This small covered entrance to a small Hampstead courtyard seems to have slipped through history, leaving barely a disturbance in its wake.

It likely appeared as the area developed as a courtyard space behind the local shops, and you can see suggestive hints on some maps, although the earliest clear map that can be certain to show it dates from the 1890s. In those maps, it’s shown as a covered passage between shops leading to a small courtyard space behind.

It almost didn’t survive, though, as a bus depot just to the north was growing rapidly and swallowing up every increasing amount of land behind the shops, but what later became the Blue Star Garage for cars stopped just short of this courtyard space.

Today, there’s still a covered cobbled (setts) passageway — although the addition of the name Coach House Yard above the entrance might be recent, as it wasn’t there in 1975. The gates also seem to be a recent addition.

The passage slopes down, and do pay attention to the miniature doors on the left side at the bottom, which look delightfully Lilliputian.

Today, the yard is a mix of offices for solicitors and residential homes.

Other than the long-standing solicitors who occupy the yard, the only interesting occupant I have been able to find was a person called A Jenkinson, writing in the Holloway Press in June 1950 after being attacked by “Communist spivs” when handing out leaflets in Camden.

It turns out that A Jenkinson was a member of the Social Credit Party, a today little-remembered political party founded in 1932 and evolved into a paramilitary movement for social credit, a philosophy of issuing free money to people to spend in the economy.

The letter writer would have had to find different leaflets to hand out though, as the party closed down in 1951. Other than that little moment in political history, the courtyard and alley seem to have had an utterly uneventful life.

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