Gospel Oak escorts

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Gospel Oak is an inner urban area of north London in the London Borough of Camden at the very south of Hampstead Heath. The neighbourhood is positioned between Hampstead to the north-west, Dartmouth Park to the north-east, Kentish Town to the south-east, and Belsize Park to the south-west. Gospel Oak lies across the NW5 and NW3 postcodes and is served by Gospel Oak station on the London Overground.

History

The name Gospel Oak derives from a local oak tree, under which parishioners gathered to hear regular gospel readings when the area was still rural. The oak of Gospel Oak marked the boundary between the parishes of Hampstead and St Pancras, and was said to be situated on the corner of Mansfield Road and Southampton Road. The oak vanished sometime in the 1800s and was last recorded on a map of the area in 1801.http://www.kentishtowner.co.uk/2012/03/14/wednesday-picture-where-the-hell-is-the-gospel-oak

There are reports that the founder of Methodism John Wesley preached from the oak,Weinreb, Ben & Hibbert, Christopher (1983), ''The London Encyclopaedia'', Macmillan, ISBN 0-333-57688-8 with the 18th century farming population meeting there regularly. The small street named Wesleyan Place, off Highgate Road, was the original site of a very early Methodist chapel that was connected with the famous oak.Denford, Steven (2005), ''Streets of Kentish Town'', Camden History Society, ISBN 0-904491-62-5

Local resident Michael Palin attempted in 1998 to re-plant a new oak tree for Gospel Oak in Lismore Circus, but the tree has not survived.

The history of Gospel Oak can be traced as far back as the history of Hampstead, which was documented in AD 986 by Ethelred the Unready to the Abbot of Westminster.Richardson, John (1985), Hampstead One Thousand, Historical Publications, ISBN 0 9503656 8 8 Situated as it is in the southern part of Hampstead Heath, the area was, in years past, referred to as nearby South End Green. When the now-lost great oak tree of Gospel Oak became famous as a preaching spot in the 1700s, the area was referred to as Gospel Oak, and the name continues today.

The neighbourhood began serious development in the mid-1800s when William Murray, 4th Earl of Mansfield and Mansfield, Lord Southampton and Lord Lisburne were the local landowners. Plans were drawn up for elegant streets radiating from Lismore Circus but after two railway lines were extended across the area in the 1860s the first buildings were two- and three-story cottages, based around present-day Oak Village. The area was for many years rather remote from the rest of the wider Kentish Town development and streets were not fully completed and the housing stock was regarded as relatively sub-standard.Richardson, John (1997), ''Kentish Town Past'', Historical Publications, ISBN 0-948667-42-7

During this early building period, there was a risk that Parliament Hill Fields (the southernmost part of Hampstead Heath, entered from the ‘Gospel Oak Entrance’ near Gospel Oak station) would be built over. In the 1840s, Lord Southampton’s estate initially proposed building on the fields, but a campaign led to the fields being bought in 1889 by the Metropolitan Board of Works as an extension to the already protected Hampstead Heath.Richardson, John (1999), A History of Camden, Hampstead, Holborn & St Pancras, Historical Publications, ISBN 0-948667-58-3 The fields now host Parliament Hill itself, the Parliament Hill Lido, an athletics running track, a bandstand, café and various children’s play areas.

Being so affected by the arrival of the railway lines, it was inevitable that a rail disaster would hit the Gospel Oak area. On the evening of 2 September 1861, an excursion train returning from Kew Gardens hit an empty train on the bridge next to Gospel Oak station. The engine left the line and plunged down the embankment, killing 14 and injuring 300.Colloms, Marianne and Weindling, Dick (2009), ''Camden Town and Kentish Town'', Tempus Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7524 2922-9

A curious story of Victorian Gospel Oak relates to a story that appeared in the local press of the time, called “The Elephants of Gospel Oak”. In March 1884, Sangers Circus was booked to perform at Gospel Oak (presumably on Parliament Hill Fields). Four elephants were transported by train to Kentish Town but on leaving the train, two of the elephants bolted and ran up Fortess Road, knocking over a child, running further beyond Tufnell Park station and ending up falling into cellars in Pemberton Gardens. The other two elephants were then drafted to pull out the trapped elephants using ropes. All four elephants then paraded down the streets of Dartmouth Park, accompanied by hundreds of onlookers, arriving back at Gospel Oak where the elephants performed to packed audiences.

