Hampstead Garden Suburb has an exceptional residential environment in both buildings and man-made landscape, yet these are only the surviving husk of a settlement, of which the kernel was an idea of community. It is an idea which has to be understood historically and to some extent re-activated practically, as the conservation of the environment today depends on the community as a whole, not just on individual householders. That this should be so is in keeping with the Suburb's origins. Whereas almost all previous planned settlements in this country had been created by a single aristocratic landowner, e.g. Grosvenor, Russell, Cavendish, or by a single philanthropic businessman e.g. Cadbury, Rowntree, Lever, Hampstead Garden Suburb and Letchworth Garden City were socially, politically and spiritually a new kind of creation: a joint co-operative endeavour by a group of like-minded citizens. The moving spirits behind the Garden Suburb's foundation were a cosmetics heiress turned social worker, Dame Henrietta Barnett, and a mining engineer turned architect planner, Sir Raymond Unwin.
The information in this section has been reproduced with the kind permission of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust