New End

New End, Camden

The north-eastern corner of central Hampstead (aka Hampstead Village), east of Heath Street

Burgh House

With the devel­op­ment of Hampstead as a spa at the beginning of the 18th century, an ancillary quarter sprang up here with gambling dens and souvenir shops surrounded by new homes and lodging houses.

Shown in the photo­graph on the right, New End’s grandest surviving property was built in 1703–4 for the Sewells, a Quaker family, and takes its present name from its tenth owner, the wealthy clergyman Allatson Burgh.

Beyond Burgh House this was the poor corner of Hampstead, with rela­tively humble cottages providing accom­mo­da­tion for artisans. The parish workhouse was estab­lished here in 1800 and rebuilt in 1845, serving also as an infirmary and offices for the vestry, and later becoming New End hospital. As Hampstead’s star ascended, New End was enfolded in the embrace of its parent during the late 19th century.

New End primary school opened in 1906. Parts of New End were rebuilt in the 1930s, including the Old White Bear and the Duke of Hamilton public houses.

The council added a few flats after the Second World War and most of the shops were gradually replaced by or converted to residences.

After the closure of New End hospital, the site was sold in 1986 to fund the rede­vel­op­ment of the nearby Queen Mary’s maternity home as a unit for the care of the elderly. Berkeley Homes converted the hospital buildings for resi­den­tial use in 1996.

From 1974 to 2011 the New End Theatre occupied the former mortuary of New End hospital, where Karl Marx was laid out before his burial in Highgate cemetery. Declining audiences forced the theatre’s closure and the building has since been trans­mo­gri­fied into a ‘boutique’ synagogue for the Village Shul, an inde­pen­dent Orthodox congre­ga­tion of around 50 families.

Saved from conver­sion to offices in 1979, Burgh House hosts regular art exhi­bi­tions, serves as a classical concert venue and is home to the Hampstead Museum. There’s a shop and café and the house can be hired for private events (notably weddings), meetings, exhi­bi­tions and concerts.

The Old White Bear closed in 2014. Having been listed as an asset of community value, it was protected from conver­sion to some other purpose (though its upper floors were used by a school) and, after a lengthy local campaign, reopened in December 2021. Meanwhile, the Duke of Hamilton has been refur­bished by its new owners and the Hampstead Jazz Club is based in its cellar.

Recently completed on the north side of New End, Novel House is Hampstead Village’s first new-build resi­den­tial devel­op­ment in almost 20 years.

Postal district: NW3