THE VALE OF HEALTH ~
It is situated in a basin near to one of the Hampstead ponds and it has always attracted considerable attention.
Here, Leigh Hunt came to live in 1816; his house was on the site of the Vale of Health Hotel.
Thornbury quotes an old inhabitant, who writes of Leigh Hunt's cottage as having a "pretty balcony environed with creepers, and a tall arbor vitæ which almost overtops the roof."
There are very few even tolerably old houses left here; the little streets are of the modern villa order, and the great square tavern, with its tea-gardens and merry-go-rounds, its shooting-galleries and penny-in-the-slot machines, has vulgarized the place.
ThePrince Esterhazy is said to have taken a house in the Vale of Health in 1840; this has been "long since pulled down."
The place is now dedicated to the sweeping tide of merry-makers which flows over it every recurring Bank Holiday.
In 1851, the Vale Of Health was still a small hamlet
In 1864 Donald Nicoll formed the Suburban Hotel Company and built a large hotel close to pond.
It advertised accommodation for 2000 people and was known as the Vale Of Health Tavern.
It was pulled down in 1964 and replaced with Stanley Spencer flats, after an artist who was supposed to live on an upper floor of the hotel.
The Vale Of Health Hotel had continual amusements and The Vale Of Health Fair took place there on a weekly basis, around 1900