1. For its romantic and godly history
Back in the eighteenth century when Gospel Oak was still a rural community, local parishioners would gather under a grand oak tree on the corner of Mansfield and Southampton roads to hear gospel readings; hence the name.
It became a famous sermon spot, and the likes of Edward the Confessor, John Wesley and even St Paul are said to have preached there.
Sadly, the last written record of the great oak is from 1801, and even a replacement oak planted in 1998 by local resident Michael Palin has not survived.
Gospel Oak may now be oak-less, but it is far from god-less. There are no fewer than five churches, including the vast, cathedral-esque All Hallows’ and the quirky St Martin’s, which was once described by architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner as ‘the craziest of London’s Victorian churches’ thanks to its rather curious-looking tower.
2. Because it’s great for kids and families…
The neighbourhood is a great place to get your schooling and be a youngster.
Its secondary schools, Parliament Hill and the William Ellis School, are both rated by Ofsted as ‘good’. Carlton Primary and Fleet Primary are also rated ‘good’, while Gospel Oak Primary and Nursery School wins the school-desirability stakes with an ‘outstanding’ rating.
There is plenty of extracurricular potential too. Kristin Baybars’s shop, with its traditional handcrafted toys, attracts both young and old, and not two minutes away is the open parkland of Parliament Hill. Popular for cityscape viewing and kite flying, with Parliament Fields and Hampstead Heath adjoining, you’ll also find an outdoor swimming pool, a popular running track, bandstands and children’s play areas.
3. …and adults, too, with a pub for every occasion
From real ale, cider and piano nights at the award-winning Southampton Arms to Sunday lunch within the wood-panelled walls of gastropub The Bull and Last (also possessed of its own awards), you’ll find your favourite.
4. It ticks the transport links box
Gospel Oak Station, on the London Overground, is in Zone 2. The nearest link to central London is Tufnell Park Station on the Northern Line.
Gospel Oak is well serviced by buses too; route 24 happens to be one of London’s oldest bus routes.
5. It’s full of award-winning estates and pretty cottages
Post-war low-rise estates were constructed here in the 60s and 70s, while some of the prettiest houses are found in Oak Village where, despite heavy bombing in World War II, most of the early Victorian cottages survived. Look for the larger terraced Victorian and Edwardian houses in the Mansfield Conservation area, the mansion flat estate of Lissenden Gardens, and the lauded (and Grade II listed) Dunboyne Road estate designed by Neave Brown in the 60s.
Are we preaching to the converted? If you’re already thinking of buying or renting in Gospel Oak, or you already own property in Gospel Oak and you’re looking to sell, get in touch with our helpful property specialists.