Branch Hill Pond

Pond in/near Hampstead, existing until 1889.

(51.561 -0.18255, 51.561 -0.182) 
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Pond · Hampstead · NW3 ·
Branch Hill Pond which was fed from a spring which was also the main source of the Westbourne.

Branch Hill Pond, which disappeared in the late nineteenth century, can still be seen as a distinct hollow in the heath which is still grassland at this point.

John Constable (1776-1837) came to Hampstead Heath in the late summer of 1819, seeking relief from urban London for his family of two children and his wife Maria who suffered from consumption. He rented a cottage at Upper Heath and at once began to paint the countryside; the uneven ground provided splendid viewpoints over the heath and toward London to the south.

By 1827 Constable had rented on a permanent basis a small four-story house at 40 Well Walk, Hampstead Heath. while still keeping a studio and minimum living space in London. He wrote Fisher that the drawing room of their new house situated on the high ground commanded "a view unequalled in Europe—from Westminster Abbey to Gravesend."

It was there in 1827 that he painted an important oil of Branch Hill Pond. Hampstead Heath. From a raised vantage point we look past a high hillock on the right across Branch Hill Pond to Windsor Castle and the fields of Harrow in the distance. Amid the rising and falling ground, labourers and farmers go about their chores of digging and hauling sand or tending animals. Two men fill a two-wheeled cart with sand much in demand for London building. A figure urges three donkeys towards us around the shoulder of the hill. Tiny figures of bathers appear at the near edge of the pond at which a horse with rider drinks. A single figure with walking staff is seated above the sand diggers on the hill which partly conceals the roof and chimneys of a local architectural landmark known as the Salt Box.

In the distance to the left, a local thunderstorm showers an area beyond Windsor. Constable painted the broken ground’of the heath, its hillocks and hollows in all their roughness. He took great delight in capturing the weedy bank in the foreground with separate thick strokes of sandy brown and green over a warm underpaint.

Main source: JSTOR
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Lived here
Cassandra Green   
Added: 11 Sep 2020 14:34 GMT   

Rudall Crescent, NW3 (- 1999)
I lived at 2 Rudall Crescent until myself and my family moved out in 1999. I once met a lady in a art fair up the road who was selling old photos of the area and was very knowledgeable about the area history, collecting photos over the years. She told me that before the current houses were built, there was a large manor house , enclosed by a large area of land. She told me there had been a fire there. Im trying to piece together the story and find out what was on the land before the crescent was built. This website is very interesting.

Lived here
Added: 22 Sep 2022 18:30 GMT   

Well Walk, NW3 (1817 - 1818)
The home of Benthy, the Postman, with whom poet John Keats and his brother Tom lodged from early 1817 to Dec., 1818. They occupied the first floor up. Here Tom died Dec. 1, 1818. It was next door to the Welles Tavern then called ’The Green Man’."

From collected papers and photos re: No. 1 Well Walk at the library of Harvard University.

Source: No. 1, Well Walk, Hampstead. | HOLLIS for


James Preston   
Added: 28 Apr 2021 09:06 GMT   

Was this the location of Rosslyn House prep school? I have a photograph of the Rosslyn House cricket team dated 1910 which features my grandfather (Alan Westbury Preston). He would have been 12 years old at the time. All the boys on the photo have been named. If this is the location of the school then it appears that the date of demolition is incorrect.

Graham Margetson   
Added: 9 Feb 2021 14:33 GMT   

I lived at 4 Arkwright Road before it was the school
My parents lived at 4 Arkwright Road. Mrs Goodwin actually owned the house and my parents rented rooms from her.

Lived here
Added: 10 Dec 2020 23:51 GMT   

Wellgarth Road, NW11
I lived at 15 Wellgarth Road with my parents and family from 1956 until I left home in the 70s and continued to visit my mother there until she moved in the early 80s. On the first day we moved in we kids raced around the garden and immediately discovered an air raid shelter that ran right underneath the house which I assume was added in the run-up to WW2. There was a basement room with its own entrance off the garden and right opposite where the air raid shelter emerged. In no time at all up high near the ceiling of this room, we discovered a door which, while we were little enough, we could enter by standing on some item of furniture, haul ourselves in and hide from the grownups. That room was soundproof enough for us kids to make a racket if we wanted to. But not too loud if my dad was playing billiards in the amazing wood-panelled room immediately above. We had no idea that we were living in such an historical building. To us it was just fun - and home!

