Hendon: Other estates

Pages 21-23

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.

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The Knights Templar had two estates in Hendon, originating in grants of 80 a. by Matthew of Ditton and Hamon son of Roger in 1243. (fn. 1) One was held in 1359 by the Knights Hospitaller (fn. 2) who presumably had received it on the dissolution of the Templars. It formed part of the manor of Freren in Kingsbury and passed with Freren in 1544 to the chapter of St. Paul's; (fn. 3) the lands lay west of Edgware Road on the Kingsbury border. The estate, which consisted in 1828 of 110 a., (fn. 4) was leased to the duke of Chandos (d. 1744) and his descendants (fn. 5) and was vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1872. (fn. 6) Most of it was sold to Hendon U.D.C. in 1919 for use as playing fields and a park. (fn. 7) The second estate, which was granted to the Hospitallers in 1331, (fn. 8) was situated north of the Hale on the Edgware border and in 1528 formed part of the manor of Edgware Boys, (fn. 9) with which it later descended. (fn. 10) In 1754 it was in the possession of Lord Coventry and consisted of 127 a., part of which lay in Edgware. (fn. 11) The estate was later called Coventry farm and had passed by 1923 into the hands of the Cox family of Moat Mount. (fn. 12)

Eton College's estate, which consisted in 1828 of 315 a., (fn. 13) originated in grants of land by Bela, widow of Austin the mercer, in 1259 (fn. 14) and by William de Pavely and Millicent his wife in 1273 (fn. 15) to the hospital of St. James, Westminster, which in 1321 held 124 a. of land and wood in the parish. (fn. 16) After 1449, when custody of the hospital was granted to the newly founded Eton College, (fn. 17) the college took possession of the Hendon estate, which was called 'the Wylde' in 1480-1. (fn. 18) Eton surrendered St. James's hospital to the Crown in 1531 (fn. 19) but retained the Wyldes estate until 1907, when it was sold to the Hampstead Garden Suburb trust, which had acquired some property from the college in 1906, and to the trustees of the Hampstead Heath Extension. (fn. 20) In the 18th century it was leased to the Earle family of Hendon House, the freehold owners in 1754 of Decoy farm, which consisted of 99 a. north and west of Temple Fortune; (fn. 21) in 1828 the Wyldes estate was leased to Thomas Clark, who also owned Decoy farm. (fn. 22) The college lands, which stretched northward from the Hampstead border to Mutton brook, were divided in 1903 into three farms, called Temple Fortune, Tooley's (or Wildwood), and Home (or Heath) farms. (fn. 23)

The Goldbeaters estate, comprising 312 a. in 1828, (fn. 24) may have originated in a grant of land and rent by John le Bret to William of Aldenham, goldbeater of London, in 1308. (fn. 25) John Goldbeater held a house and some land of the manor of Hendon in 1321. (fn. 26) The Goldbeaters estate was held by John and Eve Clerk in 1434. (fn. 27) By the early 18th century it had passed to Joseph Marsh, whose daughter and heir married Thomas Beech of London, (fn. 28) the holder of 130 a. in the north of Hendon parish in 1754. (fn. 29) After Beech's death in 1772 some of the property was conveyed to John Raymond and later to Richard Capper. (fn. 30) In 1802 Mary Capper of Bushey (Herts.) and Robert Capper sold the whole of Goldbeaters to William Smith of Mayfair, who bought two closes called Staines and Shoelands, adjoining the farm, from John Nicholl of the Inner Temple in 1803 and a house, later the Bald Faced Stag, and four fields at Redhill from William Geeves in 1807. William Smith bought part of the near-by Shoelands farm from John Nicholl of the Hyde in 1812 and purchased the rest from Jasper Holmes of Blackheath in 1821. (fn. 31) In 1859 John Smith sold Goldbeaters and Shoelands and Stagg fields, adjoining the Bald Faced Stag, which together totalled 253 a., to James Marshall, co-founder of Marshall and Snelgrove's drapery store in Oxford Street, London. Marshall in 1867 also bought the neighbouring Bunns farm, totalling 77 a., from the five coheirs of Robert Randall, a Fleet Street winemerchant. After Marshall's death in 1893 his son James C. Marshall sold Goldbeaters and Bunns farms to A. O. Crooke, a Hendon brewer, (fn. 32) who sold them in 1900 to Sir John Blundell Maple, Bt., of Orange Hill House. (fn. 33) In 1924 the property, totalling 200 a., was bought by the L.C.C. as a site for the Watling housing estate. (fn. 34)

