Hampstead Garden Suburb Area Guide
Hampstead Garden Suburb is a suburb, north of Hampstead, west of Highgate and east of Golders Green.
A fine example of early twentieth-century domestic architecture and town planning it is located in the London Borough of Barnet. The master plan was prepared by Barry Parker and Sir Raymond Unwin.
Hampstead Garden Suburb was founded by Henrietta Barnett, who, with her husband Samuel, had started the Whitechapel Art Gallery and Toynbee Hall. In 1906, Barnett set up the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust Ltd, which purchased 243 acres of land from Eton College for the scheme and appointed Raymond Unwin as its architect.
Among the scheme's aims were the following:
- It should cater for all classes of people and all income groups
- There should be a low housing density
- Roads should be wide and tree-lined
- Houses should be separated by hedges, not walls
- Woods and public gardens should be free to all
- It should be quiet, with no church bells
This required a private bill before Parliament, as it was counter to local bylaws. The provisions of the new act, Hampstead Garden Suburb Act 1906, allowed less land to be taken up by roads and more by gardens and open spaces.
The ideas for the "Garden Suburb" were clearly based on the ideas and experience of Parker and Unwin in the planning and development of Letchworth Garden City, the first garden development of its kind.
On Central Square, laid out by Sir Edwin Lutyens, there are two large churches, St. Jude's Church and The Free Church, as well as a Quaker Meeting House.
Shops and other services are provided in the shopping parade of Market Place.
Little Wood contains an open air arena, which is used for summer theatrical performances by a local amateur theatre society.
Today, with its unique look and feel, Hampstead Garden Suburb is highly sought after and home to some London's most costly properties.