Takeover bid set to be made for historic Hampstead tollgate house

A private business is considering a takeover bid of an historic tollgate house in Hampstead.

For years a question mark has hung over the future of one of the last 18th Century brick houses marking the boundary to the Bishop of London’s estates after it fell into disrepair.

But a recent renovation and tentative enquiries about proposals to use the building as a centre for medical information herald a new future for the Camden Council owned building opposite the famous Spaniard’s Inn in Hampstead Lane.

The businessman spearheading the proposals does not want to be named at this stage.

The tollgate house has no running water or central heating, but the takeover plans could see utilities installed, according to Hampstead Town Cllr Chris Knight.

He said: “The potential tenant is looking for a small place for a reasonable price and this would be an ideal opportunity,” he said.

“The idea is that if we find terms and conditions that will mean the building is maintained.”

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The tollgate house suffered extensive water damage over a number of years and was placed on English Heritage’s at risk register, before it was rescued by a heritage grant in October last year.

The Heath and Hampstead Society unveiled the completed works yesterday (Wednesday), with a visit from the Mayor of Camden.

Frank Harding, spokesman for the society’s town committee, said: “It’s a very, very nice building and we can only encourage a sensible use for it.

“For the last however many years it has just sat there gathering rain and dust, so we really want it to be used.

“The difficulty of course is how accessible is it, but I think these things can be overcome.

“It’s important for it to survive as it is a big part of local history, it’s the boundary really between London and Highgate or the north.”