TQ2784 : Belsize Community Library

taken 6 years ago, near to Hampstead, Camden, Great Britain

Belsize Community Library
Belsize Community Library
On the corner of Antrim Road and Antrim Grove, to the west of Haverstock Hill, this Library was built in the 1930s to replace the original library which was part of the 1890's building development on Antrim Road. After Camden council withdrew funding it closed early in 2012. It is now run as an independent Community Library by the local children’s and youth development charity, The Winch with the support of the local community. The other community libraries in Camden are Keats Community Library in Keats Grove, Hampstead, and Primrose Hill Community Library in Sharpleshall Street, Primrose Hill.
Early Building History of Belsize Park

The extensive Belsize estate, with its frontage on both sides of Haverstock Hill, was an early magnet for merchants and others who wanted a country house within easy reach of London. From the 16th century onwards there was a steady programme of building, demolition and rebuilding right up to the early 19th century when, in 1808, the Belsize estate was split into nine leasehold estates, focussed on single houses. Until the late 1840s and early 1850s the area remained rural; country houses set in parkland with associated cottages and farm buildings. The middle of the century, however, saw a boom in building and speculation with 99 year building leases granted for all the nine estates and by 1880 Belsize Park, stretching from Hampstead in the north to Clapham in the south was virtually built up, socially homogeneous, with mainly detached and semi-detached houses in a classical or Italianate style, broken only by small groups of mews.

This description is based on a detailed article available in British History Online LinkExternal link

The Bliss Estate, Belsize Park


Off the nine estates created in 1808 the only leasee to exploit the land early as a building venture Edward Bliss. The land he had leased was the most southerly of the parcels of land, on the west side of Haverstock Hill, north of England's Lane. Bliss, a self-made man, began developing the 14 acres fronting Haverstock Hill soon after 1815. In addition to the single and paired villas like Devonshire House, probably built in 1826, there were terraces like the Grecian-style Haverstock Terrace built in 1825-6, and Devonshire Place. Almost all the 38 houses on the estate had been built by 1830, with stabling and occupied by 'persons of quality'. Bliss made the land available, both to individuals and to speculators, like George Crane of Cheltenham, who built Bedford, Oak, and Gilling lodges in addition to Haverstock Terrace.

In 1864 the 24 acres of undeveloped backland on the Bliss estate was transferred to Daniel Tidey on a 99-year building agreement. Tidey extended the exclusive Belsize House area by developing roads southward into Bliss's estate and by 1866 he had drawn up a plan for the two estates He began building in England's Lane in 1865 and by 1870 had pushed St. Margaret's Road (later Belsize Park Gardens) south. He was building in Stanley Gardens (now Primrose Gardens) in 1871, and by 1882 the majority of available land had been developed. In 1890 the Church Commissioners bought out the leasehold interest on the 14 acres of Bliss's estate next to Haverstock Hill. The few houses at the back of the Haverstock frontage were demolished and Antrim Road was constructed, mainly on nursery land; flats and a library were built there from 1896. In the 1880s and early 1890s people classified as living ‘in comfort’ occupied the entire Belsize estate west of Haverstock Hill. In the Bliss estate the majority of residents were the 'fairly comfortable, such as coachmen, gardeners, tradesmen, and craftsmen”.

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Kate Jewell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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TQ2784, 389 images   (more nearby search)
Photographer
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Date Taken
Sunday, 30 March, 2014   (more nearby)
Submitted
Thursday, 3 April, 2014
Geographical Context
Public buildings and spaces  City, Town centre 
Place (from Tags)
Belsize Park 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 2751 8482 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:32.8724N 0:9.7480W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 2749 8482
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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Other Tags
Library  CommunityLibrary  London 

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