Print-friendly version of this page
Thorplands was an estate south of Mill Lane
There was a house on the estate possibly by 1244. Then called Rudyng
, Thorplands had been leased to William Wylde in 1534 and was part of the lands granted to Warwick in 1547.
Thorplands was then owned by John Thorp of St Martins in the Fields, Surveyor General to Queen Elizabeth I Thorpe held it at least from 1646 to 1653. John Thorpe (d. 1687). His home village was Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire.
Thorp left his freehold lands at to trustees for his grandson, John Thorpe also of St. Martins.
By 1762, Thorplands was an 18 acre freehold estate with a house at West End. It was described as a tithe-free freehold owned by ’Mr. Draper’. When Elizabeth Draper died in 1771, her copyhold property descended to her son John but the freehold estate was held in 1767 and 1771 by Mrs. Robinson and later by Thomas Fentham. John Thomas Fentham was the owner in 1841 and Thomas Potter in the 1860s and 1870s when building began.
Potter built some 15 houses fronting Mill Lane
between 1873 and 1877 and the Elms and the Cedars
next to the green by 1878.
Another 28 houses and a Methodist church were built on the estate fronting Mill Lane
in 1886-7 and seven blocks of flats in West End Lane
on what was called the Cedars
estate in 1894.
Acknowledgement: Thanks to Michael Lee for information supplied about John Thorp.
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence
Estate map of West Emd
User unknown/public domain
Abbots Place, NW6 Abbots Place runs from Priory Road to West End Lane and Abbey Road. 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. Dennington Park Road, NW6 About 1881 Dennington Park Road was constructed on the line of Sweetbriar Walk, the old path to Lauriston Lodge. Finchley Road, NW2 Finchley Road runs briefly through the NW2 postcode as it passes through Childs Hill. Gascony Avenue, NW6 Gascony Avenue is an east-west road lying both sides of Kingsgate Road, NW6. Heath Drive, NW3 Heath Drive, one of the roads connecting Hampstead with the Finchley Road was originally West Hampstead Avenue. Holmdale Road, NW6 Holmdale Road runs from Mill Lane to Dennington Park Road in West Hampstead. Inglewood Road, NW6 Inglewood Road, NW6 was one of the last roads to be built in West End, West Hampstead. Mill Lane, NW6 Mill Lane forms the boundary between Fortune Green and West Hampstead. Platt’s Lane, NW3 A farmhouse on the edge of the heath was enlarged by Thomas Platt before 1811 and who gave his name to the lane.
Quex Road, NW6 Quex Road is an important road in NW6 linking the Edgware Road and West End Lane. The Terrace, NW6 The Terrace is one of the streets of London in the NW6 postal area. Ulysses Road, NW6 Ulysses Road is one of a series of streets named after the Trojan War.
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.