Plan of Hampstead Garden Suburb, 1905

How would you map out a utopian village in the middle of a busy city like London?

This map plots out the idea for such a village. Hampstead Garden Suburb, in North London, was founded in 1907. Its founders, philanthropist Henrietta Barnett (later Dame Henrietta ) and architect Sir Raymond Unwin, planned to create a small utopian community close to the heart of London. They wanted people from across the social spectrum to be able to live side by side in beautiful surroundings. As the Suburb’s 1907 pamphlet explains, the founders intended ‘to promote a better understanding between the members of the classes who form our nation.’

While ‘working people’ were offered garden cottages at moderate rents, wealthier residents would live in slightly grander homes. All residents would share the library, church, playgrounds and pretty open spaces. Gardens were separated by hedges rather than fences, and trees would line every street.

This map was produced in 1905 during the initial planning stages of the Suburb. It shows us the kind of the elements believed to be necessary for an ideal residential environment.  As listed on the map, these include a picture gallery, bandstand, refreshment rooms, ponds for paddling and sailing, barns for tools, and tenements for the old. It was believed that many of these elements would help residents to grow spiritually, physically and intellectually.


Taken from: Plan of Hampstead Garden Suburb
Date: 1905
Copyright: By permission of the British Library Board
Shelfmark: Maps 3479 (106)