Hampstead’s Local History


The stories of the people buried in the ABG were shaped by and also illustrate the history of the place where they lived. 

From a single manor estate and hamlet in the Domesday Book to a cosmopolitan and congested part of a capital city today, Hampstead has grown out of all recognition in the last 1,000 years. The peak of its development occurred in the 50 years up to the First World War – accounting for over two thirds of the property present in the 1950’s. These pages provide some clues as to the changes that have taken place, and the impact they have had on the lives of the individuals who lived here.


Hampstead’s Origins (up to 1800)

In 1086, when the manor of Hampstead was surveyed for the Domesday Book, the area comprised one farm and a few scattered houses surrounded by fields.  Even by 1800 Hampstead was still a small rural village surrounded by countryside. What was it like?  [More …]

Victorian Hampstead

The 19th century was a period of rapid growth and change, both nationally and in Hampstead. But from being a largely rural and agricultural nation, the process of becoming an industrial and mercantile power led to huge population growth in Hampstead as well as major urban development. Whereas in 1812 a field across the road from the church was bought as a burial ground, by the end of the century the whole parish was built up. And wider social and economic changes affected public administration and services like schools and hospitals. [More …]

Hampstead in the 20th Century

Population growth continued into the 20th century, but this was also a period of rapid social and economic change. Two World Wars left their scars on the town, but an increasing trend away from single family dwellings to purpose built and converted apartments, as well as increasing car ownership and changing patterns of retail business, probably had a more significant impact on the character of Hampstead. [More …]

‘Hampstead: Settlement and Growth’, A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9: Hampstead, Paddington (1989) – Victoria County History series
‘A History of Camden’, John Richardson, Historical Publications, London 1999
“The Manor and Parish Church of Hampstead”, J Kennedy (S Mayle, Hampstead, 1906)
“The Streets of Hampstead”, Christopher Wade (Camden History Society, 1985)


This page was last updated on April 26th, 2012.

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