Wildwood. Wyldes & Collins Farm - HAMPSTEAD HEATH - 2016***

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Wildwood. Wyldes & Collins Farm

Wyldes Farm ~

A Seventeenth century farmhouse, Wyldes Farm (also known as Tooley's Farm) a little east of Golders Hill on the slopes of Hampstead Heath.

It is a small weatherboarded building with a large barn and outbuildings attached.

(The weatherboarded section of Wyldes Farm  adjoins to the right.)

It survives today as "The Old Wyldes" at the junction of Hampstead Way and Wildwood Road.

(see City Of London's Map to locate this part of West Heath)

In medieval times the Heath Extension estate was the property of the Leper Hospital of St James, which acquired Wyldes Farm.

The name goes back to the C15 when the farm owned a large estate of what was then open country.

Much of this (purchased by Eton College) later went to form the Hampstead Heath Extension.

Eton College took possession of the Hendon estate in 1449, which was called 'the Wylde' by 1480-1.

In the 18th century it was leased to the Earle family of Hendon House, the freehold owners in 1754 of Decoy Farm. which consisted of 99 acres north and west of Temple Fortune.

In 1828 the Wyldes estate was leased to Thomas Clark, who also owned Decoy Farm. The college lands, which stretched northward from the Hampstead border to Mutton  brook.

It was divided in 1903 into three farms, called Temple Fortune, Tooley's (or Wildwood), and Home (or Heath) farms.

In early C19 the farm was let to John Collins, a small dairy farmer.

The house, known in the 19th century as Collins' Farm or Heath Farm, became the home of artists and well-heeled Bohemians.

It was occupied by the painter John Linnell (1792-1882), who added a room there in 1826.

He is said to have entertained William Blake, Morland and Dickens there.

John Everett Millais(8 June 1829 – 13 August 1896)
This work was painted when Millais was just 19 and yet to truly begin painting in the Pre-Raphaelite style.
It was made in the summer of 1848 whilst Millais was staying with friends in Hampstead.
It is a view of Wyldes Farm on the edge of the Heath.

The farm was occupied by Charles Dickens as a young man for several weeks in 1837, and by the Hampstead Fabian-turned-anarchist Charlotte Wilson (1854-1944), who entertained Prince Peter Kropokin and others here in the 1880s.

Sir Raymond Unwin, co-planner of the Hampstead Garden Suburb, resided here from 1906 until his death in 1940.

It was also used at one time as Hampstead Garden Suburb’s planning office.

Arthur (Art) Tooley, a direct descendant of the original owners, writes to the author:

"The Tooleys were a well known in Hampstead and relatives still live in the area.
If still in existance "Back Lane" was known as Tooley Alley and a family member
is noted in "Christchurch " church as a warden who lost an eye cleaning and
dislodging the pigeons in the bell tower.
At one time, as the stories go,the Tooley Farm stretched from Wildwood Way
to Hampstead Garden Suburb through to Golders Hill Park and the Tooley
Farmhouse was were the Golders Green Crematorium now exists.
Of course things usually get exagarated with time but normally a grain of truth
runs through.

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