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West Hampstead facts for kids

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West Hampstead
Population 33,751 
OS grid reference TQ255855
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district NW6
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
  • Hampstead and Kilburn
London Assembly
  • Barnet and Camden
List of places
LondonCoordinates: 51°33′15″N 0°11′20″W / 51.5543°N 0.1888°W / 51.5543; -0.1888

West Hampstead is an area in the London Borough of Camden in north-west London. Mainly defined by the railway stations of the same name, it is situated between Childs Hill to the north, Frognal and Hampstead to the north-east, Swiss Cottage to the east, South Hampstead to the south-east, Kilburn to the west and south-west, and Cricklewood to the north-west. The area is mainly residential with several small shops, restaurants, cafes, bakeries concentrated on the northern section of West End Lane and around West End Green. It is served by three stations: West Hampstead on the Jubilee line, West Hampstead Overground station and West Hampstead Thameslink station.


Hampstead Met. B Ward Map 1916
A map showing the West End ward of Hampstead Metropolitan Borough as it appeared in 1916.

The village of West End

An area, known as "le Rudyng" (indicating a woodland clearing) in the mid-13th century, had by 1534 come to be called West End. It was then a freehold estate belonging to Kilburn Priory, and was so called because it was at the west end of another, larger estate. Although it is possible that there was a dwelling on the estate prior to 1244, an estate house was certainly extant by 1646. West End Lane (named as such by 1644) is still bent at a right-angle at the north and south ends where it connects to Finchley Road and Edgware Road respectively. This is because the lane used to form the boundary between a number of different estates.

By the early 17th century a number of houses were present, and by the middle of that century London merchants were building larger houses in the area, so turning a hamlet into the village of West End.

West Hampstead

At the beginning of the 19th century, there were three main large houses around the hamlet of West End: West End House, West End Hall and Lauriston Lodge which were later sold off for redevelopment with the arrival of the railways, which led to the transformation of the area from farmland into housing estates. In 1879, the Metropolitan Railway adopted the name West Hampstead for its station on West End Lane, the main road through the area.

Notable buildings and sites

  • Hampstead Cemetery on Fortune Green Road, opened in 1876
  • Hampstead Synagogue on Dennington Park Road, built on the site of Lauriston Lodge, opened in 1892.
  • Emmanuel Church, West Hampstead on the corner of Lyncroft Gardens, opened in 1903.
  • West Hampstead Fire Station was opened in 1901 and is still operating, responding to over two thousand emergency calls a year. Its service area covers 12 square miles (31 km2), including Hampstead, West Hampstead, Kilburn, Cricklewood and parts of Golders Green.
  • Hampstead Cricket Club moved to Lymington Road in 1877.
  • Decca Studios on Broadhurst Gardens. Now used as rehearsal space by the English National Opera. David Bowie recorded his first single and the Rolling Stones their first album in the studios. They were also known for being where the Beatles failed their audition with Decca Records on 1 January 1962, before they signed with Parlophone.

Transport links

Stations in West Hampstead
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Chiltern Main Line to Birmingham
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LU Jubilee and Metropolitan lines
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Thameslink and Midland Main Line
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North London Line to Richmond
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London Overground London Overground station
National Rail Thameslink station
West Hampstead (on West End Lane)
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Jubilee Line LU Jubilee line station
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Jubilee LineMetropolitan Line Finchley Road OSI: London Overground
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Finchley Road (MR) (1868-1927)
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London Overground Finchley Road & Frognal OSI: Jubilee LineMetropolitan Line
North London Line to Stratford
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Thameslink and Midland Main Line
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LU Jubilee and Metropolitan lines
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Chiltern Main Line to Marylebone
OSI = Out of station interchange

There are three railway stations named West Hampstead all within close proximity, as well as a number of other tube stations in the area. Numerous bus routes also pass through the district.

West Hampstead signal box

The power signal box (PSB) for the northern end of the Thameslink route is in Iverson Road, West Hampstead, around the corner from the Thameslink station. The Network Rail signal box can be seen from the north end of the platforms on the left. As well as being a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week operational building, it also houses engineers and acts as a base for Mobile Operation Managers (MOMs). The upper floor of this box controls the signals and operation of the railway from Farringdon/St Pancras International as far as Sharnbrook (just north of Bedford Station). Before the demise of First Capital Connect (FCC), also located in the box (in the same room as the signalling panels) was FCC's Thameslink control (also known to staff as the Service Delivery Centre or SDC). FCC's services between London Blackfriars and Bedford were controlled from here. South of Blackfriars, FCC trains were either controlled by southeastern control (to Sevenoaks) or FCC's other SDC at Croydon (for services to Brighton and Sutton/Wimbledon). Information on the service status of the line, including the operation of the information screens, was also controlled from here. East Midlands Trains do not have controllers at West Hampstead however.


Location in context

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