N6 You say Hi-git and I say Hi-Gayt

N6 is Highgate but how to pronounce it? Do you pronounce it as it looks – ie Hi-gayt? Or do you clip it and say Hi-git. London Underground thinks the latter according to the trains on the Northern line. But the local buses say the name more like “Hi-gayt”, which I think sounds more “normal”.

So you say Hi-git and I say Hi-gayt. Tomayto, Tomarto, Potayto, Potarto. Ah well, let’s call the whole thing off. But no, wait we can’t, we haven’t done N6 yet!

We start at the Post Office at 361 Archway Road.  Turn left out of the  Post Office. Cross over and go up the hill. Soon you will come to our first stop which is on the right.

Stop 1: Highgate Wood

Here there is a nice little gate which leads you into Highgate Wood.

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This wood is owned and managed by the City of London Corporation.

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According to their website, this was originally part of the Bishop of London’s Hunting Park. It is 28 hectares of ancient woodland predominantly made up of hornbeam coppice and oak standard trees. This has been a working woodland for many hundreds of years, with the hornbeams being cut on a rotational basis and used predominantly for firewood, charcoal making and tool handles. The oak standards were grown as single stem trees and used for house building, ship building and other purposes.

The City took over the land in 1886  from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners at no charge on condition that it was “maintained in perpetuity for the benefit of Londoners”

Don’t worry I am not taking you for a walk in the woods. Just go a little way into the woods and look to your left through the trees.

Down below you is a railway line.

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This is the line that went from Finsbury Park to East Finchley and beyond and was going to be converted to become an Underground line under the Northern Heights project which we have heard about in Mill Hill and Finchley. The lines here peter out just below you and I understand are used by London Underground for storage. The track bed though goes under your feet in a tunnel and continues via Highgate station to Finsbury Park – much of which is now a walking and  cycle route.

Now retrace your steps back along Archway road and turn left at the traffic lights and then take the right hand road. You will see a path signed for Highgate Station, go down this.

Stop 2: Highgate Station

I guess many people who use Highgate station do not know that the first station here was built on the surface and now lies abandoned. As you go down this path you can see the old station.

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There has been a station here since 1867 when the Great Northern Railway opened a line between Finsbury Park and Edgware. This is the line we saw the remains of just now.

The London Underground Northern Line was extended to here and started serving the station in 1941, using new platforms in tunnels below the original station.

The platforms on the original railway line were to have been used as part of the aborted Northern Heights project. One of the original 1867 station buildings still exists, and is in use as a private house. And we approach the modern day station entrance, we can see this.

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Today’s station contains two tube tunnel platforms which are accessed from a concourse situated immediately below the disused surface platforms. Go in the entrance ahead of you and walk though to come out the Archway Road exit.

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Do not use the escalator exit as this will take you back where you started. And there is only an up escalator so you would have to walk back down Archway Road.

Fascinating fact: The platforms are longer than elsewhere on the Northern line. They were built to accommodate nine-car trains, in anticipation of longer trains on the line (which never happened)

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The unfulfilled plans would have given us a much substantial station than what was eventually built. The way Highgate station ended up is all rather unsatisfactory.

More info on this station (including some pictures of the abandoned platforms) at:

 http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/h/highgate/

Now go up the access road from the station and at the junction cross over Archway Road and go down Highgate Avenue. Turn right into Southwood Avenue and our next stop is a little way on the left

Stop 3: Number 25 Southwood Avenue

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This was the home of William Heath Robinson (1872-1944). He was an artist, illustrator and cartoonist.

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The plaque says he was known as ‘the Gadget King’. His illustrations showed mad but logical contraptions and often have that make do and mend philosophy which is so beloved of many people.

Even today he has a following. There is even a Heath Robinson Trust which is aiming to open a museum next year in Pinner – see their site: http://heathrobinson.org/index.htm

Continue along Southwood Avenue. It becomes Southwood Lawn Road. At the end cross over and go down a little path called Park Walk (take the left path). At the end of this you will find “The Wrestlers” pub. Turn left along the main road and our next stop is a couple of doors along on the same side of the road as the pub.

Stop 4: Number 92 North Road

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This is one of numerous plaques to Charles Dickens (The wonderful Open Plaques site says there are 52 dedicated to Dickens or mentioning his name! Not all in London of course)

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Dickens stayed here in 1832 when he was just 20, so this was before he was famous. It was not until 1833 that he submitted his first story “A Dinner at Poplar Walk”, to the London periodical Monthly Magazine and his literary success only really began in 1836 with the serial publication of The Pickwick Papers.

