Burgess Hill, NW2


Burgess Hill runs off of Finchley Road.

By the mid 18th century the Hampstead part of Childs Hill was divided in two by the road later called Platt’s Lane, which ran from West End and Fortune Green to the heath, Hampstead town, and Hendon. It was entirely occupied by two estates, both of which may have originated as land of the Templars.

The arrival of the Finchley Road lessened the area’s isolation. A house called Temple Park was built on the smaller Temples estate probably in the 1830s by Henry Weech Burgess, a prosperous Lancastrian. About the same time farm buildings were erected on Platt’s estate fronting Platt’s Lane.

Some nine and a half acres of Henry Weech Burgess’s estate had become a brickfield by 1864 and Temple Park had become the Anglo-French College by 1873. A few houses had been built in what became Burgess Hill by 1878 and in 1880 Weech Road was constructed between Fortune Green Road and Finchley Road on the portion of Teil’s estate purchased by the Burgesses in 1855.

Four houses were built there in 1880 and another 12 in 1887 by A. R. Amer and Becket.

In 1886 Joseph Hoare, son of Samuel and brother of John Gurney Hoare, died after living for some 40 years at Childs Hill House, to which he added a storey. Although not pulled down until c. 1904, Childs Hill House was empty by c. 1897 when building began on the estate. Between 1897 and 1913 Ferncroft Avenue, Hollycroft Avenue and Rosecroft Avenue were all laid out and mostly semi-detached houses were built by George Hart.

At much the same time building was proceeding on the Burgess Park (Temples) estate: the same builder, George Hart, was responsible for Briardale Road and Clorane Gardens, where the houses were built between 1900 and 1910. In 1905 on the Burgess Park estate 18 houses were built in Finchley Road, possibly including nos. 601 and 603 designed by Voysey, and by 1913 building was complete in Burgess Hill, Ardwick Road, and Weech Road and two houses had been built in Ranulf Road.

In 1901 a small piece on the western side of the Burgess Park estate was added to the cemetery. A few years before, two houses had been built in Fortune Green Road on the estate facing the cemetery by undertakers. One, no. 128, noted for its Graeco-Egyptian stucco pastiche, survived. All Souls Unitarian church was built to the south at the junction with Weech Road in 1903 and Burgess Park Mansions to the north about the same time.

During the Second World War bombing destroyed several houses on the Burgess Park estate, including some in Ardwick Road and two of Voysey’s houses, nos. 601 and 603 Finchley Road, which were replaced by houses designed by R. Seifert. A new block was added to Westfield College in 1962.

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