College Crescent, NW3

Road in/near Swiss Cottage, existing between 1842 and now

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2021

College Crescent was built by the Eyre family.

The Eyre family were local landowners and became keen to promote building. In 1794 a plan was drawn up on the model of Bath, with a crescent, circus and a square. The plan was never executed but from 1802 development on the Eyre estate was directed by John Shaw, a young architect inspired by the town-planning ideals of the late 18th century. In 1803-4 he exhibited views of a projected circus and in 1807 building began on the Marylebone portion.

In 1819 Col. Eyre began the first of several attempts to promote the construction of a public road through his estate, ultimately successful in the Finchley Road Act of 1826. Finchley New Road and Avenue Road, the southern part of which existed by 1824, went northward into the Hampstead portion of Eyre’s land and were built by 1829. The Swiss Cottage tavern was built at the apex of the two roads by 1841.

College Crescent was then laid out in the 1840s, and by 1852 the first thirteen houses had been built there. These houses were stuccoed terraces with iron balconies built by W. Wartnaby.

More buildings included the school for the blind, built in 1848 at the southern junction of College Crescent and Avenue Road and enlarged in 1864, 1878, and 1912; of brick with stone dressings, it had an Italianate central block with two wings.

The North Star pub opened in 1850 and, enclosed by the curve of College Crescent, the New College of Independent Dissenters, for training ministers, was opened in 1851 in a building designed in an early Tudor style by J. T. Emmett. He also designed the college’s Gothic chapel, opened soon afterwards to the south, at the junction of Avenue Road and Adelaide Road.

Immediately south of the blind school a large house, Sunnyside (later St. Columba’s hospital), with a Greek Doric porch, was built by 1862.

Samuel Palmer, of the biscuit firm, lived at no. 40 College Crescent, a large house called Northcourt built in 1881.

New College and much of College Crescent were pulled down in 1934 and replaced by Northways, two concrete blocks of flats and shops by London & City Real Estate.

Redevelopment of the site previously occupied by the school for the blind, St. Columba’s hospital, and the New College Chapel, was considered in 1957. A scheme for a civic centre was published in 1959 by the architect, Basil Spence, and part of it, the library and the adjoining swimming baths, was opened in 1964.

In 1962 Hampstead theatre opened on a site north of the library that had been intended for civic buildings.

Originally the street has three names along its length. From the North Star it was ’College Villas Road’. The following section was ’College Terrace’. Only the final section near to the Blind School was it ’College Crescent’.




Main source: A History of the County of Middlesex | British History Online
Further citations and sources




CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY


Comment
The Underground Map   
Added: 8 Mar 2021 14:30 GMT   

Kilburn Park - opened 1915
Kilburn Park station was opened at the height of the First World War

Reply
Comment
The Underground Map   
Added: 8 Mar 2021 14:49 GMT   

A bit of a lift....
Kilburn Park was the first station to be designed around escalators, rather than lifts.

Reply

James Preston   
Added: 28 Apr 2021 09:06 GMT   

School
Was this the location of Rosslyn House prep school? I have a photograph of the Rosslyn House cricket team dated 1910 which features my grandfather (Alan Westbury Preston). He would have been 12 years old at the time. All the boys on the photo have been named. If this is the location of the school then it appears that the date of demolition is incorrect.

Reply
Comment
Graham Margetson   
Added: 9 Feb 2021 14:33 GMT   

I lived at 4 Arkwright Road before it was the school
My parents lived at 4 Arkwright Road. Mrs Goodwin actually owned the house and my parents rented rooms from her.


Reply
Lived here
Cassandra Green   
Added: 11 Sep 2020 14:34 GMT   

Rudall Crescent, NW3 (- 1999)
I lived at 2 Rudall Crescent until myself and my family moved out in 1999. I once met a lady in a art fair up the road who was selling old photos of the area and was very knowledgeable about the area history, collecting photos over the years. She told me that before the current houses were built, there was a large manor house , enclosed by a large area of land. She told me there had been a fire there. Im trying to piece together the story and find out what was on the land before the crescent was built. This website is very interesting.

