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Hampstead Heath Buy House ((LINK))

Hampstead Heath is an ancient heath in London, spanning 320 hectares (790 acres).[1] This grassy public space sits astride a sandy ridge, one of the highest points in London, running from Hampstead to Highgate, which rests on a band of London Clay.[2] The heath is rambling and hilly, embracing ponds, recent and ancient woodlands, a lido, playgrounds, and a training track, and it adjoins the former stately home of Kenwood House and its estate. The south-east part of the heath is Parliament Hill, from which the view over London is protected by law.

hampstead heath buy house


The heath first entered the history books in 986 when Ethelred the Unready granted one of his servants five hides of land at "Hemstede". This same land is later recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as held by the monastery of St. Peter's at Westminster Abbey, and by then is known as the "Manor of Hampstead".[4] Westminster held the land until 1133 when control of part of the manor was released to one Richard de Balta; then during Henry II's reign the whole of the manor became privately owned by Alexander de Barentyn, the King's butler. Octavia Hill and the Commons Preservation Society campaigned for the Heath to be protected under law culminating in the 1871 Hampstead Heath Act which states that it would be "of great advantage to the inhabitants of the Metropolis if the Heath were always kept unenclosed and unbuilt on, its natural aspect and state being as far as may be preserved."[5][6][7] Hill and the Society also raised funds to purchase land for the Heath from private owners.[8] Manorial rights to the land remained in private hands until the 1940s when they lapsed under Sir Spencer Pocklington Maryon Wilson,[citation needed] though the estate itself was passed on to Shane Gough, 5th Viscount Gough.[4]

Over time, plots of land in the manor were sold off for building, particularly in the early 19th century, though the heath remained mainly common land. The main part of the heath was acquired for the people by the Metropolitan Board of Works.[9] Parliament Hill was purchased for the public for 300,000 and added to the park in 1888. Golders Hill was added in 1898 and Kenwood House and grounds were added in 1928.[10]

The heath sits astride a sandy ridge that rests on a band of London clay. It runs from east to west, its highest point being 134 metres (440 ft).[13][14] As the sand was easily penetrated by rainwater which was then held by the clay, a landscape of swampy hollows, springs and man-made excavations was created.[2] Hampstead Heath contains the largest single area of common land in Greater London, with 144.93 hectares (358.1 acres) of protected commons.[15]

Public transport near the heath includes London Overground railway stations Hampstead Heath and Gospel Oak and London Underground stations at Hampstead and Belsize Park to the south, Golders Green to the north-west, and Highgate and Archway to the east. Buses serve several roads around the heath.

Whitestone Pond is a roughly triangular pond, centrally located on the heath's south side and north-northwest of Queen Mary's House (formerly a care home and before that a maternity hospital), across busy Heath Street (A502). Originally a small dew pond called the Horse Pond, it was renamed after a waypoint stone and is artificially fed.[16] It has an exposed location, closely surrounded by roads, which limits its recreational use. It is the heath's best known body of water, and many people's introduction to Hampstead Heath's ponds.

Highgate Ponds are a series of eight former reservoirs, on the heath's east (Highgate) side, and were originally dug in the 17th and 18th centuries.[17] They include two single-sex swimming pools (the men's and ladies' bathing ponds), a model boating pond, and two ponds which serve as wildlife reserves: the Stock Pond and the Bird Sanctuary Pond. Fishing is allowed in some of the ponds, although this is threatened by proposals to modify the dams.

To the north east of the heath is a derelict site within the conservation area comprising the grounds and mansion of the former Caen Wood Towers (renamed Athlone House in 1972). This historic building, currently in disrepair, was built in 1872 for Edward Brooke, aniline dye manufacturer (architect, Edward Salomons). In 1942 the building was taken for war service by the Royal Air Force and was used to house the RAF Intelligence School, although the 'official' line was that it was a convalescence hospital. The Operational Record (Form 540) of RAF Station Highgate (currently in the National Archives, Kew) was declassified in the late 1990s and shows the true role of this building in wartime service. The building sustained 2 near misses from V-1 flying bombs in late 1944, causing damage and injuries to staff. The RAF Intelligence School remained in Caen Wood Towers until 1948, when the building was handed over to the Ministry of Health. It was then used as a hospital and finally a post-operative recovery lodge, before falling into disrepair in the 1980s. The NHS sold off this part of their estate in 2004 to a private businessman who is currently redeveloping much of the site; however the House and its gardens fall within the conservation area of Hampstead Heath.

