The Pergola and Hill Garden in the Hempstead Heath is something I would never expect in the whole of London, leave alone a posh part where everything is presumably guarded under a lock. But not the pergola! This place is opened to public, free to enter and, let me add, a must if you are living in London and are getting somehow bored of the city!
The complex, though on a hill, is carefully hidden in the far west corner of Hempstead Heath. Originally planned to please the Lord Leverhulme in 1904, it was soon interrupted by the Great War. After his death in 1925, the completed pavilion was bought by Baron Invenforth but instead for garden parties or summer evening strolls, it soon stated serving as a hospital during the WW2.
“A place for peace, contemplation and meditation”
The gardens are now being redeveloped to attract the contemporary generations. When I first entered the space, I was nothing less than astonished. There is a poetic melancholy to this place. A hidden mystery covering the painful and extravagant history of the promenade. The dreamy mood echoes through the corridors of the building. The silent pond provides a place for peace, contemplation and meditation. The ageing pillars create a shelter from the time passing by. The intoxicating smell of roses transports the mind into a heavenly site.
Everything here is designed to bring pleasure, and it all seems so natural and fine. The Pergola is becoming favoured by those who know that London is not just the Eye and the Ben. Today, the Hill Gardens are a popular location for the photographers, musicians, signers, dancers, lovers, … There is a place for every possible form of self-expression. This is where the hidden artist inside of all of us suddenly awakens.
“The Pergola transfers you to where you want to be”
As the sun was setting down, the place was becoming empty, yet one was far from feeling lonely. The always-present-energy guaranteed that one, although nostalgic, felt happy and free from all the worries and doubts. That is what the Pergola does – it transfers you to a place where you want to be, away from all the bad and negative, it brings you peace and a healthy state of mind.
The Pergola & Hill Gardens is a secret that the public is slowly learning about. It is a sight out of sight, the one only the locals know about. Keep this secret with you and, when in London, drop by and enjoy a minute of self-reflection in a respectful silence. The beautiful Hampstead Pergola is here to stay but we must treat it with respect!
The Hempstead Pergola is opened all year round, check it here.