London’s Alleys: Golden Yard, NW3

This can be a very nicely hidden and fairly courtyard area that may be discovered off one other alley simply moments from Hampstead tube station.

The title of the yard is claimed to come back from the Goulding household, who had been granted a big swathe of land within the space by Sir Robert Wroth someday within the late 1500s. It’s stated that the land was a disused sand pit, which didn’t sound that promising, however right this moment it’s the center of Hampstead city centre, so it labored out nicely in any case.

The primary cottage by which the Gouldings lived was No. 6 Golden Yard, the yearly rental worth of which was assessed in 1646 at £3, at which period the inhabitants of Hampstead was solely round 200 folks.

In 1662, Thomas Goulding, a blacksmith, was granted a cottage and forge, which he had not too long ago constructed within the yard. In keeping with a useful signal within the yard, different residences had been erected right here by the Goulding household within the late seventeenth and early 18th centuries, by which period this was referred to as “Goulding’s Yard.” An entry in 1758 provides the names of these entitled to make use of “the stated Pump within the yard for water, the widespread vital home and watercourses”.

Nevertheless, in 1779, the property was offered by Sarah Goulding (then a Mrs Brown) to John Bitton — ending some 200 years of possession by the identical household. When John Bitton died in 1822, the property was offered individually, his beneficiary dwelling at the moment in Benham Place shut by.

The title seems to have modified across the similar time, displaying up for the primary time as Golden Yard in 1831.

Within the Nineties, the homes within the yard had been rebuilt behind their facades, as there’s a information report within the Hampstead & Highgate Specific in regards to the enhancements and additions of indoor bogs.

The facet alley might need as soon as been loads busier as a result of on the nook of the yard was a newsagent, which seems within the 1949 film For Them That Trespass, and you’ll nonetheless see the store entrance dealing with into the alley, though it’s now a personal house.

Aside from the founding household, it didn’t appear as if anybody of observe ever lived within the yard till I got here throughout a narrative from 1951.

On the time, Alfred Wheatcroft lived within the yard, and he performed Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto on the piano within the Royal Competition Corridor as a soloist in entrance of an invited viewers of three,000. What was important is that he was the primary soloist to carry out there and did so earlier than the live performance corridor was accomplished — as all the live performance was to check the corridor’s acoustics.

Which is kind of a declare to fame.

At this time, a go to wasn’t accompanied by the sound of a piano rehearsal in one of many homes, nevertheless it’s a reasonably little courtyard with good flagstones and whitewashed partitions. On a chilly morning, the solar caught the yard fairly nicely, so it justifiably earned its title of Golden Yard.

The road signal can also be fairly uncommon, being painted gold and pink lettering on a black background.

My autumnal go to caught the tree in its winter sleep, nevertheless it’s fairly fairly in the summertime months, and the residents have loads of pot vegetation dotted across the yard on all sides. General, it’s a pretty little enclave of peace and quiet, simply throughout the street from the busy Hampstead tube station and up the Hollybush Steps.

This text was revealed on ianVisits


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