Monthly Archive: February 2015

Feb 27

The Gaumont State Cinema

Designed by George Coles and opened in 1937, the Gaumont State was one of the biggest auditoria in Europe, with seating for 4004 people. The name “State” is said to come from the 37 metre tower, inspired by the Empire State Building in New York City. It can be seen for miles around, and bears …

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Feb 24

Kensal Green

The first part of the name Kensal Green was recorded as Kingisholt, the king’s wood, in 1253, and the whole name in 1550. Kensal Green was for long a very remote area, straddling the Harrow Road. The place was depicted in 1599 as a broad green at the junction of Harrow Road with Kilburn Lane, …

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Feb 21

Frognal, NW3

A road called Frognal runs from Church Row in Hampstead downhill to Finchley Road and follows the course of a stream which goes on to form the River Westbourne. The origin of the name of Frognal, first recorded in the early 15th century, is not known. The ‘house called Frognal’, lay on the west side …

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Feb 20

Erskine House

Erskine House is situated at Heath End, next door to the Spaniards Inn. Its most famous resident was Thomas Erskine (1750-1823). In 1912, Anne Maxwell wrote the book “Hampstead, its historic houses, its literary and artistic associations”. The rest of this post is taken from the book – any reference to “now” below refers to …

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Feb 17

Conduit Fields

The Conduit Fields (or Shepherd’s Fields) surrounded the spring which flowed from a source which lies underneath what is now Fitzjohn’s Avenue. They were a gloriously rural spot in Hampstead before, as is common to the suburban story, becoming covered in roads, asphalt, houses and gardens. Anna Mazwell wrote a delightful book, published in 1912 …

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Feb 14

Use the slider!

The old maps on the mapping site can be fascinating but sometimes you want to see the modern map too. There is a slider control on the maps which let you do this – just beneath the top blue bar and to the left of the “years”, you can drag the slider to increase the …

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Feb 13

Eresby Road

This photo dates from the 1880s and shows the junction between Kilburn High Road and a road called Eresby Road. This ran from Kingsgate Road to Kilburn High Road with a turning for Kingsgate Place about halfway down. Eresby Road was laid out in 1879 – across the southern part of the Little Estate, owned …

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Feb 10

Kilburn Bridge Farm

N.B. Clicking on map markers take you to articles on the main website Watling Street has long been running through Kilburn. The road stretched in Roman times from Dover to Wroxeter in Shropshire. Kilburn was a stopping point on the way to Willesden’s ‘Black Madonna’ shrine, and in turn a destination in itself to take …

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Feb 06

The Queen’s Park Estate

The Queens Park Estate was built from 1874 by the Artisans, Labourers & General Dwellings Company. The Artizans, Labourers and General Dwellings Company was founded by the philanthropist William Austin in 1867 based on his own temperance principles. Austin came to London as a poor man, unable to read or write and working as a …

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Feb 03

The development of Kilburn

A chronological guide to the development of this part of north west London.   1134 The name Kilburn is recorder as Cuneburna, the royal or possibly cow’s stream, was applied to the priory built beside the stream and later to the whole neighbourhood on both sides of Edgware Road. Before c. 1134 there was a …

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