The story of a pond returning to Hampstead Heath

How Branch Hill pond will look reinstated on Hampstead Heath

How Branch Hill pond will look reinstated on Hampstead Heath - Credit: Jon Sheaff & Associates

An exhibition is taking place to tell the story of Branch Hill which is being reinstated in Hampstead Heath. 

Redington Frognal Association (RFA) has secured grants to enable Heath managers, City of London Corporation, to reinstate the former pond.

Area of the former Branch Hill pond in Hampstead Heath as it stands today

Area of the former Branch Hill pond in Hampstead Heath as it stands today - Credit: RedFrog Association

Art critic Estelle Lovatt will speak at a gathering at JW3, in Finchley Road on February 6 which runs from 2pm to 6pm.

On February 13 she will explain the pond's history at Burgh House, in New End Square, at 3pm.

A free exhibition of art work is taking place in Burgh House from February 9 to 11, from 10am until 4 pm.

Constable painting of Branch Hill Pond

Constable painting of Branch Hill Pond - Credit: RedFrog Association

Branch Hill pond was the ceremonial source of London’s lost river Westbourne. It was originally a spring-fed pool formed by excavating sands, and eventually filled in the 1880s.

The pond was painted on many occasions by John Constable while he lived nearby from 1819 to 1822.

River Westbourne flowing into sewer

River Westbourne flowing into sewer - Credit: RedFrog Association

The Westbourne can still be heard flowing from Branch Hill into Redington Gardens, where it is absorbed into a sewer.