Before the builders arrived en masse in the late nineteenth century, West Hampstead was a rural area of large houses, farms and estates, centred around West End Green.
Beckfords Estate, belonging to the family of the same name, consisted of 15 acres north of Mill Lane and west of Fortune Green Lane.
By the turn of the nineteenth century, the Greenhill family held Earlsfield. The estate was identifiable as two fields south of Mill Lane, forming a long strip of 7 acres, copyhold and heriotable.
Flitcroft was a 50 acre estate at Fortune Green and West End, named after its owner in the 18th century. At the core of Flitcroft was 28 acres of land left in a will. In 1756, it was bought by an agent for the architect Henry Flitcroft.
Richard Gibbs, a goldsmith, acquired Hillfield on the east side of West End Lane, north of Jacksfield, together with two houses in 1644. The Hillfield estate was held by another Londoner in 1685 and the house was ‘new fronted and much beautified and another house built’ after 1703 by Henry Binfield.
Jacksfield was one of the smaller but well-documented copyhold estates in the West Hampstead area. The house associated with Jacksfield by 1646 was probably Frognal Hall. In 1668 Pepys visited Sir Geoffrey Palmer ‘in the fields by his old route and house’.
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’.
By the 1860s, Oaklands Hall, an elaborate Gothic mansion, was occupying a site in the south of the area and was occupied by Donald Nicoll MP. Nicoll owned portions of the Little Estate to the north and west, which together formed a 23 acre estate which he called West End Park.