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Burgh House - New End Square, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 33.485 W 000° 10.507
30U E 695815 N 5715671
Quick Description: Burgh House and Hampstead Museum are entered through gates on the north east side of New End Square in Hampstead. Burgh House is Grade I listed and dates from 1704.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/3/2015 11:43:48 AM
Waymark Code: WMNMDD
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Dragontree
Views: 0

Long Description:

The building is Grade I listed with the entry at the Historic England website telling us:

Detached house. c1703-4 for Henry and Hannah Sewell, enlarged to rear c1720 for Dr William Gibbons and with single-storey music room to side c1925 for Captain Constantine Benson. Brown brick with red brick dressings and some later patching. Hipped tiled roofs.

EXTERIOR: 3 storeys and semi-basement. Main (south-east) front: symmetrical 5 window frontage. Reinstated wood modillion cornice. Patched red brick bands between storeys. Central doorway with C20 cornice-hood carried by pilasters and wrought-iron brackets; patterned fanlight and panelled door approached by steps with early C19 cast-iron railings. Slightly recessed sashes with later C18 stucco surrounds; ground and 1st floor have cambered arch heads. Extension to left with similar sashes. Rear (north-west) elevation: 5 window frontage with projecting wings each having 1 blind window with 3 window returns. Red brick bands between storeys. Gauged red brick segmental-arched windows with red brick dressings; 1st and 2nd floor have arched central windows to staircase.

INTERIOR: with fully panelled rooms, carved and moulded box cornices, dadoes and some original fireplaces. Symmetrical plan to rear of enlarged entrance hall, with central stair flanked by rooms to either side with rear closets. The first floor similarly symmetrical with central corridor over entrance. Good C18 staircase. Ground floor rear library retains some mouldings 1884-97 installed by Grylls family (stained glass artists). Other rear room with fluted pilaster strips. Music room in 3-bay addition to left with panelling said to come from Weatherall House, formerly adjoining, and before that from the Long Room of nearby Spa.

HISTORICAL NOTE: in 1720s occupied by the Spa physician William Gibbons whose initials are on the wrought-iron gates (qv). c1858-1881, it was used as the headquarters and Officers' Mess of the Royal East Middlesex Militia. Following World War II it became a Council community centre and in 1979 was leased to the Burgh House Trust who run it as a meeting place, exhibition centre and local history museum.

The Burgh House website tells us more about the house:

Burgh House was built in 1704, during Queen Anne's reign. It was one of the first large houses to be built in Hampstead, which at the time was flourishing as a fashionable Spa, known as Hampstead Wells.

Burgh House in the eighteenth century

Burgh House was built on land recently reclaimed from the Heath for Henry and Hannah Sewell. Only the front portion of the House was built at this time, with many extensions added over the years. On the ground floor, there was originally just the entrance hall and a much smaller version of the Music Room, which would have been used by Sewell, a haberdasher, as a place to store and sell his fabrics. People did not have shops, instead they sold their wares directly from their home.

The basement would have been used as a kitchen, servants’ hall and wine cellar. The larder was situated under the front steps of the house and the ice house was situated in the moat.

The first floor would have had the same hallway as today, which would have been known as a ‘closet’, but the original staircase would have been closer to the front of the House. The Wells Room and the Office would most likely have been used as bedrooms or drawing rooms.

In the 1720s, the house was extended to include the Library and Art Gallery on the ground floor and the Christopher Wade Room, Heath Room and the current staircase on the first floor. The toilets on the ground floor were also added at this point.

Burgh House from the twentieth century to the present day

In the 1920s, the Music Room was extended dramatically to form the room we know and love today. The room is now used for concerts, plays, talks and choirs, and is available to hire for weddings and other private events.

In 2005, the Peggy Jay Gallery on the ground floor of the house was built to provide wheelchair access to the house and baby-changing facilities. The Gallery now provides a beautiful and minimal space for contemporary art exhibitions.

The Library is now used for clubs, meetings and other small events and is also available to hire. The Heath and Wells Rooms house Hampstead Museum, and the Art Gallery and the Christopher Wade Room display the museum’s temporary exhibitions. The basement and Gertrude Jekyll Terrace are now home to the Buttery Café.

A Bing bird's eye view of Burgh House can be seen here.

Earliest Recorded Date of Construction: 1/1/1703

Additional Dates of Construction:
1720 1925 2005

Architectural Period/Style: Queen Anne

Type of Building e.g. Country House, Stately Home, Manor:
Country House

Interesting Historical Facts or Connections:
Houses the Hampstead Museum

Listed Building Status (if applicable): Grade I

Main Material of Construction: Brick

Private/Public Access: House, museum and gardens open to the public

Admission Fee (if applicable): 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Opening Hours (if applicable): From: 12:00 PM To: 5:00 PM

Related Website: [Web Link]


Architect (if known): Not listed

Landscape Designer (if known): Not listed

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