Later development including the areas of the Mansfield Conservation area to the west of Gospel Oak station led to the neighbourhood becoming more respectable and solidly residential - although in 1909 when John Betjeman's family moved to the more affluent Highgate they obviously felt that they were a cut above Gospel Oak:
Here from my eyrie, as the sun went down,I heard the old North London Railway puff and shunt,Glad that I did not live in Gospel Oak.Betjeman, John (1960). ''Summoned by Bells'', p 5.

Bombing during the 1940s and post-war regeneration affected Gospel Oak considerably. During World War Two, the area around Gospel Oak station was bombed, and on the night of 16 November 1940, Mansfield Road School (Gospel Oak Primary School is now on this site) and other parts of Gospel Oak were bombed. The school was acting as a fire station at the time and 4 local residents died and many more injured.Whitehead, Jack (1999), ''The Growth of Camden Town: AD 1800-2000''. Whitehead, ISBN 0 9509362-9-4 The present-day school was subsequently built on the site, and the damaged Victorian houses opposite were torn down to make way for the more modern estates that are seen today.

'''Topography''': One of ‘Subterranean rivers of London’ the River Fleet flows hidden under Gospel Oak, following the line of Fleet Road, and crossing under Southampton Road, Kingsford Road and continuing along the line of Malden Road to eventually meet the Thames.Bolton, Tom (2011), ''London’s Lost Rivers – A Walker’s Guide'', Strange Attractor Press, ISBN 978-1907222030 Gospel Oak is an inner urban area of north London in the London Borough of Camden at the very south of Hampstead Heath. The neighbourhood is positioned between Hampstead to the north-west, Dartmouth Park to the north-east, Kentish Town to the south-east, and Belsize Park to the south-west. Gospel Oak lies across the NW5 and NW3 postcodes and is served by Gospel Oak station on the London Overground.

Local politics

The Ward of Gospel Oak is held by Labour Party (UK) and has 3 Labour councillors.

Gospel Oak is part of the wider Holborn and St Pancras parliamentary seat currently held by Labour's Frank Dobson. Gospel Oak is an inner urban area of north London in the London Borough of Camden at the very south of Hampstead Heath. The neighbourhood is positioned between Hampstead to the north-west, Dartmouth Park to the north-east, Kentish Town to the south-east, and Belsize Park to the south-west. Gospel Oak lies across the NW5 and NW3 postcodes and is served by Gospel Oak station on the London Overground.

Places of interest

Residential areas
* Oak Village, and its neighbouring road, Elaine Grove, are some of the prettiest residential parts of Gospel Oak. These streets remain relatively unchanged since the cottages were built in the early Victorian period.
* The Mansfield Conservation area, contained by Roderick, Savernake and Mansfield Roads contains the bulk of Gospel Oak’s larger terraced Victorian and Edwardian properties.
* Lissenden Gardens, a mansion flat estate consisting of Parliament Hill Mansions, Lissenden Mansions and Clevedon Mansions, is a popular residential area of Gospel Oak, with its own interesting and diverse history, famous as the birthplace of John Betjeman.Bayley, Rosalind (2009), ''To Paradise by Way of Gospel Oak'', Camden History Society, ISBN 978-0-904491-78-4
* Kiln Place, an estate in Gospel Oak, was built on a former brick kiln, called the ‘Gospel Oak Brick Works’.
* The Dunboyne Road estate is an award-winning Grade II-listed modernist estate, designed by Neave Brown in the late 1960s.
* Waxham, a low-rise estate block running along much of Mansfield Road was completed in the 1970s and is said to be the longest single block of public housing in Europe.

