Blackbird Hill Farm

Farm in/near Kingsbury, existing until 1923

 HOME  ·  ARTICLE  MAP  STREETS  BLOG 
(51.56517 -0.26311) 

Blackbird Hill Farm

MAP YEAR:1750180018301860190019502020Remove markers
Farm · * · NW9 ·
August
2
2017

Blackbird Hill Farm was situated on the corner of Birdbird Hill and Old Church Lane.

It is unknown when Blackbird Hill Farm was first established. There were at least five “villagers” cultivating small areas of land in this part of Kingsbury at the time of the Domesday Book in 1085, but old records suggest that many local inhabitants died during the Black Death plagues of the mid-14th century. About 100 years later, in 1442, there is a mention of what may have been a farm on this site, and when a detailed map of the parish was drawn in 1597 it clearly showed a property called Findens here, a group of buildings around a yard with a strip of land, just over an acre, attached.

The large field behind it is shown as being leased to John Page, gentleman, by St Paul’s Cathedral (‘The Deane of Powles’), while the land on the opposite side of the main track was held by Eyan Chalkhill, who also had a watermill on the River Brent. In 1640, Findens was a 12-acre smallholding.

By the time of John Rocque’s map of 1745, there were farm buildings and orchards on both sides of Old Church Lane. These would come to be known as the upper and lower yards of Blackbird (or Blackbird Hill) Farm. Whereas the original farm, or smallholding, was probably growing a mixture of crops, mainly to support the farmer’s own family, by the mid-18th century the map shows most of the fields as pasture land.

By the early 19th century, many of Kingsbury’s fields were producing hay for the capital’s horses.

The farm was probably used for most of the nineteenth century for raising livestock, some of which would be driven to London to help provide meat for the capital’s fast-growing population.

In the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign, the farmer at Blackbird Farm was William Avis Warner. One of his sons, William Perkins Warner, who grew up here and trained as a butcher before serving in the army’s Commissariat Department during the Crimean War, became famous as the landlord of the Welsh Harp Inn from 1858 until his death in 1889.

A cowkeeper was mentioned in 1823 but most local farms did not transfer to dairy farming until the end of the century.

The earliest photographs of the farm date from 1880, by around which time the farm was mainly being used for dairy cattle. The upper yard contained the farmhouse and various outbuildings, while the lower yard had housing for farm workers and the main cow sheds.

Years later, one elderly local resident recalled the story that Blackbird Farm had delivered milk to Buckingham Palace on a daily basis, ‘until the day that Queen Victoria saw her churn on the same cart as a load of manure’.

By the start of the First World War in 1914, Thomas Noad was the farmer here. The area around Blackbird Farm was still rural, as was much of Kingsbury, even though it was classed as an Urban District for local government purposes, with Mr Noad serving as one of the Councillors.

When foot and mouth disease broke out at Blackbird Farm in 1923, and all of the cows had to be shot, that was the end of it as a working farm. Although the Noad family continued to live in the farmhouse, the rest of the land was sold off for housing.

Houses were soon being built on the farm’s former fields, in new roads like Queens Walk and Birchen Grove, as well as along the improved existing roads.

By 1936, the buildings on the lower yard had been demolished, and replaced by a parade of shops in the half-timbered mock-Tudor style so popular at the time. The old farmhouse itself had been “dressed-up” with applied timber beams, and remained as a picturesque relic of Kingsbury’s rural past, housing tea rooms run by Mrs Elizabeth Noad, while a timber outbuilding at the corner of the farmyard was used as a boot repair shop by Thomas Laney.

In the late 1930’s the brewers, Truman Hanbury Buxton, submitted plans to build a public house on the site of Blackbird Farm. The outbreak of war in 1939 meant that the idea was not pursued then, but fresh proposals were put forward in the early 1950’s. The recently formed Wembley History Society was among the objectors wishing to see the farmhouse retained
and reused. It also hoped to carry out some archaeological work at the site, but there is no record of what was found if any such work went ahead. The farmhouse was demolished in 1955, with “The Blackbirds” public house built around 1957.

After the pub closed in 2010, a planning application was submitted to redevelop the site for a block of flats.

Planning permission for the proposed development was given by Brent Council in March 2011, but one of the conditions for this was that there should be a proper archaeological excavation of the part of the Blackbird Farm site which had not been disturbed when the pub was built.


Main source: Brent Council
Further citations and sources



The lower yard at cottages of Blackbird Hill Farm on Old Church Lane, c.1880.

The lower yard at cottages of Blackbird Hill Farm on Old Church Lane, c.1880.
Brent Archives

NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
Blackbird Hill (1906) Blackbird Hill is image in 1906 and then part of Neasden.
Blackbird Hill Farm Blackbird Hill Farm was situated on the corner of Birdbird Hill and Old Church Lane.

