Chalk Farm was originally a farmhouse and later a tavern set in fields. But Chalk Farm has nothing to do with chalk at all.
The name is a contraction of Chalcot Farm - Chalcot was the original name of the village here.
Chalk (Chalcot) Farm was only part-time a farm. The white house had become a tavern and tea gardens by the eighteenth century. The old manor-house of Upper Chalcot still remains in England's Lane on Haverstock Hill
, and the site of Lower Chalcot is indicated by Chalk Farm and Chalcot Terrace.
Chalk Farm was a favourite location for duelling. It was particularly suitable for the purpose, as it was near town, and at the same time quite secluded. Before the Regent's Park
was planned, Marylebone Fields were looked upon as quite a wilderness, and few Londoners strolled as far northwards as Primrose Hill.
Between 1834 and 1838 — at which time the fields attached to it were called Mr Bowden's Grounds
- the annual matches of the Wrestling Club of Cumberland and Westmoreland were held there. By the late 1830s, suburbia had arrived. A correspondent of Hone's Year Book wrote: The Hampstead Road and the once beautiful fields leading to and surrounding Chalk Farm have not escaped the profanation of the builders' craft.