Churches
* All Hallows, in Savernake Road, Gospel Oak, is a vast hall-style church, designed in the early English Gothic style with aisles as high as the nave. It was described by The Times in 1914 as “the Cathedral of North London”Cox, Jane (1996), Camden History Review 20, Camden History Society, ISBN 0-904491-36-6 due to its vastness. The architect was Henry Brook, originally the Church of the Good Shepherd, its foundation stone was laid by Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge (mother of the future Mary of Teck) on 23 July 1892. The church was consecrated in 1901 and eventually dedicated by the Bishop of London in 1914 once all building work was complete.
* St Martin’s, in Vicars Road, Gospel Oak, is a curious-looking church designed by Edward Buckton Lamb and discussed by John Summerson in his ''Victorian Architecture in England'' (Norton 1970). The church was built at the personal cost of J.D.Allcroft to commemorate his late wife.Colloms, Marianne and Weindling, Dick (2009), Camden Town and Kentish Town, Tempus Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7524 2922-9 It is a listed building which architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner described as “the craziest of London’s Victorian churches”.Richardson, John (1997), Kentish Town Past, Historical Publications, ISBN 0-948667-42-7
* The Church of St Anargyre on Gordon House Road is a Greek Orthodox church serving the local Greek and Cypriot communities of Gospel Oak.

Leisure and recreation
* The Gospel Oak entrance to Hampstead Heath leads immediately to Parliament Hill Lido, built in 1937 at a cost of £34,000 (the costliest of its type) and is now a popular Grade II listed outdoor swimming pool.Smith, Janet (2006), Liquid assets: the lidos and open air swimming pools of Britain, English Heritage, p. 152, ISBN 978-0-9547445-0-2
* The southernmost part of Hampstead Heath, accessed from Gospel Oak also contains many other leisure facilities, including an athletics running track, various children’s playgrounds, paddling pool, and Hampstead Heath’s Education Centre. Wing Chun Kung Fu and other martial arts are on offer at SAS Martial Arts, on Gordon House Road.

Notable shops
* Kristin Baybars’ Toy Emporium, at 7 Mansfield Road, is a Gospel Oak attraction and is famous for beautifully hand-crafted doll’s house furniture and old-fashioned toys.http://www.kentishtowner.co.uk/2012/03/13/life-tips-kirstin-toy-shop-owner-gospel-oak/

Public houses
* The Old Oak is the most central public house in Gospel Oak, which is a 1950s rebuilding of an original corner-sited inn called the Old Oak HotelCox, Jane (1996), ''Camden History Review'' 20, Camden History Society, ISBN 0-904491-36-6 built as an integral part of the Oak Village estate in the 1850s.
* The Southampton Arms is a short walk down Highgate Road, winner of CAMRA’s 2011 London pub of year,Ref http://www.camranorthlondon.org.uk/viewnode.php?id=764 famous for its very large selection of real ales and ciders, and traditional piano nights.
* The Bull and Last, across Parliament Hill Fields and on the edge of Dartmouth Park, is a historic listed gastropub famous for its Observer Food Monthly award-winninghttp://www.thebullandlast.co.uk/reviews/observer-food-monthly-awards/ Sunday lunches.

Schools
* Gospel Oak Primary & Nursery School
* Parliament Hill School
* William Ellis School (founded in 1862 as “Gospel Oak Schools”)
* Fleet Primary School Gospel Oak is an inner urban area of north London in the London Borough of Camden at the very south of Hampstead Heath. The neighbourhood is positioned between Hampstead to the north-west, Dartmouth Park to the north-east, Kentish Town to the south-east, and Belsize Park to the south-west. Gospel Oak lies across the NW5 and NW3 postcodes and is served by Gospel Oak station on the London Overground.

Transport

Trains

Gospel Oak is well-served by the London Overground network, with Gospel Oak station being the start of the Gospel Oak to Barking line as well as connected to the Highbury & Islington to West Croydon station/Clapham Junction line.

Gospel Oak station dates back to 1860. The name of the current Gospel Oak station in Mansfield Road/Gordon House Road has changed over the years. When it first opened in 1860 it was the very first station in the area that took the name ‘Kentish Town’ which it held until 1867 when it was renamed ‘Gospel Oak’ due to other stations taking the Kentish Town name. Given Gospel Oak station’s immediate proximity to Parliament Hill (just an 8 minute walk from station to summit), there was a movement in the 1950s to rename Gospel Oak station Parliament Hill station – a proposal which was quashed by local residents.Denford, Steven (2005), ''Streets of Gospel Oak and West Kentish Town'', Camden History Society, ISBN 0-904491-65-X