All Souls College, Oxford, owned several scattered parcels, including Arnold's lands, granted by Richard Arnold to William Page of Edgware in 1311, (fn. 35) and Piricroft, granted by John of Morden to Page in 1309. (fn. 36) William Page held 2 houses and lands including Arnoledeshawe and Piricroft in 1321. (fn. 37) The lands, with others in Edgware and Kingsbury, were conveyed in 1384 by William Page of Kingsbury and Christine his wife to John Raven. (fn. 38) In 1442 they were granted, with the manor of Kingsbury, to All Souls College, (fn. 39) which retained them until the 20th century. The college's estate consisted in 1597 of fields at Bittacy Hill, Holders Hill, the Burroughs, and Colin Deep, and on the Kingsbury border. (fn. 40) In 1828 it totalled 224 a. (fn. 41)

John Fortescue and others granted a house and 43 a. of meadow and pasture in Hendon to the hospital of St. Mary within Cripplegate, London, commonly called Elsyng Spital, (fn. 42) in 1457. (fn. 43) The estate was granted in 1543 to Hugh Losse and Thomas Boucher, (fn. 44) who alienated it in the same year to Thomas Nicholl of Highwood Hill. (fn. 45) Nicholl conveyed it in 1551 to William Copwood and John Snow, (fn. 46) and in 1617 it was held by Thomas Marsh; (fn. 47) the land later formed part of Stoneyfields farm, near the Hale, totalling 110 a., which was held in 1828 by Francis Dollman. (fn. 48)

Kilburn priory held a small amount of unspecified land in Hendon at the Dissolution, worth 2s. and leased to John Brent. (fn. 49) The later history of the estate is unknown.

The estate of the Nicholls of Copt Hall originated in lands belonging in 1574 to Richard Nicholl of the Ridgeway, who held a tenement called Goodhews and 20 fields and crofts around Mill Hill, both freehold and copyhold. (fn. 50) In 1585 he surrendered six fields to his son Thomas (fn. 51) and in 1602 two of them, called Burdens, were conveyed to Richard Nicholl of Milespit Hill, (fn. 52) who bought the adjacent house called Copt Hall from John Storer, a London banker, in 1603; (fn. 53) Richard Nicholl later rebuilt the house. (fn. 54) John Brent conveyed another 10 a. called Slatton, formerly belonging to William Marsh of Drivers Hill, (fn. 55) to Richard Nicholl in 1612 and Henry Nicholl of the Ridgeway conveyed two closes called Widmores to Randall, Richard's son, in 1623. (fn. 56) Randall Nicholl held 36 a. of copyhold property in 1651 (fn. 57) and his heirs added to the estate until in 1754 Dr. James Ingram, who enjoyed a lifeinterest after the death of John Nicholl in 1753, (fn. 58) held 286 a. divided into four farms, one of them called Cookes, together with a further 83 a. leased from All Souls College. (fn. 59) Dr. Ingram died in 1755, when the estate passed to another John Nicholl. (fn. 60) In 1828 Mrs. Susanna Nicholl held 234 a. around Page Street, (fn. 61) including the farm later known as Old Goodhews. On the death of Thomas Nicholl in 1859 the land passed to his widow Emma, who died in 1882, and then to their daughter, Mary, who married C. R. P. Hodgson. Their son Charles Bertram Hodgson Nicholl sold the estate in 1925. (fn. 62) Copt Hall, Page Street, was rebuilt between 1624 and 1637 by Richard Nicholl. It had a front of seven bays, crowned by shaped gables, (fn. 63) but was greatly altered in the mid 19th century; (fn. 64) after conversion into flats, it was demolished in 1959. (fn. 65) Cooke's farm-house may have been a building at Mill Hill which was pulled down soon after 1814, when it was said to date from the reign of Charles I and to contain murals of religious subjects. (fn. 66)

Another branch of the Nicholl family held a small estate near Dole Street in 1480. (fn. 67) Somewhat enlarged, it descended to Margaret, daughter of John Nicholl of Minchenden, Southgate, and wife of James Brydges, marquess of Carnarvon and later duke of Chandos (d. 1789), (fn. 68) and in 1828 it totalled 81 a. (fn. 69) It was conveyed in 1839 by Richard TempleNugent - Brydges - Chandos - Grenville, duke of Buckingham and Chandos, to Jason Smith, the owner of Goldbeaters farm. (fn. 70)

