Print-friendly version of this page Mill LaneFortune 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.
forms the boundary between Fortune Green
and West Hampstead.
was formerly Shoot-up-Hill Lane. The present name is derived from a mill which stood in the Edgware Road, and was burnt in 1861, owing to the friction caused by the high velocity of the sails in a gale of wind.
A building called Kilburn Mill marked the western end of the lane.
According to ’The Fascination of Hampstead’ written by Mrs Geraldine Mitton in 1902: "Mill Lane
was widened by the Vestry, and now runs between rows of small houses, all of modern date. At the top of Aldred Road
is a big brick building, the Field Lane Boys’ Industrial School. At the corner of the same road stood an unpretentious little church, built in 1871; it has been pulled down in the last few years. A little further eastward in Mill Lane
is a national school looking rather like a chapel."
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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.