The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from:


The rough map location, and the following quote, is from this PDF history by Belsize Residents’ Association.

Belsize, or Bel Assis in old French, means beautifully situated. The Manor of Belsize, a subdivision of the Manor of Hampstead, was left to the monks of Westminster in 1317. Henry VIII returned the estate to the newly constituted Dean and Chapter of Westminster in 1542 after the dissolution of the monasteries. In modern terms the estate extended from the top of Rosslyn Hill to England’s Lane and from College Crescent to Haverstock Hill, with additional land projecting east towards Parliament Hill.

By the middle of the 16th century, the estate consisted of a number of farms and a manor house. Belsize House, which stood in an irregular five-sided park, had 24 rooms including a hall, long gallery and great chamber. It was the only “aristocratic” house in the parish of Hampstead at that time. It was situated between the present day St Peter’s church and the junction of Belsize Park and Belsize Park Gardens. It could be reached from “The Great Road to Hampstead” by a carriage driveway along what is now Belsize Avenue.

The house was rebuilt in 1663 in the restoration style and two diarists, Samuel Pepys and Sir John Evelyn, recorded visits there.

2 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Belsize House
"The name is derived from French bel assis meaning 'well situated'. The Manor of Belsize dates back to 1317....The name comes from the original 17th century manor house and parkland (built by Daniel O'Neill for his wife, the Countess of Chesterfield) which once stood on the site. The estate built up between 1852 and 1878, by which time it extended to Haverstock Hill."

"The Belsize estate, with its frontage on both sides of Haverstock Hill, was an early magnet for merchants and others who wanted a country house within easy reach of London. Apart from the manor house of Belsize, there was one house on the estate by 1549, probably on the eastern side of Haverstock Hill, near the southern boundary of the parish....A large house, assessed at 16 hearths, was built between 1650 and 1664 on the north side of Belsize Lane. (fn. 65) Thomas Hawley or Haley (d. 1681), the London mercer who lived there, left it to his nephew to sell. (fn. 66) In 1714 it was called the White House and untenanted. Hawley may have built one or more houses nearby, which in 1714 were leased to Mrs. Hall."

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.