Peter Hamond (d. 1794) bought the lands around Belmont House, Mill Hill, which were later known as Belmont farm, in piecemeal lots between 1768 and 1792. (fn. 71) He devised them to his daughter Anne, the wife of Somerset Davies, (fn. 72) who in 1801 conveyed 83 a. to Robert Anderson. (fn. 73) On Anderson's bankruptcy in 1803 the estate was bought by Captain Robert Williams, (fn. 74) whose devisees and trustees conveyed it in 1812 to David Prior (fn. 75) from whose widow it was acquired in 1820 by Sir Charles Flower, Bt., mill-owner and former lord mayor of London. (fn. 76) Sir Charles bought more land near Lawrence Street from Robert Finch and Michael Coomes in 1821 and 1826, (fn. 77) until his property stretched from the Hale to the Totteridge boundary and included Lawrence Street, Uphill, and Bittacy farms, the last of which had formed part of the Frith manor estate; (fn. 78) his estate in Hendon totalled 441 a. in 1828. (fn. 79) Sir Charles died in 1835 and was succeeded by his son James, who died in 1850; by 1889 the estate had been split among several persons, including C. H. Martyn, rector of Long Melford (Suff.). (fn. 80) Belmont House, built for Peter Hamond to the designs of James Paine the younger, (fn. 81) was occupied as a preparatory school in 1970, when it contained some original plaster ceilings. A Gothic dairy, 'of unique elegance and splendidly decorated', was built in the grounds by Robert Williams. (fn. 82)

Some large estates were formed out of the demesne of Hendon manor sold in 1756. In 1828 (fn. 83) owners of former demesne lands in the centre of the parish included Mrs. Broadhead, who held 359 a. including Church farm, W. J. Johnson, who held Church End farm with 111 a., Thomas Ryder, who held 123 a. west of Parson Street, and J. R. Wheeler, who held 135 a. near the Hyde. Farther north former demesne lands were held in 1828 by R. Jennings, of Hyvers Hill Wood farm, and the philanthropist William Wilberforce, who bought Hendon Park and the surrounding estate of 122 a. in 1825 as a retreat 'beyond the disk of the metropolis' and lived there until 1831. (fn. 84) Hendon Park, a substantial brick building in 1756, (fn. 85) was rebuilt and stuccoed in the early 19th century; (fn. 86) it had fallen into neglect by 1951 and had been replaced by three houses and Crown Close by 1961. (fn. 87) The neighbouring Moat Mount estate, also former demesne, was held in 1828 by Richard Jackson, who owned 139 a. in Hendon, including Barnet Gate farm. (fn. 88) The estate was greatly enlarged by the Cox family, until in 1874 Edward William Cox (1809-79), serjeant-at-law, (fn. 89) held 209 a. in Middlesex. (fn. 90) In 1923, when the lands were put up for sale, the executors of Irwin Cox held 1,090 a. in Hendon and Edgware, including Barnet Gate, Coventry, Stoneyfields, and Uphill farms. (fn. 91) Moat Mount House, a stuccoed villa, was rebuilt by Edward William Cox in the Renaissance manner, to include a large main block with a carriage-porch, (fn. 92) and survived in 1970.


