Oak Hill Park, NW3

Place Name

Literal. Thomas Clowser, a local builder, had collocated with landowner Sheffield Neave, to build properties adjoining Neave’s Frognal estate, in the mid-19thCentury. Later he began developing a further 10 houses on land he called the Oak Hill Park estate after the new road running from Frognal to Oak Hill House and Oak Lodge. In its 1912 review of the List of Streets and Places within the Administrative County of London, the Times Literary Supplement explained: “The aspect of the country landscapes absorbed in London can also be traced in the surviving names of trees. Just as we should expect from the present landscape of the London fringe the commonest trees were evidently the elm and the willow. Such names as Elm-grove and Elm-street and Elms-road occur very frequently and Willow-streets and Willow-walks and Willow Cottages are almost as abundant. The oak occurs much less often because it is the typical tree of the stiff clay soils which were generally avoided by early settlers owing to the irregularity of the water supply. The clay tracts on the west side of London have only been opened up for building purposes in very recent times.”

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