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Inventory Site Record

West End Green (Camden)

Brief Description

Preserving the name of the ancient hamlet of West End within the parish of Hampstead, West End Green was once the site of the village green and pond. Threatened by development from 1875, it was saved by the actions of local people and purchased in 1885 by the Vestry of Hampstead and maintained as a public open space. Surrounded by railings, the garden has grass, mature trees, shrubs and a centrally placed granite drinking fountain, dated 1897. An oak tree planted by the Mayor of Hampstead commemorates the coronation of Edward VII.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Mill Lane Triangle
Site location:
West End Lane/Fortune Green Road
Postcode:
NW6
What 3 Words:
pits.puff.grant
Type of site:
Public Gardens
Borough:
Camden
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Toilets
Events:
Public transport:
Rail/London Overground/Tube (Jubilee): West Hampstead. Bus: 328, 139, C11.
Research updated:
01/08/2002
Last minor changes:
19/07/2023

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.camden.gov.uk

Full Site Description

West End Green preserves the name of the ancient hamlet of West End, one of the hamlets within the parish of Hampstead, but somewhat isolated from Hampstead village by the hill and lack of good roads. At the time of the Great Plague of the late C17th it was a village of 30 or 40 houses and it remained quite rural until Finchley Road and other transport routes opened up the area in the C19th. The village had 2 inns and a village green with a pond, and among the more substantial houses was Old West End House. This was once the home of the widow of William Beckford (1709-70), former Lord Mayor of London, whose statue is found in the Guildhall. The house was later demolished after first the Hampstead Junction Railway and then the Midland Railway ran to front and back of the property. West End Green has sometimes been referred to as Cock and Hoop Green, after the public house that was established nearby by 1723, but which closed in 1896.  Alexandra Mansions stands on its site, built in 1902.

West End Green was in the ownership of the lord of the manor but was saved as public open space in 1885 when it was purchased by the Vestry of Hampstead with funds raised by public subscription. For 10 years prior to this attempts were made to build on it, strenuously opposed by local residents. In 1875 hoardings around the green erected by leaseholder John Culverhouse were pulled down and the site was then put up for sale for £850. Although Hampstead Vestry initially agreed to pay half, the Metropolitan Board of Works to pay the balance, the Vestry later reneged on this and the Green was sold privately. It was again surrounded by hoardings pending development, but in July 1882 these were again pulled down and set on fire by a throng of some 200 men.

The public open space creates an island at the junction between three roads. Surrounded by railings, the garden has grass, shrubs, mature trees and a centrally placed granite obelisk drinking fountain, dated 1897. An oak tree was planted by the Mayor of Hampstead to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII, with a plaque to that effect. At the southern tip of the Green are Victorian underground public toilets. Nearby is Emmanuel Church on Lyncroft Gardens, built 1897/8 by R Whitfield and J A Thomas.

Sources consulted:

'The London County Council and what it does for London: London Parks and Open Spaces' (Hodder & Stoughton, 1924); M W Hammond, 'Camden's Parks and Gardens', LB Camden, 1973; John Richardson, 'A History of Camden. Hampstead, Holborn and St Pancras' (Historical Publications Ltd, 1999)

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ254852 (525408,185252)
Size in hectares:
0.1279
Site ownership:
LB Camden
Site management:
Parks & Open Spaces
Date(s):
1885
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
LBII: Emmanuel Church
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

No
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

No
Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

Yes

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:
No
In Conservation Area:
Yes
Conservation Area name:
West End Green/Parsifal Road - check
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
Public Open Space (Small Local). London Squares Preservation Act of 1931
Photos

West End Green

West End Green with Drinking Fountain, August 2002. Photo: S Williams

West End Green, photograph, c.1912. Courtesy of Camden Local Studies and Archives.
1912
Cock and Hoop Green, photograph by Stephen J. Smith, c.1897. Courtesy of Camden Local Studies and Archives.
1897
West End Green, photograph, c.1890. Courtesy of Camden Local Studies and Archives.
1890

Click a photo to enlarge.

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.