Wednesday 27 February 2008

A blue plaque for George Crabbe in Hampstead?

Heath House is one of the most amazing houses in North West London. Great location, perspective, proportions, gating, settings - all over wow.

I have walked past and around on numerous occasions and thought how great it was and reflected on the shame that was the closed boarded up current state.

Now there is a planning application proposal progressing that will see the house restored to residential occupancy - which can only be good (assuming that all the plans respect the great architecture and listing features).

Some of us had dreamt that the house might have eneded up as the headquarters of the Hampstead Heath Managers (City of London Corporation), but it looks not to be the case now...

However, a new twist for me was the discovery that this was occupied by the Hoare family (Samuel and his daughter Sarah at least) who were cery close family friends , even confidentes, of George Crabb.

Crabbe is a serious player in the canon of romantic poetry and, it emerges, he stayed on a frequent basis at Heath House with the Hoare family writing his poetry and gathering inspiration from the heath and surroundings. I want to return to this but i think the stay here was significant and saw the writing of his very greatest works...

In the context of the links with Keats and Bloomfield I think there's a wider restoration of the poetic significance of Hampstead in the period 1800-1820.

A blue/Hampstead plaque for Crabbe on Heath House?

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