NEARBY STREETS
Adams Close, NW9 Adams Close is a street in Kingsbury.
Alderton Close, NW10 Alderton Close is a road in the NW10 postcode area
Barnes Wallis Court, HA9 A street within the HA9 postcode
Barnhill Cottages, HA9 Barnhill Cottages is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
Bilsby Lodge, HA9 A street within the HA9 postcode
Birchen Close, NW9 Birchen Close is a street in Kingsbury.
Birchen Grove, NW9 Birchen Grove is a street in Kingsbury.
Blackbird Hill, NW9 The route of Blackbird Hill has been in existence since the Domesday Book.
Braemar Avenue, NW10 Braemar Avenue is a street in Willesden.
Bruno Place, NW9 Bruno Place is a road in the NW9 postcode area
Buddings Circle, HA9 Buddings Circle is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Chalklands, HA9 Chalklands is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Coombe Road, NW10 Coombe Road is a street in Willesden.
Daisy Close, NW9 Daisy Close is a road in the NW9 postcode area
Demeta Close, HA9 Demeta Close is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Gervase Close, HA9 Gervase Close is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Harp Island Close, NW10 Harp Island Close is a road in the NW10 postcode area
Havenwood, HA9 Havenwood is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Janson Close, NW10 Janson Close is a street in Willesden.
Kelly Close, NW10 Kelly Close is a road in the NW10 postcode area
Kingsgate, HA9 Kingsgate is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Lyndhurst Close, NW10 Lyndhurst Close is a road in the NW10 postcode area
Mount Drive, HA9 Mount Drive is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
Neasden Lane North, HA9 Neasden Lane North is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Neasden Lane North, NW10 Neasden Lane North is the extension of Neasden Lane beyond the North Circular Road.
Neasden Lane North, NW9 Neasden Lane North is a road in the NW9 postcode area
Old Church Lane, NW9 Old Church Lane is a street in Kingsbury.
Old St Andrew’s Mansions, NW9 Old St Andrew’s Mansions, named after the nearby church, were designed by E. Trobridge for T.W. Heath & Co Ltd of Neasden.
Page Avenue, HA9 A street within the HA9 postcode
Poplar Grove, HA9 Poplar Grove is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
Press Road, NW10 Press Road is a road in the NW10 postcode area
Quainton Street, NW10 Quainton Street is one of a series of streets named after Metropolitan Railway stations in Buckinghamshire.
Queens Walk, NW9 Queens Walk is a road in the NW9 postcode area
Rawlings Crescent, HA9 Rawlings Crescent is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Runbury Circle, NW9 Runbury Circle is a street in Kingsbury.
Salmon Street, NW9 Salmon Street is a street in Kingsbury.
Saxon Road, HA9 A street within the HA9 postcode
The Close, HA9 The Close is a road in the HA9 postcode area
The Drive, HA9 The Drive is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
The Leadings, HA9 A street within the HA9 postcode
The Mount, HA9 The Mount is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Tudor Close, NW9 Tudor Close is a road in the NW9 postcode area
Tudor Gardens, NW9 Tudor Gardens is a street in Kingsbury.
Verney Street, NW10 Verney Street is a street in Willesden.
Walton Avenue, HA9 Walton Avenue is a road in the HA9 postcode area


Kingsbury

Kingsbury station was opened on 10 December 1932 as part of the Stanmore branch of the Metropolitan Railway and served by that company’s electric trains.

After the formation of London Transport in 1933 this branch became part of the Metropolitan line and was later transferred to the Bakerloo line in 1939 then to the Jubilee line in 1979. The design style is similar to that of other Metropolitan Railway buildings of the same period rather than to the concrete and glass style used at the same time by the LER group.

In common with other nearby Metropolitan Railway stations (e.g. Harrow-on-the-Hill, Neasden, Queensbury) there is an element of fiction in the station name; the area is properly within the eastern extent of Kenton (Kingsbury Road at this point was originally part of the eastern end of Kenton Lane) and Kingsbury proper is actually closer to Neasden station.

Although now only served by deep-level tube trains, the section of line serving the station is built to surface gauge, and trains to that larger LU loading gauge occasionally pass through.


LOCAL PHOTOS
Brent Town Hall
TUM image id: 1106
Blackbird Hill (1906)
TUM image id: 3117
Silk Bridge
TUM image id: 10005
The Plough - reputedly 800 years old
TUM image id: 1517936032
Welsh Harp
Credit: Unknown
TUM image id: 1534456927
Wembley Stadium, 1947
TUM image id: 1556882897
Oakington Manor Farm
TUM image id: 1603469997
Print-friendly version of this page