Inventory Site Record

King's College London, Hampstead Residence (Camden)

Brief Description

King's College London today occupies 5 campuses and other properties across London including its Hampstead Residence. The site was formerly that of Kidderpore Hall, a large Grecian-style house of 1840-43, which stood on top of the hill. When the estate was broken up in 1889 the house and 2 acres were purchased by Westfield College, founded in 1882. New facilities such as the Maynard Wing and Skeel Library were added and in 1928/9 a classical chapel was built in the grounds north-east of Kidderpore Hall. In the garden was also a small mid-C19th summerhouse, and some fine trees.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Westfield College; Kidderpore Hall
Site location:
Kidderpore Avenue
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Institutional Grounds
Open to public?
Opening times:
private, use by residents and guests of King’s College London only
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Tube: Finchley Road (Jubilee, Metropolitan) then bus. London Overground: Finchley Road & Frognal then bus. Bus: 13, 82, 113
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.kcl.ac.uk

Full Site Description

King's College London was founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829. Along with University College London (q.v.), it became one of the two constituent colleges of the University of London in 1836. King's College London now occupies five campuses across London, that at The Strand being the original one, with others at Guy's Hospital, Waterloo, St Thomas's and Denmark Hill. Other college property includes The Maughan Library (q.v.) and the Hampstead Residence, which provides accommodation today but was formerly Westfield College. This was one of the first women's Christian colleges, founded in 1882 by the pioneer of women's university education, Miss Constance Garnett. Its first premises were in Maresfield Gardens near Finchley Road, the college moving to Hampstead in 1889 to occupy Kidderpore Hall, a large semi-detached Grecian-style house designed by T Howard for John Teil in c.1840-43.

John Teil was a retired leather merchant who had a flourishing business, trading with Kidderpore near Calcutta hence the name of his house, and now the road. When it was built, the house stood on its own in its grounds on top of the hill; a small summerhouse in the north of the garden was probably erected in the mid-C19th and has been used to house boilers for the college, but its restoration is planned. John Teil died in 1854 and the estate had various owners before being broken up in 1889 when Westfield College bought Kidderpore Hall and 2 acres of land for £12,000, and added new buildings such as the Maynard Wing to the south of the house in 1889. This was designed by Robert Falconer Macdonald following an open competition to provide more student accommodation for Westfield College, the brief requiring the new buildings to show 'economy with good effect'. Falconer Macdonald also designed the Skeel Library that fronts onto Kidderpore Avenue, built in 1903-4, a facility that enabled Westfield College to be admitted as a teaching school of the University of London. Other buildings to the south were added in the 1960s.

In 1928/29 a classical chapel was built in the garden north-east of Kidderpore Hall, designed by Percy Morley Horder and Verner Rees. It was erected to commemorate a former Vice-Principal of Westfield College, Miss Anne Richardson, whose wishes were for the chapel to be 'small and simple' and one 'in which no Christian ministry shall be impossible'. Behind Kidderpore Hall is an expanse of lawn with shrubberies, a long flower bed to the north with central sundial behind, the summerhouse visible beyond this amidst shrubbery, and some fine trees including yew; the chapel, rather neglected, is hidden behind foliage. A further area of lawn slopes to the west with adjacent modern buildings.

Further to the east along Kidderpore Avenue and accessed through an archway is a courtyard garden with a lawn, where there are various good trees including a fine catalpa. Outside the King's College grounds but once forming part of John Teil's estate is a covered reservoir and the West Heath Lawn Tennis Club.

In summer 2002 the College received planning permission to build new facilities for the students in part of the grounds and these works have now been completed although plans to restore the summerhouse and re-site it more visibly in the gardens have yet to be realised.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998); Camden Listed Buildings website.

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ253858 (525334,185872)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
King's College London
Site management:
King's College London
1840-43; 1889-91
Kidderpore Hall: T Howard
Listed structures:
LBII: Summerhouse; College Chapel; Kidderpore Hall; The Maynard Wing; The Skeel Library.
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:
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Borough Importance II
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Private Open Space

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.