Spedan Close, NW3

Road in/near Hampstead, existing between 1978 and now

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(51.55972 -0.18382, 51.559 -0.183) 
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Road · Hampstead · NW3 ·
JANUARY
17
2017

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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CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY


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.

Reply

James Preston   
Added: 28 Apr 2021 09:06 GMT   

School
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.

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Comment
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.


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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!

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Comment
GRaleigh   
Added: 23 Feb 2021 09:34 GMT   

Found a bug
Hi all! Thank you for your excellent site. I found an overlay bug on the junction of Glengall Road, NW6 and Hazelmere Road, NW6 on the 1950 map only. It appears when one zooms in at this junction and only on the zoom.

Cheers,
Geoff Raleigh

Source: Glengall Road, NW6

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Reply
The Underground Map   
Added: 25 Feb 2021 13:11 GMT   

Glengall Road, NW6
Thanks Geoff!

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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Comment
Watts   
Added: 17 May 2022 20:29 GMT   

Baeethoven St School, also an Annex for Paddington College of FE.
In the early 70’s I took a two year science course at Paddington CFE. The science classes were held on weekday evenings at Beethoven Street school, overseen by chemistry teacher, Mr Tattershall.

Reply

   
Added: 25 Apr 2022 22:11 GMT   

Southover, N12
Everyone knows Central Woodside is the place to be. Ever since kdog moved from finchtown, Woodside has been thriving.

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Born here
Bernard Miller   
Added: 12 Apr 2022 17:36 GMT   

My mother and her sister were born at 9 Windsor Terrace
My mother, Millie Haring (later Miller) and her sister Yetta Haring (later Freedman) were born here in 1922 and 1923. With their parents and older brother and sister, they lived in two rooms until they moved to Stoke Newington in 1929. She always said there were six rooms, six families, a shared sink on the first floor landing and a toilet in the backyard.

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Brian Lynch   
Added: 10 Apr 2022 13:38 GMT   

Staples Mattress Factory
An architect’s design of the Staples Mattress Factory
An image found on the website of Dalzell’s Beds, in Armagh Northern Ireland.

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Lived here
   
Added: 19 Feb 2022 16:21 GMT   

Harmondsworth (1939 - 1965)
I lived in a house (Lostwithiel) on the Bath Road opposite the junction with Tythe Barn Lane, now a hotel site. Initially, aircraft used one of the diagonal runways directly in line with our house. I attended Sipson Primary School opposite the Three Magpies and celebrated my 21st birthday at The Peggy Bedford in 1959.

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Emma Seif   
Added: 25 Jan 2022 19:06 GMT   

Birth of the Bluestocking Society
In about 1750, Elizabeth Montagu began hosting literary breakfasts in her home at 23 (now 31) Hill Street. These are considered the first meetings of the Bluestocking society.

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Comment
   
Added: 14 Jan 2022 03:06 GMT   

Goldbourne Gardens W 10
I lived in Goldbourne Gardens in the 50,s very happy big bomb site

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Chris Nash   
Added: 10 Jan 2022 22:54 GMT   

Shortlands Close, DA17
Shortlands Close and the flats along it were constructed in the mid-1990s. Prior to this, the area was occupied by semi-detached houses with large gardens, which dated from the post-war period and were built on the site of Railway Farm. The farm and its buildings spanned the length of Abbey Road, on the south side of the North Kent Line railway tracks.

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NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
An introduction to Hampstead by G.E. Mitton (1902) This text originates from "The Fascination of Hampstead" by Geraldine Edith Mitton (published 1902)
Branch Hill Pond Branch Hill Pond which was fed from a spring which was also the main source of the Westbourne.
Hampstead Hampstead though now considered an integral part of London, has retained much of its village charm.
Hampstead station (1907) Hampstead station pictured at its opening in 1907
Heath House Heath House is a Grade II* listed historic mansion on Hampstead Heath.
St Mary’s Church St Mary’s Chapel, now known as St Mary’s Church, is a Grade II* listed Roman Catholic church.

