Old Hampstead Rediscovered exhibition comes to Burgh House

South End Green and Hereford House

South End Green and Hereford House - Credit: Archant

Photos show how scenes have changed from rural, sheep-filled fields to supermarket sites, finds Alison.

There’s a welcome return to Burgh House in Hampstead for the fifth Old Hampstead Rediscovered exhibition. For Changing Scenes, the Heath and Hampstead Society has again juxtaposed paintings from its collection with contemporary photographs of the scenes.

Hereford House on South End Green was painted by E. Duncan at a time when sheep walked there and were fattened up on the Heath before being marketed. The house was demolished in 1913 and a cinema built on the site. Society member Malcolm Holmes’s photograph of South End Green, taken in 2015, shows the building there now – a Marks and Spencer supermarket.

“The modern photographs have been taken from the approximate positions the artists were when painting the scenes,” explains Holmes, a former Camden Archivist. “Redevelopments and the increased number of trees in some areas made it difficult to capture the same views today.”

In the 19th century, the Heath was much more open. Paintings show attractive clumps of pine trees with nothing round them but gorse bushes and bracken. There are views to Harrow on the Hill and to the north. Some paintings were made as changes to the village occurred.

Houses in the lane at the end of Church Row were captured before their demolition for the extension southwards of Heath Street. These historic and modern images and well researched backstories detailing changes enrich our perceptions of local locations and landmarks.

Until September 13, Wednesday to Friday and Sunday noon to 5pm. New End Square NW3.