Wellgarth Road, NW11

Wellgarth Road connects North End Road with the Hampstead Heath Extension.

Sir Raymond Unwin was a mining engineer turned architect who turned Dame Henrietta Barnett’s vision for Hampstead Garden Suburb into reality.

Wellgarth Road was designed as one of Unwin’s large-scale formal approaches to the Heath Extension.

Towards the Heath it was intended to build two pairs of grand houses designed by Parker and Unwin’s friend, Edgar Wood, the pioneer of the flat roof. Evidently there was no one courageous enough to build these Wood designs, and in their place there is a much safer mixture of individual houses.

Of the houses along Wellgarth Road, Threeways (19 Wellgarth Road) is of neo-Georgian design by C Cowles-Voysey.

Number 17, with its lively bay windows, is probably by T Phillips Figgis. Numbers 9 and 15 are excellent houses of the mid-twenties in the Parker and Unwin dark brick style designed in Soutar’s office by his chief assistant Paul Badcock. Parker and Unwin themselves designed in 1914 the splendid red brick house, number 16, flanking diagonally the entrance to Wellgarth Road. Numbers 12-14 are in a style close to early Lutyens, with a series of hipped gables.

The dominant building in Wellgarth Road used to be the Wellgarth Nursery Training College and for a time a Youth Hostel, a remarkable building in Parker and Unwin’s dark brick style, officially by a little-known firm, Lovegrove and Papworth, who had designed many warehouses in Hoxton, where the college had its previous site. It was built in 1915, the year that Papworth, the last of a famous architectural family, left for the War; it is more than likely that the design was handed over to someone in Parker and Unwin’s office, probably Arthur Penty, an idealistic Christian Socialist who is said to have been responsible for the shops at Temple Fortune.

Wellgarth Road does not have its intended "gate" to North End Road; instead there is the diminutive and extremely pretty cottage (number 1), designed for himself in 1930 by Frederick MacManus. There were two gate posts of which one was removed when Number 1 was built.

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