Now cross the road.

Stop 5: Highpoint One and Two

At first glance these two blocks of flats do not look very special but they are. The one we come to first is Highpoint One. It was built in 1935 to a design by Russian-born architect Berthold Lubetkin with the structural design by the Danish engineer Ove Arup. This is what is known as early International style architecture and was very innovative in its day.

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Highpoint One was built for Sigmund Gestetner who father David invented a duplicating machine which revolutionised office life. David Gestetner was born in Hungary but came to England where he made his name. He filed his first copying patent in 1879. The company was hugely successful and opened on works in Tottenham in 1906. And this block of flats was originally intended as housing for Gestetner company staff. But this never happened.

The second Lubetkin building in the same style, Highpoint Two, was completed on an adjoining site in 1938. Both are Grade I Listed Buildings

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Highpoint Two has a strange quirk at the front, which comes as a bit of a shock in a building of clean lines and smooth finishes.

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Architectural reference book Pevsner says: “The idea of using reproductions of two … caryatids is significant. It is a case of surrealism in architecture, that is of the familiar made fantastic by surprise setting.”

The trouble is that the currency of this kind of surprise is now overvalued. Today it just looks like a bit of Las Vegas dropped into Highgate, but when it was first done it must have been at once shocking and intriguing.

Continue along this road which mutates from North Hill to North Road. Our next stop is on the right.

Stop 5: Number 17 North Road

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Set back off the road with a nice little garden is the house where classics scholar A.E. Housman (1859-1936) lived and where he wrote his most famous work “A Shropshire Lad”

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A Shropshire Lad is a cycle of 63 poems. After several publishers had turned it down, he published it at his own expense in 1896 and apparently it has never been out of print since.  The poems have themes such as the loss of youth, violent death, the parting of friends and are set in a half-imaginary Shropshire, a nostalgic ‘land of lost content’.

Housman wrote most of them while living here before ever visiting that part of Shropshire (even though it was only about thirty miles from his boyhood home). During the First World War, Housman’s poems became popular given their themes and the fact that some were addressed to, or spoken by, a soldier. More at: http://www.poetryarchive.org/poet/e-housman#sthash.kEgzcvZQ.dpuf

Continue along North Road and ahead on the other side of the roundabout is our next stop.

Stop 6: Gatehouse pub

According to Wikipedia, Highgate adjoined the Bishop of London’s hunting estate. The bishop kept a toll-house where one of the main northward roads out of London entered his land. A number of pubs sprang up along the route, one of which, the Gatehouse, commemorates the toll-house.

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Now it is a Wetherspoon’s pub with a theatre attached. There is a great little history of this site at this link:

http://www.upstairsatthegatehouse.com/history

It makes the great claim of being London’s Top Theatre. That is because it is 446 feet above Sea Level.

Now go round the front of the pub and follow the road (which is Highgate West Hill). There is a green area to your right. At the end of this a road comes in at an angle go back along this and almost immediately you will see our next stop.

Stop 7: Number 3 The Grove

This house has a double literary connection.

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First in 1817, the writer Samuel Taylor Coleridge (who we came across in W14) came to live here. This was the Highgate home of Dr James Gillman who sought to address Coleridge’s opium addiction. Dr Gillman built a special wing for the poet and Coleridge lived there for the rest of his life, becoming known as the sage of Highgate. Some of his most famous poems, though written years earlier, were first published when he was living here. He died here on 25 July 1834 and is buried in the crypt of the local parish church of St Michael’s.

The writer J. B. Priestley (1894 – 1984) subsequently lived in the same house. Both are commemorated by plaques on the front of the house.

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Keep going down Highgate West Hill. It is quite steep and the houses are spread quite far apart. We are headed for number 31 and it seems to take forever to come up. Just keep going. It is just after the vast estate now occupied by the Russian Trade Delegation, with its wide drive and security gates. I was going to take a photograph of this but thought maybe that was not a great idea.

Stop 8: Number 31 Highgate West Hill

This was the childhood home of John Betjeman (1906 – 1984). He lived here from 1908 to 1917.

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As his family moved out when he was 11, I am not sure what more there is to say. Except perhaps that he said High-git!

