Saturday 13 September 2008

The lanes of Hampstead

Okay, okay - they are not lanes but one of the most charming features of Hampstead are the number of lanes - often small old, even medieval.

I've taken to capturing them on camera cos their charm and historical insight.

Spring Path indeed refers to the old and ancient spring - one of the tributaries of the Fleet river that runs from the Heath and Shepherd's Walk was one of the paths that was used for driving sheep onto and from the Heath.

In fact I have a postcard from about 1896/98 of sheep grazing on the heath...

And then there is this small lane off of Heath Street - about half way up on the left - if I recall correctly it leads up and onto Holly Bush Steps and thence the Holly Bush Pub.

There are so many sdo of which refer to the name of the old trading company that was there - Stanford Close, some refer to the residents - Golden Yard - and others are less clear - Bird In Hand Yard (presumably an old pub?).

I'm sure there is a really good sunday walk about the unknown lanes and alleys of Hampstead - one for me to ponder on over the weekend as the trickiest bit is putting otgether the map - it's one of those occasions where your knowledge is in your head but drafting the map would be pesky and I'm not a cartographer.

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