This guide to the streets and notable areas of Brent has been derived from the Conservation Area guides issued by the borough in the early 21st century.
In 1837 the London & Birmingham Railway was built through East Twyford, destroying some cottages. A former beerhouse where Acton Lane crossed the canal became the ‘Grand Junction and Railway Inn’ (today the ‘Grand Junction Arms’) in 1861. Thereafter Twyford began to grow, mainly because of the influence of nearby Willesden Junction station, opened in 1866.
Many local buildings fell into poor condition. Most were in multiple occupation and by the 1930s many were considered obsolete. A number of sites around Alpha Place North, West and Alpha Mews were obtained under a Compulsory Purchase Order in 1934. In addition to this a number of sites were cleared following war damage including sites in Chichester Road and Canterbury Terrace with blocks of flats erected in their place. In 1956 the area was formally proposed for comprehensive redevelopment to address the remaining buildings and provide more modern accommodation and space for the residents.
ASH TREE DELL (Area developed in the period 1929-1937)
Ernest Trobridge’s development of flats began on the southern slopes of Wakeman’s Hill, as at Ash Tree Dell in 1933, and moved towards the hilltop where Rochester Court was finished in 1937. Much of Ash Tree Dell incorporates tall brick chimneys, Tudor style timber-work, rendering and tooth-edged brickwork. There is also some stained gloss work and tile hanging at first floor level but here he introduces in a decorative pattern brick edging and tile creasing around the round-headed entrance ways – a feature which he used to notable effect at Upminster House in Buck Lane.
Preston was small and Uxendon was only a single farm, but both settlements were initially more important than Wembley. This was probably no longer the case by 1547, but despite being overtaken by its neighbour Preston grew during the following centuries. By 1681 five buildings had been built on Preston Green, including a new farmhouse, Hillside Farm. In 1759 there were nine buildings at Preston, including the ‘Horseshoe’ inn, which was licensed in 1751.
By 1732 a new farm, Barn Hill Farm, existed on the summit of Barn Hill. It was no longer there by 1850 and had probably gone by the late 18th century, when Richard Page began building a folly on Barn Hill as part of his improvements at Wembley Park. The folly was still standing in 1820. Early in the 19th century Preston House was built on Preston Hill, near four cottages recorded there in 1817. By 1820 the green at Preston had shrunk and the brook was crossed by both a ford and a footbridge.
The district did not change significantly in the 19th century. This was due to an agricultural depression after the Napoleonic Wars and London’s growing need for hay; both Uxendon and Forty farms had converted to hay farming by 1852. The depression also led to an outbreak of violence in the area around 1828, when desperate agricultural labourers burnt haystacks and threatened local landowners, including the relatively benevolent Lord Northwick.
64 people lived in Preston in 1831 and 57 in 1851. In the same year Uxendon Farm housed 13 people and Forty Farm 10, while three more lived at the top of 302-foot high Barn Hill.
The contours of Barn Hill are reflected in the layout of the Barn Hill Estate which is an important part of the area’s character. Between Corringham Road and Barn Hill, which run north up the slope, are lateral east-west roads that broadly follow the line of the contours. The Hill comes to a crest at about Midholm before rising again in Barn Hill open space. The progression of the Conservation Area to West Hill takes in the tree belts of Brampton Grove and Basing Hill that are survivors of the original eighteenth century landscaping.
Post-war: Beverley Gardens, Basing Hill, Brampton Grove, Charlton Road
BARN RISE (1926)
The celebrated landscape designer, Humphry Repton, remodelled the landscape of the Barn Hill area in 1793 and his landscape survived as a private estate for almost a century. At the beginning of the 20th century it was turned into a golf course and then developed for housing from 1926, following the British Empire Exhibition held at Wembley Park in 1924-1925.
In the early 20th century Stonebridge became increasingly industrial, and consequently increasingly working-class in character. Willesden’s sewage farm operated there from 1886 until 1911. In 1902 McVitie’s opened a biscuit factory nearby and by 1914 there was a brick works next to the railway. By the 1920s industry had established itself along the railways and at Barry Road. In 1899 an attempt to build houses near the sewage farm failed, but after the First World War St. Raphael’s council estate was built west of the River Brent in this locality, and the North Circular Road was built.
By 1929 the streets that had been built to serve the Stonebridge Park estate had become independent of it and had developed their own character. Barry Road was an upper working-class community consisting of men in regular employment. The “notorious” Brett Road was very different, and considered by many to be a slum. People there were poorer and lacked the pride and education of those in more skilled occupations. Many of the men were periodically unemployed. Their wives worked in the numerous local laundries.
The Buck Lane Conservation Area was originally designated in February 1979 as a result of heightened awareness of the work of the designer, Ernest Trobridge brought on by John Betjeman’s programmes on Metroland, research into Trobridge’s life and times and studies undertaken by the then Oxford Polytechnic.
Buck Lane Conservation Area is an infill residential estate, which is part of suburban Kingsbury. It formed part of the development of agricultural land whose field boundaries determined its layout and extent. What sets it apart and makes it “special” is the distinctive and singular character of Trobridge’s buildings, their inter-relationship and setting. buildings and open space. The area was developed in the period 1929-1937.
Upminster Court is a two storey block of flats with brick chimneys and a tiled pitched roof. The ground floor is brick faced and the first floor is rendered. Between the two a wavy line of vertical tile creasing caps the ground floor windows and doors and expands over the first floor rendering to take on a castellated appearance in brickwork. incorporating the first floor windows over the entrance ways. A turreted southern elevation to the building with twisted Tudor style chimneys heralds Tudor Court in Highfield Avenue.
The North Kilburn Conservation Area was built as part of the Waterloo Estate between 1886 and 1896.
The improvements in public transport in Kilburn leading up to the opening of the Metropolitan Railway to Kilburn Station in 1879 brought pressure to bear on the adjoining fields. Some redevelopment commenced in Dyne Road by Scott and Jolley in the early 1880s but the principal redevelopment of the Waterloo Estate (named after ten semi-detached houses called “Waterloo”) can be dated between 1886 and 1896. The architect William J Watts was working for several landowners/builders – George German in Buckley and Streatley Roads, for Frank King Cochram in Streatley and Callcott Roads and for H Ball in Streatley Road, all in 1888. Later, George German employed the architect Thomas S Stephens of Stoke Newington for houses in Plympton and Callcott Roads between 1890 and 1892. Later still in 1895 to 1896 completing the development of Dyne Road.
Buckley Road, Burton Road, Callcott Road, Clarence Road, Dunster Gardens, Plympton Avenue, Plympton Road, Streatley Road, Torbay Road, Willesden Lane
By 1851 most of the frontage of Edgware Road was built up. In the 1850s large middle class houses began to be built in south Kilburn (Kilburn Park). This scheme was not a success and Kilburn Park became a poor area, but from 1857 the builder James Bailey nonetheless began a development nearby. From 1861-7 Bailey built a series of roads and houses around a triangular space called Cambridge Gardens, an attractive estate that never met with the success it deserved. From 1866 estates east of Edgware Road began to be developed. The roads were named after places in Kent near the landowner’s family seat, Quex Park.
A railway station was established on the main line from Euston in 1851. The development of the adjoining Manor of Belsize and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners‟ estate in Kilburn Park, as well as the opening of Brondesbury station on the North London in 1860 all brought more people to the area. The south side of the Cavendish Road backs onto the North London Railway and it was here that some of the earliest suburban development in North Kilburn commenced, the highly attractive two storey villas with basements in Cavendish Road being completed for the most part before the Councils records began in 1875.
Neasden Village Conservation Area is residential area planned in a linear fashion. The network of roads all branch off Chesham Street making it a very well planned residential area. The layout has focused on creating different characters and vistas along the streets which it has done successfully. There is no real defining feature here but that is partly due to the good condition and consistency of the area. Neasden Village as a whole represents a traditional area characterised by various views of Victorian, Edwardian workers cottages and late 20th century villa-like homes.
