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Man at laptop | Wayne & Silver Estate Agents | Hampstead Estate Agents

Hampsteads Illustrious History

Published: 13/12/2022

The intellectual, liberal, artistic, musical, and literary associations of Hampstead are well known. In the Greater London area, it has some of the most expensive housing. More millionaires reside in Hampstead than any other region in the United Kingdom. But do you know about the early life of Hampstead?


Early Hampstead

Saxons were the first to settle in Hampstead. It was formerly known as Hamstede, which is Dutch for "homestead." It was merely a quiet English village where people farmed and grazed sheep for many years.
 
Hampstead and other adjacent villages began to prosper in the late 17th century, nevertheless, when affluent people fled the plague of 1665 and the fire of 1666. Rich people chose to live near London's amenities but away from the clamour and dirt of the metropolis.
 

Fenton House

Fenton House was built in 1693. It was given that name in honour of businessman Philip Fenton, a local from the 18th century.
At his uncle's Lancashire manor house, Hoghton Tower, Philip Ibbetson Fenton was born in 1731. He was raised in Yorkshire. His parents were well-off, and he increased their wealth by selling Russian goods to London through Riga (today the capital of Latvia). A century after it had been constructed (as Ostend House) by an anonymous architect for an unidentified customer, Fenton purchased the property that now bears his name in 1793. The retired businessman resided at Fenton House for the final 13 years of his life until being laid to rest in August 1806 in the grounds of St. John-at-Hampstead.
Fenton House, a small, square building with four rooms on each of its main two storeys and embodying "the simple domestic classicism of the William and Mary period," according to Pevsner, was originally built with a southern entrance. When James Fenton took over ownership of the home in 1807, he merged the south rooms on the ground floor to create a full-width dining room and created a new entrance on the east side.
The National Trust currently owns Fenton House. There are signs at the entrance and visitors are welcome to explore the home, grounds, and balcony, which offers a stunning view of central London.
 

How to get to Fenton House

To get to Fenton House from the Hampstead tube station, head north down Holly Hill, Holly Bush Hill, and then onto Hampstead Grove. There are two entrances to Fenton House: one is from Holly Bush Hill and leads to the front of the house through a beautiful gateway and a garden, and the other is in Hampstead Grove, as seen in the preceding two images.
 
The discovery that the spring water had therapeutic properties by Dr. Gibbons led to Hampstead's transformation into a spa town in the 18th century. Many luxurious homes in Hampstead were built in the 18th century. Burgh House was built in 1702. (It is now used as a museum.) Kenwood House was initially built in 1616. In the 1760s, Robert Adam restored it for the First Earl of Mansfield.  
 
In the 18th century, Hampstead was home to Hatches Bottom Marsh. It was filled in and given the incredibly cheery new name of Vale of Health after being emptied in the 1770s.
 

Todays Hampstead

Hampstead expanded quickly in the 18th century as affluent Londoners moved there. The population of Hampstead was 3,343 in 1801. Although it might seem small to us, by historical standards, it was a sizable region. Other small provincial market towns existed. Hampstead was first illuminated by oil lamps in 1774, and gas was added in 1824.
 
In the 19th century, Hampstead continued to grow swiftly, especially after its first railway station was built there in 1852. (Railways made it much easier for Londoners to go from Hampstead to London.) In the late 19th century, Hampstead was mostly an affluent London suburb. (However, some of its residents were less fortunate.)