The Garden Guide

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

Finchley Road and Haverstock Hill

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FINCHLEY ROAD, skirting the west base of Hampstead Hill, leads direct to Child's Hill and Golders Green. Opposite Swiss Cottage Station in this road, at one corner is the Blind School, with the Hampstead Conservatoire close by, and at the other corner is New College, a Congregational training college and a school of London University, with a library of 55,000 volumes. A tablet on No. 139, opposite the college, records the residence there in 1868-73 of Mme Tietjens, the singer. On the right, farther on, beyond the Finchley Road Stations of the Metropolitan and the Midland Railway, diverges Frognal, a winding street ascending to Old Hampstead and passing the large and handsome buildings of University College School, erected in 1907, when the school was removed from the south wing of University College. The school was founded in 1830 by a group of liberal thinkers, including Lord Brougham, Henry Hallam, and James Mill, and is attended by circa 550 boys. Amongst eminent 'Old Gowers' are Viscount Morley, Lord Leighton, Joseph Chamberlain,and William De Morgan. HAMPSTEAD PUBLIC LIBRARY, at the corner of Arkwright Road and Finchley Road, contains the Dilke Collection of Keats Relics. On the left, about + mile farther on, is Hackney College (Congregational), originally founded in Hackney, and in Kidderpore Avenue, a little to the right of Finchley Road, is Westfield College (for women), both schools of London University. HAVERSTOCK HILL ascends steeply from Chalk Farm Road to Hampstead High Street. The Sir Richard Steele Hotel (left), at the corner of Steele's Road, stands near the site of the white cottage where Steele wrote 'many numbers of the Spectator... and despatched those little notes to his lady, in which the fond husband, the careless gentleman, and the shifting spendthrift were so oddly blended' (Washington Irving). Alfred Stevens (1818-75), the sculptor, spent the last ten years of his life and died at No. 9 Eton Villas. Farther up are Belsize Park Station on the Hampstead Tube, and Hampstead Town Hall, to the south-west of which the names of various streets preserve the name of the old manor of Belsize. Hampstead General Hospital (right) occupies the site of Bartrums House, where Sir Rowland Hill lived from 1849 until his death in 1879. Thence to Hampstead Tube Station.