Learn more about Hampstead
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|OS grid reference:||TQ265855|
|County level:||Greater London|
|Sovereign state:||United Kingdom|
|Ceremonial county:||Greater London|
|Historic county:||Middlesex (1889)|
|Police force:||Metropolitan Police|
|Fire brigade:||London Fire Brigade|
|Ambulance service:||London Ambulance|
|Post office and telephone|
|UK Parliament:||Hampstead and Highgate|
|London Assembly:||Barnet and Camden|
|London | List of places in London|
Hampstead is an area in the London Borough of Camden. It is a suburban district located 4 miles (6.4 km) north west of Charing Cross. It is known for its intellectual, artistic, and literary associations and for the large and hilly parkland Hampstead Heath. It is also home to some of the most expensive and most beautiful houses in the Greater London area.
Although early records of Hampstead can be found in a grant by King Ethelred the Unready to the monastery of St. Peter’s at Westminster (AD 986) and it is referred to in the Domesday Book (1086), the history of Hampstead is generally traced back to the 17th century.
Trustees of the Well started advertising the medicinal qualities of the chalybeate waters (water impregnated with iron) in 1700. Although Hampstead Wells was initially most successful and fashionable, its popularity declined in the 1800s due to competition with other London spas. The spa was demolished in 1882, although a water fountain was left behind.
Hampstead started to expand following the opening of the North London Railway in the 1860s (now the North London Line with passenger services operated by Silverlink), and expanded further after the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway opened in 1907 (now part of London Underground's Northern Line) and provided fast travel to central London.
Much luxurious housing was created during the 1870s and 1880s, in the area that is now the political ward of Fitzjohns & Frognal. Much of this housing remains to this day.
During the 20th Century, a number of notable buildings were created. These include:
- Hampstead tube station (1907), incidentally the deepest station on the entire Underground network;
- Isokon building (1932)
- 2 Willow Road (1938)
- Hampstead Theatre (1962)
- Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre (1964)
- Swiss Cottage Central Library (1964)
- Royal Free Hospital (1974)
Of these, the Hampstead Theatre relocated in 2003 (increasing capacity from 140 to 325 seats) and the leisure centre was closed for rebuilding in 2003.
Cultural attractions in the area include the Freud Museum, Keats' House, Kenwood House, Fenton House, and the Camden Arts Centre. The large Victorian Hampstead Library and Town Hall was recently converted and extended as a creative industries centre.
Though now considered an integral part of London, Hampstead has retained much of its village atmosphere and charm, with Hampstead High Street playing a vital role in the day to day life of a Hampsteadian.
Hampstead became part of the County of London in 1889 and in 1899 the Metropolitan Borough of Hampstead was formed. The borough town hall, on Rosslyn Hill, because it was also the location of the Registry Office, can be seen in newsreel footage of many celebrity civil marriages. In 1965 the metropolitan borough was abolished and is former area merged with that of the Metropolitan Borough of Holborn and the Metropolitan Borough of St Pancras to form the modern-day London Borough of Camden.
The area has a significant tradition of educated liberal humanism, sometimes referred to (occasionally disparagingly) as "Hampstead Liberalism".
The area is also home to the left-wing Labour magazine, Tribune
 Famous residents
Hampstead has long been known as a residence of the intelligentsia, including writers, composers, and intellectuals, actors, artists and architects - many of whom created a bohemian community in the late 19th century. In the 1930s it became base to a community of avant garde artists and writers and was host to a number of emigres and exiles from Nazi Europe.
Famous past inhabitants have included:
- Sir A. J. Ayer - philosopher, philanderer
- Sir Arnold Bax - impressionist composer
- Cecil Beaton - photographer, style icon
- Sybille Bedford - writer, essayist
- Sir Isaiah Berlin - philosopher, historian, man of letters
- William Blake - poet, painter, writer, mystic
- Dirk Bogarde - actor
- Arthur Boyd - Australian painter and sculptor
- Marcel Breuer - modernist Hungarian architect and refugee
- Sir Richard Burton - explorer
- Lord Byron - poet
- Elias Canetti - nobel prize winning novelist
- John le Carré - author
- Dame Agatha Christie - author
- John Constable - artist
- Peter Cook - writer and comedian
- Charles Dickens - author
- Edward Elgar - composer
- T. S. Eliot - poet
- Ian Fleming - author
- John Fowles - novelist, lived on the Church Row for many years
- Sigmund Freud - psychiatric philosopher
- Stephen Fry - writer, actor, comedian and filmmaker
- Naum Gabo - artist
- Hugh Gaitskell - renowned leader of the Labour Party (1955-63),
- Ernő Goldfinger - architect
- Sir Ernst Gombrich - art historian, man of letters
- Walter Gropius - architect and designer
- Thom Gunn - poet
- Andrew Huxley - nobel laureate
- Aldous Huxley - novelist, spiritualist
- John Keats - poet
- Lillie Langtry
- D. H. Lawrence - author
- Berthold Lubetkin
- A. A. Milne - author of "Winnie the Pooh"
- Jonathan Miller
- Lee Miller - photographer, model, actress, war correspondent
- Piet Mondrian
- Henry Moore - sculptor
- Florence Nightingale - humanitarian
- George Orwell - author
- Sir Roger Penrose - mathematician, theoretical physicist, philosopher, attended UCS
- Roland Penrose - artist and curator, surrealist, founder of the ICA
- J. B. Priestley - author
- Stephen Spender - poet, man of letters, grew up in frognal gardens and schooled at UCS
- Robert Louis Stevenson,
- Eric Thompson - actor, producer, father of Sophie Thompson and Emma Thompson. Married to Phyllida Law.
