On the north side of Hampstead Lane was Bishop’s Wood. This wood, another further to the north called Mutton Wood, and another to the west called Wild Wood, was a portion of the great wood attached to the estate of the Bishop of London.
The Spaniards Inn (from 1585) and its old tollhouse opposite (built circa 1710 ) still cause a bottleneck in Hampstead Lane that causes slow traffic. Both being listed structures, the road layout will no doubt remain for more centuries. The Spaniards was built on the Finchley boundary and formed the entrance to the Bishop of London’s estate. A boundary stone from 1755 can be seen in the front garden.
Hampstead Lane was once south of its current course until landowner Lord Mansfield, who purchased Kenwood in 1754 and Bishop’s Wood in 1755, had it rerouted around his property.
Lord Mansfield acquired Kenwood for £4000. He and his wife, Betty used it as their weekend country villa. Lord Mansfield expanded the estate, and swept away the formal gardens.