Hampstead Heath

Many of these are somewhat “arty”. Some just show how wild the Heath can be in places. It is rather hard to believe when you are out in it that you took the tube and then walked half an hour to reach these spots.

Remember this is early spring, so there are flowers but not much in the way of leaves. The hills roll constantly, often dramatically.

Broad open spaces like this have been used for recreation for hundreds of years. The tree makes me think of Jane Eyre: “And the great horse chestnut tree was cleft in two by thunder’s spear.”

Inverforth House, or The Hill
A medallion on the gate from the road calls this Inverforth House, but the guidebook refers to it as The Hill. This is the rear view from the extensive public gardens.

I found the garden simply by tramping across the Heath. Imagine this huge brick structure looming up through the trees. The pergola is probably beautiful in summer, when more flowers are in bloom.

A view of the far end of the pergola with the Heath beyond. The garden has three levels: the high pergola, a middle section seen here, with the pots, and a lower tier with an ornamental pond. All three levels are open to the public.

The pergola changes style several times. Here one can see the proximity of the house to what is now the public garden.

A close up of the fence seen in the previous photo.

Looking down into the lowest tier. All direct access to the house has been cut off, but it is easy to see why one feels as if one is snooping around private property when exploring the garden. The sun was too low by this point for me to be pleased with the light of the lowest tier, so there are no pictures of the pond.

Back up to where the sun is rather better, a view of the middle tier with the pergola beyond. Earlier in the day, there had been a couple picnicking in this area.

And in the other direction. One can start to see the variety of plants in the garden, many of which are labeled but few of which were in bloom so early in the season.

The loggia (for lack of a better word) that supports the pergola. The arches open out into the middle tier garden.

A part of the pergola. To the left is the house, and one can see where this photograph fits with the previous photos of the centre section of the pergola.

A rougher section of the pergola. I have no idea what the vines are, but I suspect they are gorgeous in summer.

Irises were blooming from several of the steps, directly out of cracks in the stonework. In addition to the stone steps, there is an iron spiral staircase in one of the end towers, which is how I reached the loggia.


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