Spedan Close, NW3

Road in/near Hampstead, existing between 1978 and now

 HOME  ·  ARTICLE  MAP  STREETS  BLOG 
(51.55972 -0.18382) 

Spedan Close, NW3

MAP YEAR:1750180018301860190019502020Remove markers
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
Further citations and sources



Spedan Close

Spedan Close
municipaldreams.wordpress.com

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
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.
Back Lane, NW9 Back Lane is a road in the NW9 postcode area
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.
Coach House Yard, NW3 Coach House Yard is a street in Hampstead.
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 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.
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.


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
Jack Straw's Castle (1907)
TUM image id: 2368
Holly Walk, NW3
TUM image id: 1455451397
Yorkshire Grey Place, NW3
TUM image id: 1456946471
Whitestone Pond (1900s)
TUM image id: 1484920765
Print-friendly version of this page