The Important Buildings in Mill Hill
For Building reference numbers see the Mill Hill Plan click
1 - Highwod House (listed) – blue plaque
Early 19th century mansion, 2 storey stucco. The original Nicoll
house was demolished and rebuilt in 1817. Previously home of Lord
William Russell, executed (1683) for alleged complicity in the Rye
House Plot. Later home of Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore
and of the The Zoological Society of London. On return to the UK
1825 he lived there until his death in 1826.
2 – Highwood Ash (listed)
An 18th century building of painted brick with hipped slate roof.
Main block has parapet and corbelled band between the storeys. Built
on the site of a previous house.
In October 1950 a Dakota of British European Airways crashed in the
garden due to engine failure. The house survived but some 27 adults
and 1 child died in the fire.
3 - ‘Rising Sun’ Public House (listed)
Late 17th Century - unlike most others in the district that were
weather-boarded is of brick, with gabled dormers. The style is
typical of many inns built in the 17th & 18th C.
4 – The Old Forge
18th century stucco with hipped red tiled roof. Originally home and
workshop of the village smithy. It has had other roles, notably a
tea-shop and is now a private house.
5 - Holcombe House (now St Mary’s Abbey)
A late 18th century stucco house designed by John Johnson in 1775
for Sir William Anderson, former Lord Mayor of London. Interior in
the Adam style, with elliptical hall, wrought iron staircase and
fine plasterwork panels in the library. Acquired in 1881 by Cardinal
Vaughan, the building is incorporated in the range of later
buildings forming St Mary’s Abbey complex, now largely converted to
private residential use.
6 – The Old Mill House with ‘Post Office Cottage’
Linked buildings once used as the village shop and post office. The
mill house of brick with dormers and a striking front at ground
level. The 18th century cottage of white weatherboard, in the ground
of which is the original village pump.
7 – Sunnyside now Murray House – blue plaque
18th century 2 storey building set sideways to road, now whitened
cement with slate roof. Formerly home of Sir James Murray, Mill Hill
schoolmaster, edited Oxford English Dictionary. Sunnyside was
changed to Murray House in his memory in recent years.
8 – West Grove
Early 19th century house, now faced in rough grey cement, porch with
9 – Belmont
Late 18th century yellow brick, 3-storey mansion, with stone or
stucco enrichments. Built in 1772 by James Paine Jnr., the Oval Room
in the Adam style has a fine plaster ceiling and with views out over
beautiful lawns and grounds. It was formerly home of Sir Charles
Flower Bart (who gave his name to Flower Lane) and of John Wilkes,
both were Lord Mayor of London. Now junior school, part of the Mill
Hill School Foundation.
10 – St Paul’s Church, Church House and Church Cottages
Founded under the benefaction of William Wilberforce, the slavery
abolitionist, the church, of brick with white render, was built in
1828-1830. The other buildings belong to the 18th century. Note the
‘ink well walk’ in one of the Church Cottage gardens, made of
upturned stone inkwells from Mill Hill School.
11 – Mill Hill School (listed) &
Ridgeway House – blue plaque
The school was founded 1807 in Ridgeway House, now demolished, the
one time residence of the famous 17th century botanist. The main
part was completed 1827 by Sir William Tite, architect of the Royal
Exchange in the City. The assembly hall on the right of the entrance
block was added 1905 by T.E. Collcutt. Next to The Ridgeway is the
classical stone memorial arch of the Gate of Honour which was
erected and inscribed with the names of Mill Hill School’s pupils
who died in two world wars. The most recent addition is the The
12 – The Grove
Late 16th or early 17th century irregular buildings, set sideways to
the road. Now the headmaster’s House of Mill Hill School. The oldest
part dates from 1590 with some 17th century features - the house
being completely restored in 1912. The building is reputed to be the
oldest continuously inhabited house in (what was) Middlesex.
13 – Rosebank – listed – blue plaque
Late 17th century long, low 2 storey building of black and white
weatherboard with red tiled roof. A picturesque building, which was
formerly a Quaker Meting House, often visited by George Fox, founder
of the Quakers
14 – Blenhein Steps
Late 18th century building 2 storeys in brick with renewed dormers
and large bow windows added in the last 100 years. For many years
this was the School tuck shop. It is possible that the house takes
its name from the battle of Blenheim (1704) – the year it was built
– but the evidence for this is unreliable.
15 – Nicoll Alms-houses
A picturesque village group of medieval brick cottages under long
red tiled roof built 1696 by Stephen Nicoll. Stephen Nicoll was
designated miller of the original mill which is believed to have
been sited in the Mill Field in 1321. Several repairs were carried
out in 1893 & 1923.
