Cumberland Mansions

Cumberland Mansions brochure, West Hampstead
Cumberland Mansions, West Hampstead
Cumberland Mansions, West Hampstead

We know Cumberland Mansions

Cumberland Mansions was built in 1902, possibly by the great mansion block builder, Edward Jarvis Cave, Managing Director of The Middlesex Building Co., and it was likely designed by Boehmer and Gibbs.

Edward Cave began business in 1865 with about £100 capital and in the following 35 years he was engaged in large-scale building operations in Hampstead and Maida Vale. In 1900 he went bankrupt owing £504,787 – a huge amount in those days – with assets of only £28,253!

Despite this, Edward Cave’s buildings, especially those in West Hampstead, have a reputation for durability and solidity of construction and his blocks of flats are regarded as striking and distinctive landmarks. ‘Sunflower balconies’ are a feature of Cumberland Mansions.

Edward Boehmer and Percy Gibbs were speculating architects long associated with Edward Cave’s enterprises and had built up a considerable reputation since the early 1890s as designers of fashionable and grandiose shops and mansion blocks on the continental model. Their trademarks were projecting corner turrets, big-boned bay windows, and artificial stone as decoration on deep-red brick. Cumberland Mansions residents are first mentioned in the 1903 Street Directory for Hampstead.

Whilst a great deal of information cannot be found about the period, we do know that during the Second World War (1939 - 1945) many, but not all, Cumberland Mansions residents left London.

In 1974 The Times printed two letters from Graham Arnold, the Sales Director of Lotus Cars between 1963 - 1970, who lived at 9 Cumberland Mansions. The first letter was about the then Government’s stand against ‘hysterical’ calls for petrol rationing following the strikes of 1973. The second letter recalled Mr Arnold’s days with Lotus Cars during the 1960s when the company was one of the largest British manufacturers of high-performance sports cars.

Cumberland Mansions has a Tenant and Resident Group, called Cumberland Mansions Limited, a company formed by the residents to administer the freehold of the block.

Perfectly situated for the cafes, restaurants, trendy shops and transport links provided along West End Lane, Cumberland Mansions is one of West Hampstead’s most sought after residential addresses.

West End Lane is an old road and probably existed as an access way in the Middle Ages since it formed the boundary of several ancient estates. It was named after the originally isolated hamlet of West End centred on West End Green and formerly the ‘westend’ part of Hampstead parish, where the Kilburn stream crossed West End Lane. West End Lane was also called Shoot Up Hill Lane. Original plans of Edward Cave name the part of West End Lane where Cumberland Mansions is situated ‘Cock and Hoop Lane’, after the famous tavern that used to be on the site of Alexandra Mansions.

The Property Ombudsman