Skeel Library
Kidderpore Avenue, London NW3


Architect: AQP Architects

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"A contemporary reinvention of historical layers set within a residence of exceptional scale and elegance"

A comprehensive and detailed restoration of this spectacular Grade-II listed library is underway and due for completion in the first quarter of 2020. The result will be a four-storey house of over 5,000 sq ft, finished internally to an elegant design by Bowler James Brindley.

Skeel Library forms part of Hampstead Manor, an exemplary new development arranged around a series of communal gardens, close to Hampstead Village. It was built in 1904 for the campus of Westfield College, a constituent of the University of London and an institution of botanical studies for women, founded in 1882.

From Kidderpore Avenue, the imposing front façade is visible; a symmetrical fenestration with, at its centre, two storeys of soaring bay windows. Entry is at the side of the building, within a sheltered walkway, and through a large Romanesque studded-oak door. The existing plans propose a series of room divisions within the ground and first floors. Entry is to a hall on the ground floor. To the left is a cloakroom and separate WC. To the right is the proposed study, media room, and a master bedroom with dressing room and en-suite bathroom.

On the first floor is an incredible double-height space with a gallery of original polished-oak shelving. The current design proposes this as an open-plan kitchen, living and dining room, with a landing that comprises a reading room, utility and separate WC. On the upper levels there is space for two substantial bedrooms, both with en-suite bathrooms.

At the rear of the building is a lower-ground floor. The architects’ plans suggest a split-level bedroom suite with bathroom and dressing room stepping down into a living space and bedroom. From here double doors open onto a large terrace overlooking The Orchard gardens.

Architects AQP and Scott Brownrigg have remained in consultation with architectural historians throughout the conservation process, collaborating to reveal and restore many of the building’s original Edwardian-Baroque elements, including leaded windows with stone mullions, oak shelving and a stone staircase connecting the first and second floors.

Hampstead Manor is an ambitious heritage conversion of an historically important site in one of London’s most desirable areas. The development consists of 127 private residences ranging from studio apartments to four-bedroom homes, set within beautifully maintained communal gardens and amongst ancient trees. Residents have the benefit of 24-hour concierge, a town-car service, and a residents-only spa complex with gym and swimming pool. Parking is available by separate negotiation.

Skeel Library occupies an elevated position at the peak of Kidderpore Avenue, to the west of Hampstead Village, within a short walk of the shops and the Underground stations on Hampstead High Street (Northern Line) and Finchley Road (Jubilee, Metropolitan and London Overground). The vast open spaces of Hampstead Heath are within easy reach, and the area contains some of London’s best independent schools.

Please note: Images are a combination of computer-generated illustrations and photography.

Tenure: Leasehold
Lease Length: approx. 999 years
Service Charge: approx. £32,500 per annum
Ground Rent: approx. £1,200 per annum

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.


The architecture of Hampstead Manor spans almost two centuries with examples of several eras among its five Grade II-listed buildings. Originally part of the Childs Hill Estate in what was the semi-rural village of Hampstead, the land was bought in 1840 by John Teil, an East India leather trader. In 1843 Teil commissioned T.Hutton to build Kidderpore Hall, a white stucco mansion in style of the Greek Revival movement, named after the location of his tanneries in the Kidderpore district of Calcutta.

In 1890, Kidderpore Hall was acquired by Miss Constance Maynard and Ann Dudin Brown for Westfield College, a respected educational establishment for women with a special interest in botany. Around it grew Westfield’s campus with the addition of the Skeel Library in 1903–4 and The Chapel in 1928. The campus, arranged around a series of green quadrangles, remained the home of Westfield College until its merger with Queen Mary University and relocation in 1992. In 2016, following years of heavy use and subsequent neglect, work began to intricately restore each of the buildings, and to create a new community in celebration of the history and rich fabric of this important Hampstead landmark.

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