CHURCH WALK, KINGSBURY
Old Church Lane is made up of semi-detached and detached two storey houses. The principal design is mock-Tudor with pegged timber beams at first floor level, leaded light windows and red tiled roofs. The infill panels between the timbers are either rendered (some with pargeting) or are of attractive patterned brick and tile. Old Church Lane which retains something of its former rural appearance is linked to Birchen Grove by a footpath – Church Walk – which was constructed along a former right of way to provide access to an estate of flats – Old St. Andrew’s Mansions – developed by Ernest George Trobridge between 1934 and 1936. The flats are two storeys and are built of brick and rendering with gabled roofs and tall impressive chimney stacks. Trobridge’s architectural style already the subject of Conservation Area status elsewhere is notable here for the exquisite quality of the arched brick entrances and end wall details. On the gable end of No.8 Old St. Andrews Mansions “the chimney climbs lazily skyward having meandered across the walls; the weight of the roof is carried at the eaves by differently sized stacks of tile which bear onto corner windows”. Care and prestige is implied by the craftsmanship of the bricklayer.
CORRINGHAM ROAD (1926)
There are historic references to the Barn Hill area from as early as 1547 at which time the area was known as Bardon hill. It is though that there may have been earlier settlement but as yet no evidence for this has come to light. However, the most significant period for the area is the late eighteenth century when the area formed part of the Uxendon estate owned by the Page family infamous in the 16th century for the Babington conspiracy against Queen Elizabeth. . The family engaged Humphry Repton, a celebrated landscape designer of the time, to remodel the landscape of the Barn Hill area as part of a newly formed “Wembly Park”.
As part of this re-modelling, Repton built follies including temples and, on the top of Barn Hill what was referred to in an 1820s guide as a “prospect tower”. Before the area was finally purchased for housing development in the 1920s, the hill had been part of a golf course. The Barn Hill estate was acquired for development in 1923 by Messer’s Haymills who may have been speculating on the potential from the British Empire Exhibition of 1924-25. The first phase of Barn Hill’s development occurred in 1926-1929 when Corringham Road and Barn Rise were laid out.
There had been police at Stonebridge since 1839, presumably to prevent highway robberies. A police station was built in 1851, along with eight houses.
By 1855, when the Harrow Road was straightened out to create the Craven Park triangle, a shop and a beer retailer are recorded. Stonebridge was however still a rural place, though it now began to change.
THE CROWN, CRICKLEWOOD
The ‘Crown’, which is first recorded in 1751, was “an ivy clad house with pretty tea-gardens and a skittle alley.” Rather less idyllically, bare-knuckle prize fights took place in nearby fields.
The ‘Crown’ was rebuilt in 1889.
Irish men tended to work in construction, rebuilding blitzed properties and redeveloping slums. A virtual labour exchange operated outside the ‘Crown’ in the early morning, with rows of lorries waiting to transport hundreds of labourers as far afield as Oxford. Similar scenes can be seen in the early morning today, though many of the men are no longer Irish.
Later there was also immigration from the West Indies and the Indian subcontinent, though Cricklewood’s first recorded black resident was in fact the potman at the ‘Crown’ in the 1830s.
When the First World War ended much of the Park Royal site became derelict. Some of the wartime industry was however adapted for civilian use. Cumberland Avenue had not existed before the war. By 1919 several large engineering factories were located here. There were 40 businesses on the Park Royal estate in 1920.
In the inter-war years Harlesden became an entirely working class area and in 1936-7 Willesden Council built their largest housing estate, Curzon Crescent, between Harlesden and Church End.
In 1879 the United Land Company bought land by the canal in East Twyford and built a little triangular complex of terraces (Disraeli and Steele roads). The Good Shepherd Mission Church opened in Disraeli Road in 1890. Lower Place School followed in 1915 and shortly afterwards a children’s home was built near Steele Road.
EALING ROAD, ALPERTON
In the 1970s Ealing Road was an unimportant ‘secondary parade’ facing possible demolition. Then East African Asians, mainly Gujaratis, opened shops along Ealing Road. Some sold sarees, tropical vegetables or sweets, but many set up jewellery shops and began crafting 22-carat gold, sometimes in their own homes.
The area became an Asian Hatton Garden. Not only have these changes kept the shopping parade alive, but the presence of open-fronted food shops means that Ealing Road feels more like a pre-war shopping street than do many suburban parades.
Uxendon, first recorded in a transaction concerning Hugh of “Woxindon” in 1257, was a small settlement on the east bank of a brook and the western slopes of Barn Hill. The first part of the name is the same as that in the name Uxbridge and stems either from the Wixan, a 7th century Anglo-Saxon tribe, or from the Celtic for ‘water’. The second part is the Old English for hill. Medieval Uxendon was very small, but in the 14th or 15th centuries some local people, including the Uxendon family, moved south to form another small community at Forty Green, where the Sudbury to Kingsbury road crossed the Lidding at Forty Bridge. This settlement was known as Uxendon Forty, Wembley Forty or Preston Forty. The farm at Forty Green was at first called Pargrave’s, and later South Forty Farm.
The construction of the Metropolitan Railway in 1880 effectively destroyed Forty Green, although South Forty Farm continued into the 20th century. In 1928 the farm became the headquarters of the Century Sports Ground. The celebrated gunsmiths Holland & Holland had a shooting ground nearby. As Forty Farm Sports Ground the site of the farm remains green to this day. The Holland & Holland grounds, however, were built over after 1931.
GREEN MAN, WEMBLEY
The earliest references to a village of Wembley imply a settlement on the hill. Although the spelling of the hamlet varied somewhat (Wymbley in 1247 and Wembley in 1547) the village lay on the north side of a large triangular green which separated it from the main road to London. On the summit of the hill, which rises to 234 ft, stood (and still stands) the Green Man Inn. The original building on the site was a late mediaeval timber-framed house, modernised in the eighteenth century and in use as a public house by 1722. In 1751 it was know as the “Barley Mow” and in 1774 as the “Red Lion”. It has been the “Green Man” since 1785. The timber-framed pub was destroyed by fire in 1906 and replaced by the present Edwardian building. Below the public house comprising the rest of the village lay a dozen or more cottages in the nineteenth century. Some of these were of brick and some were weatherboarded. A blacksmith’s shop had been established at the beginning of the High Street in the eighteenth century and the narrow cul-de-sac led past the cottages to the “Greyhound” beershop, pulled down in 1929 and the site redeveloped.
At the end of the nineteenth century the landlord of the Green Man was Baptiste Biffa, an Italian restaurateur and building contractor. He also owned much of Wembley village and took the opportunity probably in the 1880s to demolish and rebuild the cottages in the High Street on their original sites in stock brick with slate roofs.
Even as rebuilt structures the present High Street cottages represent the original village layout of Wembley. Their architectural appearance is modest and domestic but varied in style, employing a range of window designs. Alterations to their appearance in recent years have not detracted from their overall quaint character. A narrow pathway connects the High Street to the grounds of the public house.
GRESHAM ROAD (1893)
In the extreme southwest of Neaden development did not really begin until the turn of the century. The area was so isolated that a sewage farm opened here in 1886, followed by a fever hospital in 1894. In 1893 the Great Central Railway got permission to join up its main line from Nottingham with the Metropolitan. Trains ran on or alongside the Metropolitan track to a terminus at Marylebone.
The Great Central set up a depot south of the line at Neasden and built houses for its workers (Gresham and Woodheyes roads).
By 1876 one writer claimed that Harlesden had been “utterly spoiled.” This was not then true, but in the following decades farmland was sold off to developers. Some developers built quality housing intended for commuters, others built terraced cottages. In Harley Road the L&NWR built houses for its own workforce.
The Harrow Road was turnpiked in 1801. By 1826 there were two coaches a day. In 1836-7 the London & Birmingham (later London & North Western) Railway built a line through Wembley.
In 1846 two local philanthropists, the Misses Copland, paid for the Church of St. John the Evangelist, built north of Harrow Road and west of the railway. It was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott.
It made Wembley a separate parish from Harrow. Like the station it was however initially seen as being in Sudbury rather than Wembley. In 1848 the ladies funded a school next to St. John’s and in 1859 they paid for an extension to the church. Then in 1869 they built the Workmen’s Hall in Harrow Road, intended to promote self-improvement, temperance and industry. Nearby stood Wembley’s first ‘hospital’ (1871), again funded by the Misses Copland.
