The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 48 Hampstead and Highgate

East Heath

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In the EAST HEATH, below the road, lies the Vale of Health, a cluster of houses with a pond. Leigh Hunt seems to have lived in two houses here (one is identified with the present Vale Lodge), and here he was visited in 1816 by Keats, Shelley, Lamb, and others. The East Heath extends hence to Hampstead Ponds, the subject of Mr. Pickwick's 'Speculations on the Source of the Hampstead Ponds' (near Hampstead Heath Station). Still farther east lie PARLIAMENT HILL (319 feet; view) and Parliament Hill Fields, an extension of the Heath. Parliament Hill is bounded on the north-east by Highgate Ponds and on the north by the grounds of Ken Wood. At one point, within railings, is a British tumulus, popularly connected with Boadicea. From the east side of Parliament Hill Fields West Hill and Swain's Lane ascend to the top of Highgate Hill. The latter leads to Holly Village, an early experiment in garden cities (1866), made by the Baroness Burdett-Coutts for the benefit of the staff of Coutts's Bank, and ascends steeply past Highgate Cemetery and Waterlow Park. The name of Parliament Hill is explained by a tradition that on it cannon for the defence of London were planted by the Parliamentary generals, or by another that Guy Fawkes's confederates met here to await the blowing up of the Houses of Parliament.