Homestead Park, NW2

Road in/near Dollis Hill, existing between 1926 and now

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Road · Dollis Hill · NW2 ·

Homestead Park consists of twenty one dwelling-houses located on the north side of Dollis Hill Lane.

By the time of the First World War the suburban expansion of Willesden along Neasden Lane and Dudden Hill Lane had reached the outskirts of Neasden, which was then a rural village.

Neasden Green incorporated a number of large houses and estates whose owners were resisting the suburban tide. Gladstone Park, on the south side of Dollis Hill Lane and Neasden Golf course to the north were acting as barriers to further development.

The break up of the Neasden estates and the catalyst of development, came in the form of the North Circular Road from Neasden Lane to Edgware Road began which began in January 1921 and was completed two years later. The North Circular Road opened up the Brentwater estate on the north side of Dollis Hill Ridge to housing development in the late 1920s. This period of encroaching development posed its greatest threat to Neasden Golf Club, which began with the selling of a slice of land for housing development in 1926.

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 future road.

The 1926 suburban encroachment lay just west of the "Scottish Cottages" (now locally listed buildings) which were built in 1860 for grounds staff for Lord Aberdeen who resided at Dollis Hill House, east of what is now Randall Avenue. Willam E. Saunders’ initial ideas of "a Garden Village" development were extended in 1926, and approval was granted for a cluster of twenty houses, known now as Homestead Park.

Homestead Park’s physical character is unique within the London Borough of Brent. The Y shaped tetri-detached suburban houses are arranged off the steep narrow road, accessed from Dollis Hill Lane. The individual forms of access and boundaries of the properties are particularly interesting due to the dwelling form and density.

Hedges play an important role by adding to the character and setting of the dwellings. These privet hedgerows, typically trimmed to a height of between 1.2-1.5 metres serve to define boundaries and identify access points lining small pathways to the rear dwelling of each cluster.

The open plot towards the north west of Homestead Park was planned for a pavilion and tennis courts creating a social function seemingly exclusive to local residents. However, development did not progress from initial ideas.

Homestead Park’s distinctive character and urban form creates an enclave somewhat disconnected from the surrounding suburban landscape.

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.

The road was originally called Park Way.

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Dollis Hill

Dollis Hill tube station lies on the Jubilee Line, between Willesden Green and Neasden. Metropolitan Line trains pass though the station, but do not stop.

The Dollis Hill Estate was formed in the early 19th century, when the Finch family bought up a number of farms in the area to form a single estate. Dollis Hill House itself was built in the 1820s.

William Ewart Gladstone, the UK Prime Minister, was a frequent visitor to Dollis Hill House in the late 19th century. The year after his death, 1899, Willesden Council acquired much of the Dollis Hill Estate for use as a public park, which was named Gladstone Park.

Mark Twain stayed in Dollis Hill House in the summer of 1900. He wrote that ’Dollis Hill comes nearer to being a paradise than any other home I ever occupied’.

The code-breaking Colossus computer, used at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, was built at the Post Office Research Station in Dollis Hill by a team lead by Tommy Flowers. The station was relocated to Martlesham Heath at the end of the 1970s.

A World War II bunker for Winston Churchill called Paddock is located here.

The fictional Dollis Hill Football Club features occasionally in the British satirical magazine Private Eye, and Dollis Hill tube station, although real, is frequently played in the radio panel game Mornington Crescent.
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