North London Railway South End

The North London Railway (ex Hampstead Junction) runs west from Gospel Oak Station but begins to turn south west after Hampstead Heath Station.

This posting covers only the north west quarter of the square
The south west corner of the square is Belsize Park.
The south east corner of the square is South End and Gospel Oak

Post square to the east Gospel Oak  and Gospel Oak and Kentish Town

Square to the west Hampstead

Byron Mews
Housing built in 1995 by developer, St.George’s, on the western end of the LCC Tramway Depot which fronted on to Cressy Street (in square to the east). The entrance is through a break in the terrace which appears to date from the Second World War or shortly after. Byron Mews is curved in form and is said to be ‘situated in a basin below the level of Fleet Road’.  This basin is not visible on older maps showing the tram depot and earlier.

Constantine Road
18 Clock Mosaic in the front paving showing the time at 12.20, the exact moment when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953.

Downshire Hill
Developed by William Coleman from 1812 on copyhold land owned by the Maryon Wilson family. The site had previously possibly been brickfields
32 Freemasons Arms. Large pub built in 1936 replaced a succession of previous pubs. The previous building was found to be unsafe during work to extend it and had to be demolished but dated to before 1819. The pub is said to be the only place where London Skittles is played with nine pins and with a lignum vitae cheese, which is thrown and not rolled at the pins. The skittle alley is in the pub cellar and put in when the pub was rebuilt. There is a Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
14a former school of St. Johns Church founded in 1830 had become St Stephen's National School by 1885. During the Great War it was used as a studio by the Carline family and meeting place for people called the Hampstead Set or the Downshire Hill Group.
St John's Chapel. Opened in 23 as a Proprietary chapel.    In 1813, the land for the building was bought by a builder William Woods, lawyer Edward Carlisle and James Curry, a Christian minister who financed it. St John’s was thus privately financed and not a parish church – called a proprietary chapel. It was founded within an Evangelical tradition. The copyhold of the chapel was bought by John Wilcox in order to carry on Whitefield’s legacy of preaching and some disputes ensued. In 1872, Henry Wright became minister and was associated with the Church Missionary Society and this used missionaries as his curates. The church may have been designed by Cockerell. . It is a stuccoed building which may once have had more ornament.  Inside is light with three galleries between columns. It was restored by Horace Field in 1896 and by Edward Cullinan in 1964-71, when the glass screens at the end were added.   The Bevington & Sons organ was built in 1873 and installed in 1880. There are wooden box pews lining the walls – some proprietary chapels replied on pew rents for income. Outside, below the bellcote is a black and gold clock made by John Moore and Son of Clerkenwell in 1823.

Fleet Road
154 White Horse pub.  Late 19th red brick public house. Rebuilt by J. T. Davies in 1904 with Albert E. Pridmore as Architect and C. Gray Hill Contractor.  It has decorative stone columns windows with leaded upper lights. Ironwork at ground floor level, full height stone pilasters, decorative stucco broken pediment with clock and surrounding balustrade at roof level.

Hampstead Hill Gardens
14-20 and 25-33. Development began in the 1870s with these stuccoed semi- detached villas.
The Hampstead tunnel on the Hampstead Junction Railway was built between Hampstead Heath Station and Finchley Road and Frognal Station in 1860 and lies unseen beneath Hampstead Hill Gardens. The tunnel is 1166 yards and has recently been refurbished and upgraded

Hampstead Ponds
This square covers Ponds 1 and 2 in Pryors Field.  The pond chains were originally formed from tributaries of the River Fleet which still flow through them. They were dammed 300 years ago and are thus “historic earth filled dams” and do not have engineered spillways. As reservoirs they provided drinking water until taken over by the Hampstead Water Company in 1692.  This was formed by William Paterson, founder of the Bank of England to exploit statutory powers belonging to the City Corporation since 1543.  The company was eventually taken over by the New River Company in 1856 for a perpetual rent of £3,500, and the water stopped being piped for domestic use. The Metropolitan Water Board eventually took over the New River Co and continued to leas the ponds until 1936, when it was not renewed.  They are now managed directly by the City Corporation. There are now some concerns about future possibilities of flooding and proposed work by the Corporation.  A lively protest movement has ensued.
Hampstead No.1 Pond. This is classified as a reservoir and inspected as such.
Hampstead No2 Pond There are 20 oak trees near. Fishing is allowed in this pond for pike, carp and roach

Heath Hurst Road
Originally called Heathhurst Road. 29 houses were built between 1897 and 1899. It was built on the site of a field behind Keats Grove, where cottages had to be developed to put the new road school.

Keats Grove
Was originally called Albion Grove and then John Street, developed from 1812 by William Coleman smart villas.
10 Keats House Built as one of a semi-detached pair called Wentworth Place. Built in 1814 by William Woods, a local builder. The larger side of the property was first occupied by Charles Wentworth Dilke while the smaller, eastern side was occupied by Charles Brown which is where John Keats lived in 1818, staying here for just 17 months before travelling to Italy. The other house was taken by Mrs. Brawne and her two daughters, and Keats fell in love with Fanny.  In the summer of 1820, he was advised, for the sake of his rapidly declining health, to go to live in Italy and he died In Rome. Fanny became curator of a museum opened to honour him, but then at last married. In 1838 the house was bought by Eliza Jane Chester who knocked through the walls to create a single house. In 1920, it was threatened with demolition the Keats Memorial Committee was set up to fund raise and the house was opened in 1924 by Quiller Couch with a Memorial Library next door opened by the Council. There is a Royal Society of Arts plaque from 1896 which says 'poet, lived in this house'
Library.  A discreetly designed branch 1931 by Sydney Trent.  It is now Keats Community Library which opened in 2012 taking over the building previously known as the Heath Library which was run by Camden Council. So it is one of these libraries run by unpaid staff.

