Burgh House & Hampstead Museum
Burgh House & Hampstead Museum
A lovely Queen Anne manor, Burgh House was built in 1704. It later became the property of Dr William Gibbons, a fashionable physician who encouraged visitors to Hampstead Wells Spa to drink the mineral waters for their health, and now houses a museum on the history of Hampstead and its fascinating people.
When Burgh House was constructed in 1704 the Hampstead area was beginning to attract visitors to a natural spa. In 1720 Dr Gibbons, the Spa's resident physician, moved into the house. He extended the building and added the striking wrought-iron gate which bears his initials.

A later resident was an upholsterer named Israel Lewis, who was fined for building a dung stall in the gardens. The house was called Lewis House for many years. From 1858-1881 Burgh House was used by the Royal East Middlesex Militia as a headquarters building and officer's mess. After the Militia left the house became a residence once again.

One of the later residents was Dr George Williamson, who called upon famed garden designer Gertrude Jekyll to create a new garden. Unfortunately, only the terrace remains of Jekyll's original design. Still later, author Rudyard Kipling's daughter Elsie lived here with her husband, Captain George Bainbridge. Another resident was Thomas Grylls, a stained glass designer who created the window above Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey.

The house fell empty from 1937 until it was purchased by Hampstead Borough Council. It was briefly a community centre, then in 1979 it reopened as a historic house and museum.

Hampstead Museum
The first floor is occupied by the Hampstead Museum, offering exhibits on the local history and famous local residents, including artist John Constable, whose residence is just a few steps from the museum's front door. The museum also boasts the world's largest collection of works by artist Helen Allingham. Learn the history of Hampstead from prehistoric times to its heyday as a fashionable spa. Also, find out about the famous artists and writers that congregated to this area of north London.

Galleries showcase temporary displays of art and local history, and the museum sponsors an ongoing programme of concerts and exhibitions. There is a cafe - and they'll even pack a picnic for you to carry over to nearby Hampstead Heath!

The nearest tube station is Hampstead, just a few minutes walk away. The museum is set in a truly fascinating area of Hampstead, surrounding by interesting historic buildings. A five-minute walk west brings you to the National Trust's Fenton House, while to the east are Keat's House Museum and another Trust property at 2 Willow Road.