Starting near Jack Straw's Castle, "A tree-shaded eminence, crowned with pleasant seats and commanding a magnificent view of the Heath", leads to Branch Hill.
This, marked in Park's map Prospect Walk, is now called the Judge's Walk.
The Walk is shown on a plan of London from 1745.
Tradition states that the Judges' Walk acquired its name during the Great Plague of 1665, when the judges abandoned London and held assizes at the edge of Hampstead Heath. and held their courts under canvas while the plague was raging in 1665 but derivations of this sort are very easy to make up and entirely unreliable.
They held their courts under canvas while the plague was raging in 1665 but derivations of this sort are very easy to make up and entirely unreliable.
In 1749, a lawyer called Thomas Clarke, leased some ground near a place called 'Judges' Bench.
There were NO judges residing in the area at that time so its origins remain a mystery.
Lower and Upper Terraces just behind are full of charming residences.
Constable lived in Lower Terraces at intervals (No. 2) during 1821, and Mrs. Siddons came to the Lower Terraces in the autumn of 1804. Sir G. Scott lived in Montague House.
Branch Hill runs down into Frognal Rise, and on the west there are several big houses.
Branch Hill Lodge belonged to Sir Thomas Clarke, Master of the Rolls in 1745, who presented it to Lord Chancellor Macclesfield.
It was for a period the residence of the Earl of Rosslyn, and tradition connects Lord Byron's name with it.
It stands in beautiful and extensive grounds. Further along Branch Hill Road there are many new terraces and one or two big houses.
(click on slides below to see present day images)