Park End
Built on the site of the stagnant heath pond which filled in by developer Joseph Pickett

Parliament Hill
Originally called South Hill Park Road. Parliament Hill, the street, along with the South Hill Park area was built by Joseph Pickett from 1878 on land bought from the ecclesiastical commissioners which had been the northern part of South End Farm.  The railway had foaled to provide crossings to access this area. The road itself was intended to go north but was cut off by the development of Parliament Hill Fields as parkland.  The original houses are Ruskinesque Gothic
Parliament Court. A long block of 1930s art deco houses going up the hillside

Pond Street (East end of north side only)
So called because it led to a pond at South End Green, filled in 1835. South End Green, was later transformed by the London Street Tramways Co.'s extension to a terminus there. In 1886 the street was widened and run across the green
23 until recently used as offices. Recent archaeology has found the foundations of earlier buildings beneath them.
35 -35a terraced houses from the 18th with a studio extension- built in 1946 for graphic designer Frederick Henrion plus later rear extension by Richard Rogers. The houses themselves re in red brick
Drill Hall. This hall, built probably in the 1890s, is now a commercial fitness centre. It is also known as the Harben Armoury - part of charity run by the Cordwainers Company in association with the Royal Fusiliers.
Royal Free Staff Day Nursery – at one time Hampstead and North St Pancras Day Nursery

South End Green
Pond where two springs going into the Fleet.  Long-since filled-in Old pond at the end of South End Grove source of the river Fleet. The pond site was later used as the terminus for trams from the London Tramway Co.whose depot was just round the corner. It is now a bus route terminus.
Drinking fountain, erected in 1880 it is in granite Gothic style by J.H. Evin. The inscription says “This fountain was erected by Miss Crump of Hereford House in memory of her cousin Wm. Warburton Pearce Esqre. Who died March 1st 1872 also of her uncle James Bradley Chamberlain Esqre. Who died May 5th 1880. Every one come to the waters.  1880”. ”. Hereford House was in South end Green and Ann was housekeeper to James Bradley Chamberlain who was an Optician and his step-son William Warburton Pearce, an art dealer.
Toilets. These are classic, underground Edwardian lavatories, with wooden cubicles and in the gents two rows of urinals, with elaborate green and cream tiling, and lots of dark wood panelling
Tramway mens' shelter. This dark green timber building with shingled roof topped by a square louvred cupola is a purpose built tramwaymens' shelter from about 1893. The London Tramway Company had extended its trams to South End Green by 1886 and this shelter was provided for them – said to have been by a local resident, or by the London County Council
South End Close.  Built on the site of Pickett's Farm in 1920 by the local authority, as a large block containing 140 flats

South End Road
Holylands, or South End Farm, belonged to Westminster Abbey. When the Hampstead Junction Railway bought some of the farm it was divided into two and in 1881 the southern part went to T.E. Gibb, a Kentish Town developer.
1 bakers shop on the site of Booklovers Corner. Where George Orwell worked and based Keep the Aspidistra flying on it. A plaque and portrait bust of Orwell on the shop may no longer be there.
14 Garden Gate pub. This 19th pub used to be called The Railway.
Hampstead Heath Station. Opened in 1869 and it now lies between Gospel Oak Station and Finchley Road and Frognal Station on the North London Line, ex Hampstead Junction Railway. In 1890 there was a garden but on Easter Monday 1892 six people were killed in a crush at the station. It was bombed in the 1940s and has since been rebuilt in the 1990s in pseudo antique style. The station canopies are in concrete and installed in 1953.
Tower built over a well by the Hampstead Water Co. in 1835 with a steam pumping engine. This was eventually closed after 1870 by the New River Company. The building became a private house and was demolished in 1907 because of subsidence. It was on the east side of the road roughly where the road bends towards Willow Road.
71 Russell House, this is  one of a pair of 19th houses, with visible alterations by Voysey done in 1890 and  his earliest surviving work in London

South Hill Park
This is a 19th encroachment into the corner of the Heath. Only built because the Hampstead Heath Extension Act was not passed soon enough to stop it.
2a Magdala Tavern. Where Ruth Ellis shot her lover in 1955, allegedly the bullet holes are still there.  She was the last woman to be hanged in Britain.

St Crispin’s Close
Housing on the site of the Hampstead Heath station goods yard

Willow Road
2 part of a terrace of three houses designed by Ernő Goldfinger and completed in 1939. It has been managed by the National Trust since 1995. It was built as a family home to considerable public opposition

Borer. Hampstead and Highgate
British History on line. Camden. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Camden History Review
Freemasons Arms. Web site
GLIAS  Newsletter,
Hillman. London Under London
Grace’s Guide. Web site
London Borough of Camden. Web site
London Gardens On line. Web site
Mitchell and Smith. North London Line
Pevsner and Cherry.  London North
St.Johns Church. Web site
Wade. Hampstead Past


M. said…
many thanks for the post, as someone working in the area I found it very interesting. this kind of information is really not easy to find online

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