Saturday 24 December 2016

The Saturday list #110 - 5 interesting archetectural features in Mill Hill

Not many people think of Mill Hill as a hotbed of architectural interest. There are however some fine things to behold. Here is my top ten list

Dollis brook viaduct.JPG
Dollis Brook Viaduct
1. Dollis Brook viaduct. Carries the Northern line from Finchley Central to Mill Hill East. The highest point on the London Underground and the longest viaduct.

There are some great pictures of the viaduct on the internet. It is an awesome structure, but one we all pretty much take for granted.

2. The Mill Hill Observatory. We've waxed lyrical about this on several occasions. Opened in 1929, a source of interest and fascination to many locals. Originally built with funds provided by early cinamtographic comedian Will Hay, who was a keen amatuer astronomer. Mill Hill was chosen to be "away from Londons lights".

3. The National Institute for Medical Research. Soon to be demolished and replaced with flats. Source of many medical breakthroughs and used as a location in Batman films! The Green roof is visible from all over London.

St Josephs College
4.  St Josephs College. Now a "luxury housing complex". It was a Roman Catholic Missionary Training college for 150 years, was a film set for Call The Midwife and other films, fell derelict and now is a pad for the rich.

For many in Mill Hill it is a much loved landmark. The statue of St Joe on top of the tower was illuminated for the millenium. Sadly the drop off in numbers of people training for the priesthood required a new use. The brothers moved out and rich swaankers moved in!

Image result for Mill Hill broadway bus station

5. Mill Hill Broadway Bus Station. Not entirely sure how many bus stations in London are in viaducts under motorways. I've always been fascinated by the M1 viaduact. A proper brutalist concrete structure. Many want to see it "greened" or disguised. I prefer it standing bold as a tribute to 1960's planning. I think it is a great reuse of space.

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