16 – Littleberries (St. Vincent’s Convent) –
A fine 18th century red brick house of 3 storeys. Interior contains
a good mid-18th century wrought iron staircase and plasterwork
ceiling in the ‘Gilt Room’.
17 – Featherstone House
A good simple house of early 18th century design, 2 storeys with
clay tiled roof and hipped dormer windows and gabled ended sides.
The house was possibly the Dower House to the Nicoll family of Copt
18 – Lawrence Farm House
Late 17th or early 18th century farmhouse (renovated) of warm, red
brick and tiled roofs. A unique building in Mill Hill and is now
used for office purposes. This farmhouse was the vestige of farming
off Lawrence Street, which, from manorial records went back to 12th
century. The proposal to demolish the building in 1969 was met with
instant outcry. After a long struggle the building was bought in
1976 and renovated.
… and others not numbered on our Map …
a - The National Institute for Medical Research
– focal point
Situated at the south end of The Ridgeway the Institute has an
important place in Mill Hill history, its green roof clearly visible
like a beacon for miles around. The 7 storey building designed by
Maxwell Ayrton FRIBA in 1937, was complete by World War II when
requisitioned by the Admiralty – 1950 being the start for the
building as NIMR.
b – London University Observatory – west of the
Watford Way before Mill Hill Circus
The building project was completed and opened 1929. The original
building had 1 dome for the ‘Wilson’ telescope. There have been
additions and alterations ever since to facilitate new technology.
Light pollution of modern Mill Hill is a constant problem.
c – Drapers Cottage Homes (Chalet Estate) –
proposed locally listed
On the West side of Hammers Lane, the cottages are neatly laid out
with pretty gardens. Buildings are of red brick with clay tiled
roofs. The estate was built in 1927.
d - Marshall Hall – listed
On the East side of Hammers lane there is Marshall Hall, built 1897.
The main building has broad steps up from the pavement and imposing
front garden. The estate has been recently renovated and the front
fencing has been restored. The homes were founded by William
Marshall of the store Marshall & Snellgrove, and were designed by
George Hornblower. They were intended for retired staff from the
d - St Joseph’s College – listed
The entrance is from Lawrence Street, the 30m high square campanile
capped with a gilded bronze statue of St Joseph is a dominant focal
point seen from lower Mill Hill.
This building housed probably the most important religious community
in Mill Hill, being a community of monks training for foreign
missions, was founded by Cardinal Vaughan in 1866 and opened in
1873. The architects were G. Goldie and Child.
e – Inglis Barracks – locally listed
Red brick barracks building with ‘modern’ facilities as indoor wash
rooms and dining hall, by architect Harry Bell, M.V.O. RIBA. From
1905 home of the Middlesex Regiment until 1961 when it became the
base for the Postal and Courier Depot RE who vacated the site in
2007. There was an IRA bomb attack on Inglis Barracks in 1988.
f – The Railway Engineer
A little way up Bittacy Hill (or Drivers’ Hill), tucked round the
back of Mill Hill East Station in Sanders lane. Originally The
Railway Hotel, when there were few houses in the area called Bittacy
Village. It relates to the time when the railway that ran through
Mill Hill was being constructed. When the gas works was built 1862
and the Great Northern Lane to Edgeware 1867 the area became a base
for the workers.
g – The Adam and Eve
There has been an Inn here since 1717, originally ‘The Eve’. A
weatherboard building was built 1751; the name changed 1828; the
present building was erected 1915. The Adam and Eve and The Three
Hammers are the only ‘Ridgeway’ pubs remaining.
h – Ponds
Darland’s Lake was created by the damming of Folly Brook early in
the 19th century, however there is nothing ‘false looking’ about the
lake today. It has a fine woodland setting with some lovely spring
flowers. Leg of Mutton Pond in Moat Mount Open Space is a source of
the Dean’s Brook. The pond is in managed woodland and shrubbery
called Nut Wood. The Long Ponds are to be found on Totteridge
Common, situated on a long ridge that runs from High Barnet, through
Arkley, Barnet Gate, Elstree to Stanmore. Angel Pond, named after
the Angel Pub which stood nearby, is the village pond at the top of
Milespit Hill. Sheepwash Pond off The Ridgeway is where the sheep
were cleaned down before being taken into the London market, hence
the name ‘sheep-wash’ pond. Both ponds are fed by rain and surface
runoff and therefore susceptible to dry spells of weather.
The Favel Building, Mill Hill School, the Ridgeway - a fine piece
of modern architecture 2007