The Buck Lane estate was developed on virgin agricultural land accessed from two medieval lanes – Buck Lane and Hay Lane – whose names reflect hunting in the area which continued to the end of the 19th century and the 14th century land ownership by the De la Haye family. The character of the area benefits from its hill top location which, at 92 metres above sea level, is the highest point in the Borough of Brent. The hill name – Wakemans Hill – suggests an early lookout or signalling station of some long forgotten time or event. The hill was originally gravel topped but the gravel was excavated in the 1920s for road construction. The land form falls steeply to the west, south and east, originally to the medieval field systems that lay to the rear of the medieval villages of Roe Green and The Hyde.
HAYLAND CLOSE (Area developed in the period 1929-1937)
By 1911, the expanding suburbs of N.W. London had attracted the Belfast-born architect – Ernest George Trobridge (1884-1942) – to the edge of London’s countryside at Golders Green where he set up practice as an estate agent, surveyor and architect. Shortage of funds in his own pocket and from Building Societies led him to promote property development along co-partnership lines. By this means friends, relatives and prospective clients invested in land acquisition and building construction or in property acquisition and management. In September 1915 he moved out of Golders Green for a less expensive rented property in Hay Lane, Kingsbury to escape the bombing raids.
Trobridge, whose ideas were influenced by the Swedenborg Church, left Hay Lane in 1922 and came to live at “Hayland” in Kingsbury Road, a house, now listed, which he had originally built for his father-in-law and where he remained until his death.
HIGHFIELD AVENUE (Area developed in the period 1929-1937)
(Originally Highfield Gardens)
With the resumption of building construction after 1918, architect Ernest Trobridge was ready to meet the pent-up demand having formulated plans for cheap and rapid house construction in the revival of “ancient methods” in timber framing and cladding – a form which he considered would last long and materials which he thought would be readily available. Trobridge patented his “Compressed Green Wood Construction” and in 1920 the Ministry of Labour agreed a scheme of employment of disabled ex-servicemen. With the prospect of Government building grants Trobridge purchased ten acres of land at Slough Lane, Kingsbury and erected a large mill. However, in December 1920 the House of Lords threw out the Housing Subsidy Bill, several clients withdrew from the scheme and he was left bankrupt.
By mid-1921 however, his fortunes had revived and purchasers were to hand for his Ferndene Estate at Slough Lane and the Elmwood estate in Stag Lane. By the end of September 1922 twenty houses had been completed in the area. Each house was built for a specific customer and to aid development he established co-partnership schemes. In l925/26, a local developer, Harry J. Aldous, acquired the Colin Park estate which lay between Colindeep Lane and the Edgware Road and the fields opposite which extended over Wakeman’s Hill. The latter he developed as the Summit Estate. The Co-partnership scheme established for the development of the Summit estate (Buck Lane) from about 1929 was the Kingsbury Cross Co-Partnership and most of that estate is now included in the Buck Lane Conservation Area. The “cross” related to the cross roads on the hill top proposed for a shopping centre in the Kingsbury Town Planning scheme.
In 1932 the then Metropolitan line was opened through Kingsbury to Stanmore. The publication of the plans and the opening of the station, coupled with the improvements to the road network laid out for the British Empire Exhibition back in 1924/25 and the creeping tide of housing estates along Church Lane encouraged and facilitated the development of the area.
In 1949 Stonebridge’s population was 17,641. The road system was inadequate, many houses were overcrowded and some were derelict. The council devised a plan to redevelop some 98 acres of Stonebridge by demolishing the old houses and building 2,169 high-rise dwellings. The shopping centre on Hillside vanished and whole streets were wiped off the map. The first high-rise blocks opened in 1967. By 1978 there were many more, together with a small modern shopping precinct.
Stonebridge had been heralded as “one of the most up-to-date estates in London and an area to be proud of.” Yet already in 1977 the estate was notorious for broken lifts and even before it was finished the residents of the “space-age project” were threatening a rent strike. It soon became clear that the design of the estate did not meet the needs of its residents. For years the people of the estate, many of whom were black and all of whom were poor, felt that the council was neglecting them. Attempts to improve the estate were finally made in the early 1990s. In 1994 the estate was taken over by Stonebridge Housing Action Trust, which has improved the quality of life in the area.
In the late 1920s Neasdens suburban expansion encroached along Dollis Hill Lane posing a threat to the once famous Neasden Golf Club. As part of this housing pressure, the proposals for a cluster of twenty houses by William E. Sanders were granted bye-law permission in 1926. The estate known as Homestead Park represents an out-of-the-ordinary development in suburban housing and forms an enclave of distinctive character.
The estate was formed due to the encroachment of suburban housing onto what was formally open land of amenity value, and the once famous Neasden Golf Club. In context, east of the plot lay Dollis Hill Farm, to the south lay Gladstone Park which had been officially opened in May 1901, with the golf course located north of the plot. Neasden Green lay to the west, at the junction of Dudden Hill Lane and Neasden Lane, incorporating a number of large houses and estates.
The layout may have been influenced by the larger housing in Neasden Green as well as the character of Dollis Hill Farm. The name Homestead Park has farm/cottage connotations especially using hedgerows to form common boundary lines between dwellings.
In the second half of the 19th century house building expanded northward from Kilburn. The Brondesbury Estate was developed in stages from the Edgware Road. There were four distinct periods of development – between 1850-1865; 1865-1875; 1875-1889; and 1890-1899. Honiton Road and Lynton Road were built wholly within the last phase in 1894-1895.
The ‘Red Lion’ and ‘Cock’ inns may have been founded in the 15th century. The ‘Bell’ existed by 1600. The ‘Black Lion’ may date from 1666. By 1677 several houses had been built along Edgware Road. Road conditions were so bad that a turnpike trust was set up in 1710. The gate was situated near the ‘Queen’s Arms’, Maida Vale, at the entrance to Willesden parish. In 1864 it was moved to the end of Willesden Lane and later to the top of Shoot Up Hill, before being demolished in 1872.
Kilburn Wells water was still being sold in 1841, but by 1814 the wells were in decline, although the ‘Bell’, now called ‘Kilburn Wells’, remained popular as a tea garden. The pub was demolished and rebuilt in 1863.
The New Empire music hall opened in 1909, by which time cinemas had also appeared in the suburb. Foyle’ s bookshop began life in Kilburn, moving to its present premises on Charing Cross Road in 1926. Celebrities such as the cat caricaturist Louis Wain and the Zionist writer Israel Zangwill lived in the area, but Kilburn was never as arty as Hampstead.
After the war the Greater London Plan called for the reduction of industry in Kilburn, much of which was in obsolete premises, and the replacement of overcrowded slums with flats. This started in 1951 in Kilburn Vale and 1954 in south Kilburn, where the average population density was 10 people to a house and where some houses were actually falling down. Flats were also built at Shoot Up Hill. Many of the building labourers engaged on these schemes were Irish. Despite earlier Irish immigration it was now, partly because of the large number of furnished rooms available for rent, that the suburb truly became ‘County Kilburn’.
KILBURN HIGH ROAD
Kilburn High Road is the only London street to have given its name to a rock band (Ian Dury’s Kilburn & the High Roads), and it is fitting therefore that there should be something of an effort to turn Kilburn into ‘Music Mile’, London’s Greenwich Village. Although unemployment in south Kilburn stood at 20% in 1988, this policy seems to have met with rather more success than regeneration schemes elsewhere. Helped by the presence of the Tricycle Theatre Company at Foresters’ Hall from the late 1970s, the Kilburn Festival from 1982, 1980s ‘gentrification’ as West Hampstead became unaffordable and a strong cultural mix, Kilburn today perhaps deserves the reputation for artistic Bohemianism that it never quite lived up to in the past.
There were six inns in Kingsbury in 1751. The ‘Plough’ at Kingsbury Green is first mentioned in 1748. Three inns, the ‘Black Horse’ and two establishments called the ‘Chequers’ had disappeared without a trace by 1803. Of the two inns called the ‘King’s Arms’ at the Hyde the name of one survives, but the other, to its south, has gone. The ‘Red Lion’ existed before 1826, and by 1851 a beershop called the ‘Green Man’ had appeared at Pipers Green, along with another two premises at the Hyde.
