Wednesday 23 April 2008

The oldest building in the area?

What is the oldest building in Hampstead and Kilburn?

A daft question you might think but with no remaining habitable fragment of Kilburn Priory and no surviving medieval church I think this is a harder question that might be thought...

My instinct and guess is that it is Fenton House in Hampstead.

It is dated to 1693 - Willam and Mary are on the throne of England, the dodo becomes extinct in this year, France is at war with the Palatine (Germany) and John Harrison, a famous clockmaker buried in Hampstead parish churchyard is born.

The house was owned by Joshua Gee who was a silk merchant (i.e. wealthy) and this was a classic mansion house of it's period. The name of the house however comes from Philip Fenton another merchant who bought the house in 1793. This family made a number of the changes and features that survive today in particular the walled garden.

Some pictures of the house and gardens can be found here

But more to the point, is there anything older in Hampstead and Kilburn?

1 comment:

Robert Doyle said...

Isn't Grove Cottage (no 110 Frognal at the junction with Mount Vernon) supposed to be seventeenth century?

Listing description:
CAMDEN TQ2685NW FROGNAL 798-1/26/534 (East side) 11/08/50 No.110 Grove Cottage GV II

End of terrace house. C17, altered. Stucco. Tiled hipped roof with central chimney-stack and eaves cornice. 3 storeys 3 windows. Central full height portico extension with cornice at 1st floor level; architraved doorway with half glazed door. Architraved sashes. Left hand return with plain bands at floor levels and recessed panel beneath eaves believed to have contained an inn sign when, during the C18, No.110 was used along with No.108 (qv) as a public house variously called The Three Pigeons, Ye Pilgrim, The Windmill and The Duke of Cumberland. Poet and Punch editor, EV Knox, lived here 1945-71 (plaque). INTERIOR: not inspected