Now retrace your steps slightly and across the road you will see a gated road, called Oakeshott Avenue. It may be gated but it is possible to walk through the pedestrian gates on either side

Stop 9: Holly Lodge Estate

 

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This is a fascinating estate, built on the grounds of a house called Holly Lodge which from 1849 was the country retreat of Angela Burdett-Coutts (1814 – 1906) one of the most remarkable women of the 19th century. She was well known for her philanthropy. Indeed we came across her in Lime Grove W12 where she set up a home for fallen women with Charles Dickens.

The estate was put up for sale after her death, but it was not until the 1920s that it was all sold off and developed.

There is a fascinating site all about the estate and how it developed:

http://hle.org.uk/HLE_NewSite/Welcome.html

So as we walk along Oakeshott Avenue, we are at first surrounded by detached mock Tudor houses, dating from the 1920s.

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As you approach the junction with Hillway, look out for a glimpse of Canary Wharf. Now I did not expect that!

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At the cross roads with Hillway, look down that street and you get another unexpected view. This time of the London Eye.

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And then along Oakeshot Avenue, you can now see what architectural historian Pevsner calls “Tudor cliffs”

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These mansion blocks were designed from the outset as bed-sitting rooms, sometimes with bedroom or kitchen alcoves, and were considered an acceptable way for single women to live near to London on their own!

Go out the gates at the end of the street and turn left into Swain’s Lane. You can see Highgate Cemetery. As we walk down the street look out for this monument.

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A closer looks reveals this is the grave, amongst others,  of William Freise Greene, a pioneer of cinema, who we came across in W9. Or rather as the monument puts it “The inventor of kinematography”

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Stop 10: Highgate Cemetery

You cannot really come to Highgate without mentioning the cemetery.

The cemetery is in two halves. The original part is on the west (left side as you are walking) of Swain’s Lane and opened in 1839. It was as part of a plan to provide cemeteries to replace the graveyards attached to individual churches which had long been unable to cope with the number of burials and had become a hazard to health. There were seven of these and so they became known as the Magnificent Seven and we have already seen another one – Brompton Cemetery in SW10.

Here is the entrance to the West Cemetery

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You have to go on a tour of this part of the cemetery, but you can go in the East Cemetery every day, via this gate, which is to your right and opposite the entrance to the West Cemetery.

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There is much to see in the cemetery and we could linger here much longer to hear about some of the famous people who are buried here. But sadly we do not have time just now, as we must complete our walk through N6.

Continue along Swain’s Lane and go into Waterlow Park (which is on your right)

Stop 11 Waterlow Park

Sir Sidney Waterlow was a 19th century politician and philanthropist. He was Lord Mayor of London in 1872/73 and was made a baronet in 1873.

In 1889 gave this land to the London County Council as “a garden for the gardenless”.

Once in the park take the path on the left and go up the hill and as you get near the top take the right hand path.

Today Waterlow is commemorated by a statue, which you will see on your left along with lots of benches.

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I am told by fellow guide Jen this is the only statue in London with an umbrella!

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The positioning is great. Waterlow gets what may well be one of the best views of London a statue could have. Not sure exactly what he can see. But here is what I saw from the grass just below the statue.

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Frustratingly you cannot see the whole skyline from one point. Maybe you have to come back when there are no leaves on the trees.

Follow the path round and you will come to the gardens of a house with tables and chairs outside.

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Go in but don’t miss the little sundial (or what left of it) on your left.

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And it says this sundial plate is on a level with the top of the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, which is an unexpected comparison.

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Now exit the park into Highgate High Street and turn right. This road becomes Highgate Hill.

Stop 11a: Highgate Hill

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I thought I would stop and mention something here, although there is nothing actually to see to remind us of it.

Highgate Hill was in fact the location of the first passenger cable car service in Europe which opened in 1884 (San Francisco and Duendin, New Zealand (!) had earlier systems). The route ran between Archway and Highgate and used a continuous cable and grip system on the 1 in 11 climb of Highgate Hill.

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The method of haulage was not reliable and was replaced by electric trams in 1909

Now turn down Hornsey Lane and a little way along just after St Aloysius College is a famous bridge, our final stop.

Stop 12: Archway Bridge

Although the place known as Archway is in N19, the bridge which gives its name to the locality is actually just in N6, so I am including it here.

The original main road north went up the very steep Highgate Hill and through the village of Highgate, passing by the Gatehouse we saw earlier. By the early 19th century, this was proving unsuitable for increasingly heavy traffic and so a bypass with a shallower gradient was proposed cutting through the hill in a tunnel.

