West End Lane, NW6

Road in/near West Hampstead, existing between 1525 and now

 HOME  ·  ARTICLE  MAP  STREETS  BLOG 
(51.54524 -0.19163, 51.545 -0.191) 

West End Lane, NW6

MAP YEAR:1750180018301860190019502020Remove markers
Road · * · NW6 ·
MAY
10
2015

West End Lane is the main road running through West Hampstead.

West End Lane is one of West Hampstead's oldest roads. It was already named West End Lane by 1644. West End Lane and Mill Lane (Shoot Up Hill Lane and Cole Lane), probably existed as access in the Middle Ages since they formed the boundaries of several ancient estates.

It is bent at a right-angle at the north and south ends where it connects to Finchley Road and Edgware Road respectively. It is possible to trace most of West End Lane’s bends and twists from the earliest maps on the modern street plan.

As late as the 1860s it was still a true country lane with high banks, "hedged irregularly for the greater part of its length, and enshrined too by the embracing branches of the majestic oak, elm and other forest trees, through which a sunny gleam here and there broke." according to Dick Weindling and Marianne Colloms in Kilburn and West Hampstead Past.

West End Lane led westwards from Hampstead and then southwards to Kilburn. Where it took this sharp turn from running west to running south, a hamlet grew up. The hamlet was originally known as "le Rudyng" (indicating a woodland clearing) in the mid-13th century, but by 1534 came to be called West End. It was then a freehold estate belonging to Kilburn Priory, and was so called because it was at the west end of another, larger estate.

By the early 17th century a number of houses were present, and by the middle of that century London merchants were building larger houses in the area, so turning a hamlet into the village of West End.

At the beginning of the 19th century, there were three main large houses around the hamlet of West End: West End House, West End Hall and Lauriston Lodge which were later sold off for redevelopment with the arrival of the railways, which led to the transformation of the area from farmland into housing estates.

In 1879, the Metropolitan Railway adopted the name West Hampstead for its station on West End Lane. Three railway stations were built by three different companies along the length of the road.

With the coming of the railways and of housing, West End Lane became the major shopping street for which it is known to this day.




Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence


West End Lane in the late nineteenth century

West End Lane in the late nineteenth century
User unknown/public domain

NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
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.
Jacksfield Jacksfield was one of the smaller but well-documented copyhold estates in the West Hampstead area.
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.
Sandwell House Sandwell House was owned by three generations of the Wachter family.
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.
Victoria Tavern The Victoria Tavern was built on the corner of Kilburn High Road and Willesden Lane in the middle of the nineteenth century.
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'.

NEARBY STREETS
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.
Banister Mews, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Billy Fury Way, NW3 Billy Fury Way is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Blackburn Road, NW6 Blackburn Road is a cul-de-sac off of West End Lane.
Broadwell Parade, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Brondesbury Mews, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Cleve Road, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Compayne Gardens, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Cotleigh Road, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Crown Close, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Doulton Mews, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Dynham Road, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
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.
Gladys Road, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Grange Place, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Grangeway, NW6 Grangeway, NW6 lies off of Messina Avenue.
Hemstal Road, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Highfield Mews, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Hilltop Road, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Iverson Road, NW6 The first part of Iverson Road, NW6 was laid out in 1872.
Kings Gardens, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Kingsgate Road, NW6 Kingsgate Road runs between Quex Road and Hemstal Road.
Kylemore Road, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Liddell Road, NW6 Liddell Road was named after an old West Hampstead estate.
Linstead Street, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Lowfield Road, NW6 Lowfield Road is the northern extension of Kingsgate Road, NW6.
Maygrove Road, NW6 Maygrove Road runs between the Edgware Road and Iverson Road, NW6
Medley Road, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Messina Avenue, NW6 Messina Avenue stretches from West End Lane over to Kilburn High Road.
Netherwood Street, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Palmerston Road, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Priory Road, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Rowntree Close, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Sherriff Road, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Showing every road so far featured, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Smyrna Road, NW6 Smyrna Road is a small road to the west of West End Lane.
St Marys Mews, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Waterloo Passage, NW6 Waterloo Passage is one of the streets of London in the NW6 postal area.
Wavel Mews, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
West Hampstead Mews, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
Woodchurch Road, NW6 Street/road in London NW6


West Hampstead

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.


LOCAL PHOTOS
West Hampstead Overgound
TUM image id: 1127
West End Park, 1870s
TUM image id: 1135
Maygrove Peace Park
TUM image id: 1152
Sandwell House
TUM image id: 2496
The Beatles at Decca
TUM image id: 2505
The Railway, West Hampstead
TUM image id: 2915
Billy Fury Way
TUM image id: 1452680801
Grangeway, NW6
TUM image id: 1453361516
201402160103
TUM image id: 1453363351
Print-friendly version of this page