Print-friendly version of this page Fortune Green was originally part of the district of Hampstead but became physically separated from it by the building of the new turnpike road (now Finchley Road) in the 1830s.
Marlborough Mansions is a residential block in Fortune Green
E. J. Cave, one of the district’s most prominent Victorian builders, built the Cannon Hill
estate where Marlborough, Buckingham and Avenue Mansions
were built in the triangle formed by Cannon Hill
, Finchley Road
, and West End Lane
Conductor Sir Adrian Boult lived at at 78 Marlborough Mansions on Cannon Hill
and has a blue plaque to his memory there. Nigel Balchin, the novelist, died in 1970 also in Marlborough Mansions.
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The name of Fortune Green is derived from foran-tune
meaning in front of the tun, probably an inn in the area.
Originally Fortune Green was a patch of manorial waste, now in the north of the ward, where local residents had the right to graze animals, dig turf and play sports. The Green dwindled considerably in the 19th century when the lord of the manor granted enclosure rights for about a third of the area.
Lying on the south-west side of the Finchley Road, Hampstead town council decided to build its overflow cemetery here in the 1840s.
The arrival of the Midland Railway in 1871 brought rapid development and many large houses were demolished in favour of higher density buildings. Victorian residential buildings display considerable variety in their design and detail and there are a number of large distinctive red brick mansion blocks, most of which have remained unaltered.