Buses

The London buses route 24 bus from Pimlico to Hampstead runs through Gospel Oak. The 24 route is one of London’s oldest bus routes, which began in May 1910 using ‘Vanguard’ motorised buses, and follows the same route today, the vehicles used from July 2013 are the famous hop-on hop-off ‘New Bus for London’ championed by current Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
Other bus routes passing through Gospel Oak include the 46, 214, C2 and C11. Gospel Oak is an inner urban area of north London in the London Borough of Camden at the very south of Hampstead Heath. The neighbourhood is positioned between Hampstead to the north-west, Dartmouth Park to the north-east, Kentish Town to the south-east, and Belsize Park to the south-west. Gospel Oak lies across the NW5 and NW3 postcodes and is served by Gospel Oak station on the London Overground.

Notable residents

Past
* John Betjeman, poet
* George Orwell, novelist and journalist
* Richard Henry Tawney, socialist and founding father of the welfare state
* Frederick Tatham, sculptor and painter
* Jerome K Jerome, novelist, editor (lived on site of Bacton Low-Rise)

Present
* Michael Palin, comedian, actor, writer and television presenter
* Alastair Campbell, British political aide and Labour Party strategist
* Fiona Millar, journalist
* Edith Bowman, radio DJ and television presenter
* Anthony Green (painter), senior Royal Academician and painter
* Richard Lindlay, author
* Kristen Baybars, toymaker and creator of the Humpty Dumpty featured in BBC’s Play School (UK TV series) Gospel Oak is an inner urban area of north London in the London Borough of Camden at the very south of Hampstead Heath. The neighbourhood is positioned between Hampstead to the north-west, Dartmouth Park to the north-east, Kentish Town to the south-east, and Belsize Park to the south-west. Gospel Oak lies across the NW5 and NW3 postcodes and is served by Gospel Oak station on the London Overground.

Cultural references

* [http://www.kentishtowner.co.uk/2012/10/03/wednesday-picture-hitch-a-ride-through-john-betjemans-kentish-town ‘Parliament Hill Fields’] is the title of a famous poem by John Betjeman, born in Gospel Oak. The poem describes a tram journey up Highgate Hill from Kentish Town ending near his home in Parliament Hill mansions, Gospel Oak.
* ‘Gospel Oak’ is the title of a 1997 EP by Sinéad O'Connor, the cover of which depicts the railway arches of Gospel Oak station.
* ‘Gospel Oak’ is the title of a track written and performed in 2012 by St. Vitus Dance, and features the line; “So you think you might make it down the Smoke, get yourself a place down by Gospel Oak.”
* Gospel Oak was described in the 1924 John Buchan novel The Three Hostages as “shabby gentility on the very brink of squalor.”
* Gospel Oak is the setting of the 1987 television movie, “[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087729 Mister Corbett’s Ghost]”. [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087729/ ]
* Gospel Oak’s St Martin's Church was used in the 1990s as the church for the wedding of Ricky and Bianca in BBC’s soap opera Eastenders.
* The Gospel Oak area is featured in the 2006 film Notes on a Scandal, starring Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett.
* The Gospel Oak area was one of the locations for the 2010 Kelis music video Scream. Gospel Oak is an inner urban area of north London in the London Borough of Camden at the very south of Hampstead Heath. The neighbourhood is positioned between Hampstead to the north-west, Dartmouth Park to the north-east, Kentish Town to the south-east, and Belsize Park to the south-west. Gospel Oak lies across the NW5 and NW3 postcodes and is served by Gospel Oak station on the London Overground.

Location in context

{{Geographic Location
|title = '''Neighbouring areas of London.'''
|Northwest = Belsize Park
|North = Hampstead Heath
|Northeast = Dartmouth Park
|West = Maitland Park
|Centre = Gospel Oak
|East = Kentish Town
|Southwest = Chalk Farm
|South = Haverstock
|Southeast = Camden Town
}} Gospel Oak is an inner urban area of north London in the London Borough of Camden at the very south of Hampstead Heath. The neighbourhood is positioned between Hampstead to the north-west, Dartmouth Park to the north-east, Kentish Town to the south-east, and Belsize Park to the south-west. Gospel Oak lies across the NW5 and NW3 postcodes and is served by Gospel Oak station on the London Overground.

References

Category:Areas of London
Category:Districts of Camden

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