KINGSBURY PARK ESTATE
The mock Tudor Kingsbury Park Estate of two-storey purpose built flats, by the architect Samuel A.S. Yeo, similarly benefits from its setting and layout. In this case, with its construction in 1937, the impact of St Andrew’s church was no accident and the architect established an intricate layout to maximise the benefit of this landmark. The Kingsbury Park Estate was developed for the Neasden Park Building Company under the Town and Country Planning Act 1932 under the draft Kingsbury Town Planning Scheme and Wembley U.D.C. bye laws. It is a fine example of a planned estate notable for its layout and amenity areas.
Kingsbury Park Estate comprising Leith Close, St Andrews Road and Wells Drive is made up of two storey mock-Tudor purpose built flats designed by architect Samuel A.S. Yeo. These flats appear as semi-detached houses with two separate entrances (either at the front, or with one at the side). Most of the properties have brickwork at ground floor with “black and white” timber beams with rendered infill panels at first floor. Small Oriel windows are present at the first floor of many of the properties. The vast majority of properties have two storey bays with leaded windows. The estate is laid out on three cul-de-sacs with a generous amount of planting.
Many of the road names in the north of the area recall former wardens of All Souls College, Oxford, who were once the local landowners. These names include Robert Hovenden, Sir William Anson (d.1914) and Roger Keyes (d. 1477). Chichele Road was named after Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury and co-founder of All Souls College. The majority of the roads on land once owned by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners are named after Devonshire towns. The first step in development appears to have occurred in the mid-1870s at the junction of Exeter Road and Dartmouth Road but properties on the east side of Exeter Road did not appear until 1881 – 1885. Even so, the development of the surrounding area did not begin in earnest until ten years later. The majority of the building construction within the Conservation Area was undertaken by a dozen firms between 1895 and 1905, including Callow and Wright, Charles Cheshir and John Neal and Company. The Development of the area continued until 1920, with the majority of the later properties (1905 – 1920) being to the designs of C.W.B. Simmonds and G A. C. Bridge. Today, the estate comprises 706 residential buildings, doctors’ surgery, a former synagogue, a club, a bar, a church hall and The Statutorily listed church of St Gabriel’s.
Mapesbury Road was named after the local manorial estate centred on Mapes House .
The altogether grander, large, gothic style housing in Mapesbury Road shows the changing taste of the time away from the earliest influence of Victorian Italianate to a more severe but nevertheless acceptable style. The last houses in Mapesbury Road at the junction with Chatsworth Road were added by Callow and Wright (who built the Wembley Hill Garden Suburb) in 1899.
In the 1880s and 1890s houses were built west of Stonebridge Park in Melville, Brett and Barry roads. These were intended as terraces and shops for tradespeople serving Stonebridge Park. Hillside, that part of Harrow Road that descended towards the bridge, became a thriving shopping centre, as it was to remain until the late 1950s. The church of St. Michael and All Angels was built in 1891 and became the centre of a parish a year later. After 1901 there was little building, but the larger houses were divided into flats or bedsits. This process was largely complete by 1911 and the population did not grow thereafter.
The railway’s arrival at Willesden Junction had an effect on development. The United Land Company bought land at Chapel End in 1869. This became the Meyrick Road estate in the 1870s.
Willesden Junction became an important railway centre with extensive yards and sidings between l873 and 1894. People came to find work and with them came the building prospectors. The green fields of Harlesden and the neighbourhood soon became the haunt of builders, with housing in Minet Avenue, Acton Lane, Bramshill and Nightingale Roads appearing in the mid-1890s and early 1890s.
MOUNT STEWART AVENUE
The farmlands bounded by Woodcock Hill and Preston Hill formed part of the Lyon Farm estate centred on John Lyon Farm in Preston Hill. Since the beginning of the 17th Century the income from the farmlands had assisted in maintaining Harrow School which John Lyon had founded in 1572. The farmhouse on Preston Hill was rebuilt in 1708-09 and survived until 1960. It was therefore the Harrow School authorities who, realising the value of their estate in the housing boom of the 1920/30s, sold off land for development by F & C Costin and the roads on the estate were named after prominent Harrovians including Lord Mount Stuart (1744-1814) eldest son of the third Earl of Bute, the Prime Minister, and the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury probably better remembered today.
Trevelyan Crescent and Carlisle Gardens date from the same time.
No.s 21 and 32 Cavendish Road are related more to the expansion of development into Mowbray Road where the grand Victorian Villas east of Christchurch Avenue to the south and westward extension of Mowbray were built in the main by William Hancock between 1883 and 1886.
NORTHWICK CIRCLE (1923)
Kenton and its immediate surroundings lay in the Manor of Harrow held for many years by the Lords Northwick until the death of the 3rd Lord in 1887. His widow survived until 1912 and her son-in-law, the fifth son of the sixth Duke of Marlborough died in 1911. So it was her grandson, Captain Edward George Spencer-Churchill (1876-1964), a first cousin of Sir Winston, who became Lord of Harrow Manor in 1912. Unfortunately, at the time of his investiture he was left with two sets of death duties to pay.
Perhaps with this financial commitment in mind and the 1912 opening of Kenton railway Station, Spencer Churchill proposed a development of relatively expensive houses around the established Northwick Park Tennis and Social Club. The club had been established in five-acres of grounds and operated as a sports and social centre until 1953.
The First World War not only delayed construction work but also changed the expected clientele. The early 1920s saw the rise of middle class families seeking homes of their own in attractive semi rural surroundings. Captain Spencer Churchill saw the opportunity to satisfy the aspirations of the rising middle class and saw this part of Kenton as a chance to pay some of his crippling bills.
The contractor R.H. Powis laid out the streets in 1923, the same year that the Northwick Park Station was opened on the Metropolitan Railway. Initially the construction of the estate was divided between a number of builders including Messrs Cramb Bros. of Finchley. The Cramb brothers started by laying out building the houses on what is now Wellacre Road between 1923-25. At the same time construction started on Northwick Circle and by the end of 1925 work to Briar, Greystone and Lapstone Roads was well advanced. However, because of their superior designs and workmanship Costins became the sole developers of the Northwick Park Estate. Using a various versions of a basic plan form and elevational theme Costins began to in fill Spencer-Churchill’s estate layout. The road names of the relatively broad leafy streets – Lapstone, Upton, Wellacre etc. – were taken from villages close to Spencer Churchill’s country seats at Northwick Park, Blockley, and Gloucester.
Street names (1923) are Ashridge Close, Briar Road, Dovedale Avenue, Draycott Avenue, Draycott Close, Greystone Gardens, Lapstone Gardens, Mentmore Close, Norcombe Gardens, Northwick Circle, Upton Gardens, Wellacre Road, Winchfield Close, Woodcock Hill.
A second set of designs approved by Wembley Urban District Council in 1927 enabled Costins building programme to extend on from 1928 into 1930 and were still completing houses up until 1932. In Costins brochures for the estate, they refer to the construction of detached mock Tudor houses.
OLD CHURCH LANE
The Conservation Area is centred on the historic core of the original village of Kingsbury. The only survivors of the medieval village are the alignment and character of Old Church Lane itself and the Old Church of St Andrew with its surrounding ditch and embankment.
Old Church Lane is made up of semi-detached and detached two storey houses mostly developed between 1923 and 1929 as the Blackbird Farm Estate, Kingsbury Hill by the Mapesbury, Cricklewood builder, C.W.B. Simmonds. The north-east leg of Old Church Lane from its junction with Church Walk forms the southern boundary with hedges and trees of the old church of St Andrew.
The Conservation Area takes in the old church and the medieval embankment and ditch around it and the churchyard extension of 1901. The church, listed Grade 1, is probably the oldest building in the Borough being erected about 1200. The structure incorporates Roman building material which can also be found scattered about the churchyard indicating an earlier occupation of the site. This was the centre of Kingsbury at the time of the Doomsday Book (1086) and the remnants of a medieval ditch and embankment still survive. To the north of the site lies the “new” church of St Andrew re-built here in 1933-1934 to designs by W.A. Forsyth who designed and simultaneously built the adjoining vicarage. The church which is listed Grade II* was originally built near Oxford Circus in 1844 – 47 to designs by S. W. Daukes. The interior is a fine example of Victorian Architecture, incorporating the work of notable architects of the time including Street, Pearson and Butterfield. The decorative freestone dressed exterior with its three-storey tower and spire is a dominant feature of the local street scenes.
