Open House Festival

Jackson Lane Arts Centre

art studio, community/cultural, theatre

W.H. Boney, 1905

Jacksons Lane, 269a Archway Road, N6 5AA

Jacksons Lane’s year-round programme of contemporary performance, arts participation and cultural education exists to empower, and ignite creativity within, diverse communities & work tirelessly to overcome traditional barriers through art.

Getting there






43, 134, 263

Additional travel info

Jacksons Lane is located in Highgate, north London. We are situated within a strong network of transport links into central London, and directly opposite Highgate Underground Station. We can be reached easily by tube, bus or car.



Accessibility notes

As part of our 2021 redevelopment, we have worked hard to ensure that our building is both more physically accessible than ever before, as well as being more accessible to visitors with non-visible disabilities. To find out more please visit our website



Jackson’s Lane is said to have been named after Joseph B Jackson, who was a resident of Highgate in the early 19th-century. The lane itself was longer than it is today, stretching down past Archway Road, in a route which is now Shepherd’s Hill.

In 1893, construction began on a plot of land sitting in the corner of Jackson’s Lane and Archway Road. The Highgate Wesleyan Methodist church was completed in 1905. Designed by William Henry Boney, a Highgate resident himself, the church, along with a church hall and Sunday School, were built in red brick with stone dressing, in the early Gothic style.

The beginnings of Jacksons Lane

A proposal to widen Archway Road had been released in 1964, putting the very existence of the building under threat.

In the early seventies, the building stopped operating as a church and the building was taken over by Haringey Council in 1973. The very same year, the building received Grade II listing.

A group of local residents petitioned the council for use of the space, and after several years of campaigning, they were granted a lease, along with a small grant to redevelop the space. Jacksons Lane opened as a cultural hub for north London in 1975.

However, the Archway Road Widening Scheme was still a subject of debate, with the first of many public enquires taking place the same year Jacksons Lane received it’s Grade II listing. Jacksons Lane, alongside 170 houses, lived under the threat of demolition. In 1984, Jeremy Corbyn MP spoke passionately in the House of Commons against the plans.

The looming shadow of the bulldozers did not deter the founders of Jacksons Lane. A major fundraising campaign was launched to develop the facilities. Architects Tim Ronalds oversaw the improvements to the building, which included a fully equipped, raked theatre being installed into what was the church hall and schoolroom. The new theatre was opened in the 1980s.

The building you see today

By 2020, the building was struggling to serve both its local and artistic community. Another huge fundraising campaign was launched. Arts Council England and Haringey Council provided £2.5 million and £1.25 million respectively for the work, and hundreds of people dug into their pockets to help support the work. In November 2020, the redevelopment began, overseen by architects Citizens Design Bureau.

Jacksons Lane gradually came back to life as parts of the building were complete and reopened to the public. The theatre, accessed through a side entrance and a covered tunnel, welcomed its first audiences in September 2021. Bit by bit the building came back to life, culminating in grand reopening celebration on Saturday 2 April 2022.

Jacksons Lane is now fully accessible, with a brand-new ramp, and lift access to all floors. Sound installation has been installed. The theatre has new seats, and a new stage. The front of house areas have been opened up, making them brighter and airer, and providing more space to sit and enjoy this beautiful old building.

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