On the Harrow Road
at the turn of the nineteenth century, there were "a few small houses, some in Kensington, some in Willesden parish, formed the picturesque hamlet of Kensal or Kellsall Greene". This part of the Harrow Road
was little more than a country lane. It was reported to have been the scene of some of Dick Turpin’s exploits.
In the year 1820, the author Faulkner wrote: “At Kensal Green is a very ancient public house, known by the name of the ’Plough’, which has been built upwards of three hundred years ; the timber and joists being of oak, are still in good preservation.”
This wayside inn may go back as far as Faulkner suggests, for the Parish Registers show that “ Marget, a bastard childe, was borne in the Ploughe, and was baptised the 30th day of August, 1539-” A family named Ilford are said to have been landlords of the ’Plough’ for several generations.
The Plough was the oldest named building in North Kensington, and was also the most distant dwelling in the north-west of Kensington parish.
In the 1780s the ’Plough’ was a haunt of the artist George Morland.
After the Perambulation of Kensington Parish in 1799 boundary posts were placed on the south side of Harrow Road
. The ”Beating of the Bounds” seems to have been carried out for the last time on Ascension Day 1884, but disputes about the division of the parishes continued until Kensal Town was definitely handed over to the care of the Borough of Kensington.
A description of the district written by Mrs Henley Jervis in 1884 said that before the nineteenth century this part of Kensington was ” an extent of woodlands, cornfields and heath, the heavy clay ground often becoming well-nigh impassable in rainy weather, as even the present generation can understand if they recollect Lancaster Road
and Elgin Road in 1862.
The first encroachment on this stretch of open land was the cutting of the Paddington Branch of the Grand Junction Canal, which was opened for water transport in 1801. Some thirty years later land lying between the canal and Harrow Road
was converted into a burial ground (Kensal Green Cemetery).
The track of the Great Western Railway, running south of the canal, and opened for traffic in 1838, further curtailed the fields, and this curtailment increased with the widening of the line. Before 1850, the ground between the canal and the railway was taken over by the Western Gas Company, and certain buildings were put up.
The Plough was still very rustic even as late as 1868. A new more-urban building took its place with the address of 599 Harrow Road
The Plough was demolished in the 1990s as part of a road widening scheme.