PEAR CLOSE (Area developed in the period 1929-1937)
The Buck Lane Conservation Area includes parts of seven roads in the north-east corner of Fryent ward in the London Borough of Brent. The area straddles Buck Lane, including culs-de-sac to the rear. The Conservation Area sits within the large suburban dormitory of northwest London and is surrounded by less flamboyant suburban developments of the late 1920s through to the mid 1930s.
By 1900 Uxendon Farm had become a shooting ground (the Lancaster Shooting Club). When the Olympic Games were held in London in 1908 the ground was sufficiently important to be used for Olympic clay pigeon shooting. Pressure from the shooting club, which was a two mile walk from the nearest station, played a part in the opening of Preston Road Halt in May 1908.
The station was a halt (a request stop) and initially many trains failed to slow down enough to enable the driver to notice passengers waiting on the platform. Preston Road Halt triggered the first commuter development in the district. Some large Edwardian houses were built along Preston Road after 1910 and Harrow Golf Club opened near the station in 1912. Wembley Golf Club had already existed on the southern slopes of Barn Hill from about 1895. Both these golf courses would disappear under housing between the wars.
Further development in Preston came after the 1924-5 British Empire Exhibition. Roads in the area were prone to flooding, and the Exhibition led to significant and much needed improvements.
Many of the country lanes in the area were however not improved until 1931-2, under Wembley’s Town Planning Scheme. Preston Road indeed remained a country lane until the late 1930s, which may account for its considerable charm.
PRINCE OF WALES PUB, PADDINGTON CEMETARY
At the entrance to the cemetery is the Prince of Wales public house. It was built in 1899-1900 to designs by Lewcock and Callcott and has an imposing frontage and good interior. It is a locally listed building. The building is fronted with red brick with stock bricks used to the rear. At the top of the building there are decorative gables.
Neasden Village comprises of three stages of development: a Victorian Estate of 1882, an Edwardian Estate of 1904-1905 and semi-detatched properties of 1925-1926.
The metropolitan Railway was extended from Willesden Green to Harrow in August 1880 for which a station, originally „Kingsbury and Neasden‟, was built in Neasden Lane. Hitherto, the Metropolitan Railway‟s engine shed and works had been at the Edgware Road. Consequently, a 290 acre site was purchased adjoining the railway north of the station and construction of the engine works was undertaken in 1881-82. To provide accomoation for its employees at the works the Railway Company built in 1882 a staff colony known as Neasden Village between Kingsbury Road (now Neasden Lane North) and the railway works. There was a works entrance at the end of Quainton Street and ten shops were built in Kingsbury Road. By 1883 a housing estate of brick terraced houses had been built, accommodating 500 people. The roads originally named A and B Streets were later renamed after stations further out on the railway line.
A coal gas plant was built at the end of Quainton Street by the River Brent in 1893 and survived until 1902 when the site was chosen as a power station built 1902-04 for the electrification of the line. To house the workers 40 additional cottages comprising Aylesbury Street and four properties in Neasden Lane were added to the village in 1904-5, constructed by the builders Bott and Stennett to plans by E P Seaton.
The village community was extended further after the war. In 1919 the Metropolitan Railway Board Metropoltan Country Estates Ltd to develop surplus railway land and 40 acres adjoining the village outside the conservation area where sold to the company. This estate was called Kingsbury Garden Village and was the nearest of their estates to London. It was the only one catering for low incomes and about 40 houses were ready in the early part of 1921. These properties are not considered to posses special interest and lie outside the Conservation Area. The conservation Area however includes an infilling of the original village which was enlarged when Chesham Street was laid out parallel to the Works and the three existing streets extended to meet it. 130 Workmen‟s Cottages were built here with a Government subsidy in 1925-26 to designs by Charles W Clark ARIBA on Hamish Cross concrete post and panel system which had been approved by the Ministry of Health. Hamish Cross was the Managing Director of the Abdon Clee Stone Quarry Co of Bridgenorth, Shropshire who built the houses.
The Queens Park Conservation Area was laid out and built upon the site of the 1879 Royal Agricultural Show. At the time, this part of the Borough was semi rural and offered the then owner of the land, the Church Commissioners, an attractive landscape on which to develop the estate. Although the focal element of the estate is Queens Park itself, the 30 Acre open area was only incorporated into the estates layout after a concerted campaign by the North West London Parks League the park was eventually opened by the City of London in 1877. The houses were erected over a number of years starting with the north side of Harvist road of which the majority were completed by 1899. The West side of Chevening road was also under construction by 1899 and the houses to the design of G A Sexton were being constructed by local builders Bennet and Gimbrett. Although local builders produced many of the houses at Queens Park, many other builders contributed to the estate which helped to generate the varied architectural character around the area that is now Kempe, Keslake and Chamberlayne roads.
The houses in the Queens Park Conservation Area are substantial well designed late Victorian and Edwardian Houses (1895 -1905) with extremely well designed and executed construction detailing although they are set out in regular street pattern the quality of the designs adds to rather detracting from the local character Indeed the Park also benefits from the framing function of the architecture to all its principal boundaries. The quality of the designs if defined by the nature of the natural materials employed for the elevations and roofing. The quality of composition and detailing means that modest terraced house has features and elements that set it apart from its contemporaries in the boarder London context and indeed locally.
Chevening Road is characterised by relatively large red brick two storey semi-detached houses; set back from the pavement with a generous forecourt of about 8m. The plan forms are predominantly rectangular with a projecting bay of hexagonal plan form with four sides of the bay projecting into the side entry and the front plot. There are a number of detailed designs but most have elevations that are articulated with extensive moulded rubbed brick detailing including string courses at storey heights and to provide a cornice to the rubbed brick voussoir window heads. The key stone again of rubbed brick project forward and up through the cornice string. The front elevation is split into four bays including three sides of the hexagonal bay and each bay is defined by an attached pilaster either side of the “one over one under” vertical sash windows. All the windows are identical and have a floating frieze pane in the upper sash connected to the sash jambs via glazing bars at mid point of the pane. The front door is protected by a decorative mono pitch lean to porch with a mixture of Classical and Gothic mouldings and fretting to the decorative sub frame which sits on two turned timber columns either side of the front door. The front door is a of a three panel configuration the upper section being glazed with an elongated octagonal frieze pane again like the principal sash windows connected to the side rails via glazing bars at mid point. The Roof is covered with a Welsh blue slate with plain clay hog back ridge tiles. The chimneys are detailed with rubbed brick in relief with the same detailing and moulding as the principal elevation. The houses were constructed by G F Kendall between 1898 -1905 which explains the rather eclectic mix of detailing.
Whilst the semi detached houses on Chevening Road were being erected, Solomon, Barnett and Brotchie, were constructing the two storey terraced properties in Kingswood Avenue. Although not as grand as Chevening road the houses were still constructed using town houses are individually defined by projecting parapets that are capped with terracotta ridges. Roofs are covered with a mixture of slate and plain clay tile. The front elevation is of a three bay configuration with a projecting 45o bay which is capped by a 45o lean to mono-pitch which rest against a timbered hipped gable. The central door has a single sash over with stop chamfered stone head and sill details. The door is flanked by a double sash bay under a projecting mono-pitch lean to porch which has a bracketed fan grille. All sash windows have a stone frame settings with stop chamfer detailing to heads and sills. Sash window to the ground floor are a nine over one under configuration with a rather strange horizontal proportion to the smaller panes. The Sashes at first floor are of a six over one under arrangement and have a more vertical proportion.
In Harvist Road like all the streets in Queens Park there is a significant variation of detailed designs and alternatives but perhaps most impressive are the three storey houses on the junction with Kingswood Road. The individual homes are usually built in Red brick and designed in pairs symmetrically around the party wall. The individual terraces have a two bay rhythm of a projecting two storey 45o bay that terminates in castellated parapet at second floor level; the second bay has a window over the principal front door beneath. All openings are dressed with stone sills, jambs and heads. The second floor has three single semicircular headed windows with unbroken pane “one over, one under” configuration. The rest of the sashes have a Chinese influenced “ladder” type floating frieze configuration. The canopy over the front door has a classically moulded chordal headed porch that corbels out from the front wall.
