Inventory Site Record

Gondar Gardens Covered Reservoir (Camden)

Brief Description

Gondar Gardens Covered Reservoir was built in 1874 by Grand Junction Water Works and its grass covered roof is supported by brick arches. Thames Water decommissioned the reservoir in 2002 when the ring main was built around London, and in 2010 the site was sold to developers. An open space of importance for nature conservation, it has been designated a heritage asset in LB Camden's Local List and is cherished by local residents for its fine views across to Hampstead Parish Church and beyond.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Shoot-Up Hill Reservoir
Site location:
Gondar Gardens, West Hampstead
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Private Open Land
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Rail: West Hampstead
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

The rectangular site contains the redundant brick-built reservoir, a third of which is above ground and grassed over; apart from a strip of land fronting Gondar Gardens the reservoir is bounded by the backs of Victorian or Edwardian houses and mansion flats. When the site was originally purchased for the new reservoir, the surrounding area was mainly open farmland; part of the site was reserved for building a second reservoir at a later date, but this was never constructed, The Victorian reservoir, completed in 1874, was used to store potable drinking water. However, in the 1990s Thames Water made the decision not to upgrade the reservoir and instead built a new facility at Dollis Hill,. This led to use of Gondar Gardens Reservoir being discontinued in 1997 and it was eventually decommissioned in 2002.

The site was recognised in LB Camden's Local Plan as Private Open Space and as a Site of Nature Conservation Importance, the only known location in Camden for slow-worms. There are small areas of woodland, mostly sycamore and ash, plus hawthorn and plum on the slopes at the eastern and western ends. Described as a 'green lung of high environmental value' (Camden Planning Inspector) the site provides views which 'constitute a considerable public asset' (Camden Planning Inspector 2005). In 2015 it was included as a non-designated heritage asset in Camden's Local List as a 'Natural Feature or Landscape'.

Linden Wates (West Hampstead) Ltd purchased Gondar Gardens Covered Reservoir in 2010, and a planning application for a scheme for 28 housing units has been submitted, which preserved much of the site as a nature reserve that would be managed by a body such as London Wildlife Trust. The developers have removed trees on the street frontage and erected hoardings.

Sources consulted:

Camden Local List, adopted January 2015; Rolfe Judd Planning, Planning Statement, Gondar Gardens Reservoir Site, Gondar Gardens West Hampstead NW6, on behalf of Linden Wates (West Hampstead) Ltd, 14 November 2013

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ247852 (524776,185370)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
Linden Wates (West Hampstead) Ltd
Site management:
Linden Wates (West Hampstead) Ltd
Listed structures:
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Borough Importance II
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Open Space; Neighbourhood Plan Fortune Green and West Hampstead

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.