Spedan Close, NW3

Road in/near Hampstead, existing between 1978 and now.

(51.55972 -0.18382, 51.559 -0.183) 
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Spedan Close was the site of an innovative council housing scheme.

The Branch Hill Estate - now Spedan Close - was, at the time it was built, the most expensive council housing in the country; every property with its own individual roof garden.

The London Borough of Camden was formed in 1965 and one major element of the new Council’s housing policy lay in "buying any housing they could lay their hands on" on the reasonable grounds that new build construction had little impact on council waiting lists when so many needed to be rehoused as a result of the redevelopment itself.

In 1964 the predecessor Council - Hampstead Borough - had paid £464,000 to buy an Edwardian mansion and its grounds off Branch Hill Road on the western edge of the Heath. The house would become a care home; its land was earmarked for council housing.

Architects, Gordon Benson and Alan Forsyth, guided by Borough Architect Sidney Cook, came up with a scheme that some have likened to an Italian hill town.

That vision had first to survive some difficult politics. The Conservative administration that ran Camden between 1968 and 1971 intended to sell the land for private development. When the incoming Labour administration recaptured it for housing, the then Conservative government refused loan support. The Council began building anyway and were rewarded by a change of government – and financial backing – when Labour won nationally in 1974.

The finished development comprised 21 pairs of two-storey houses in three rows, 20 five-person, 14 six-person and 8 four-person. These were semi-detached in name only. In fact, there are essentially three terraces, punctuated with a grid of walkways, built one above the other on the site’s steep slope.

The estate was completed in 1978 and the first tenants moved in, it was said, ’without fanfare’ – a choice on the part of the Council which probably reflected the degree of unwanted publicity the scheme had attracted.

At over £72,000 each – well over the cost of contemporary private-sector equivalents – they probably were the most expensive council housing ever. This expenditure reflects the high price of the site, additional works required to cope with difficult soil conditions and the spiralling costs of materials and labour as shortages of both emerged in the mid-seventies. Building costs generally had escalated threefold in the period.

Main source: Municipal Dreams
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Born here
Added: 16 Nov 2022 12:39 GMT   

The Pearce family lived in Gardnor Road
The Pearce family moved into Gardnor Road around 1900 after living in Fairfax walk, my Great grandfather, wife and there children are recorded living in number 4 Gardnor road in the 1911 census, yet I have been told my grand father was born in number 4 in 1902, generations of the Pearce continue living in number 4 as well other houses in the road up until the 1980’s

Kevin Pont   
Added: 29 Aug 2023 15:25 GMT   

The deepest station
At 58m below ground, Hampstead is as deep as Nelson’s Column is tall.

Source: Hampstead tube station - Wikipedia



Added: 22 Mar 2024 15:33 GMT   

Polygon Buildings
Following the demolition of the Polygon, and prior to the construction of Oakshott Court in 1974, 4 tenement type blocks of flats were built on the site at Clarendon Sq/Phoenix Rd called Polygon Buildings. These were primarily for people working for the Midland Railway and subsequently British Rail. My family lived for 5 years in Block C in the 1950s. It seems that very few photos exist of these buildings.


Added: 19 Mar 2024 08:42 GMT   

Road construction and houses completed
New Charleville Circus road layout shown on Stanford’s Library Map Of London And Its Suburbs 1879 with access via West Hill only.

Plans showing street numbering were recorded in 1888 so we can concluded the houses in Charleville Circus were built by this date.

Source: Charleville Circus, Sydenham, London

Added: 19 Mar 2024 08:04 GMT   

Charleville Circus, Sydenham: One Place Study (OPS)
One Place Study’s (OPS) are a recent innovation to research and record historical facts/events/people focused on a single place �’ building, street, town etc.

I have created an open access OPS of Charleville Circus on WikiTree that has over a million members across the globe working on a single family tree for everyone to enjoy, for free, forever.

Source: Charleville Circus, Sydenham, London

Added: 8 Mar 2024 20:45 GMT   

My House
I want to know who lived in my house in the 1860’s.


Added: 7 Mar 2024 11:41 GMT   

Telephone House
Donald Hunter House, formerly Telephone House, was the BT Offices closed in 2000

Paul Cox   
Added: 5 Mar 2024 22:18 GMT   

War damage reinstatement plans of No’s 11 & 13 Aldine Street
Whilst clearing my elderly Mothers house of general detritus, I’ve come across original plans (one on acetate) of No’s 11 & 13 Aldine Street. Might they be of interest or should I just dispose of them? There are 4 copies seemingly from the one single acetate example. Seems a shame to just junk them as the level of detail is exquisite. No worries if of no interest, but thought I’d put it out there.

Added: 28 Feb 2024 13:52 GMT   

New Inn Yard, E1
My great grandparents x 6 lived in New Inn Yard. On this date, their son was baptised in nearby St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch

Source: BDM London, Cripplegate and Shoreditch registers written by church clerk.

Vic Stanley   
Added: 24 Feb 2024 17:38 GMT   

The postcode is SE15, NOT SE1


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Victorian house under construction
TUM image id: 1483541885
Licence: CC BY 2.0
The Alice House
TUM image id: 1557142437
Licence: CC BY 2.0
Eustace Hamilton Miles
TUM image id: 1557162230
Soldier’s Daughters Home from the "Illustrated London News", June 19, 1858 The Royal School, Hampstead was founded in 1855 as the Soldiers’ Infant Home before becoming the Royal Soldiers’ Daughters’ School on this site in 1867. It was established "to nurse, board, clothe and educate the female children, orphans or not, of soldiers in Her Majesty’s Army killed in the Crimean War". The Daughter’s School, as described in 1902: "At the back a large extent of grass playground stretched out westward, and at the end of this there was a grove of trees. On one side of the grass is a large playroom built in 1880 by means of an opportune legacy, and on the other a covered cloister which led to the school, standing detached from the house at the other end of the playground. An old pier burdened with a mass of ivy stood up in the centre, the only remnant of this part of old Vane House. A portion of the ground was profitably sold for the frontage to Fitz John’s Avenue." The school site is now used as a senior campus of North Bridge House School.
Credit: The Illustrated London News
TUM image id: 1458756121
Holly Walk, NW3
TUM image id: 1455451397
Licence: CC BY 2.0

In the neighbourhood...

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Victorian house under construction
Licence: CC BY 2.0

Heath House, Hampstead
Credit: GoArt/The Underground Map
Licence: CC BY 2.0

Church Row, NW3 Church Row is an eighteenth-century residential street. Many of the properties are listed on the National Heritage List for England. The writer H. G. Wells bought No. 17 in 1909 and lived there with his wife, Jane. The comedian Peter Cook bought No. 17 for £24,000 in 1965. Cook and Dudley Moore wrote their Pete & Dud routines in the attic.

Flask Walk, Hampstead (1922)
Credit: Charles Ginner (1878-1952)

Holly Walk, NW3
Licence: CC BY 2.0

Bracknell Way

Yorkshire Grey Place, NW3
Licence: CC BY 2.0

Church Row, Hampstead. This etching appears as the frontispiece of 'An introduction to Hampstead' by G.E. Mitton, published in 1902.
Licence: CC BY 2.0

Branch Hill Pond
Credit: John Constable (1776-1837)

Whitestone Pond (1900s)
Licence: CC BY 2.0

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