Streets of Gospel Oak and West Kentish Town

Streets of Gospel Oak and West Kentish Town

Streets of Gospel Oak and West Kentish Town, subtitled 'A survey of streets, buildings and former residents in a part of Camden', edited by Steven Denford and David A. Hayes

Published by the Camden History Society in 2006, 120 pages. Rectangular paperback - c.20cm by 14cm (N6762)

From the inside front cover: This book covers the whole of Gospel Oak and all the western reaches of Kentish Town. The elevated former Hampstead Junction Railway, which carries today's Silverlink Metro service over Prince of Wales Road, forms our eastern and northern boundary. To the south, the viaduct of the old North London Railway acts as a physical barrier between Kentish Town and its southerly neighbour, Camden Town. The ancient highway from London to Hampstead - modern-day Chalk Farm Road and Haverstock Hill - is the southwestern limit of our area. To the west it extends to the old St Pancras-Hampstead borough boundary, which ran north to the west of Maitland Park; that neighbourhood is therefore also included.

In a series of six walks, we explore the streets of this area, which was farmland until the 19th century. Indeed, most of the area is a Victorian creation. The biggest landowners here were the Lords Southampton, who sold their fields in Gospel Oak in 1806 and auctioned off the remainder of the estate in 1840. Plans for middle-class villadom failed to materialise (other than in Maitland Park) and the streets were soon packed with terraced houses and here and there factories, often associated with the local staple industry, piano manufacture. Backwaters deteriorated into slums; so when Lord Mansfield came to develop his estate north of Gospel Oak proper he was determined not to repeat the mistakes that had been made earlier in the century. The streets north of Mansfield Road, now part of a conservation area, are in marked contrast to those to the south, many so comprehensively redeveloped in the 1960s that the original street layout is no longer identifiable.

A number of the many churches that were built here have however survived and some are architecturally significant. We shall also encounter notable people who have lived here, sometimes only briefly, including Karl Marx; the writers George Grossmith, Jerome K Jerome and Stella Gibbons; the bookseller Christina Foyle; the naturalist Henry Walter Bates; numerous artists, including Miles Edmund Cotman, Sir George Scharf, James Parker, Henry Thomas AIken, Arthur Boyd Houghton, Oscar Gustav Reilander and Edmund Thomas Parris; the publisher James Camden Hotten; the chemical engineer Herbert Alfred Humphrey; the theologian Olive Wyon; the music hall artiste Gertie Gitana, who popularised Nellie Dean; as well as a host of interesting if less famous former residents.
Contents include:

Diagrams of the walks
List of Illustrations and maps
Historical overview
The Southampton connection
Local redevelopment
Present street names and their origins
Route 1 Pancras Vale Circular walk from Chalk Farm station
Route 2 Talacre Gardens to Queen's Crescent Market Sinuous circular walk from Kemish Town West station
Route 3 Around St Silas Circular walk from Chalk Farm station
Route 4 Through Maitland Park Circular walk from Chalk Farm station
Route 5 Oak Village to Queen's Crescent Circular walk from Gospel Oak station
Route 6 The Mansfield Road estate Circular walk from Gospel Oak station

The condition of the book is generally excellent. The covers are clean and bright, the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is a small price sticker on the rear side cover.
Condition New