Hampstead Heath ist ein Park im Norden von London, mit einer Fläche von 3,2 km². Der Name des Parks stammt vom seltenen Lebensraum der Heide (heathland). Er hat 25 größere Teiche und Gebiete mit alten Waldflächen, Sümpfen, Hecken und Grassflächen. Teile des Parks wurden von ''Englisch Nature'' als Site of Special Scientific Interest ausgezeichnet
The Heath has long been a popular place for Londoners to walk and take in the air. Running along its eastern perimeter are a chain of ponds - including three open-air public swimming pools - which were originally reservoirs for drinking water from the River Fleet. The Heath is a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Metropolitan Importance, and part of Kenwood is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Lakeside concerts are held there in summer. The Heath is managed by the City of London Corporation, and lies mostly within the London Borough of Camden with the adjoining Hampstead Heath Extension and Golders Hill Park in the London Borough of Barnet.
The Heath first entered the history books in 986 when Ethelred the Unready granted one of his servants five hides of land at "Hemstede". This same land is later recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as held by the monastery of St. Peter's at Westminster Abbey, and by then is known as the "Manor of Hampstead". Westminster held the land until 1133 when control of part of the manor was released to one Richard de Balta; then during Henry II's reign the whole of the manor became privately owned by Alexander de Barentyn, the King's butler. Manorial rights to the land remained in private hands until the 1940s when they lapsed under Sir Spencer Pocklington Maryon Wilson, though the estate itself was passed on to Shane Gough, 5th Viscount Gough.
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