The Hall School is an independent boys’ preparatory school in Belsize Park.
The school originated as Belsize School, founded in 1889 by the Revd Francis John Wrottesley, who with his wife had taken fee-paying pupils at their home in nearby 18 Buckland Crescent since 1881. The Wrottesleys sold their school in 1898 to the Revd D. H. Marshall, who took over an adjoining house in 1903, when there were 58 boys, including 10 boarders. In 1905 Marshall bought the Allen Olney girls’ school, which his wife continued at Buckland Crescent.
Marshall moved the boys to Crossfield Road and renamed the school The Hall. The roll was over 100 in 1909, when he sold the school to G. H. Montauban. It prepared boys aged 5 to 13 for public schools and won many scholarships. Montauban bought Woodcote at 69 Belsize Park, at the corner of Buckland Crescent, in 1916 and opened it in 1917 for boys under 8. The school was recognized
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The Manor of Belsize dates back to 1317, with the name is derived from French bel assis meaning 'well situated'.
Belsize Manor was built by Daniel O'Neill for his wife, the Countess of Chesterfield, in the 17th century. Urbanisation took place largely between 1852 and 1878, by which time it extended to Haverstock Hill. After World War I, the construction of blocks of flats began, and now a great many of the larger houses are also converted into flats.
Belsize Park underground station was opened on 22 June 1907 by the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway as an intermediate station on its line from Charing Cross to Hampstead. It is served by three lifts and there are 219 steps. The station was designed by Leslie Green and has his familiar facade of ox-blood faience with four round arched windows. It remained largely untouched until the late 1980s when the lifts were replaced and a new ticketing system installed.
It was during the 1930s that Belsize Park contributed most to the artistic and intellectual life of Hampstead. Artists associated with the Mall studios included Dame Barbara Hepworth from 1927 to 1939, her first husband John Skeaping and second Ben Nicholson from 1931 to 1939, and Henry Moore, who lived at no. 11A Parkhill Road from 1929 to 1940. They were members of Unit One, a group of artists and architects founded in 1933 by Paul Nash (1889-1946), who lived at no. 3 Eldon Grove from 1936 to 1939. Sir Herbert Read, the poet and art critic, who lived in 1934-5 at the Mall studios, which he described as a 'nest of gentle artists', published the group's manifesto, a theory of modern style.
Another centre was no. 37 Belsize Park Gardens, meeting place of MARS, an architectural group, and home of Jack Pritchard, who founded Isokon, a firm making modern furniture designed by people like Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, refugees who brought a European dimension to the abstract design movement in the arts. Others included Piet Mondrian, the Dutch painter, who stayed with the Pritchards before moving to no. 60 Parkhill Road (1938-41). Pritchard also commissioned Wells Coates in 1934 to build the Isokon or Lawn Road flats, partly to house artistic refugees, on a site which he owned. Built in concrete in a functional style, the flats came to be recognized as 'a milestone in the introduction of the modern idiom into London'.
In World War II, a large underground air-raid shelter was built here and its entrance can still be seen near the tube station at Downside Crescent. The area on Haverstock Hill north of Belsize Park underground station up to Hampstead Town Hall and including part of a primary school near the Royal Free Hospital was heavily bombed.
Glossary: A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, edited by C R Elrington.
LOCATIONS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Belsize Park: The Manor of Belsize dates back to 1317, with the name is derived from French bel assis meaning 'well situated'. Central School of Speech and Drama: The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama was founded in 1906 to offer a new form of training in speech and drama for young actors and other students. Fine Arts College: Fine Arts College is an Independent school and sixth form founded in 1978 by artists Candida Cave and Nicholas Cochrane. Gospel Oak: Gospel Oak is an inner suburb of north London below Hampstead Heath. Hampstead Theatre: The Hampstead Theatre specialises in commissioning and producing new writing, supporting and developing the work of new writers. Isokon Building: The Isokon building is a concrete block of 34 flats designed by architect Wells Coates for Molly and Jack Pritchard, as an experiment in communal living. Metropolitan Borough of Hampstead: The Metropolitan Borough of Hampstead was a Metropolitan borough of the County of London from 1900 to 1965, when it was amalgamated with the Metropolitan Borough of St Pancras and the Metropolitan Borough of Holborn to form the London Borough of Camden. Pax Lodge: Pax Lodge is the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) World Centre. St Stephen’s Church: St. Stephen’s is a former church building, sited on Rosslyn Hill at its junction with Pond Street, a steep slope adjacent to the Royal Free Hospital. St. Mary’s Town and Country School: St. Mary’s Town and Country School was an independent, non-denominational, co-educational progressive day and boarding school. St. Stephen%27s Church, Rosslyn Hill: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Stephen%27s_Church%2C_Rosslyn_Hill Swiss Cottage: Swiss Cottage is named after an inn called The Swiss Tavern that was built in 1804 in the style of a Swiss chalet and on the site of a former tollgate keeper’s cottage. The Load of Hay: The Load of Hay was established by 1721. Winchester Hotel: Winchester Hotel was situated at 21a Winchester Road, NW3
NEARBY STREETS AND BUILDINGS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
John Rocque (c. 1709–1762) was a surveyor, cartographer, engraver, map-seller and the son of Huguenot émigrés.
Roque is now mainly remembered for his maps of London. This map dates from the second edition produced in 1762. London and his other maps brought him an appointment as cartographer to the Prince of Wales in 1751. His widow continued the business after his death.
The map of Hampstead covers an area stretching from the edge in the northwest of present-day Dollis Hill to Islington in the southeast.
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