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Hampstead

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“HAMPSTEAD, a parish and suburban district of London, in the Holborn division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county Middlesex, 6 miles N.W. of St. Paul's Cathedral. It has a station on the Kew section of the North London railway. Previous to 1598, it formed a hamlet in the parish of Hendon; but is of considerable extent, taking in the greater part of the populous districts of Hampstead Town, West End, North End, Haverstock Hill, Chalcote, Belsize Park, Downshire Rill, Primrose Hill, the Vale of Health, Kilburn, and St. John's Wood, together containing a population of near 20,000.

It was given by the Saxon king Ethelred to Westminster Abbey, and is mentioned in Domesday Survey as Hamestede, at which time the priors of Westminster had a seat at Belsize. After the Reformation the manor was given by Edward VI. to the Wroths, from whom it came to the Campdens, and now belongs to the Wilsons of Charlton. It is a fine, healthy spot, the highest part of the heath being 400 feet above the sea-level, and commanding a panoramic view of London to the S. From a mound in the garden of the "Spaniards" inn, many distant objects may be clearly discerned, as Hanslop Steeple, in Northamptonshire, Langdon Hill, in Essex, Banstead Downs, in Surrey, Shooter's Hill, in Kent, Red Hill, in Buckinghamshire, and Windsor Castle, in Berkshire. The town of Hampstead stands on the southern acclivity of the hill, on the summit of which is the extensive heath, of 260 acres, much frequented by visitors from London, and divided into the Upper and Lower Heath, the Vale of Health, and other subdivisions. The principal streets are the High-street and Heath-street. Pope, Gay, Johnson, Akenside, Arbuthnot, Coleridge, Liston, and Moore used to frequent this spot, and at the "Upper Flask," noticed by Richardson in his "Clarissa," and then kept by Christopher Kat, the "Kit-cat Club," attended by Steele, Addison, and other eminent literary characters, used to meet. It was also at this house that George Steevens, the commentator on Shakspeare, died. On the left hand side of the entrance into Hampstead from London is a house built in 1571, where Sir Henry Vane dwelt, one of the judges of Charles I., and in which, after the restoration of Charles II., he was arrested. Here, too, resided Dr. J. Butler, Bishop of Durham, author of the "Analogy of Religion." At Rosslyn House dwelt Lord Loughborough; at the Chicken House, where James I. once slept, Lord Mansfield; and at a house close to the "Spaniards," Lord Erskine. On Haverstock Hill, 1 mile nearer London, is the cottage of Sir, Charles Sedley, afterwards occupied by Sir Richard Steele.

from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

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Church Directories

Parishes in this Rural Deanery in 1903

Anglican churches in Hampstead in 1903 - An expanded version of the 1903 list of parishes, showing dates of creation of parishes, and the name used for the records in the London Metropolitan Archives, and elsewhere. The ancient parishes were split into many smaller ones as London grew. This web page has links to other directories of churches in Hampstead.

Outline map of Parishes in 1903

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Description & Travel

Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]

"HAMPSTEAD, a parish and suburban district of London, in the Holborn division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county Middlesex, 6 miles N.W. of St. Paul's Cathedral. It has a station on the Kew section of the North London railway. Previous to 1598, it formed a hamlet in the parish of Hendon; but is of considerable extent, taking in the greater part of the populous districts of Hampstead Town, West End, North End, Haverstock Hill, Chalcote, Belsize Park, Downshire Rill, Primrose Hill, the Vale of Health, Kilburn, and St. John's Wood, together containing a population of near 20,000. " (There is more of this description).

"HAVERSTOCK HILL, a hamlet and suburb of London, partly in the parish of Hampstead and partly in the parish of St. Pancras, hundred of Ossulstone, county Middlesex, 1 mile S.E. of Hampstead, and 4 miles N.W. of St. Paul's. It is situated under Primrose Hill, on the main road to Hampstead. The North London and London and North-Western railways have a joint station at Chalk Farm, and the latter has a large goods station in the Hampstead road. To the W. of the hamlet the London and North-Western line passes under Primrose Hill by a tunnel of 1,120 yards in length. The principal buildings are the New Orphan Working School, in the Italian style of architecture, removed here in 1848 from the City Road, and the Tailor's almshouses, in the Elizabethan style, with a chapel. It is comprised within the Hampstead superintendent registry, and the Bloomsbury new County Court district. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of London. The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was built in 1850, from designs by Wyatt and Brandon, and has a spire 160 feet high. There are besides several chapels and schools. Sedley and Steele once lodged here."

"KILBURN, a hamlet and suburban district in the parishes of Hampstead and Willesden, Holborn division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county Middlesex, 2½ miles from Hyde Park corner, and 4 N.W. of St. Paul's, London. It has stations on the West London, and London and North-Western railways. The Great Western railway and the Grand Junction canal also pass near the village. It was anciently called Cuneburn, from its situation at the head of a bourne or brook which feeds the Serpentine; and was the site of a Benedictine nunnery, founded on the site of Godwyn's hermitage, as a cell to Westminster Abbey. The revenues of the priory at the Dissolution were estimated at £121 16s. The village, which is situated on the ancient Watling Street and on the road to Edgware, contains some good houses. It has recently been greatly extended by the erection of new streets and shops, and has at the N.E. end an extensive ale and porter brewery. There is a medicinal spring near the site of the priory, called Kilburn Wells, formerly of much note, the water of which possesses aperient, properties. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of London. The church has a turret and cupola. There are National and infant schools. Goldsmith's cottage, in the London road, in which he wrote the "Vicar of Wakefield" and the "Deserted Village,"was pulled down in 1837."

"NORTH-END (HAMPSTEAD), a hamlet in the parish of Hampstead, county Middlesex, 5 miles N.W. of St. Paul's, London. It is situated in a healthy spot on the further side of the heath, about 400 feet above the level of the sea."

"POND-STREET, a hamlet in the parish of Hampstead, county Middlesex, 4 miles N.W. of St. Paul's, London."

"PRIMROSE HILL, a small isolated hill, in the hundred of Ossulstone, and borough of Marylebone, county Middlesex, 3½ miles N.W. of St. Paul's, London. It is situated at the northern extremity of the Regent's Park, to which it has recently been added, with Barrow Hill reservoir adjoining it on the W. side. Its summit commands a view of the metropolis, with the hills of Hampstead and Highgate towards the N., and at its base is the Shakspeare oak, planted in 1864. The London and North-Western railway passes underneath it through a tunnel 3,360 feet long, and in excavating which nautili and other fossil shells were found."

"WEST END (HAMPSTEAD), a hamlet in the parish of Hampstead, county Middlesex, 1 mile S.W. of Hampstead. [West Hampstead station is on West End Lane on 2003 street map.]"

Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland" (1868), transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003; intended for personal use only, so please respect the conditions of use.

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Gazetteers

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Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Hampstead has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

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Maps

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TQ267860 (Lat/Lon: 51.558661, -0.173717), Hampstead which are provided by: