Preston Road

Underground station, existing between 1908 and now.

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Underground station · * · HA3 ·
JANUARY
1
2023
Preston Road - originally just ’Preston’ - is situated west along the Metropolitan Line from Wembley Park.

Preston emerged in 1220 as a small settlement centred around Preston Green, just southwest of the Lidding or Wealdstone Brook, south of Kenton. Its name may originate from a 767 estate granted to Abbot Stidberht by King Offa (it means ’the farm belonging to the priest’), though any connection to the rural Preston Road was lost by 1086. Preston was established as a township by 1231.

By the mid-1400s, Preston consisted of two farms and some cottages. The northern Lyon family farm, dating to the late 1300s, was described as beautiful in 1547 and was likely the birthplace of John Lyon. He founded Harrow School in 1572, after which the farm supported the school, being rebuilt around 1700. The southern farm was first called Preston Dicket before becoming Preston Farm.

Preston saw little growth until 1681 when five buildings, including Hillside farmhouse, arose at Preston Green. In 1751, the "Horseshoe" inn was licensed, bringing the total buildings to nine by 1759.

The 19th century brought stagnation rather than change. After the post-war depression, desperate farmworkers burnt haystacks and threatened landowners like the relatively benign Lord Northwick. Just 64 residents lived in Preston in 1831, declining to 57 by 1851. Around then, the short-lived "Rose & Crown" beerhouse opened at Preston Hill, likely part of Hillside Farm.

In the late 1800s, Preston House was leased to professionals before becoming the popular Preston Tea Gardens under George Timms circa 1880. The Tea Gardens flourished well into the following century.

Despite the 1894 Wembley Park station opening, the Metropolitan Railway did not spur development, even rejecting a Preston stop in 1896 given the tiny population. Into the early 1900s, the area remained rural with the unspoiled Wealdstone Brook meandering through the district, described as "one of the most perfect little streams anywhere, abounding in dace and roach."

The 1900s brought slow transformation. Uxendon Farm became a shooting ground (the Lancaster Shooting Club), hosting 1908 Olympic clay pigeon events. Pressure from the shooting club, being two miles from any station led to Preston Road Halt opening in 1908.

Preston Road Halt was a simple request stop where trains only slowed if passengers were visible. Many trains initially failed to slow sufficiently, continuing right past the new station. Despite this inauspicious start, Preston Road Halt triggered the first wave of commuter development in the area. After 1910, some large Edwardian houses arose along Preston Road itself. In 1912, Harrow Golf Club opened near the station, joining the earlier Wembley Golf Club from 1895 on Barn Hill’s southern slopes. Both golf courses would vanish under new housing constructed between the wars, as suburban expansion gradually transformed the rural landscape.

Further change followed the 1920s British Empire Exhibition, with road improvements - especially as roads in the area were prone to flooding. Christ Church College, Oxford and Harrow School sold off land in the 1920s-30s. Housing spread rapidly from the mid-1920s as shops and the Preston Park Hotel opened. Upgraded in the early 1930s, Preston Road Station enabled population growth, especially among Jewish families. By 1951, Preston’s population peaked at 12,408 before declining again. Some post-war prefab housing gave way to permanent homes by the 1960s.

Many country lanes in the area remained unimproved until 1931-1932 under Wembley’s Town Planning Scheme. Preston Road itself continued as a rural country lane into the late 1930s, which may explain its enduring charm. Enhanced transportation finally enabled suburban expansion. Christ Church College, Oxford and Harrow School sold their Preston estates between 1921-1933. Construction commenced at Forty Green as early as 1923-1924, with housing quickly spreading along Preston Road and Preston Hill over the next three years. As communications advanced, open land swiftly transitioned to suburban development.

Shops appeared in 1927-8 and a pub, the ’Preston Park Hotel’ was opened in the late 1920s.

Preston Road was upgraded into a full station in 1931-1932. Soon after, the line was electrified and the station slightly relocated. Preston’s centre formed south of the old green. Many more shops materialized around the station in 1931-1933 and again in 1936-1938. Most housing development transpired during the 1930s. By 1936, Preston was depicted as a "high class and rapidly growing residential area with a population of between 6000 and 7000 people." A primary school opened in 1932 and secondary school in 1938 to serve this swelling population.

During the 1930s, many Jewish families, predominantly members of the United Synagogue, relocated to the Preston area. A strong Jewish presence remains today.

By 1951, Preston’s population had climbed to 12,408 but subsequently declined somewhat. Postwar housing arose north and east of Preston Road, alongside prefabs at Tenterden Close and Woodcock Hill until the late 1960s. Proposed in 1936, the Anglican Church of Ascension was not consecrated until 1957 due to wartime delays.

By the early 1960s, all of Preston’s oldest buildings were lost. Lyon’s Farm was demolished in 1960 despite preservation plans. Hillside Farmhouse and Preston House followed in 1961-1963, both replaced by blocks of flats. While these landmarks disappeared, pleasant, prosperous Preston has retained some of its original atmosphere.



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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT


   
Added: 7 Jul 2024 16:26 GMT   

Haycroft Gardens, NW10
My Grandfather bought No 45 Buchanan Gdns in I believe 1902 and died ther in the early 1950s

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Comment
   
Added: 7 Jul 2024 16:20 GMT   

Haycroft Gardens, NW10
I lived in No 7 from 1933 to 1938

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Sylvia guiver   
Added: 4 Jul 2024 14:52 GMT   

Grandparents 1937 lived 37 Blandford Square
Y mother and all her sisters and brother lived there, before this date , my parent wedding photographers were take in the square, I use to visit with my mother I remember the barge ballon in the square in the war.

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Born here
Roy Mathieson   
Added: 27 Jun 2024 16:25 GMT   

St Saviours
My great grandmother was born in Bowling Green Lane in 1848. The family moved from there to Earl Terrace, Bermondsey in 1849. I have never been able to locate Earl Terrace on maps.

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Added: 26 Jun 2024 13:10 GMT   

Buckhurst Street, E1
Mt grandfather, Thomas Walton Ward had a musical instrument workshop in Buckhurst Street from 1934 until the street was bombed during the war. Grandfather was a partner in the musical instrument firm of R.J. Ward and Sons of Liverpool. He died in 1945 and is buried in a common grave at Abney Park Cemetery.

Reply
Lived here
Mike Dowling   
Added: 15 Jun 2024 15:51 GMT   

Family ties (1936 - 1963)
The Dowling family lived at number 13 Undercliffe Road for
Nearly 26 years. Next door was the Harris family

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Comment
Evie Helen   
Added: 13 Jun 2024 00:03 GMT   

Vickers Road
The road ’Vickers Road’ is numbered rather differently to other roads in the area as it was originally built as housing for the "Vickers" arms factory in the late 1800’s and early 1900s. Most of the houses still retain the original 19th century tiling and drainage outside of the front doors.

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Paul Harris    
Added: 12 Jun 2024 12:54 GMT   

Ellen Place, E1
My mother’s father and his family lived at 31 Ellen Place London E1 have a copy of the 1911 census showing this

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NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
Preston Road Preston Road - originally just ’Preston’ - is situated west along the Metropolitan Line from Wembley Park.
Uxendon Farm Uxendon was once more important than Wembley.

NEARBY STREETS
Arnold Close, HA9 Arnold Close is a road in the HA3 postcode area (Preston Road)
Ashley Gardens, HA9 Ashley Gardens is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Preston Road)
Aylands Close, HA9 Aylands Close is a road in the HA9 postcode area (Preston Road)
Belvedere Way, HA3 Belvedere Way is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Preston Road)
Blackberry Court, HA3 Blackberry Court can be found on Preston Road (Preston Road)
Campion Close, HA3 A street within the HA3 postcode (Preston Road)
Carlton Avenue East, HA9 Carlton Avenue East is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Preston Road)
Carlton Parade, HA9 Carlton Parade is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Preston Road)
College Road, HA9 College Road is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Preston Road)
Crown Green Mews, HA9 Crown Green Mews is a road in the HA9 postcode area (Preston Road)
Elmstead Avenue, HA9 Elmstead Avenue is a road in the HA9 postcode area (Wembley Park)
Emerson Gardens, HA3 Emerson Gardens lies within the HA3 postcode (Preston Road)
Fernleigh Court, HA9 Fernleigh Court is a road in the HA9 postcode area (Preston Road)
First Avenue, HA9 First Avenue is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (South Kenton)
Glendale Gardens, HA9 Glendale Gardens is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Preston Road)
Grasmere Avenue, HA9 Grasmere Avenue is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (South Kenton)
Highfield Avenue, HA9 Highfield Avenue is a road in the HA9 postcode area (Preston Road)
Hillside Gardens, HA3 Hillside Gardens is a road in the HA3 postcode area (Preston Road)
John Perrin Place, HA3 John Perrin Place is a road in the HA3 postcode area (Preston Road)
Keysham Court, HA9 Keysham Court lies off Preston Road (Preston Road)
Ledway Drive, HA9 Ledway Drive is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Preston Road)
Ledway Drive, HA9 Ledway Drive is a road in the HA3 postcode area (Preston Road)
Logan Road, HA9 Logan Road is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Preston Road)
Longfield Avenue, HA9 Longfield Avenue is a road in the HA9 postcode area (Preston Road)
May Gardens, HA0 May Gardens is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex
Oxenpark Avenue, HA9 Oxenpark Avenue is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Preston Road)
Page Close, HA3 Page Close is a road in the HA3 postcode area (Preston Road)
Park Court, HA3 A street within the HA3 postcode (Preston Road)
Pellatt Road, HA9 Pellatt Road is a road in the HA9 postcode area (Preston Road)
Preston Road, HA3 Preston Road is a main shopping road leading past the station of the same name (Preston Road)
Preston Waye, HA9 Preston Waye is a road in the HA3 postcode area (Preston Road)
Rainbird Close, HA0 Rainbird Close is a location in London
Ravenscroft Avenue, HA9 Ravenscroft Avenue is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Preston Road)
Robin Grove, HA3 Robin Grove lies within the HA3 postcode (Preston Road)
Sandy Lane, HA3 Sandy Lane is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Preston Road)
Second Avenue, HA9 Second Avenue is a road in the HA9 postcode area (South Kenton)
Shaftesbury Avenueon, HA3 A street within the HA3 postcode (Preston Road)
Shakespeare Drive, HA3 Shakespeare Drive is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Preston Road)
Silverholme Close, HA3 Silverholme Close is a road in the HA3 postcode area (Kenton)
The Avenue, HA9 The Avenue is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Wembley Park)
Third Avenue, HA9 Third Avenue is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (South Kenton)
Tylers Gate, HA3 Tylers Gate is a road in the HA3 postcode area (Preston Road)
Vane Close, HA3 Vane Close is a road in the HA3 postcode area (Preston Road)
Viewfield Close, HA3 Viewfield Close is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Preston Road)
Walton Gardens, HA9 Walton Gardens is a road in the HA9 postcode area (Preston Road)
Warren Close, HA9 Warren Close is a location in London (Preston Road)
West Close, HA9 West Close is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Wembley Park)
Wilson Close, HA9 Wilson Close is a road in the HA9 postcode area (Preston Road)
Wilson Drive, HA9 Wilson Drive is a road in the HA9 postcode area (Preston Road)
Woodcock Court, HA3 Woodcock Court is a block just off Woodcock Hill (Preston Road)
Woodford Place, HA9 Woodford Place is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Preston Road)
Wykeham Hill, HA9 Wykeham Hill is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex (Wembley Park)

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