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Lie of the Land


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Hampstead Garden Suburb
Hampstead Garden Suburb Plan
The British Library
Maps 3479(102)

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This map of Hampstead Garden Suburb was produced during the initial stages of the planning of the suburb. It offers insights into early 20th century perceptions of the elements necessary for the ideal residential environment. These elements, ranging from "church", to "barns for tools", to "tenements for the old", are represented on the map by numbers. Nos. 1 and 2 are "church" and "chapel", no. 16 is "institute & club". Elements which aid spiritual, physical and intellectual development form a cluster at the top of the list.

Hampstead Garden Suburb was founded in 1907. Whereas most previous planned settlements in Britain had been created by a single landowner or businessman, Hampstead Garden Suburb (like Letchworth Garden City) was a co-operative endeavour by a group of like-minded citizens.

The Garden Suburb owes its foundation to Henrietta Barnett (later Dame Henrietta ) and Sir Raymond Unwin. Barnett, a cosmetics heiress, was a social worker, and had spent 30 years working towards improving the housing conditions of the poor in Whitechapel. Unwin, a mining engineer turned architect and planner, was the co-creator of this map. He had previously been the architect of New Earswick, Yorks. and Letchworth, both planned settlements.

Barnett's model for the suburb was the country town, with the emphasis on the country rather than the town. The aim, in Unwin's words, was to give "working people the opportunity of taking a cottage with a garden within a 2d. fare of Central London."