had been reduced to 380 acres (1.5 km2) and had a population of 2,893.
East Barnet Urban District and Barnet Urban District were abolished under the London Government Act 1963, and their areas were transferred to Greater London to become the London Borough of Barnet today. In the early 21st century, a tongue-in-cheek movement urging the name Barnet to be changed to “Barnét” began gaining public attention and national media coverage, with public road signs frequently changing to accommodate the accented character.
The London Plan designates Chipping Barnet as a neighbourhood centre. The tower of St John the Baptist parish church at the top of Barnet Hill claims to be the highest point between itself and the Ural mountains 2,000 miles away (3,200 km) to the east. Nevertheless, the same can be said about numerous other points as well. Since the railway opened, development has increased considerably, especially in the west of the area near Arkley. The High Street in Barnet is 427 feet (130 m) above sea level, and the southern land is no less than 295 feet (90 m).