I have been promising you a trip down Fitzroy Park for some time, so here we go – but this could be a longish trip over several days….
Back in the 18th century Fitzroy Park was the carriage drive up through the Fitzroy Farm Estate – see my blog on Fitzroy Farm a few weeks ago. Now it is a leafy private lane descending the hill from the Grove in Highgate to the corner of the Boating Pond on the heath. It runs beside much sought after allotments and is heavily littered with architectural gems – well, certainly buildings of architectural interest – from the mid 19th to the late 20th century.
If you are super keen, Camden has produced an amazing document, the Highgate Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Proposals. This details every house in Highgate and devotes no less than 6 pages (pages 30-36) to Fitzroy Park although it is not dated so it hard to know how up to date it actually is.
So, let’s start at the top….
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So to recap briefly….. Beechwood House is indeed my next door neighbour – indeed we share a garden wall and from the back of my house I look out over the trees in their gardens – of which more another time. It was built, according to Wikipedia, in 1840 by George Basevi for his brother. It is now Grade 2 listed and belongs to Uzbek business man, erstwhile part owner of Arsenal Football Club, Alsiher Usmanov. This is a quick peep I got through the gates one day as a delivery van was let in.
Beechwood has 11.5 acres of garden which runs down the hill to the heath. Its trees are magnificent and I am sure that the rest of the garden matches them. I wonder if they open for the National Gardens Scheme…..
So back to 8a Fitzroy Park.
I am not sure that I can tell you a great deal more about it but it is certainly eye catching. I have actually been in it twice. Once back in the 1970s when I ran a catering business and we catered a party there; once about 15 years ago when it was on the market and I pretended that I was interested in buying it! Sadly I do not have any really clear recollections of the interior beyond the fact that it was very quirky with lots of little stairways and corners and unexpected vistas.
These are a couple of views that came from estate agents brochures when it was last sold – from the garden and the living room.
And a last, rather less sun-dazzled view of the front of the house.
Tomorrow….. The Elms, the Hexagon, Emmanuel Vincent Harris – and a post box!
My daily blog now has an Instagram account! WalksonHampsteadHeath – the idea being to widen the circle of people who might enjoy a daily ramble across the heath. Please follow us and pass on the news!!
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