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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT


Comment
PETER FAIRCLOUGH   
Added: 10 May 2021 14:46 GMT   

We once lived here
My family resided at number 53 Brindley Street Paddington.
My grandparents George and Elizabeth Jenkinson (ne Fowler) had four children with my Mother Olive Fairclough (ne Jenkinson) being born in the house on 30/09/1935.
She died on 29/04/2021 aged 85 being the last surviving of the four siblings

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Comment
Carol   
Added: 7 May 2021 18:44 GMT   

Nan
My nan lily,her sister Elizabeth and their parents Elizabeth and William lived here in1911

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Added: 4 May 2021 19:45 GMT   

V1 Attack
The site of a V1 incident in 1944

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Comment
David Gibbs   
Added: 3 May 2021 16:48 GMT   

73 Bus Crash in Albion Rd 1961
From a Newspaper cutting of which I have a copy with photo. On Tuesday August 15th 1961 a 73 bus destined for Mortlake at 8.10am. The bus had just turned into Albion Road when the driver passed out, apparently due to a heart attack, and crashed into a wall on the western side of Albion Road outside No 207. The bus driver, George Jefferies aged 56 of Observatory Road, East Sheen, died after being trapped in his cab when he collided with a parked car. Passengers on the bus were thrown from their seats as it swerved. Several fainted, and ambulances were called. The bus crashed into a front garden and became jammed against a wall. The car driver, who had just parked, suffered shock.

Reply

Richard Eades   
Added: 3 May 2021 11:42 GMT   

Downsell Primary School (1955 - 1958)
I was a pupil at Downsell road from I think 1955 age 7 until I left in 1958 age 10 having passed my "11plus" and won a scholarship to Parmiters school in bethnal green. I remember my class teacher was miss Lynn and the deputy head was mrs Kirby.
At the time we had an annual sports day for the whole school in july at drapers field, and trolley buses ran along the high street and there was a turning point for them just above the junction with downsell road.
I used to go swimming at cathall road baths, and also at the bakers arms baths where we had our school swimming galas. I nm y last year, my class was taken on a trip to the tower of london just before the end of term. I would love to hear from any pupils who remember me.

Reply
Lived here
   
Added: 1 May 2021 16:46 GMT   

Cheyne Place, SW3
Frances Faviell, author of the Blitz memoir, "A Chelsea Concerto", lived at 33, Cheyne Place, which was destroyed by a bomb. She survived, with her husband and unborn baby.

Reply

James Preston   
Added: 28 Apr 2021 09:06 GMT   

School
Was this the location of Rosslyn House prep school? I have a photograph of the Rosslyn House cricket team dated 1910 which features my grandfather (Alan Westbury Preston). He would have been 12 years old at the time. All the boys on the photo have been named. If this is the location of the school then it appears that the date of demolition is incorrect.

Reply
Comment
Tricia   
Added: 27 Apr 2021 12:05 GMT   

St George in the East Church
This Church was opened in 1729, designed by Hawksmore. Inside destroyed by incendrie bomb 16th April 1941. Rebuilt inside and finished in 1964. The building remained open most of the time in a temporary prefab.

Reply
NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
Central School of Speech and Drama The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama was founded in 1906 to offer a new form of training in speech and drama for young actors and other students.
Finchley Road Finchley Road is on the Jubilee line, between West Hampstead and Swiss Cottage and on the Metropolitan line between Baker Street and Wembley Park.
Hall School The Hall School is an independent boys’ preparatory school in Belsize Park.
South Hampstead High School South Hampstead High School is an independent day school.
St Mary’s Town and Country School St. Mary’s Town and Country School was an independent, non-denominational, co-educational progressive day and boarding school.
Westbourne Pond Westbourne Pond is marked on the 1830 Greenwood map as the source of the Westbourne River.
Winchester Hotel Winchester Hotel was situated at 21a Winchester Road, NW3

