South Hill Park is a road on the edge of Hampstead Heath.
In 1878, landowner the Dean of Westminster made a building agreement with Joseph Pickett, the tenant of South End Farm, and John Ashwell, a Kentish Town builder, for the 15 and a half acres north of the Hampstead Junction Railway. South Hill Park Road (later Parliament Hill
Road) and Nassington Road
were laid out in 1878 and 90 houses built between 1879 and 1892.
The planned extension of the roads into Lord Mansfield’s lands in St. Pancras was halted by the addition of Parliament Hill
Fields to the heath in 1889. Tanza Road
was made instead, to connect the existing roads, and building began there in 1890. Ashwell withdrew in 1881 and Pickett, who by then described himself as a master builder and lived in South Hill Park, was under-financed and built cheaply, mostly semi-detached and terraced tall but cramped redbrick houses for the middle class.
The last woman to be hanged in Britain, Ruth Ellis, was sentenced to death for a murder committed on South Hill Park. She shot her boyfriend David Blakely, outside a public house, The Magdala, on 10 April 1955. Coincidentally, the second-last woman to be hanged in Britain, Styllou Christofi, lived a few metres from the Magdala at 11 South Hill Park with her son and daughter-in-law. She was executed in December 1954, four months before Ellis committed her crime.
The film director Anthony Minghella lived in South Hill Park until his death in 2008. His son, Max Minghella, had a role in the film Hippie Hippie Shake, parts of which were shot in the street and its surrounding area.