This was also a toll road. Work started in 1810 but the tunnel collapsed during construction in April 1812. So a bridge, designed by John Nash, was built to carry Hornsey Lane over what was now a cutting. The new Archway Road opened in 1813 and it remained a toll road until 1876.

In the late 1890s, Nash’s bridge was replaced with the present cast-iron bridge slightly further north, designed by Sir Alexander Binnie. So the modern day bridge is not quite the archway it used to be.

It is impressive. Way below the bridge is the Archway Road – the modern day A1 – and you have a good view north.

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And a great view south towards the City.

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That brings us to the end of the N6 walk in which we saw some fascinating buildings and heard about some interesting literary connections. Though I still am not sure just how to pronounce the name!

For onward travel either take the W5 bus from Hornsey lane to Archway. Or you can go down the steep flight of steps to Archway Road and walk along the main road to Archway.

 

 

 

 

 

NW5: A fleeting glimpse

NW5 is Kentish Town. Probably nothing to do with Kent but maybe named after a man called Kentish. In researching NW5 I discovered that the river Fleet runs right through the postcode. The Fleet is one the “lost” rivers of London as it is almost entirely hidden from view from its start on Hampstead Heath to its end by Blackfriars Bridge. But as we shall see there is one place in NW5 where you get a glimpse of where it flows even if you cannot see the water!

We start our walk at the Post Office, at 212 – 216 Kentish Town Road, just along from the station on the same side of the road. Turn left out of the Post Office and take the first turning on the left (Patshull Road), then do a right and a left which takes you into Lawford Road. Go almost to the end.

Stop 1: Number 50 Lawford Road

Our first stop is on the right and was home to writer George Orwell (1903-1950)

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We have already seen one blue plaque to him in on Portobello Road W11 – and according to http://openplaques.org/people/183 there are actually some 9 different plaques to Orwell, not all blue, across Greater London. I think he lived here in a flat in 1935/36, which was the time he was working at a second hand book store in Hampstead called Booklovers’ Corner.

Now retrace your steps along Lawford Road. At the end turn left and follow Bartholomew Villas which then mutates into Bartholomew Road. Just follow the road round until you get back to Kentish Town Road.

As we were so close I had to include this even though it is technically in NW1 – just. If you turn left on the main road and go a little way to the junction, you will see ahead of you on the right a familiar style of building.

(If you want to be purist and stay in NW5 turn right and pick up at stop 2 just after Prince of Wales Road on your left.)

Stop 1a: site of former South Kentish Town station

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This has the tell tale signs of a Leslie Green design Underground station and indeed it is. This is the former South Kentish Town station. This was going to be called Castle Road but this was changed just before the station opened in 1907. The station was temporarily closed following strike action at the Lots Road power station on 5 June 1924. But it never re-opened apparently due to the very low number of people using the station. So today it is just a ghost station, although unlike the one we saw in NW3 this one actually was open for a while.

Retrace your steps along Kentish Town Road. Our next stop is just past Prince of Wales Road on the left.

Stop 2: site of Palace/Gaumont cinema

Now this unpromising looking building was once where the Kentish Town Palace cinema (later the Gaumont) stood.

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The Palace Cinema opened in December 1913 and was designed by John Stanley Beard, who went on to design many cinemas in the London area. Provincial Cinematograph Theatres took it over in 1920 and they were bought out by Gaumont British Cinemas in February 1929.. It was re-named the Gaumont in 1948 and finally closed in April 1959.

Part of the building was demolished and the Kentish Town Road facade was destroyed. But a bit of the original building survives around the corner in Prince of Wales Road. This is now used as a Law Centre.

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Keep walking along Kentish Town Road (back towards where you started)

Stop 3: Blustons store

Now this is quite an amazing survival – one of those old fashioned Ladies’ wear shops designed for window shopping, with what I would guess is a 1930s shop front.

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Nowadays everything is on display and you chose things, maybe try them on and then go and pay for them. But it did not used to be like that. Once most of the stock was kept in drawers or display cabinets and you had to be “served”. And the person serving you was probably on commission so had a vested interest in making a sale. If you wanted to see what goods in the shop but did not want to run the gauntlet of the sales people, then you would look in the shop windows.

Which is why some shops started to have very extensive windows displays which went quite deep into the shop and the Blustons store here in Kentish Town is a rare survivor of that style of shop.

Just looking at the various buildings along here, this is another street that used to be a much more extensive shopping area but which has lost all its big stores. The one next to Blustons looks like it was a major store, but I have not been able to find out what it was.

