The origins of Hampstead

Hampstead is known for its village feel, independent shops and for Hampstead Heath. It has some of the most expensive housing in the Greater London area and has more millionaires within its boundaries than any other area of the United Kingdom.

The name comes from the Anglo-Saxon words ham and stede and is a cognate of the modern English “homestead”.

hampsteadtwo
Late Victorian Hampstead.

By 1653 Hampstead, which was a village on a hill within easy reach of London, had acquired an additional attraction, when it was promoted as a place of clean air and medicinal qualities of the chalybeate waters (water impregnated with iron).

During the 19th century Hampstead significantly expanded as roads were built following the new railway lines which hastened the development of those areas. The railway also brought day-trippers to enjoy the heath. By 1891 the population of Hampstead was about 68,000 which was more than double that of 1871. This growth in population led to the building of new amenities, these included new churches, chapels, schools, a bigger and better workhouse, police and fire stations, a cemetery, water supply and sewage system.

In 1888, Hampstead became part of London.

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