|Linnell Close communal gardens, Hampstead Garden Suburb||Barnet|
Hampstead Garden Suburb was conceived by Dame Henrietta Barnett in 1903 when the area, hitherto rural, became ripe for development. Her aim was to provide a garden suburb for the working classes, with some larger houses as well as amenities. The overall layout was the work of Raymond Unwin. The street pattern followed the land contours, with curving and straight roads to create interesting viewpoints, closes and squares, street trees, a pedestrian network of footpaths and a variety of green spaces. The first phase was largely built between 1907 - 1912 and included Linnell Drive and Linnell Close. The houses are fronted by a large area of communal garden, consisting of lawn and separated from the road by hedging.
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Linnell Close, Hampstead Garden Suburb, October 2000. Photo: S Williams
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Hampstead Garden Suburb was conceived by Dame Henrietta Barnett in 1903 when the Underground tunnel from Hampstead to Golders Green was completed and the area, hitherto rural, became ripe for development. Her aim was to provide a garden suburb for the working classes, with some larger houses as well as amenities such as shops. Through energetic fund-raising she acquired the money to buy 243 acres of land at Hampstead from the owners, Eton College. After the initial suburb was created, further phases of development took place when additional parcels of land were purchased in 1908 and 1911 and later 300 acres were developed after 1919.
Hampstead Garden Suburb lies on the north-west side of Hampstead Heath with the Hampstead Heath Extension (q.v.) creating a Green Belt link to the heath on its southern side. The A1 bisects the Suburb along its northern edge. The overall layout was the work of Raymond Unwin, at that time in the process of completing Letchworth Garden Suburb and who had known Canon Barnett from the 1880s. In 1904 he was invited to plan the new suburb at Hampstead and his first design was dated February 22nd 1905; in the same month Henrietta Barnett published a prospectus for the suburb in 'The Contemporary Review'.
In 1906 Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust Ltd was formed which owned and administered the land although housing was erected by co-partnership companies, and a large number of different architects were involved. Unwin was associated with the Trust as consultant architect from 1906-1914. The Hampstead Garden Suburb Act of 1906 enabled him to by-pass local planning by-laws and create a street pattern that followed the contours of the land, using curving and straight roads to create interesting viewpoints, introducing closes and squares, with a pedestrian network of footpaths or 'twittens' and a variety of green spaces, public and private. Hedges rather than walls were used between front gardens and the streets, and street trees were either retained existing trees or newly-planted.
The first phase was largely built between 1907 and 1912 and included Linnell Drive and Linnell Close (1908-11). No 1 Linnell Close was designed by Parker & Unwin; Nos 2 - 7 were by Bunney & Makins (1908-11) and No 8 by Crickmer & Foxley. No 6 Linnell Drive was by Guy Dawber. The houses are fronted by a large area of communal garden, consisting of lawn and separated from the road by hedging.
Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner,'The Buildings of England: London 4: North (1998)