Hampstead Pergola – The Grandeur of Run-down Terraces | London’s Secret Serene Haven
The Hampstead Pergola, a beautiful faded splendour hidden away in the north west corner of Hampstead Heath is one of London’s secret serene havens. This hidden treasure is a breathtaking wonder and perfect for all seasons to wander. You can’t but fall in love with the grandeur of these run-down terraces that radiate a sense of serenity at every step you take. Set on raised walkways, the endless corridors of Edwardian pillars are overgrown with vines, roses and exotic flowers. The subtle fragrance of roses fills the air, and views at every turn. This serene haven looks like a magical secret garden.
The Hampstead Pergola and Hill Gardens is a perfect destination in London (just 30 minutes from London Euston) to getaway to for a picnic with friends and family, or to enjoy some peace and quiet reflection. The Hampstead Pergola is a photographer’s paradise and a destination sought out for weddings and celebratory events.
In this guide, we take a look at how the story of these really pretty run-down terraces began, what happened along the way and who cares for them now. I have included several photos here, taken a few days ago, in the beautiful summer sun to give you an idea of how beautiful this place is but nothing beats the ‘here and now’ experience which are truly rich. Therefore, I give you all the practical information you need on how to get to Hampstead Heath Hill Garden and Pergola, opening times and where to park if you are not taking public transportation.
Walk with me … click to watch a preview of the magical serenity of the Hill Garden and Pergola
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The History of Hampstead Pergola
London’s secret serene haven in Hampstead Heath is the legacy of Lord Leverhulme and dates back to 1905.
Lord William Leverhulme ( 1851 — 1925)
William Leverhulme was born in Bolton to a grocer in 1851. Along with his brother, he established Lever Brothers in 1885, a soap manufacturing company. The business was immensely successful.
In 1904, Lord Leverhulme purchased an Edwardian mansion, ‘The Hill’ overlooking Hampstead Heath. He rebuilt his house to incorporate a wing to each side of the house, a ballroom and an art gallery. Over the course of the following year, he expanded his estate to include the land surrounding The Hill.
Lord Leverhulme loved landscape gardening. With this additional space and his love for landscape gardening, he decided to build a legacy, The Pergola. He wanted a spectacular garden to host extravagant Edwardian garden parties and at the same time a space where his family and friends could spend long summer evenings privately. To make his dream come true, he employed Thomas Mawson, a landscape architect and garden designer.
Navigate to learn more about Lord Leverhulme and the Leverhulme Trust.
When was Hampstead Pergola built?
Construction of the Pergola began in 1905 and was completed in 1906. Over the following years, Lord Leverhulme extended his estate further, thereby also allowing for further extension to the Pergola in 1911 and 1925.
Decline, Restoration and Present Caretakers of Hampstead Pergola
Lord Leverhulme resided at The Hill until his death in 1925. He died of pneumonia at the age of 73. After his death, The Hill and gardens were bought by Baron Inverforth. ‘The Hill’ was renamed as Inverforth House and retains as such till today. Baron Inverforth died in 1955, and left the property to Manor House Hospital.
Unfortunately, by 1960, the hill garden and the pergola were in a poor state of dilapidation. London County Council stepped in to take over and carried out some restoration. The gardens were restored and opened to the public in 1963. Further restoration work was carried when the Corporation of London took over in the late 1980s, in whose care the Hampstead Heath Hill Garden and Pergola rests today.
Inverforth House today
Inverforth House was sold to developers in the 1990s. The property was converted into two houses and several flats which are now privately owned.
Recommended read: St Dunstan in the East – 8 Reasons to Visit this Serenity amongst Ruins
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Practical Information for Hampstead Pergola
1 | Where is Hampstead Heath Hill Garden and Pergola?
Address: Inverforth Close, North End Way, London, NW3 7EX
Tel: 020 7332 3322
2 | Getting to Hampstead Heath Hill Garden and Pergola
2.1 | By London Tube/Underground
The nearest station to Hampstead Heath Hill Garden and Pergola is Golders Green on the Northern Line. You can access the Northern line at Euston Station. The journey between Euston Station and Golders Green is 15 minutes.
From Golders Green Station, Hampstead Pergola is a 20-minute walk.
2.2 | By Bus
You could catch bus 210 and 268 from Golders Green Station and these take you to Inverforth House (Stop L), close to Hampstead Pergola. It takes about 2 minutes to walk from the bus stop to the Pergola.
Bus 210 from Golders Green Station headed towards Finsbury Park. Journey time is 9 minutes.
Bus 268 from Golders Green Station headed towards South Hampstead. Journey time is 10 minutes.
2.3 | Parking
The nearest car park to Hampstead Pergola is Jack Straw’s, offering 60 spaces and it is an uncovered car park. It takes 8 minutes to walk from the car park to Hampstead Pergola.
Address: City of London
12 North End Way
- 0-2 hours: £5
- 2-4 hours: 10
- each additional hour: £9
Parking with a valid Blue Badge is free.
**Prices correct at time of writing: June 2022
Pay with RingGo
Pay with RingGo (external link) or call 020 7110 0000 and quote location number 79453.
3 | Is Hampstead Pergola free?
Admission to this hidden splendour is free throughout the year.
4 | Opening times:
Hampstead Heath Hill Garden and Pergola is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 hour before dusk, or 8:00 p.m. (whichever is earlier).
Although the Hampstead Heath Hill Garden and Pergola is under the care of the Corporation of London today, the Pergola was not fully restored to its former opulence. It went into slow decline since the death of Lord Leverhulme and remains a shell of its former sparkle. Nonetheless, the Hampstead Pergola offers history, nature views, beautiful fairytale settings in the summer sunshine and at any time of the year. Moreover, this faded splendour is unique in character — distinctive, moody, eerie and absolutely amazing at the same time.
So, if you haven’t visited the Hill Garden and Pergola yet, pack your picnic basket, with sandwiches, a red, white or rosé, and head over for a mid-morning stroll while we have perfect weather. It is worth the time and the trip.
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Have a splendid time at Hampstead Pergola.
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