It was the opening of the railway station in 1860 that made Hampstead Heath, a 790-acre rambling open space north of London, accessible to the many poorer people who lived beyond walking distance of its borders.
The Heath was acquired as a public open space in 1871, and additional land was purchased in 1888 and 1889, respectively. Shortly after the first acquisition, the Bank Holidays Act of 1871 established four national day-long holidays: Easter Day, Boxing Day and the first Mondays in May and August
The Heath hosted a fair on the May and August bank holidays, and ‘Appy ‘Ampstead became part of national conversation in the 1890s, celebrated in song and cartoons Read more…
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