The History of the Hampstead Heath Ponds

London’s early water supply; the London Conduit Act of 1544 empowering the City to make use of the springs on Hampstead Heath; the1692 Act of Parliament creating the Hampstead Water Company; the creation of reservoirs; the artist John Constable painted the Heath many times with ponds appearing in several of his works including “Hampstead Heath with a Rainbow”; an account of the history of swimming in the Ponds; major incidents of flooding in the Heath, including the most serious one in 1975 with details of the effect on the Heath; the start of the “Ponds Project” which will ensure that the risk of dam collapse in the ponds is eliminated. Continue reading “The History of the Hampstead Heath Ponds”

The Campaign to save Wanstead Flats from Development

Victorian attempts to develop the Flats leading to a huge demonstration requiring police intervention in 1871; leisure activities in the early 20th century; the Flats requisitioned for military purposes in the Second World War including temporary housing for bombed-out families; West Ham Corporation’s attempts to build permanent housing on the Flats defeated by legal judgement in 1947; subsequent major restoration programme undertaken by the City of London Corporation. Continue reading “The Campaign to save Wanstead Flats from Development”