South Hill Park, NW3

Road in/near Hampstead Heath, existing between 1878 and now

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Road · Hampstead Heath · NW3 ·

South Hill Park is a street in NW3 - some of its houses overlook Hampstead Heath.

In 1878, landowner the Dean of Westminster made a building agreement with Joseph Pickett, the tenant of South End Farm, and John Ashwell, a Kentish Town builder, for the 15 and a half acres north of the Hampstead Junction Railway. South Hill Park Road (later Parliament Hill Road) and Nassington Road were laid out in 1878 and 90 houses built between 1879 and 1892. The planned extension of the roads into Lord Mansfield’s lands in St. Pancras was halted by the addition of Parliament Hill Fields to the heath in 1889. Tanza Road was made instead, to connect the existing roads, and building began there in 1890. Ashwell withdrew in 1881 and Pickett, who by then described himself as a master builder and lived in South Hill Park, was under-financed and built cheaply, mostly semi-detached and terraced tall but cramped redbrick houses for the middle class.

The last woman to be hanged in Britain, Ruth Ellis, was sentenced to death for a murder committed on South Hill Park. She shot her boyfriend, David Blakely, outside a public house, The Magdala, on 10 April 1955. Coincidentally, the second-last woman to be hanged in Britain, Styllou Christofi, lived a few metres from the Magdala at 11 South Hill Park with her son and daughter-in-law. She was executed in December 1954, four months before Ellis committed her crime.

The film director Anthony Minghella lived in South Hill Park until his death in 2008. His son, Max Minghella, had a role in the film Hippie Hippie Shake, parts of which were shot in the street and its surrounding area.


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Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath railway station has been part of the London Overground since 11 November 2007.

In the nineteenth century up to 100,000 people per day used the station at weekends and on public holidays as the Heath was a popular holiday destination for Londoners. The station was rebuilt, after Second World War bomb damage, and in the 1990s in conjunction with works to allow Eurostar trains to use the North London Line.
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