  • 1. C.P. 25(1)/147/204, /205.
  • 2. Cal. Pat. 1358-61, 167; C 143/329/3.
  • 3. See p. 60.
  • 4. Whishaw, Map of Hendon (1828) and ref. bk.
  • 5. M.R.O., Acc. 262/71/2, /72/1, /50/9.
  • 6. Church Com. file 51708.
  • 7. Ibid. 87928.
  • 8. B.M. Cott. MS. Nero C. vi, f. 77.
  • 9. Ibid. Claud. E. vi, ff. 218-9.
  • 10. For the descent, see V.C.H. Mdx. iv. 157.
  • 11. Hendon Libr., MS. L. 1703.
  • 12. See above.
  • 13. Whishaw, Map of Hendon and ref. bk.
  • 14. C.P. 25(1)/147/21/408.
  • 15. C.P. 25(1)/148/25/1.
  • 16. T.L.M.A.S. xii. 586.
  • 17. V.C.H. Lond. i. 545.
  • 18. Eton Coll. Recs., St. James 3, m. 1d.
  • 19. L. & P. Hen. VIII, v, pp. 201, 276.
  • 20. Eton Coll. Recs., lease bk. 1891-1912, ff. 394-5, 409-24, 447-53.
  • 21. Hendon Libr., MS. L. 1703.
  • 22. Whishaw, Map of Hendon and ref. bk.
  • 23. A. Whishaw, 'Wyldes and its Story', Hampstead Annual (1903), 129-32.
  • 24. Whishaw, Map of Hendon and ref. bk.
  • 25. C.P. 25(1)/149/39/9.
  • 26. T.L.M.A.S. xii. 588.
  • 27. Clarke, Story of Goldbeaters, 7, quoting deed in possession of N. G. Brett-James.
  • 28. M.R.O., Acc. 351/748.
  • 29. Hendon Libr., MS. L. 1703.
  • 30. M.R.O., Acc. 174/10, ff. 122-3.
  • 31. M.L.R. 1802/6/625-6; 1803/3/103; 1807/7/750; 1812/4/604; 1821/6/195.
  • 32. Clarke, Story of Goldbeaters, 13-14, 16, 19.
  • 33. See p. 2.
  • 34. Clarke, Story of Goldbeaters, 20; see above, p. 15.
  • 35. Bodl. MS. D.D. All Souls c76/96.
  • 36. Ibid. /107.
  • 37. T.L.M.A.S. xii. 596.
  • 38. Bodl. MS. D.D. All Souls c75/25.
  • 39. See p. 56.
  • 40. All Souls Coll., Hovenden Maps, II, nos. 17-18.
  • 41. Whishaw, Map of Hendon and ref. bk.
  • 42. V.C.H. Lond. i. 535.
  • 43. C 143/452/7; Cal. Pat. 1452-61, 473.
  • 44. L. & P. Hen. VIII, i(1), p. 364.
  • 45. Ibid. p. 447.
  • 46. Cal. Pat. 1550-3, 84.
  • 47. C 142/362/160.
  • 48. Whishaw, Map of Hendon and ref. bk.
  • 49. S.C. 6/Hen. VIII/2345 m. 12.
  • 50. T.L.M.A.S. xiii. 44, 52.
  • 51. M.R.O., Acc. 790/1.
  • 52. Ibid. /4.
  • 53. Ibid. /5.
  • 54. See p. 6.
  • 55. M.R.O., Acc. 790/11, /12A.
  • 56. Ibid. /9.
  • 57. Ibid. /16.
  • 58. M.R.O., Acc. 174/8, ff. 119-20.
  • 59. Hendon Libr., MS. L. 1703.
  • 60. M.R.O., Acc. 174/8, f. 156.
  • 61. Whishaw, Map of Hendon and ref. bk.
  • 62. M.R.O., Acc. 790/79.
  • 63. Hopkins, Hendon, plate facing p. 32.
  • 64. Hist. Mon. Com. Mdx. 72; photographs in Hendon Libr., DD. MHS. 796-8.
  • 65. Hendon & Finchley Times, 23 Jan. 1959.
  • 66. Brewer, Beauties of Eng. and Wales, x(5), 687; T.L.M.A.S. xiii. 43.
  • 67. M.R.O., Acc. 262/7/3.
  • 68. M.R.O., Acc. 262/50/9; Complete Peerage, iii. 132.
  • 69. Whishaw, Map of Hendon and ref. bk.
  • 70. Hendon Libr., MS. L. 2452.
  • 71. M.R.O., Acc. 460/4, /5, /22, /23, 32, /33, /42-6, /58; B.M. Add. MS. 9840.
  • 72. M.R.O., Acc. 460/80.
  • 73. Ibid. /82, /83.
  • 74. Ibid. /87, /88
  • 75. Ibid. /97, /98.
  • 76. Ibid. /102, /103; Brett-James, Hendon, 93.
  • 77. M.L.R. 1821/5/711.
  • 78. M.R.O., Acc. 460/402.
  • 79. Whishaw, Map of Hendon and ref. bk.
  • 80. Evans, Hendon, 270-2.
  • 81. B.M. Add. MS. 31323 A3; Add. MS. 9839.
  • 82. Brewer, Beauties of Eng. and Wales, x(5), 687.
  • 83. Whishaw, Map of Hendon and ref. bk.
  • 84. R. and S. Wilberforce, Life of Wm. Wilberforce, v (1838), 248, 325.
  • 85. Cat. of the Demesne Lands of the Earl of Powis (1756), penes Hendon Libr.; M.L.R. 1757/2/124-6.
  • 86. Hendon Libr., DD. MHS. 681.
  • 87. Pevsner, Mdx. 125; ex inf. Hendon Libr.
  • 88. Whishaw, Map of Hendon and ref. bk.
  • 89. D.N.B.; Evans, Hendon, 262.
  • 90. Return of Owners of Land in each Co. [C. 1097], p. 5, H.C. (1874), lxxii(1).
  • 91. Whishaw, Map of Hendon and ref. bk.
  • 92. Hendon Libr., DD. MHS. 1/185-8.