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: 24 Sep 2023 19:09 GMT   

Meyrick Rd
My family - Roe - lived in poverty at 158 Meyrick Rd in the 1920s, moving to 18 Lavender Terrace in 1935. They also lived in York Rd at one point. Alf, Nell (Ellen), plus children John, Ellen (Did), Gladys, Joyce & various lodgers. Alf worked for the railway (LMS).

Born here
Added: 20 Sep 2023 21:10 GMT   

Momentous Birth!
I was born in the upstairs front room of 28 Tyrrell Avenue in August 1938. I was a breach birth and quite heavy ( poor Mum!). My parents moved to that end of terrace house from another rental in St Mary Cray where my three year older brother had been born in 1935. The estate was quite new in 1938 and all the properties were rented. My Father was a Postman. I grew up at no 28 all through WWII and later went to Little Dansington School


Mike Levy   
Added: 19 Sep 2023 18:10 GMT   

Bombing of Arbour Square in the Blitz
On the night of September 7, 1940. Hyman Lubosky (age 35), his wife Fay (or Fanny)(age 32) and their son Martin (age 17 months) died at 11 Arbour Square. They are buried together in Rainham Jewish Cemetery. Their grave stones read: "Killed by enemy action"


Lady Townshend   
Added: 8 Sep 2023 16:02 GMT   

Tenant at Westbourne (1807 - 1811)
I think that the 3rd Marquess Townshend - at that time Lord Chartley - was a tenant living either at Westbourne Manor or at Bridge House. He undertook considerable building work there as well as creating gardens. I am trying to trace which house it was. Any ideas gratefully received


Alex Britton   
Added: 30 Aug 2023 10:43 GMT   

Late opening
The tracks through Roding Valley were opened on 1 May 1903 by the Great Eastern Railway (GER) on its Woodford to Ilford line (the Fairlop Loop).

But the station was not opened until 3 February 1936 by the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER, successor to the GER).

Source: Roding Valley tube station - Wikipedia

Kevin Pont   
Added: 30 Aug 2023 09:52 GMT   

Roding Valley is the quietest tube station, each year transporting the same number of passengers as Waterloo does in one day.


Kevin Pont   
Added: 30 Aug 2023 09:47 GMT   

The connection with Bletchley Park
The code-breaking computer used at Bletchley Park was built in Dollis Hill.

Kevin Pont   
Added: 29 Aug 2023 15:15 GMT   

Not as Central as advertised...
Hendon Central was by no means the centre of Hendon when built, being a green field site. It was built at the same time as both the North Circular Road and the A41 were built as major truck roads �’ an early example of joined up London transport planning.


Branch Hill Pond Branch Hill Pond which was fed from a spring which was also the main source of the Westbourne.
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Hampstead though now considered an integral part of London, has retained much of its village charm.

Hampstead is on a steep hill and the tube station platforms are the deepest on the London Underground network, at 58.5 metres below ground level. It has the deepest lift shaft on the Underground.

Although early records of Hampstead itself can be found in a grant by King Ethelred the Unready to the monastery of St. Peter's at Westminster (AD 986) and it is referred to in the Domesday Book (1086), the history of Hampstead is generally traced back to the 17th century.

Trustees of the Well started advertising the medicinal qualities of the chalybeate waters (water impregnated with iron) in 1700. Although Hampstead Wells was initially successful, its popularity declined in the 1800s due to competition with other London spas. The spa was demolished in 1882, although a water fountain was left behind.

Hampstead started to expand following the opening of the North London Railway in the 1860s (now on the London Overground), and expanded further after the tube station opened in 1907.

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Victorian house under construction
TUM image id: 1483541885
Licence: CC BY 2.0
Holly Walk, NW3
TUM image id: 1455451397
Licence: CC BY 2.0
North End Road, NW11
TUM image id: 1492987726

In the neighbourhood...

Click an image below for a better view...
The Old Bull and Bush The Old Bull and Bush, near Hampstead Heath, gave its name to the music hall song "Down at the old Bull and Bush" sung by Florrie Forde. The interior was renovated to a modern, gastropub style in 2006. Until the introduction of the smoking ban in England in 2007, The Bull and Bush was one of the few completely smoke-free pubs in London. The earliest record of a building on the site is of a farmhouse in 1645. The farmhouse gained a licence to sell ale in 1721. William Hogarth drank here, and is believed to have been involved in planting out the pub garden.
Old London postcard

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

Removing the ’Dick Turpin House and Stables’ which once stood close to the Spaniards Inn, Hampstead, January 1934. The building caused an even narrower traffic obstruction than the pub still does today
Licence: CC BY 2.0

Spedan Close
Licence: CC BY 2.0

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

Whitestone Pond (1900s)
Licence: CC BY 2.0

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