Parliament Hill Fields lies on the south and east of the heath; it officially became part of the heath in 1888. It contains various sporting facilities including an athletics track, tennis courts and Parliament Hill Lido.[21] Parliament Hill itself is considered by some to be the focal point of the heath,[22] with the highest part of it known to some as "Kite Hill" due to its popularity with kite flyers.[23] The hill is 98.1 metres (322 ft) high and is notable for its excellent views of the London skyline. The skyscrapers of Canary Wharf and the City of London can be seen, along with St Paul's Cathedral and other landmarks, all in one panorama, parts of which are protected views.The main staff yards for the management of the heath are located at Parliament Hill Fields.[11]

The Vale of Health is a hamlet accessed by a lane from East Heath Road; it is surrounded entirely by the heath. In 1714, one Samuel Hatch, a harness maker, built a workshop and was granted some land. By 1720, he had a cottage at what was subsequently called Hatch's or Hatchett's Bottom. A new name, considered given in deliberate attempt to change the image of a developing location, the Vale of Health, was recorded in 1801.[27]

The Extension is an open space to the north-west of the main heath. It does not share the history of common and heathland of the rest of the heath. Instead it was created out of farmland, largely due to the efforts of Henrietta Barnett who went on to found Hampstead Garden Suburb. Its farmland origins can still be seen in the form of old field boundaries, hedgerows and trees.

Golders Hill Park is a formal park adjoining the West Heath. It occupies the site of a large house that was bombed during World War II. It has an expanse of grass, with a formal flower garden, a duck pond and a separate water garden that leads to a separate area for deer, near a recently renovated small zoo. The zoo has donkeys, maras, ring-tailed lemurs, ring-tailed coatis, white-cheeked turacos and European eagle-owls, among other animals. There are also tennis courts, a butterfly house and a putting green.[28]

The heath is policed by the Hampstead Heath Constabulary, part of the City of London Corporation. Its 12 constable act as parks police and they are: .mw-parser-output .templatequoteoverflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 .templatequote .templatequoteciteline-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0

The heath is home to a range of activities, including 16 different sports.[11] It is used by walkers, runners, swimmers and kite-flyers. Running events include the weekly parkrun[32] and the annual Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research UK. Until February 2007 Kenwood held a series of popular lakeside concerts.

The West Heath is regarded as one of the safest night-time gay cruising grounds in London.[33] George Michael revealed that he cruised on the heath,[34] an activity he then parodied on the Extras Christmas Special.[35]

The photos used for the cover of The Kinks' LP The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society were taken on the heath in August 1968. In some photographs, Kenwood House is visible in the background.[citation needed]

In John le Carré's novel Smiley's People, the heath is the murder scene of General Vladimir, a pivotal event that leads to the downfall of George Smiley's nemesis Karla.[citation needed]

Constable began his annual summer migrations to Hampstead, then well out in the country, in 1819. In 1827 he took up more permanent residence, leasing a house in Well Walk. His wife Maria, who would eventually die of tuberculosis, was already showing symptoms of the disease when Constable first rented a house there for her health, joining his family as often as he could. The Constables maintained a residence in London in Charlotte Street, and the artist wrote to his friend Archdeacon Fisher on 28 November 1826 that he was 'three miles from door to door - can have a message in an hour - & I can get always away from idle callers - and above all see nature - & unite a town & country life' (in R.B. Beckett, ed., John Constable's Correspondence, VI, Ipswich 1968, p.228). In Hampstead Constable made numerous studies of cloud formations, many oil sketches of Hampstead views, and several 'finished' works on the spot. This painting is one of his earliest Hampstead views. The viewpoint was close to Albion Cottage, rented by the Constables in 1819. The view looks north-westwards, from near the junction of Judges Walk and the Branch Hill Road, which enters the picture at the left. The road runs past Branch Hill Pond and the house known as 'The Salt Box', a prominent residence located on Branch Hill, before leading off towards Child's Hill. Harrow appears in the distance at the extreme left. 041b061a72


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