Hampstead Heath

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Lauderdale House

Lauderdale House was one of the finest county houses in Highgate. It lies just off the High Street (which can be seen in the background, and was originally built in 1582 with a timber frame. In 1645 it was inherited by the Earl of Lauderdale (hence its name) and in 1666 it was visited by Charles II and Samuel Pepys, while Nell Gwynn is said to have lived there briefly in 1670.

It was converted to a neo-classical style in 1760, and John Wesley preached here in 1782, and in 1882 the then owner, Sir Sydney Waterlow, the famous printer, gave it 'for the enjoyment of Londoners'.

However in 1963 it was badly damaged by fire  and though it has been re-built, the interior has not been refurbished, and it is used as a  for temporary exhibitions.

However if the house is disappointing, the gardens are magnificent.


Park from house The view from the house is especially magnificent. It looks down over an artificial lake, and you would not know that you are looking down towards central London.

house from park Here is a view in the opposite direction taken from the park looking across the artificial lake, with the house peeping through in the distance



Flowers and St Josephs church In addition to the fine lawns, there are also many flowerbeds, ablaze with colour.

Here one can also see St Joseph's Roman Catholic church in the background. It was built in 1889 to the design of Alfred Vicars and today also serves the Polish community. The huge green cupola can be seen from many parts of Hampstead Heath.

This flamboyant Lodge, with its amazing chimneys, lies at the end of the gardens, by the exit to Swain's Lane and the Highgate cemeteries. Lodge




On to the Highgate cemetery


5th May 2003