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Set in a Conservation Area, Church Row is a key feature of many Hampstead walking tours. Church Row is a street almost entirely lined with early 18th century houses of brown brick with red dressings. Many have cast iron railings, and arched cellars that run under most of the road. The twin lines of terraced houses form one of the most complete Georgian streets in London, with much original detail.  Most of the buildings are Grade II or II*.

In the early 18th century, Richard Hughes of Holborn was buying land on the west side of 'the great street of Hampstead' in 1710. One house may have been built by 1707 and by 1713 Hughes had built eight on the south side of what by 1728 was called Church Row, apparently all at one time and as a speculation stimulated by the success of the wells. As freehold they were omitted from the survey of 1762, when the north side of Church Row had ten houses of various dates from the early 18th century (see A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9: Hampstead, Paddington 1989).

In 1890 Oriel House stood on the eastern end of Church Row, and at the other end there was the St John’s Church and the Frognal Estate, which was accessed by a tollgate. It was the last of its kind in Hampstead (see Hampstead by Chris Wade). Church Row was in essence an oblong square. It was also devoid of traffic as it was only accessible by the very narrow Church Lane and Little Church Row.

These narrow streets together with adjacent courts and alleys, were a far cry from the grandeur of the rest of Hampstead. In the 1890s they together with Oriel House they were demolished, and Heath Street was extended to meet Fitzjohn’s Avenue. In 1898 the imposing No 2 Church Row was also demolished and replaced with what is now Gardnor Mansions.

Over the years many famous people have lived in the street, and further details can be found by clicking on the doors below. [This website is under construction and currently only 21, 22, 26 and Gardnor Mansions have text]

 

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