Interesting that whilst it is relatively easy to find out about an old cinema or theatre building, or a railway station, it is surprisingly hard to get consistent information about former shop businesses beyond the bare fact that such and such a shop was at a certain address.

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Moving on, I should just point out in passing the side street Anglers Lane

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This apparently is a little reminder that the River Fleet flowed hereabouts, although there is no sign on the surface now.

Fascinating fact: Angler Lane was once home to the world’s largest false teeth factory (thanks to my fellow Footprints of London guide Rob Smith for that gem – he by the way is one of a number of guides who from time to time get together and do an all day walk following the lost river Fleet – costs £18 (£13.50 concession). Bookable through http://footprintsoflondon.com/guides/rob-smith)

Continue walking along Kentish Town Road and soon on the right is the station

Stop 4: Kentish Town Station

There are actually two stations here – the very visible Underground station and the less visible national rail station.

First the Underground station, which is another Leslie Green design. It dates from 1907 but interestingly today has escalators rather than lifts. As the first regular escalator on the Underground was put in at Earls Court in 1911, Kentish Town station must have been rebuilt at some point probably in the 1920s but I cannot seem to find out exactly when.

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But the first station here was opened by the Midland Railway in 1868 on the extension to its new London terminal at St Pancras. This surface station was rebuilt in 1983 and nothing of the original station building remains at street level. There is just this odd looking canopy. The tracks go under the road here and on the other side there is a gaping hole in the street scene where the bridge parapet is, but you cannot actually see down to the tracks. Makes for a less than satisfactory street scene.

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Now beyond the railway take the left hand pavement and soon on the left is our next stop

Stop 5: The Forum

This building was constructed as a cinema in 1934 and was of a very similar in design to the Forum in Ealing, W5 which as we saw remains just as a facade awaiting redevelopment.

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The Kentish Town Forum seated almost 2,200 people on two levels. The architect was one John Stanley Beard who had earlier built the Palace down the road but the interior design was by W.R. Bennett. It was taken over by ABC in 1935, although it was only renamed the ABC in 1963.

It was closed in 1970, and so as far as I can discover it was never subdivided. It became a bingo hall then a dance hall and finally a rock venue. At one point it was called the Town and Country Club but it reverted to its original name in 1993.

Now cross the road and go down the side street – Fortess Walk

Just thought it worth mentioning in passing when I was there, there were a number of posters along the ground floor of the building on the right, one of which was this Parliament Hill Lido poster

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We will come to this in the real world in due course.

At the end of Fortess Walk turn left into Fortess Road and go along this road until you reach Number 50

Stop 6: Number 56 Fortess Road

Here hidden behind extensive greenery is a blue plaque to Ford Madox Brown (1821-1893). He is often bracketed with  Pre-Raphaelite painters,  though he was never actually a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood itself. However his style was close to that of William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. Quite a few of his pictures are owned by the Tate.

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Continue along Kentish Town Road and turn left into Lady Somerset Road, then turn right into Burghley Road. Where this sweeps to the right, there is a turning on the left (Ingestre Road) go along this and ahead you will see a strange looking footbridge

Stop 7: Footbridge (and pipe) over railway

This is an intriguing bridge. First it starts off at one level and then suddenly after a while it goes up some steps

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The reason is that we are crossing two railway lines which are at different levels.

Note the unusual sign suggesting that there should be a limit on the number of people crossing the bridge.Sadly the sign has been vandalised so we cannot see just how many people can safely cross!

But what is perhaps more interesting is that rusty looking pipe to the left of the footbridge. (in case you are wondering the picture was taken looking back so the pipe is on the right!)

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This pipe contains the River Fleet and is just about all you can see of the river Fleet in NW5. So that is your fleeting glimpse.

Once over the footbridge, turn left and follow the road as it turns right. This is now York Rise and the River Fleet runs entombed beneath the road. Take the first left (Chetwynd road and go to the end, where you turn left into Highgate Road. Our next stop is just ahead across on the right hand side of the road

Stop 8: Weslyan Place

It has been suggested that John Wesley preached in the area, possibly at the Gospel Oak which we will come to at the end. But this little street is apparently named Weslyan Place because there was an early Methodist chapel here.

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Now whilst we are here I have to point out this little pub – the Southampton Arms. Looks old fashioned but one wonders how hard they have tried to make it look like this! But don’t you just love the sign on the side. Strange combination isn’t it!

