Gospel Oak is an inner suburb of north London below Hampstead Heath.Print-friendly version of this page
The name derives from an oak tree, under which parishioners gathered to hear an annual gospel reading when the area was still rural. Lords Mansfield, Southampton and Lisburne were the local landowners when development began in the mid-19th century. Plans were drawn up for elegant streets radiating from Lismore Circus but after two railway lines were extended across the area the first buildings were two- and three-storey cottages for "navvies and quarrelsome shoemakers." Later the neighbourhood became more respectable and solidly residential.
All Hallows Church by James Brooks is a notable late Victorian church. After World War II much of the original housing around Lismore Circus was demolished and a series of estates built for Camden Council. Today Gospel Oak is a socially mixed area with its share of inner-city problems but a very strong community spirit. Famous residents include Tony Blair?s former head of communications Alastair Campbell and his partner journalist Fiona Millar, ex-Python Michael Palin, and Britain’s top networker Carole Stone and her husband broadcaster Richard Lindley.