Barnett also built the houses to the rear at Hopefield Avenue, Montrose Avenue and Summerfield Road between 1897 -1899 they are less imposing with yellow stock brick work and the ubiquitous stone dressings but they do maintain the high quality standards that the builders demonstrated in Harvist and Chevening roads.
In Montrose and Hopefield Avenue the street facade has been interrupted with a post war bomb damage rebuilds of the late 1940’s and 50’s. Creighton Road built by William Riley in 1899 – 1902 and Keslake Road (northside by J Chamberlain) and (southside by William Riley) are predominantly Victorian in character and have not embraced the more intricate detailing of the slightly later buildings.
Kempe Road is perhaps one of the richest streets architecturally, and demonstrates a variety of design and detail probably due to four separate builders working there between 1897 -1899. G F Kendall was responsible for nos. 1 -15, 18 -30, W Riley for 17 -31, J Chamberlain for Nos. 33 -45, 2 -16 and F & C Ellyatt at Nos. 32 – 44. These properties are characterised by classically influenced dressings to windows including floral capitals and fluted pilasters to the bay window and porch. The sash windows are special ten over one with a chordal shouldered head to the individual panes. The classical detail is also used in the console brackets that support the cast iron railed balcony at first floor level, which is accessed from the principal bedroom.
The Roe Green Conservation Area includes properties in Bacon Lane, Goldsmith Lane, Roe End, Roe Lane, Scudamore Lane, Shortscroft and Stag Lane.
The Conservation Area includes properties located on 7 streets within the Queensbury ward of the London Borough of Brent. The Area is located within the large suburban dormitory of northwest London and is surrounded by developments that were constructed some ten years after Roe Green Village, in the late 1920s through to the end of the 1930s.
The special character of the area is based not only on the design of the buildings, but also on the street setting and the street scenes. The principal architect of Roe Green Village was Sir Frank Baines, C.B.E., M.V.O., (1877- 1933), and the design of the area should be viewed in the context of the Garden City movement prompted by the plans and theories of Ebenezer Howard. This movement was part of an attempt to improve the social conditions for workers close to their work, while also providing access to healthy environments.
The estate has a distinct village feel. Indeed, on its completion in 1920, it stood as a distinct village settlement surrounded by fields. The boundary hedges lining Roe Lane, the loosely structured layout of the houses and slight variations to the design forms are a number of features which help create an organic character that distinguishes Roe Green Village from the surrounding areas. The varied size of each housing block provides a variation to the area layout creating an interesting street form. Central to the layout of the area is the village green which acts as a focal point for the estate. The urban form follows a less rigid pattern than that of surrounding residential areas in Kingsbury. Roads curve softly and are not rigidly parallel to the building frontages. The buildings do not follow a rigid building line and often set forward or behind neighbouring properties.
The Roe Green Village was constructed on two fields that were previously used by (and north of) the Kingsbury Polo Club and formed part of the Grove Park Estate. The layout was not influenced by any existing roads or geographical features. The relatively flat topographical character means that perambulations around the roads and avenues are full of revealed views as significant corners are turned within the Conservation Area. There is no visual connection to the wider London context from the Conservation area building heights and local topography mean that there are no significant views to either man made or natural landmarks.
Roe Green Village forms part of the Kingsbury area of the London Borough of Brent. It was developed as a separate village area apart from existing developments in London and the more local area.
Plans were drawn up in 1916 based on the Well Hall estate for the Woolwich Arsenal. Construction began in 1918 as a response to the need to provide housing for the employees of the newly opened Aircraft Manufacturing Company.
The Aircraft Manufacturing Company occupied over 9,000m2 (100,000 ft2) of factory employing 600 people (not including administrative staff) and was producing 20 machines per month. By 1918 their premises comprised almost 70,000m2 (730,000 ft2) employing 4,400 people assembling 190 machines each month. This sudden and dramatic increase in employment necessary for increased aircraft output brought problems of living accommodation and public transport to what had hitherto been a relatively isolated country area. In 1916, the Office of Works commissioned its principal architect, Sir Francis Baines, C.B.E., M.V.O., (1877 1933), to design an estate of cottages for the aircraft workers. This was done along “garden village” lines at Roe Green. The term “garden village” represented an important concept of estate design. British Town Planning was in its infancy and there were few controls on building form save the local bye-laws. In this regard, the work of Baines should be judged in the context of the Garden City movement inspired by Ebenezer Howard. Baines’ concept of estate design was refined with practice. Roe Green itself was based on his office’s design for Woolwich Garden Suburb (the Well Hall Estate) which was built for the Arsenal in 1915. It is believed that the village was built by prisoners of war.
The Mount Stewart Conservation Area is located in the northwest of the London Borough of Brent and is one of two designated conservation areas in the Kenton Ward. The area lies on the elevated ridge between Woodcock Hill and Preston Hill. To the west the area is bounded by the primary circulation route Woodcock Hill. To the east properties lie either side of Shaftesbury Avenue which in the 1930’s Town Planning Scheme was intended to be an arterial road, providing a through route to Kenton however the road is now a cul-de-sac. This Conservation area is one of the many suburban housing estates developed during the housing boom in the 1920s and 30s which characterise the landscape of the North of the Borough.
The South Kilburn area forms the south-eastern boundary of the Borough of Brent and borders the London Boroughs of Camden to the west, Westminster to the south and borders the relatively affluent neighbourhoods of Maida Vale, Queens Park and West Hampstead. The conservation area is approximately 5.3 hectares in size.
The Conservation Area covers properties between Chichester Road/Cambridge Avenue and Princess Road / Oxford Road and selected adjacent areas. The population of the conservation area is currently estimated at 1,190.
The majority of houses in this area were built on the Estate of the Willesden Estate of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. By the mid-Victorian period the built-up area of London had reached as far as the southern boundary of this estate and the circumstances appeared to be ideal for its transformation to a middle class suburb with plenty of appeal for those disenchanted with life nearer the city centre.
The most important pre-condition for such development, the provision of regular transport services, was already present. A regular service of horse buses had been running along the Kilburn High Road since the 1840s and there had been a railway station on the main line out of Euston to Kilburn (now Kilburn High Road) since 1852. A new terminus at Broad Street in 1865 provided an easy and convenient commute to the City as well as the West End.
Parts of the Willesden Estate were released for development in the 1850s. Bailey erected nearly 550 houses of which only a portion remain. There is no evidence that he employed an architect in the design of the houses, which suggests he relied on architectural pattern books of the period. The houses have a stamp of individuality which distinguishes them from most of the contemporary housing in the locality.
Today’s Conservation Area preserves the remainder of these more spacious family houses. The buildings are stucco and stock brick villas dating from 1861-1873. Many of the buildings display ornate architectural designs of Italianate origin, and most of them are listed. They are now surrounded by blocks of flats and maisonettes thrown up as part of the comprehensive redevelopment in an attempt to provide more space and improved amenity for residents. However the planned open spaces and many of the community facilities originally intended for the area never came to fruition.
Most of the houses are 3 storeys; 2 bays wide; channelled stucco ground floor; brick with stucco dressings above. The predominant character of each street is described below:
Cambridge Avenue: The houses in this road are 3 storey semi detached villas linked by continuous single storey ground floor side projections painted white to match the stucco ground floors. The ground floor is rusticated and the majority of houses are 2 bays wide with some 3 bays wide.
Cambridge Road: These houses are similar to those described above. However, they have front projecting rectangular bays at full height with gable and they have no rustication.
Cambridge Gardens: The houses in this street are very similar in style to those in Cambridge Avenue only larger. They are 3 bays wide and have Corinthian-columned porches making this street appear slightly more grand and imposing. The houses face onto a triangular open space and make a very important contribution to the Conservation Area as a whole.
Chichester Road: The houses on Chichester Road are in poorer condition than those on the other streets in the Conservation Area. They are mostly terraced 3 storey buildings, 2 bays wide with stucco ground floors and flat roofs. They are generally of a much simpler design and style. Numbers 50 – 60 are detached houses which are 2 storeys with basement which is stucco and painted white. The windows are relatively large. The street is interrupted by modern 3 storey flats which results in an inconsistent streetscape.
