Park Village

Park Village, Camden

A delightful pair of Georgian streets on the south-western edge of Camden Town

Hidden London: Park Village West by Marathon

Park Vil­lage was cre­at­ed in the 1820s by John Nash as part of his mas­ter plan for Regent’s Park. Park Vil­lage West – which sur­vives intact as “a per­fect exam­ple of rus-in-urbe”† – is a com­pact cres­cent locat­ed just north of Regent’s Park bar­racks, off Albany Street.

Park Vil­lage East extends much far­ther afield, mean­der­ing gen­tly south as an exten­sion of Prince Albert Road.

Nash and his pro­tégé James Pen­nethorne com­bined stuc­coed vil­las and ter­races of sharply dif­fer­ing pro­por­tions and styles, includ­ing Goth­ic, Ital­ianate and Tudor, on either side of an arm of the Regent’s Canal that was lat­er filled in.

Among the ear­ly res­i­dents was Dr James John­son, physi­cian to William IV. John­son lived at 12 Park Vil­lage West, pos­si­bly the most impres­sive vil­la in the whole devel­op­ment.

Hidden London: 17 Park Village West, where Dr Pusey founded the Anglican Church's first sisterhood
17 Park Vil­lage West

A few doors away at No.17, Dr EB Pusey found­ed the Angli­can Church’s first sis­ter­hood in 1845, which was soon fol­lowed by oth­ers in Eng­land and North Amer­i­ca.

Just a gen­er­a­tion after the pro­jec­t’s com­ple­tion, most of the hous­es on the east side of Park Vil­lage East were torn down to make way for the Lon­don and Birm­ing­ham rail­way.

The vil­lage was a mod­el for sub­se­quent Vic­to­ri­an estates and has even been iden­ti­fied as the first mod­ern sub­urb, albeit in minia­ture – but there are many oth­er con­tenders for a title that is so hard to define, from Clapham, south Lon­don, to Cam­bridge, Mass­a­chu­setts.

Postal district: NW1
* The picture of Park Village West at the top of this article is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Marathon, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is hereby freely permitted under the terms of that licence.
† Ian Nairn, in Nairn’s London