Hampstead History - HAMPSTEAD HEATH - 2016***

Go to content

Main menu:

Hampstead History

The earliest inhabitants of Hampstead were Mesolithic forest dwellers, who settled here about 9,000 years ago.

Excavations have been made here by The Hendon and District Archaeological Society, on West Heath, behind The Leg Of mutton Pond.

They lived in temporary shelters and hunted, fished and gathered plants, using tools handmade from bone, stone and wood, some of which survive today.

The Romans knew the area and Kilburn High Road is built on the straight Roman Watling Street.

Burgh House has produced a concise Time Line of the development of the area:


Ethelred The unready's charter grants The Manor of Hampstead to the monks at St. Peter's, Westminster.

The Domesday Book mentions Hampstead.

Hampstead remained a small rural community during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Henry, the V111 hunted on The Heath andit is said that the Tudor monarchs sent the palace laundry to be washed in the streams.

Elizabeth the first may have included Hampstead in a Royal Progress in 1593.

Belsize Park was originally part of Hampstead (recorded 1317) and Belsize House was inhabited by Armigell Waad, clerk of The Council of Henry V1.

Vane House was built in the seventeenth century by Sir Harry Vane, who was an advocate of Oliver Cromwell's policies. He was tried for treason and executed in 1662.
The House was demolished in 1970.

Fenton House was built and one of the oldest to survive.

The Gainsboroughs. ( see Gainsborough Gardens) Lords of The Manor, give 6 acres to the poor of Hampstead, including  The Chalybeate Well.

The healthy reputation of Hampstead attracted notable people.

Downshire Hill and Holly Hill were developed and in 1807 The Hollybush Tavern was converted from stables.

Leigh Hunt comes to The Vale Of Health. He is part of a literary circle that included Keats Shelley.

Constable and his family visit Hampstead for many summer holidays.

Other notables were Joanna Baillie the playwright and Keats.

The Finchley Road is developed

The Broad Street Line brings crowds of day trippers to Hampstead Heath Station from the East End of London.

The Town Hall was built in Haverstock Hill (1878) as the Victorians
created more roads as the railways expanded.

Fitzjohn's Avenue and Heath Street are linked and many slums are demolished.

Hampstead becomes a Parliamentary Borough.

Hampstead becomes part of London.

By 1891 the population of Hampstead was about 68,000 and new amenities, churches, schools, and a new workhouse came into being.

A Fever Hospital was built (Mount Vernon) and homes were built for the children of orphanred Crimean War service men.

Hampstead Borough Council formed.

Sir Henry Harben was Hampstead's first mayor.

Mansions and schools were built and Lord Leverhulme developed The Hill Gardens (1904-1924).
The Pergola was built on soil extracted when building the Northern Line.

The twentieth century sees Hampstead starting to flourish!

The Northern Line tube is openerd by Lloyd George.

Hampstead is taken over by Camden Borough.

The Royal Free Hospital opens.

The year saw The New End Hospital Mortuary being converted into a theatre.

The Highgate Community Centre opened in 1976.

Burgh House, including The Hampstead Museum is opened.

Many of the old taverns are redeveloped and luxury flats are built, although not destroying the beauty of Hampstead's quaint little streets.

1861, Hampstead is the place to ruralize, 1, Watkyn Williams

A popular song in the mid-nineteenth century

(Try playing and singing it!)

Back to content | Back to main menu