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1 Fitzjohn’s Avenue (now South Hampstead High School)

Gazetteer No. G0205

Date 1901

Address Hampstead London, Greater London NW3 5LA England


The centre block incorporates a house constructed in 1721 but considerably altered in the nineteenth century. Lutyens added a third storey and a high, hip roof as well as encasing the building with ‘Wrennaissance’ elevations of blue-grey brick with red-brick dressings and stone doorcases. He extended the house to the east and west with wings terminated by pavilions which on the north front appear like towers, with the hip roofs rising to central chimney-stacks. White-painted timber sash windows set flush with the wall surface continue the planar quality of the wall, which today is relieved only by raised brick aprons although, originally, apple-green shutters decked the south-elevation.

The axial approach passes through the entrance gateway under a large, hip roof surmounted by a clock tower, down a lime avenue and continues directly through the house out to the gently terraced lawn to the south marked only on the west by the edge of the existing walled gardens that Lutyens also remodelled. (Inskip, 1986, p.69)

House, now converted to a school, on a corner site with entrance front to Maresfield Gardens. c1883. By JJ Stevenson probably for Frank Debenham, the store magnate. Red and yellow brick with terracotta dressings. Tiled gabled roofs with dormers and tall brick chimney-stacks with moulded brick patterning and cornices. 3 storeys and attic. Irregular fenestration. Entrance front of 3 bays. Central recessed bay with doorway approached by steps with cast-iron railings and wooden 1st floor balcony having turned balusters and large central shaped bracket; flanking bays with Flemish gables, right hand has cartouche in gable and left hand with chimney rising from the ground floor having an enriched terracotta plaque and, set diagonally across angle, a full height bay window. Fitzjohn’s Avenue front with full height canted bay. INTERIOR: not inspected. HISTORICAL NOTE: originally known as Oakwood Hall, the house has connections with the Oakwood Property Company owned by Debenham and (Sir) Edwin Lutyens; Lutyens was engaged in 1908 to make alterations described as a “terraced shelter”, not now detectable. From the 1950s until the late 1980s in use as a TAVR (Territorial Army Volunteer Reserve) centre. (Historic England, list entry 1078348)


Inskip, P. (1986) Edwin Lutyens: Architectural Monographs 6. 2nd edn. London: Academy Editions.

Historic England.SOUTH HAMPSTEAD HIGH SCHOOL. [Online] Available from:

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F Debenham