Hackney College

College/University in/near Fortune Green, existing between 1885 and now

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College/University · Fortune Green · NW3 ·

The Village Itinerancy Society, a Congregationalist college, was transformed into Hackney Theological Seminary.

Hackney College at the turn of the twentieth century.
This was renamed as Hackney College in 1871 and later relocated from its origins in Hackney to a new building in Hampstead.

New College, another institution, and Hackney College became constituents of the University of London’s Faculty of Theology when the faculty was created in 1900. They were united by Act of Parliament in 1924 as Hackney and New College, which was renamed New College, London in 1936.

New buildings were erected behind the Hackney College premises at Hampstead, and were opened in 1938.

When, in 1972, most English Congregational churches joined the newly formed United Reformed Church (URC), and only a small number remained independent, the New College’s work was reorganised. In 1976, its library was donated to Dr Williams’s Library. Since 1981, the work of the college has been continued by the New College London Foundation, which trains ministers for the URC and Congregational churches.

After closure in 1977 the New College buildings were leased to the Open University, which assigned its rights to the Paris Chamber of Commerce in 2001, as the campus of ESCP-EAP. The freehold of the buildings were sold to the Paris Chamber of Commerce in 2005 and the funds distributed to the four beneficiaries, the United Reformed Church, the Congregational Federation, The Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches and the Unaffiliated Congregational Churches Charity.

Latterly, the establishment became the ESCP Europe Business School.

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Hackney College at the turn of the twentieth century.
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Fortune Green

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.

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.
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