Waterlow Court


Current StatusStill flats
AddressHeath Close, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London Borough of Barnet
Building Date and Architect1909 by M.H. Baillie Scott
DesignationGrade II* in 1965
National Grid ReferenceTQ2558887558

View the full listing on the National Heritage List for England

Waterlow Court opened in 1909 as a project of the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company established by Sir Sydney Waterlow in the 1860s, and at the request of Henrietta Barnett, founder of the Hampstead Garden Suburb. This remarkable project exhibits an Arts and Crafts spirit in its subtle and handsome design, organised around a courtyard with an arcaded cloister.

A lych-gate opens to a timber-framed and covered walkway which leads to the quadrangular building which is of lime-washed brick to the courtyard and with timber-framed exterior elevations. The low tiled roofs feature timber cupola and high brick chimney stacks.

The most arresting features of the interior are the round-arched arcades which create a 'cloister' effect and which serve as a walkway to ground-floor flats as well as giving access to the dog-leg staircases with 18th century style balusters and Jacobean style handrail and newel posts with turned finials.

Accommodation is arranged in three to five room flats, simply designed with plank doors and some open fireplaces. The originally communal dining area is in the gabled block to the rear of the courtyard. The windows are mullioned, leaded casements of an original design. The original fittings, door and window furniture was made by J Pyghtle White of Bedford for Ambrose Heal of London.

The contemporary bicycle shed charmingly exhibited the architectural treatment of this new building kind of structure, here used by women who exemplified the modern Edwardian spirit. Listed at a high grade as one of the most widely admired and studied of Hampstead Garden Suburb buildings: the high architectural quality derives from excellent proportions and the subtle relationship among window openings dormers, stacks, and, most memorable of all, the arcaded cloister. It is also special for its associations with Waterlow and as an early and sophisticated development for working women.