Friday 12 September 2008

"High on bleak Hampstead's swarthy moor"

Not my words but those of Macaulay describing Hampstead's Whitestone Pond - it was of course such a high spot that it was the location of one of the Armada Beacons of 1588.

There is still a white stone (though I haven't taken the time to hunt it down yet) which apparently reads "4 miles from St Giles Pound: 4.5miles from Holborn Bars".

Now the area feels curiously drab and run down - part of autumn of course, but on a wider point the signage has had some attention but needs proper repair and so it's welcome that the refurbishment application for Heath House has attracted a section 106 payment and combined with some serious investment between camden and the Corporation of London (time and money) the area is to get a serious facelift.

Of course it could be so much better and this now lying on the route of the Olympic cycle ride.

It was the Horse Pond whereby carriages comming from up the hill or preparing to descend the hill would pause to water and also to clean their wheels of the mud from the journey - usually these were the coal carriages.

It was also much in use during the construction of the underground as the earth from the Hampstead Tunnel was taken up to Inverforth House to build the Pergola foundations.

For details of the Whitestone Pond development appraisal have a look via this link on Camden website:;jsessionid=AAE99ABE37AC44CA586B8C65AF730265.node2

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