Print-friendly version of this page
Street/road in London NW6
Cannon Stream The Cannon Stream was, before it was sent underground, a tributary of the Westbourne River. Decca Studios Decca Studios was a recording facility in Broadhurst Gardens. Kilburn Grange Park Kilburn Grange Park is a three hectare open space adjacent to Kilburn High Road. Oaklands Hall On the west side of West End Lane, Charles Spain bought 5 acres and between 1829 and 1838 built York Villa. The Elms The Elms - also known as Elm Lodge - stood at the junction of Kilburn High Road and Willesden Lane. The Grange The Grange was a large mansion situated on Kilburn High Road until the turn of the twentieth century. The Railway The Railway pub is a standard Victorian pub with a musical secret. West End House West End House, once in open countryside, became surrounded by railways. West End Park West End Park was created from fields known as the 'Little Estate'. Abbots Place, NW6 Abbots Place runs from Priory Road to West End Lane and Abbey Road. Aberdare Gardens, NW6 This late Victorian street was probably named in compliment to Henry Bruce, Home Secretary 1868-1873, who was created 1st Baron Aberdare. Acol Road, NW6 Acol is not an acronym, but a village in Kent that gave its name to Acol Road, NW6. Albion Mews, NW6 Albion Mews is one of the streets of London in the NW6 postal area. Ariel Road, NW6 Ariel Road was formed from the 1885 combination of Ariel Street and Spencer Terrace. Eresby Road, NW6 Eresby Road ran from Kingsgate Road to Kilburn High Road with a turning for Kingsgate Place about halfway down. Gascony Avenue, NW6 Gascony Avenue is an east-west road lying both sides of Kingsgate Road, NW6. The Terrace, NW6 The Terrace is one of the streets of London in the NW6 postal area.
The name "West Hampstead" was a 19th century invention - the original name was West End.
Lacking its own supply of spring water and situated away from the main roads, medieval West End barely qualified as a hamlet until a few country houses were built here from the 17th century onwards. The tendency for West End Lane
to become impassably muddy after heavy rain further enhanced the hamlet's isolation.
By 1815 West End was still exceptionally quiet – so much so that its inhabitants claimed to have heard the cannon fire at Waterloo. The construction of the Finchley Road in the 1830s brought few additions to a population that consisted of a handful of squires and some farm labourers, gardeners and craftsmen. By 1851 West End had one inn and two beershops.
Railways were the prime stimulus of growth in many country corners of modern London but few places were transformed as wholly as West End. With the arrival of the Hampstead Junction Railway in 1857, the Midland Railway in 1868 and the Metropolitan and St John’s Wood Railway in 1879, the new suburb of West Hampstead spread in all directions.
Rapid development in the 1880s and 1890s swept away the large houses and the streets were laid out in today's pattern. A local estate agent in Kilburn claimed that he coined the name ‘West Hampstead’, for one of the local railway stations. Public amenities such as street lighting, gas and electricity were provided and much of the frontage to West End Lane
was developed as shops.
Some of the new estates were the work of big developers like the United Land Company, whose inclination was to build fairly densely, and during the latter decades of the 19th century parts of West Hampstead became increasingly working-class in character, with policeman, travelling salesmen and railwaymen mixing with clerks and artisans. Engineering workshops operated near the railway lines.
Twentieth-century building was limited mainly to interwar blocks of flats in the north of the district, often in place of Victorian houses that had already become run-down.
The West Hampstead ward now has relatively few families and a great number of young single people. A large proportion of homes are privately rented and fewer than a quarter of adults are married, compared with more than half for the country as a whole. This socio-economic profile is evident in the upmarket cafés that have lined West End Lane
in recent years.
Famous West Hampstead residents have included the singers Dusty Springfield, Joan Armatrading, Olivia Newton John and Jimmy Somerville, author Doris Lessing, actresses Imelda Staunton and Emma Thompson, and the playwright Joe Orton, who lived on West End Lane
with his lover Kenneth Halliwell from 1951 to 1959. Stephen Fry has also lived here.