- Evelyn Waugh - author
- H. G. Wells - author
- Richard Wollheim - renowned philosopher of art
- William Wordsworth - poet
Hampstead is currently and has been recently home to:
- Sean Bean
- David Bowie
- Russell Brand
- Alfred Brendel
- Helena Bonham Carter
- Boy George
- Kenneth Branagh
- Tim Burton
- John le Carré
- Russell Crowe
- Melanie Chisholm - ex-Sporty Spice and also known as a solo artist
- Constantine II of Greece
- Ralph Fiennes
- Michael Foot
- Liam Gallagher
- Malcolm Glazer - Chairman/Owner of Manchester United and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Hugh Grant
- Rex Harrison
- Thierry Henry - Arsenal's millionaire French captain
- Aliaksandr Hleb
- Saul Hudson (Slash) - musician (Velvet Revolver)
- Jeremy Irons
- Elton John
- Phyllida Law - Actress, mother of Sophie Thompson and Emma Thompson
- Jens Lehmann
- Doris Lessing - British writer
- Freddie Ljungberg
- Ewan McGregor
- Anthony Minghella
- George Michael - Actually lives on The Grove in Highgate, N6
- Liam O'Connor - Architect of The Commonweath Memorial Gates at Constitution Hill
- Peter O'Toole
- Jamie Oliver
- Robert Pirès
- Jude Rawlins
- Jonathan Ross - talk show presenter (actually lives in Hampstead Garden Suburb)
- Tim Roth
- Sir Ridley Scott
- Rachel Stevens
- Sting - owns a house there since 1999
- Trudy Styler - wife of Sting
- Elizabeth Taylor - former resident
- Liz Smith - actress
- Emma Thompson - actress, sister of Sophie Thompson
- Sophie Thompson - actress, sister of Emma Thompson
- Don Van Natta, Jr. - American author/journalist
- Rachel Weisz
- Billie Whitelaw - actress
- Kate Winslet - Actress
- Greg Wise - actor, husband to Emma Thompson
- Robin van Persie -Arsenal's striker
To the north and east of Hampstead, and separating it from Highgate, is London's largest ancient parkland, Hampstead Heath, which includes the well-known and legally-protected view of the London skyline from Parliament Hill. The Heath, a major place for Londoners to walk and "take the air", (as well as other activities such as cruising) has three open-air public swimming ponds; one for men, one for women, and one for mixed bathing, which were originally reservoirs for drinking water and part of the River Fleet.
Local activities include major open-air concerts on summer Saturday evenings on the slopes below Kenwood House, book and poetry readings, fun fairs on the lower reaches of the Heath, period harpsichord recitals at Fenton House, Hampstead Scientific Society and Hampstead Photographic Society.
The largest single place of employment in Hampstead is the Royal Free Hospital in Pond Street, but many small businesses based in the area have international significance. George Martin's Air recording studios, in converted church premises in Lyndhurst Road, is a current example, as Jim Henson's Creature Shop was, before it relocated to California.
The area has some remarkable examples of architecture, one being the Isokon building in Lawn Road, a Grade I listed experiment in collective housing, once home to the likes of Agatha Christie, Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson and Walter Gropius. It was recently restored by Notting Hill Housing Trust.
 Places of Interest
Hampstead is well known for its restaurants and famously traditional pubs, such as the Holly Bush (which was gas lit until recently), the Spaniard's Inn (where infamous highwayman Dick Turpin took refuge), The Old Bull & Bush and the White Bear. Jack Straw's Castle on the edge of the Heath has now been converted into residential flats.
- Old Bull & Bush
- Spaniard's Inn
- The Duke of Hamilton
- Freemasons Arms
- The Magdala where Ruth Ellis killed her lover.
Hampstead has an eclectic mix of restaurants ranging from French to Thai. Notable and longstanding are The Groucho Grill, Jin kichi, Tip Top Thai, Maxwells, Al Casbah and Le Cellier du Midi.
- Belsize Park
- Chalk Farm
- Childs Hill
- Golders Green
- Regent's Park
- Primrose Hill
- St John's Wood
Nearest tube stations:
- Hampstead tube station
- Belsize Park tube station
- Construction of North End tube station was started but not completed
Nearest railway station:
 External links