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Now return along Highgate Road, past the junction with traffic lights and past a little garden on your left. Take the turning on your left at the end of the garden.

Stop 9: Parliament Hill Mansions, Lissenden Gardens

The street is called Lissenden Gardens but is in fact dominated by a mansion flats development called Parliament Hill Mansions. Walk along the street until your reach a junction. Straight ahead is the block which contains Number 52, which was where the poet John Betjeman was born.

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There is a great article about JB and his Kentish Town connection in the local site Kentishtowner. This includes his poem called Parliament Hill Fields in which he describes a local tram journey. This article also has a 1971 letter which has some evocative descriptions of what was even then a long lost Kentish Town. This has tantalising references to long forgotten shops in Kentish town – many of which were along the route we took at the start of today’s walk.

http://www.kentishtowner.co.uk/2012/10/03/wednesday-picture-hitch-a-ride-through-john-betjemans-kentish-town/

Take the left way and go to the end and turn right. The entrance to our next stop is almost immediately on our right.

Stop 10: Parliament Hill Lido

We saw the poster of the Lido earlier. Now here is the real thing.

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Opened in August 1938, this one one of a number of lidos built by the London County Council and it is nearly identical in design to the ones on Victoria Park and Brockwell Park. It is unheated but nevertheless operates in the winter for morning swims – brrr!

The Lido is a bit like a fortress and so you have to pay to see inside. However I did find a little place at the side where you could get a “fleeting glimpse” of the inside. In the background is Parliament Hill Mansions which we saw at the last stop.

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Return to the main road. Turn right and go under the railway past Gospel Oak station. Take the first left and then the first right (Lamble Street). Do have a look at the lovely little villas of Oak Village as you pass. Ahead you will see a pedestrianised area. This is our next stop.

Stop 11: Lismore Circus

What a curious 1970s development. According to Pevsner, this area was once a Victorian suburb planned in the 1870s with the streets radiating in six directions from the Circus. The houses are all gone and all that survives from the 19th century is the long wall of the Midland Railway ‘s cutting which early on disturbed the original plan for a quality suburb.

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It is all very sad. The 1970s redevelopment did not come out quite as planned. There was supposed to be shopping parade here, but the decision was to retain the nearby Victorian Queen’s Crescent shops and so the full complement of shops was not built. Probably the right decision, as it left some character but it did mean this replacement for the original circus lost its planned purpose.

Here by the way is the wall with the railway on other side. Strange at first glance you do not realise there are multiple train tracks down there but then every so often you here a train.

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Perhaps here I should quote a little bit from Betjeman’s 1960 autobiographical work “Summoned by Bells”:

“Here from my eyrie, as the sun went down,
I heard the old North London puff and shunt,
Glad that I did not live in Gospel Oak.”

(before any railway purist complain, I know that we are not by the North London Railway just here – that lies slightly further to the north! But clearly it shows that Gospel Oak was not very high up the pecking order)

See more at: http://www.kentishtowner.co.uk/2012/10/03/wednesday-picture-hitch-a-ride-through-john-betjemans-kentish-town/#sthash.74GLfMCV.dpuf

Walk along the grey block with the shops (such as they are). At the end you will reach Southampton Road. Turn right and go the junction with traffic lights.

Stop 12: possible site of the Gospel Oak

It is said that this is the location of the original Gospel Oak, which was a tree where there was the preaching of the Gospel. And this of course gave this part of NW5 its name.

There is an interesting article here also from the Kentishtowner  http://www.kentishtowner.co.uk/2012/03/14/wednesday-picture-where-the-hell-is-the-gospel-oak/

This has a nice postscript about local resident Michael Palin who in 1998 attempted ceremonially to plant a ‘Gospel Oak’ on the fringes of nearby Lismore Circus. Sadly the tree has not survived.

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And so we are at the end of our NW5 walk, and we have virtually run out of NW5.

But I should just one little thing over the border in NW3 which you can see from stop 12.

Look across the road and you will the street is called Fleet Road

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This is the western arm of the Fleet which rises in Hampstead Heath. This joins the eastern arm which we saw in the pipe, down in Camden Town.

So this really is the end of our NW5 walk. We followed the Fleet upstream but could only get that little glimpse.

There are a few buses here, perhaps the most useful for onward travel is the Number 24, which goes down into Camden Town and right through central London to Victoria and Pimlico. But if you want a train you can walk from this junction along Mansfield Road to Gospel Oak on the Overground.