HISTORY - HAMPSTEAD HEATH - 2016***

Hampstead
Heath
2017
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HAMPSTEAD VILLAGE > HAMPSTEAD GARDEN SUBURB

HAMPSTEAD GARDEN SUBURB
Hampstead Garden Suburb has interesting buildings and landscapes and is the residual of a settlement, which was based on "community".

Hampstead Garden Suburb was a new kind of creation: a joint co-operative endeavour by a group of like-minded citizens.

The moving spirits behind the Garden Suburb's foundation were a cosmetics heiress turned social worker, Dame Henrietta Barnett, and a mining engineer turned architect planner, Sir Raymond Unwin.

The idea of building a residential Suburb for people of all incomes and classes began with Henrietta Barnett, wife of Cannon Samuel Barnett, vicar of St Judes.

She was inspired by her experiences of the poverty found in Whitechapel and resolved to seek better housing for the poor.
e poor.

The Barnetts had a weekend house overlooking the Heath at Spaniards End
, Evergreen Hill, and to the north of this lay acres of heath and farm land owned by Eton College.

With the opening of Golders Green station in 1900 there was a very real prospect of developers covering the land with standard bye-law housing.

This impelled her to lobby for its preservation as public open space and to draw up plans for a new residential area in the remaining acres where she could put her ideas into practice.

"The houses will not be put in uniform lines nor in close relationship built regardless of each other, or without consideration for picturesque appearance."

She aimed to include a variety of classes as a community where the richer residents subsidised the rents of the poorer ands all lived in well designed houses attractively grouped at low density and surrounded by gardens, bounded by hedges.

Henrietta Barnett felt strongly "that the estate be planned not piecemeal, but as a whole".


To realise her dream she appointed Raymond Unwin as master planner of the new Suburb.

He was at the time involved in the design of Letchworth, the first garden city.

The houses and flats throughout the Suburb
were by the best domestic architects of the day.

Building in the Suburb was begun in 1907, and the development quickly grew from the originally purchased land to newly acquired land to the east.

By 1935 the Suburb comprised a large swathe of land stretching from Golders Green in the south to East Finchley in the North, an area of some 800 acres.

In 1968 the New Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust was set up to "do all things possible in order to maintain and preserve the present character and amenities" of the Suburb.

The Suburb was designated a conservation area in 1969 by the London Borough of Barnet under the Civic Amenities Act 1967.

The Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust is  empowered to control changes to the appearance of the buildings and landscapes of the area.

It also offers advice to residents and building owners on the repair and sympathetic alteration of their homes and gardens.

Today the Suburb survives relatively intact, accurately reflecting Henrietta Barnett's and Raymond Unwin's original vision.


It is visited and enjoyed by many as, in Nicolaus Pevsner's words, "that most nearly perfect example of the English invention and speciality, the Garden Suburb".

It remains a very popular place to live, vigorously protected by residents for themselves and for the future.

To find out more about The Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust and the Suburb itself, click on this text.

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