Fitzjohn’s Avenue, NW3

Road in/near Hampstead, existing between 1888 and now

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(51.55271 -0.17593) 

Fitzjohn’s Avenue, NW3

MAP YEAR:1750180018301860190019502020Remove markers
Road · Hampstead · NW3 ·
APRIL
2
2015

Fitzjohn’s Avenue links Hampstead with Swiss Cottage.

Before Fitzjohn’s Avenue was built, Hampstead was bounded to the south by a broad belt of green meadows, known as the Shepherds’ or Conduit Fields, across which ran a pathway sloping up to the southwestern corner of the village, and terminating near Church Row. On the eastern side of these fields wass an old well or conduit, called the Shepherd’s Well, the source of the River Tyburn.

In the early 1870s, it was proposed by some of the inhabitants of Hampstead to purchase a portion of these grassy slopes, and to devote them to public use as a park.

However, in 1871 F. J. Clark had suggested a new road direct to Hampstead and in 1872 Spencer Maryon Wilson was hoping to create a "truly imposing road". In 1875 he contracted with John Culverhouse, who since 1871 had been the tenant at will of the two main demesne farms, to make Fitzjohn’s Avenue, from College Crescent off Finchley Road to Greenhill Road, and to plant ornamental trees.

In 1888, under the Town Improvement Scheme, the alleyways and courtyards cluttering Hampstead Village were cleared, Heath Street was extended and Fitzjohns Avenue created across green fields to provide better access to the West End.

At the same time that the avenue was constructed the Tyburn River - a tiny stream running through the fields, was diverted underground along the length of Fitzjohn’s Avenue.


Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence


Fitzjohn’s Avenue sign

Fitzjohn’s Avenue sign
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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.
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