Gainsborough Gardens ~
In the 18th century, Hampstead Wells were popular with fashionable Londoners, who visited the pump room to take the Chalybeate waters and socialise in the assembly rooms, south of Well Walk.
The area soon developed a reputation for rowdy behaviour and new spa buildings were erected in 1730 further along Well Walk.
Gainsborough Gardens was laid out between 1882 and 1895 on land belonging to the Wells and Campden Charity Trust.
Eventually the buildings were converted to other uses, including an evangelical chapel, and finally demolished at the end of the 19th century.
This area today is the site of Gainsborough Gardens, a circular enclosure with mature trees and luxuriant planting at the centre of a gated enclave of private houses.
The result is significant historic and architectural interest and a particular aesthetic quality, based on a fine balance between building and open space, both of which survive almost intact.
The history of Gainsborough Gardens is prominent in the history of the protection of open spaces, particularly in Hampstead where the seeds of national awareness were sown.