Princess Road: The buildings on Princess Road combine to make a pleasing streetscape as there is a consistent rhythm created by the low garden walls and steps up to ground floors. The houses are 2 storeys in height with basements. Their decoration is more elaborate and detailed than in the other roads. As this is one of the two roads with houses preserved on both sides, it makes a very important positive contribution to the coherence of the area.
Oxford Road: There are several types of houses on this road. They range from 3 storey with basement, 3 bay wide semi detached houses with stucco ground floor with some linked at the ground floor, to 2 bay wide houses, 2 storeys with basement. A number of the houses have angled bay windows at ground and some at first floor too.
Kilburn High Road: The buildings on this busy road are 4 storey terraces with modern retail units at ground floor level. They are brick and two bays wide.
There are several buildings which are particularly interesting in historical terms and are different to the majority of the buildings architecturally. Number 10 Cambridge Avenue is a 19th century detached villa part of a pair linked by an arch which leads to mews at the rear. The building is associated with the RSPCA. It has a large relief of animals above the entrance and is painted white with the door and features painted blue which makes it a distinctive building in the conservation area.
Adjacent lies Cambridge Hall, which is a prefabricated structure built of corrugated iron with boarded wooden roof covered in corrugated asbestos and is a fairly elaborate example of this type of building.
Further along Cambridge Avenue there is Kilburn Park Underground Station which is built in the distinctive house style of the London Electric Railway Company established by Leslie Green. The building is listed as it is remarkably complete and is a particularly sophisticated and lavish example of this style of station.
SPOTTED DOG, NEASDEN
A Neasden publican is mentioned as early as 1422, probably for serving short measures or brewing beer without a licence. In 1722 there was an inn called the ‘Great House’, and in 1751 one called the ‘Angel’. The ‘Angel’ probably became the ‘Spotted Dog’. The Willesden vestry frequently held parish dinners there. By the 1870s it was a tea-garden attracting crowds from London.
In the 1890s change led to a conscious effort to preserve, revive or invent a village atmosphere. At the same time the ‘Spotted Dog’ became a social centre for local people. A clay pigeon shooting ground also opened north of the vicarage.
Until 1905 the River Brent used to divide into two just north of the Harrow Road. The original Stone Bridge (built between 1660 and 1700, and noteworthy because most bridges over the Brent were wooden) carried the road over the eastern branch of the river.
In 1746 there were four buildings near the bridge, including Stonebridge Farm, which was already at least 200 years old. An inn called the ‘Stone Bridge’ existed by 1770, but had been renamed the ‘Coach & Horses’ by 1790. The painter George Morland often visited the area. The spot was popular with fishermen and a son of a former Lord Mayor of London nearly drowned there in the late 18th century.
In 1801 tollgates were set up on the Harrow Road. The money raised went towards maintaining and repairing the road. Somewhat later the course of the River Brent was simplified. In 1811 a small canal, a feeder for the Grand Junction Canal, was cut through the district on its way from Kingsbury to Lower Place.
The London & Birmingham Railway came to the district in 1836. Its construction was a considerable engineering achievement, involving the moving of 372,000 cubic feet of earth to build an embankment and the construction of a viaduct by George Stephenson’s father Robert. It was followed by the Midland and South West Junction Railway in 1868.
The Sudbury Court Conservation Area is contained by Watford Road to the west, East Lane to the south and Northwick Park to the north. The Conservation Area sits in the Kenton Ward of Brent within the large suburban dormitory of northwest London and is surrounded by many similar developments from the late 1920s through to the end of the 1930s. Relative house prices within the Conservation
The estate is a planned suburban neighbourhood laid out symmetrically either side of a central spine road, The Fairway. Across this spine road six rib roads stretch in out each direction. Towards the margins of the estate the symmetry is broke by the irregular site boundary and here a looser pattern of roads is employed. Conscious attempt were made in these areas to work the new roads into existing roads on the boundary of the estate, such as around The Green on Watford Road. The Fairway is rigidly straight while most roads curve gently and a few, such as Campden Crescent and Holt Road are set out as formal crescents. At the junctions between roads small roundabouts cut into the front garden buffers. On the corners of these junctions semi-detached houses are turned through 45 degrees to face the junction, giving a formal, open quality to the crossings. Houses are spaciously positioned amongst garden buffers and the tree lined roads, aided by the gentle curves, help define the garden suburb character. Roads are narrow is comparison to similar estates of the period adding to the rural scale. The estate also contains two open spaces. The Green which joins the estate with Watford Road alludes toward a traditional village green, while behind the houses on Blockley Road, Campden Crescent, Stapenhill Road and Pasture road is contained a recreational ground.
Sudbury Court (Farm) and its immediate surroundings lay in the Manor of Harrow held for many years by the Lords Northwick until the death of the 3rd Lord in 1887. His widow survived until 1912 and her son-in-law, the fifth son of the sixth Duke of Marlborough died in 1911. So it was her grandson, Captain Edward George Spencer-Churchill (1876-1964), a first cousin of Sir Winston, who became Lord of Harrow Manor in 1912. Unfortunately, at the time of his investiture he was left with two sets of death duties. It was perhaps this burden that encouraged Spencer Churchill to propose residential development on the estate. However, estate development was held up by the First World War and then by the shortage of building materials immediately after.
The British Empire Exhibition held at Wembley Park in 1924-25 introduced for the first time large numbers of people to Wembley’s countryside. This created a new momentum for development in the area. For the Sudbury Court Estate, the architectural firm of Herbert Collis and George Charles Clark produced a masterplan giving the entire road layout in 1925. It was to this street plan that the local building firm Comben and Wakeling build houses between 1927 and 1936. By 1931 houses had appeared between the Fairway, Oldborough Road and Carlton Avenue West; Pasture Close was built and parts of Campden Crescent. The mock-Tudor architecture, which was prominent in suburban design from about 1924 for ten years, arose out of the Garden Suburb Movement.
In the development of his estate, Spencer-Churchill chose road names that recalled members of his family such as Rushout Avenue and Spencer Road. Others recall the names of villages near his seat at Northwick Park, near Blockley in Gloucester, including Blockley, Campden, Pasture, Paxford and Stapenhill.
Sudbury Court Conservation Area is a planned residential estate, which is part of suburban Kenton. What sets it apart and makes it “special” is the distinctive and singular character of inter-relationship of buildings and open space. The area was largely developed in the period from 1925 until the Second World War and was laid out to Garden Suburb principles. Large detached and semi-detached two story properties sit behind private but publicly visible front gardens with generous private gardens to the rear. The only variation to this is at the junction of Watford Road and East Lane where the three storey terrace of Court Parade contains shops on the ground floor and flats above.
SUDBURY COURT DRIVE
Sudbury Court Drive was developed between 1951 and 1954, and despite a slight decline in population, construction, especially of flats, continued in the 1960s and 1970s.
SUDBURY COURT FARM
Sudbury Court Farm was one of the most important of Lord Northwick’s farms, consisting of over 150 hectares. During the demolition of the farm (which stood between what is now Sudbury Court Road and Kenelm Close) in 1957, seventeenth century walls and a Tudor bricked cellar were uncovered.
Further south was Hundred Elms Farm and the farmhouse built in about 1840 still stands. Recent archaeological evidence has revealed Tudor and medieval buildings on the site. The road which connected the two farms was the ancient Mutton Lane now Elms Lane.
The Moderne or International Style flowered briefly in the 1930s, its trademark being a horizontal effect created by a flat roof a bands of white rendering. Lawns Court was built by Haymills in this new style along The Avenue on the Holland Estate of Forty Farm between September 1932 and December 1933.
The special character of the area is based not only on the design of the buildings and that of the open space but also on their street setting and the street scenes. Lawns Court Conservation Area is a planned development built along a main road, The Avenue. It comprises of as a string of six linear apartment blocks of varying lengths set out in a doglegged pattern so as to accommodate a small communal triangular green between the central four blocks and the main road. The blocks are up to three storeys high and are the depth of a typical suburban house. Three of the blocks are three apartments long, two are four apartments long and one is six. In addition to the triangular green the blocks are set back behind communal front garden buffers. There are also private rear gardens for each of the ground floor flats. The development has two parking areas behind these gardens accessed from Basing Hill and Mayfields, each originally containing around a dozen garages. The Avenue is one of the more principle roads in the area and is therefore wider than roads in the suburban estate behind, which contains mostly detached and semi detached houses and bungalows laid out to a garden suburb principle by the same developer. Each ground floor flat has its own front door and front path which gives the blocks a rhythmic quality similar to terraced houses.
