Athlone House ~ To the north east of the Heath is a derelict site within the Conservation area comprising the grounds and mansion of the former Caen Wood Towers (renamed Athlone House in 1972)
This historic building, currently in disrepair, was built in 1872 for Edward Brooke, aniline dye manufacturer (architect, Edward Salomons).
In 1942 the building was taken for war service by the Royal Air Force and was used to house the RAF Intelligence School, although the 'official' line was that it was a convalescence hospital.
The Operational Record (Form 540) of RAF Station Highgate (currently in the National Archives, Kew) was declassified in the late 1990s and shows the true role of this building in wartime service.
Athlone House, on Hampstead Lane, is one of London’s finest
Victorian houses. Picturesque views of Athlone House are enjoyed by
millions of visitors to Hampstead Heath every year.
The building received 2 near misses from V-
The RAF Intelligence School remained in Caen Wood Towers until 1948, when the building was handed over to the Ministry of Health.
It was then used as a hospital and finally a post-
However, the House and its gardens fall within the conservation area of Hampstead Heath.
The NHS sold off this part of their estate in 2004 to a private businessman who is currently redeveloping much of the site.
Because he has lived there longer than the 12 years required by law, Harry Hallowes, an Irish tramp, has been declared the legal owner by the Land Registry of a plot at the bottom of the grounds of Athlone House nursing home which was sold to the property developers Dwyer International by Kensington and Chelsea Hospital NHS Trust.
It consists of a 90ft-
If it were sold with permission for housing, estate agents say it would fetch more than £2million but Mr Hallowes says he has no intention of selling it!