Mill Lane, looking east (1900s)
Image dated 1890
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.
is one of the major thoroughfares of West Hampstead.
was originally called Shoot-up-Hill Lane. The present name is derived from a mill which stood on the Edgware Road. It was burnt down in 1861, owing to the friction caused by the high velocity of the sails in a gale.
By the turn of the twentieth century, sections of Mill Lane
had become filled with shops and small businesses.
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Corner of Mill Lane and Broomsleigh Street, early 1900s
User unknown/public domain
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.