In 1884 the concentration of population in northern Kingsbury, especially at the Hyde, where tall buildings nicknamed ‘windjammers’ (“the ugliest thing in rural Middlesex”) crept west along Kingsbury Road, led to the consecration of a new parish church (Holy Innocents). Following protests old St. Andrew’s remained open as part of a new parish, Neasden-cum-Kingsbury. There was little building along Edgware Road itself because of inadequate sewerage and public transport. The road was so bad that although trams used it from 1904, buses were not introduced until 1920.
Tokyngton, southeast of Wembley, means ‘the farm of the sons of Toca’. At the time of the Domesday survey the district was one of the most populated parts of Harrow parish. Tokyngton, which also had a local family named after it, is first mentioned by name in 1171. By about 1240 there was a chapel there dedicated to St. Michael. There is evidence that it had a vicar. The chapel, which was situated south of the present South Way, next to Wembley Stadium station, provided an easier alternative to Harrow church, a long walk away and situated at the top of a very high hill. But even if they worshipped at Tokyngton local people were still dependent on Harrow for their less spiritual needs. Harrow market, begun in 1261 and apparently held in Harrow churchyard, was the only one in the vicinity. It lasted until the end of the 16th century.
Initially Tokyngton was more important than Wembley. Wembley and Tokyngton manors were both submanors of Harrow. Tokyngton Manor was formed in the late 13th century from estates in the hands of the Barnville family. The Barnvilles had a house at Tokyngton by 1400, although the later manor house was built around 1500 and extended around 1600. By 1528 the manor was in the hands of the Bellamy family. By 1759, and probably as early as the 16th century, Tokyngton Manor was simply a farm.
Tudor Close is an estate of bungalows built to designs by P Rains in accordance with bye law approval dated November 1927. The corner stone for the reconstruction of St Andrews (new) church was not laid until October 1933 so the dominance and siting of the church opposite the beginning of the cul-de-sac is as much fortuitous as it is a striking example of townscape.
VERNEY STREET (1882)
In 1880 the Metropolitan Railway extended its line from Willesden Green to Harrow and opened a station on Neasden Lane. The Metropolitan also purchased land to build workshops, engine sheds and labourers’ cottages, creating Neasden Village. Built in an urban style but surrounded by fields situated to the west of Neasden, it was called “the loneliest village in London.”
A power station was added in 1903 and the Village grew over the next 25 years. All the streets were named after Metropolitan stations in Buckinghamshire. Unfortunately the land was very damp, which caused problems later, and the power station polluted the air so much that letters about it appeared in ‘The Times’.
Aylesbury Street, Chesham Street…
WAKEMAN’S HILL AVENUE (Area developed in the period 1929-1937)
The Buck Lane Conservation Area centres on the cross roads at the top of Wakeman’s Hill and includes Ernest Trobridge properties on the hill top, giving a coherent boundary and broader context to a readily definable area whilst protecting views into and out of the area.
In 1815 a Thomas Buckley built seven large houses along the west side of the Edgware Road, just north of Willesden Lane. He named them ‘Waterloo Cottages’ after Wellington’s victory. They were inhabited by wealthy and professional people until they were demolished in 1885.
Waverley Avenue (c. 1910)
By 1901 Waxlow Road had been built west of Acton Lane, between the canal and the railway. A power station built here started operating in 1903. Meanwhile the Royal Agricultural Society had bought land from the Twyford Abbey estate. The Society planned to make Twyford the show’s permanent home and Coronation Road was built to provide access to the show ground. A Great Western Railway (GWR) station called Park Royal, and a London & North Western Railway station called Royal Show Ground, both opened to serve the site in time for the first permanent show, which was held in 1903. In the same year the Metropolitan District Railway opened a line (now the Piccadilly Line) to South Harrow. A station, Park Royal and Twyford Abbey, was built on Twyford Abbey Road to the west of the show ground. The GWR line was extended to Greenford in 1904. In the same year a halt (an unmanned station) was opened at North Acton.
In East Twyford some industry appeared on Waxlow Road in the early 20th century. This included the McVitie & Price biscuit factory, which was founded in 1902. More industry came to Waxlow Road in the decades that followed, including the Heinz factory in 1925.
In 1835 work was completed on the Kingsbury Reservoir. Largely because of the efforts of the landlord of ‘The Old Welsh Harp’ inn, the area around the reservoir became a pleasure garden from 1860 to 1885. Horse races attracted “thousands of the scum of London” until racing was banned from London’s hinterland in 1878. London’s first greyhound race was held here in 1876. A Midland Railway station served day-trippers from 1870 to 1903.
As late as 1930 Kingsbury was famous for pleasant days out in unspoilt countryside. In reality however the picturesque farmland concealed considerable rural poverty.
The area was prone to flooding (especially after the construction of the reservoir, which failed disastrously in January 1841) and sewerage was appalling, although Kingsbury did have piped water from about 1872.
WEMBLEY HILL ROAD
The dwellings on Wembley Hill Road represent a rather different style of architecture. Built in the 1930’s, the larger semi-detached dwellings are stepped back and up from the pavement with front gardens and semicircular bay windows. The Moderne style Manor Court adds a degree of variety along the streetscape of Wembley Hill Road.
By the early 19th century nearly all the woodland in the area had been cleared. Much of the land was used for hay farming. The survival of open fields to the west of Willesden Green meant that there was more land under the plough in Willesden than in other parishes near London.
As early as 1787 a “compact new built freehold villa with numerous convenient offices, coach-house and stabling” was being advertised at Willesden Green. The advert was clearly intended to attract a wealthy Londoner, as perhaps was the description of Willesden Green in 1817 as “a retired pleasant village, which appears as remote from London as at a distance of an hundred miles.” This picture of a pleasant rustic spot ignored the fact that only a few years earlier Willesden Green had been a venue for bare-knuckle boxing matches and bull-baiting, attracting an altogether different class of Londoner. The vestry had put a stop to this in 1810 because it disrupted the hay harvest.
Willesden remained famous for pigeon shooting, however. Later several shooting clubs would have connections with Willesden Green. The celebrated shotgun manufacturers Purdey’s had a shooting ground in the area around 1860, while in 1887 the West Middlesex Rifle Volunteers owned a drill hall in Regency Terrace.
In 1873 the Grange estate was sold for development, although in fact the Furness family opened a brickworks there. George Furness (1820-1906) was a Derbyshire man who owned Roundwood House in Harlesden. He was involved in civil engineering projects from Cricklewood to Brazil. With the backing of the celebrated engineer Joseph William Bazalgette he built a considerable portion of the Thames Embankment from Westminster Bridge to Somerset House. He also rebuilt parts of Odessa (then in Russia, now in Ukraine) that had been damaged during the Crimean War.
In 1877 the United Land Company laid out streets northeast of the green, ready for the opening of Willesden Green station in 1879. In some people’s eyes the houses that followed “absolutely ruined
all the centre of Willesden as a residential district.”
Intense development occurred in the 1890s, covering virtually all the available land south of the railway. The houses were aimed at the lower middle classes. Willesden was the fastest growing district in Greater London. At one time in the 1890s four houses were being built in the area every day. By 1896 building on both sides of the High Street was well advanced, especially near the station. In 1898 Rutland Park Mansions, an impressive block of flats, was built on the east side of Walm Lane, on the site of ‘Rose Villa’. The houses opposite were soon converted into much-needed extra shops. Willesden Green farmhouse had been demolished by 1904.
After the first war gas lighting was replaced by electricity, while All Souls’ built houses on the High Road (before 1924) and at Robson Avenue (1934). The Furness estate brickworks vanished, replaced by streets of large detached houses built between 1925 and 1939, while large semi-detached houses were built southeast of the green from 1927 to 1935.
Willesden Paddocks, southwest of Oxgate, was an important stud farm.
In 1900 All Souls’ College built Wrottesley Road and began leasing land to builders of middle class housing. This estate was hit by a slump in house building from about 1904, causing cheaper houses to be built, but despite the slump housing was continuous between Harlesden and Kensal Green by 1920.