This is one of a series of posts exploring some of the more obscure parts of London and their past. Some of the photographs appear in my 2022 calendar. Click here for more information .
These steps are at Hill Garden, an almost secret park tucked away on the far western edge of Hampstead Heath, between Hampstead and Golders Green. What I like about it is the way it blurs into the edges of the heath with, at its heart, a dramatic pergola rising above the surrounding land.
The gardens were the idea of Lord Leverhulme whose house used to stand on this site. They were designed by Thomas Mawson in the early 1900s. One of the things Leverhulme wanted was raised gardens to afford a view over Hampstead Heath. Luckily the Northern Line was being extended nearby and was able to provide material dug out to build up the land. and the solution was to use the material removed for the building of the nearby extension to the Northern Line on the London Underground.
After Leverhulme’s death the gardens fell into some decay but in the 1990s they were restored by the Corporation of London.