NEARBY STREETS
Admiral’s Walk, NW3 Admiral’s Walk extends from Hampstead Grove to Lower Terrace.
Back Lane, NW3 Back Lane runs from Heath Street to Flask Walk.
Birchwood Drive, NW3 Birchwood Drive is a street in Hampstead.
Branch Hill, NW3 Branch Hill is a street in Hampstead.
Cannon Place, NW3 Cannon Place is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Carnegie House, NW3 Residential block
Cenacle Close, NW3 Cenacle Close is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Christ Church, NW3 Christ Church is a street in Hampstead.
Christchurch Passage, NW3 Christchurch Passage is a location in London.
Coach House Yard, NW3 Coach House Yard is a street in Hampstead.
East View, NW3 East View is a location in London.
Elm Row, NW3 Elm Row is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Falcon Lodge, NW3 Falcon Lodge is a street in Hampstead.
Ferncroft Avenue, NW3 Ferncroft Avenue is a street in Hampstead.
Firecrest Drive, NW3 Firecrest Drive is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Flask Walk, NW3 Flask Walk is a street in Hampstead.
Frognal Rise, NW3 Frognal Rise is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Grange Gardens, NW3 Grange Gardens is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Hampstead Grove, NW3 Hampstead Grove is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Hampstead Square, NW3 Hampstead Square is a street in Hampstead.
Heath Brow, NW3 Heath Brow is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Heath Drive, NW3 Heath Drive, one of the roads connecting Hampstead with the Finchley Road was originally West Hampstead Avenue.
Heath Street, NW3 Heath Street is a street in Hampstead.
Heath Villas, NW3 Heath Villas is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Heysham Lane, NW3 Heysham Lane is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Holford Road, NW3 This is a street in the NW3 postcode area
Holly Berry Lane, NW3 Holly Berry Lane is a street in Hampstead.
Holly Bush Hill, NW3 Holly Bush Hill is a location in London.
Holly Bush Vale, NW3 Holly Bush Vale is a street in Hampstead.
Holly Hill, NW3 Holly Hill is a street in Hampstead.
Holly Mount, NW3 Holly Mount is a street in Hampstead.
Holly Walk, NW3 Holly Walk connects Holly Hill with Church Row.
Hollyberry Lane, NW3 Hollyberry Lane is a location in London.
Judges’ Walk, NW3 Judges’ Walk is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Kidderpore Gardens, NW3 Kidderpore Gardens is a street in Hampstead.
Lakis Close, NW3 Lakis Close is a street in Hampstead.
Lower Terrace, NW3 Lower Terrace is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Mansion Gardens, NW3 This is a street in the NW3 postcode area
Mount Vernon, NW3 Mount Vernon is a road in the NW3 postcode area
New End, NW3 New End is a street in Hampstead.
Oak Hill Park Mews, NW3 Oak Hill Park Mews first appears on the 1900 map.
Oak Hill Park Mews, NW3 Oak Hill Park Mews is a street in Hampstead.
Oak Hill Park, NW3 Oak Hill Park is a street in Hampstead.
Oak Hill Way, NW3 Oak Hill Way is a street in Hampstead.
Oakhill Avenue, NW3 Oakhill Avenue is a street in Hampstead.
Oriel Place, NW3 Oriel Place is a street in Hampstead.
Redington Gardens, NW3 Redington Gardens is the northern extension of Heath Drive in Hampstead.
Redington Road, NW3 Redington Road is a street in Hampstead.
Rosecroft Avenue, NW3 Rosecroft Avenue is a street in Hampstead.
Streatley Place, NW3 Streatley Place is a street in Hampstead.
Telegraph Hill, NW3 Telegraph Hill is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Templewood Avenue, NW3 Templewood Avenue is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Templewood Gardens, NW3 Templewood Gardens is a road in the NW3 postcode area
The Mount, NW3 The Mount is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Upper Terrace, NW3 Upper Terrace is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Vale of Health, NW3 Vale of Health is a road in the NW3 postcode area
West Heath Road, NW3 West Heath Road is a street in Hampstead.
Whitestone Lane, NW3 Whitestone Lane is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Windmill Hill, NW3 Windmill Hill is a street in Hampstead.
Yorkshire Grey Place, NW3 Yorkshire Grey Place is a street in Hampstead.

NEARBY PUBS
The Duke of Hamilton This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Flask This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Holly Bush This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Horse Shoe This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.


Hampstead

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.


LOCAL PHOTOS
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Click here to see Creative Commons images near to this postcode
Click here to see Creative Commons images tagged with this road (if applicable)
The Old Bull and Bush
TUM image id: 1489504693
Licence: CC BY 2.0
Victorian house under construction
TUM image id: 1483541885
Licence: CC BY 2.0
Wet Fish Cafe
Credit: Wet Fish Cafe
TUM image id: 1556889785
Licence: CC BY 2.0
The Alice House
TUM image id: 1557142437
Licence: CC BY 2.0
The Black Lion (early 1900s)
TUM image id: 1557151939
Licence: CC BY 2.0
Eustace Hamilton Miles
TUM image id: 1557162230
Licence: CC BY 2.0
Church Row, NW3
TUM image id: 1546470373
Licence: CC BY 2.0
Holly Walk, NW3
TUM image id: 1455451397
Licence: CC BY 2.0
Frognal, NW3
Credit: Google Maps
TUM image id: 1557403884
Licence: CC BY 2.0

In the neighbourhood...

Click an image below for a better view...
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
Licence: CC BY 2.0


Holly Walk, NW3
Licence: CC BY 2.0


Bracknell Way
Licence:


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)
Licence: CC BY 2.0


Whitestone Pond (1900s)
Licence: CC BY 2.0


Church Row, NW3
Licence: CC BY 2.0


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