TQ2784 : Antrim Mansions, Belsize Park

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

Antrim Mansions, Belsize Park
Antrim Mansions, Belsize Park
Purpose built flats (1897) on Antrim Road.
Haverstock Lodge Estate, Belsize Park :: TQ2785

William Lund, lessee of the estate to the east of Haverstock Hill, secured a 99-year building lease in 1852. Setting aside around 8 acres around his home, Haverstock Lodge, Lund planned an estate called St. John's Park on the other 38 acres. His scheme was for parallel curving roads from Haverstock Hill to his boundary at the River Fleet, linked by four cross roads. There were to be around 280 buildings, consisting of 133 semi-detached villas and terraces, shops, and mews on the low-lying land by the river. Building began from the Haverstock Hill end and by 1862 Park Road (now Parkhill Road) and Fleet Road, as yet unnamed, were laid out, together with the south-western half of Lawn Road and Upper Park Road. About 60 substantial and 'unobtrusively classical' houses had been built on those roads and fronting Haverstock Hill, mainly by Richard Batterbury of Camden Town, the chief speculative builder. Church Road (now Tasker Road) and Lower Cross Road (now Garnett Road) had been laid out by 1862 but no houses built. Residents were described in a guidebook of the 1860s on Haverstock Hill as 'City men such as stockbrokers, merchants, and commercial agents'.

Lund's plans for the northern part of the Haverstock Lodge estate were doomed from the start, partly because the river Fleet's unsavoury condition prevented the establishment of a middle-class shopping quarter, and partly because of refusals to build above the St. Pancras tunnel extension of the Midland railway. The final blight was the opening in 1870 of a smallpox hospital on the site of the present Royal Free Hospital, backing onto Lawn Road. Building virtually stopped until 30 houses and 12 stables were built between 1879 and 1885 in Park, Upper Park, and Lawn roads. By that date, although the district from Haverstock Hill north to just beyond Church (Tasker) Road, was 'well-to-do, middleclass', the area to the north consisted of modern roads occupied by 'decent artisans', large tram stables at South End, and streets near Fleet Road housing transport workers and labourers. The social status of the estate had started to decline and in 1893 a resident of Upper Park Road recorded the tenementation of houses at the north end of the street to 'objectionable people'.

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, 387 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Sunday, 30 March, 2014   (more nearby)
Thursday, 3 April, 2014
Geographical Context
Housing, Dwellings  City, Town centre 
Place (from Tags)
Belsize Park 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 2757 8476 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:32.8393N 0:9.6974W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 2753 8478
View Direction
East-southeast (about 112 degrees)
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Other Tags
Flats  London  Victorian Villas 

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