On a very hot June afternoon members of the Shorter Walks Group met at Hampstead Underground Station for a walk discovering what Hampstead had to offer. Opposite the station we could not help noticing the prominent the clock tower of the old fire station and the nearby Horse and Groom public house. In Church Row we saw some lovely architectural features on the houses including demi lune door lights, nice ironwork window features and small balconies and the floppy fleur-de-lys brickwork over one window. Next we visited the lovely 1745 parish church of St John where John Constable, John Harrison and many other famous people are buried in the church yard. Another church on our walk was the French Catholic Church of St Mary, next door to which is the old 1830s Watch House of the Hampstead Police Force on the corner with the very narrow Holly Berry Lane. Then on to Mount Vernon, and a fading plaque to Robert Louis Stevenson. Above one door a hard to decipher fire insurance plaque and on a garden wall a blue plaque to Sir Henry Dale, a Physiologist. An unusual house had a plaque to George Romney, the painter. Having seen the lovely Holly Bush pub sign we then past the pub up yet another hill (Holly Mount) , before returning to Heath Street, before finding Flask Walk and the
The Wells and Campden Baths and Wash Houses, an impressive 1888 Grade II listed building. On to Well Walk where there is a plaque to Marie Stopes, and Chalybeate Well . In Willow Road some nice cottages and an old Metropolitan Drinking Fountain & Cattle Trough, now planted up.
And a house with a red, white and blue roundel window over the door – an RAF connection?
Then, at 1-3 Willow Road, the 3 Modernist, pre-WWII houses designed and built by Erno Goldfinger (No. 2 which is a National Trust property, but was not open).
At 23 Downshire Hill was a plaque to the wonderful, female photographer Lee Miller (and her husband Sir Roland Penrose).
Across the road was the lovely Grade I listed St John’’s Church.
The last stop was the shady garden Keat’s House in Keat’s Grove It was here he wrote Ode to a Nightingale. We finished our most enjoyable walk at The Garden Gate pub in the cool garden with drinks and an opportunity to discuss the walk with each other, and to thank John for leading us so well.