Hampstead tollgate to be renovated - but road closures signal misery for motorists

A decade long battle to restore a historic Hampstead tollgate house to its former glory has ended in victory after local councils agreed to close surrounding roads to allow the major works to go ahead.

A decade long battle to restore a historic Hampstead tollgate house to its former glory has ended in victory after local councils agreed to close surrounding roads to allow the major works to go ahead.

The 18th Century brick house in Spaniards Road marked the boundary to the Bishop of London’s estates and sits across the road from the famous Spaniard’s Inn, once a haunt of highwaymen including Dick Turpin.

But the Grade II listed building has fallen into disrepair in recent years and has suffered extensive water damage which threatened its very survival. It has been placed it on English Heritage’s At Risk Register.

Motorists in the area face a difficult few weeks, however, as Spaniards Road and Hampstead Lane, both major road arteries linking Hampstead to Highgate, will be closed from Tollgate House from Saturday October 22 and Sunday November 6 to allow builders to carry out the renovation.


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Frank Harding, vice chairman of The Heath and Hampstead Society, said: “We are delighted that this work is being done, it is the culmination of a decade of campaigning.

“It will mean Tollgate House is rescued for the community.

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“There is a lot of damage to it. The trouble is there is a lot of water that has gone into it. The water has hit the guttering and has stained the outside walls.

“If the work were not undertaken, there was a serious risk of its further or even total decay”.

The renovation, which has been subject to lengthy delays as Camden and Barnet Council both have had to agree road closures, will include a total refurbishment and re-roofing of the house and is funded by English Heritage.

The two week road closure is longer than would usually be expected for a project of this scale because builders will use a traditional mix of lime, sand and water which takes longer to set than modern day cement.

Mr Harding says the announcement has come in the nick of time, however, as the lime mixture must dry before the winter frost sets.

A Camden Council spokesman said: “Barnet Council is handling the road closure that will be in place and diversions will signposted.

“Residents will still have access to their properties using via either end of the road. Pedestrian access is not affected by the works.”

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