NEARBY STREETS
Adamson Road, NW3 Adamson Road is named after either a contractor or architect to Eton College.
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Avenue Road, NW3 Avenue Road dates from 1829.
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Belsize Road, NW6 Belsize Road is a major road in NW6, parallel to the railway.
Belsize Square, NW3 Belsize Square is a street in Hampstead.
Boydell Court, NW8 Boydell Court is a road in the NW8 postcode area
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Broadhurst Gardens, NW6 Broadhurst Gardens is in West Hampstead, NW6
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Canfield Gardens, NW6 Canfield Gardens was first laid out in 1881.
Canfield Place, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
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Coleridge Gardens, NW8 Street/road in London NW6
Court Close, NW8 Court Close is a location in London.
Crossfield Road, NW3 Crossfield Road is a street in Hampstead.
Daleham Gardens, NW3 Daleham Gardens dates from the 1880s.
Dobson Close, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
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Eton Court, NW3 Eton Court is a street in Hampstead.
Fairfax Mansions, NW3 Fairfax Mansions is a street in Hampstead.
Fairfax Place, NW6 Fairfax Place has undergone name changes - at first Victoria Mews and then Fairfax Mews.
Fairfax Road, NW6 Fairfax Road runs south from the Finchley Road to Belsize Road.
Fairhazel Gardens, NW6 Fairhazel Gardens runs from Broadhurst Gardens to Goldhurst Terrace.
Fellow Road, NW3 Fellow Road is a location in London.
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Finchley Road, NW3 Finchley Road is one of north London’s main roads.
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Goldhurst Terrace, NW6 Goldhurst Terrace was laid out in the late 1870s.
Goldhurst Terrace, NW6 This is a street in the NW3 postcode area
Greencroft Gardens, NW6 Greencroft Gardens dates from 1884-5.
Harben Parade, NW3 Harben Parade is a parade of shops along Finchley Road.
Harben Road, NW6 Harben Road was first known as Albion Road.
Harley Road, NW3 Harley Road is a street in Hampstead.
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Hilgrove Road, NW6 Hilgrove Road was previously the western section of Adelaide Road, called Adelaide Road North.
Hornby Close, NW3 Hornby Close is a street in Hampstead.
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Jade Terrace, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
King’s College Road, NW3 King?s College Road is a street in Hampstead.
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Lancaster Grove, NW3 Lancaster Grove is a street in Hampstead.
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Marston Close, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
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Naseby Close, NW3 Street/road in London NW6
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Noel House, NW3 Residential block
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Rosslyn Mansions, NW6 Street/road in London NW6
St Johns Court, NW6 St Johns Court is a retail and residential block beside Finchley Road station.
St. Johns Wood Park, NW8 St. Johns Wood Park is a location in London.
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Swiss Cottage Centre, NW3 Swiss Cottage Centre is a location in London.
Swiss Terrace, NW3 Swiss Terrace connects Belsize Road with the Swiss Cottage junction.
Trinity Walk, NW3 Trinity Walk is a street in Hampstead.
Wadham Gardens, NW3 Wadham Gardens is a road in the NW3 postcode area
Winchester Road, NW3 Winchester Road is named after the first Provost of Eton, William Waynflete Bishop of Winchester.


Swiss Cottage

Swiss Cottage is named after an inn called The Swiss Tavern that was built in 1804 in the style of a Swiss chalet and on the site of a former tollgate keeper’s cottage.

The district formed part of the ancient parish of Hampstead. It developed following the Finchley Road Act 1826, which authorised construction of Finchley New Road and Avenue Road, with The Swiss Tavern located at the junction of the new roads. The neighbourhood around Finchley Road and Avenue Road was redeveloped in 1937 and 1938 with the opening of an Odeon cinema and the Regency Lodge flats. After World War II, local authority housing was constructed by the London County Council in the area.

Local amenities include an Odeon Cinema, Sir Basil Spence’s Grade II-listed Swiss Cottage Central Library and the Hampstead Theatre. Swiss Cottage is the location of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama that occasionally performs at the Embassy Theatre. Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre reopened in early 2006 after redevelopment; it now has two swimming pools, a gym and a climbing wall. Many of the area’s cityscapes and London street scenes, particularly of Swiss Cottage, Adamson Rd, Eton Ave and Belsize Park were represented by the Camden Town Group painter Robert Bevan and his wife, the Polish painter Stanislawa de Karlowska. They lived at 14 Adamson Road.

Swiss Cottage station was opened in 1868 as the northern terminus of the Metropolitan and St. John’s Wood Railway, the first northward branch extension from Baker Street of the Metropolitan Railway (now the Metropolitan line). From here, starting in 1879, the line was subsequently extended further to Watford, Amersham, Chesham and Uxbridge.

The current station was opened on 20 November 1939 on a new section of deep-level tunnel constructed between Baker Street and Finchley Road stations when the Metropolitan line’s services on its Stanmore branch were transferred to the Bakerloo line.

The new station initially operated as part of a combined station with the Metropolitan line’s adjacent sub-surface Swiss Cottage station (platforms 1 and 2 were Metropolitan line and 3 and 4 were Bakerloo line), but the Metropolitan line station was closed on 17 August 1940. The Bakerloo line station was subsequently transferred along with the rest of the Stanmore branch to the Jubilee line when it opened on 1 May 1979.


LOCAL PHOTOS
Swiss Cottage
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Royal Free Hospital
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Victorian house under construction
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Meadowland with buttercups and daisies
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Belsize Avenue in Belsize Park
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Frognal, NW3
Credit: Google Maps
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Wedderburn Road, NW3
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In the neighbourhood...

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Swiss Cottage
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Aerial view of Goldhurst Open Space
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At Hampstead Heath station, a Stratford bound Overground train emerges from Hampstead Tunnel - the other end of the tunnel can be seen behind the oncoming train.
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St. Mary’s Town & Country School logo as a woven badge
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Belsize Avenue in Belsize Park
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St Johns Court (built 1938)
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Frognal, NW3
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Tower block, Swiss Cottage On Winchester Road, taken from Fellows Road
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Wedderburn Road, NW3
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The Winchester, Winchester Road, Swiss Cottage (1962)
Credit: Brian Fowler
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