Clitterhouse and Claremont Road (Hendon NW2)
Clitterhouse fields is named after Clitterhouse farm. The Clitter part of Clitterhouse originates in the word clay, so Clitterhouse farm means 'clay house' farm. Its earliest known owner was John de Langton (c1321). Until the 1770s it was a manor. From the 15th to the 20th century Clitterhouse farm was owned by St Bartholomew's Hospital.
In the 1860s the Midland Railway Company cut Clitterhouse farm in two (north to south), and built Claremont Road. The land west of the railway line became Brent Sidings in the 1880s. From 1876 until 1915 the Brent Gas Works supplied stations from Mill Hill to St Pancras, including the Midland Hotel and the railway workers cottages called Brent Midland Terrace (1897).
Clitterhouse farmland was much reduced in size, becoming a dairy farm. More land was sold for Hendon sewage works in the 1880s, and Hendon fever hospital (1890-1929).
The southern part of Clitterhouse farm became the Beatty School of Flying before the First World War, which in turn was taken over by Handley Page's Cricklewood Aerodrome and factory during 1917. Here Handley Page developed and tested Britain's first bombers.
After the First World War, passenger flights to the continent became popular. In 1929 the Aerodrome was closed and the land became Laing's 'Golders Green Estate'.
Jean Simmons, the actress, was brought up on the estate. Shortly after 1926 Hampstead FC (Hendon F.C. from 1946) rented some of the land from Hendon Urban District, finishing Clitterhouse as a farm, and the rest of the land became a public open space.
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