Old Welsh Harp

Pub in/near West Hendon, existed between 1751 and the 1970s

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Pub · West Hendon · NW9 ·
December
30
2019

The Old Welsh Harp was a famous inn beside the Edgware Road.

As a result of an Act of Parliament, the company running the Brent Reservoir acquired more land. An increase in traffic on the Regent’s Canal had meant that more water was required to replace the loss from its locks.

The land was used to increase the height of the dam and the reservoir’s area expanded to 400 acres by 1854. The reservoir works included raising a new embankment to protect from flooding a tavern called the Old Welsh Harp which was situated just north of the Brent Bridge.

The pub may have been already existed as the ’Harp and Horn’ by 1751 but had become the Welsh Harp by 1803. It was also known as the Lower Welsh Harp.

In 1858 the lease of the Old Welsh Harp was taken over by William Warner of Blackbird Farm in Kingsbury. He created a large pleasure gardens behind the pub and obtained the rights to use the reservoir for recreational purposes. For the following 30 years the ’Welsh Harp’ became a very popular leisure destination.

Warner organised fishing and boat hire, ran competitions for swimming. Sports flourished including horse racing, bowls and cricket. Warner built a music hall and restaurant beside the inn.

A station called ’Welsh Harp’ was opened on the Midland Railway in 1870 at Warner’s request. Special trains on bank holidays brought thousands of people from London to fairs in the Welsh Harp’s grounds. Part of Warner’s legacy is the name by which the reservoir is now known.

At the end of the century, Warner died. The popularity of the tavern and its pleasure gardens declined and Welsh Harp station closed in 1903.

The pub was demolished in around 1970 to make way for the southerly extension of the M1 motorway.


Main source: https://www.brent.gov.uk/media/2935808/The%20Welsh%20Harp%20Reservoir.pdf
Further citations and sources


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CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY

Comment
Reginald John Gregory   
Added: 8 Aug 2022 14:07 GMT   

Worked in the vicinity of my ancestor’s house,
Between the years 1982-1998 (unknown to me at the time) I worked in an office close to the site of my ancestors cottage. I discovered this when researching family history - the cottage was mentioned in the 1871 census for Colindeep Lane/Ancient Street coming up from the Hyde. The family lived in the ares betwen 1805 and 1912.

Reply
Comment
Martina   
Added: 13 Jul 2017 21:22 GMT   

Schweppes factory
The site is now a car shop and Angels Fancy Dress shop and various bread factories are there.

Reply

Brian Lynch   
Added: 10 Apr 2022 13:38 GMT   

Staples Mattress Factory
An architect’s design of the Staples Mattress Factory
An image found on the website of Dalzell’s Beds, in Armagh Northern Ireland.

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Added: 20 Dec 2022 02:58 GMT   

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NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
Old Welsh Harp The Old Welsh Harp was a famous inn beside the Edgware Road.
Staples Corner, NW2 Staples Corner is named after the Staples Mattress Factory - Harold Heal commissioned its design and building of the- which stood here from 1926 until 1986.

NEARBY STREETS
Adrian Avenue, NW2 Adrian Avenue is a street in Cricklewood.
Aquarius Business Park, NW2 Aquarius Business Park is a location in London.
Cool Oak Lane, NW9 Cool Oak Lane connects West Hendon with Kingsbury.
Dallas Road, NW4 Dallas Road is a road running parallel to the Midland railway and M1.
Daniel Place, NW4 Daniel Place is a road in the NW4 postcode area
Dehar Crescent, NW9 Dehar Crescent is a road in the NW9 postcode area
Esmar Crescent, NW9 Esmar Crescent is a road in the NW9 postcode area
Layfield Close, NW4 Layfield Close is a road in the NW4 postcode area
Layfield Crescent, NW4 Layfield Crescent is a road in the NW4 postcode area
Layfield Road, NW4 Layfield Road is a street in Hendon.
M1 motorway, NW4 The southernmost section of the M1 was built in 1977.
Milton Road, NW9 Milton Road was the site of the first church in West Hendon.
Moorhen Drive, NW9 Moorhen Drive is a location in London.
North Circular Road, NW2 The Dollis Hill section of the North Circular Road leads west from Staples Corner.
Priestley Way, NW2 Priestley Way is a street in Cricklewood.
Priestley Way, NW9 Priestley Way is a road in the NW9 postcode area
Riverside, NW4 Riverside is a road in the NW4 postcode area
Seelig Avenue, NW9 Seelig Avenue is a road in the NW9 postcode area
Shearwater Drive, NW9 Shearwater Drive is a road in the NW9 postcode area
Sorrel Mead, NW9 Sorrel Mead is a location in London.
St Davids Place, NW4 St Davids Place is a street in Hendon.
Staples Corner Business Park, NW2 Staples Corner Business Park is situated next to Staples Corner.
Staples Corner Retail Park, NW2 Staples Corner Retail Park is a location in London.
Staples Corner West Roundabout, NW2 Staples Corner West Roundabout is a road in the NW2 postcode area
Staples Corner, NW2 Staples Corner is a road in the NW4 postcode area
Stuart Avenue, NW9 Stuart Avenue is a road in the NW9 postcode area
Sturgess Avenue, NW4 Sturgess Avenue lies south of Park Road on the Brent Farm estate
The Link, NW2 The Link is a road in the NW2 postcode area
Tyrrel Way, NW9 Tyrrel Way is a street in Kingsbury.
Verulam Court, NW9 Verulam Court is a street in Kingsbury.
Warner Close, NW9 Warner Close was part of the West Hendon Estate.
Woolmead Avenue, NW9 Woolmead Avenue leads south from Cool Oak Lane.

NEARBY PUBS
Upper Welsh Harp The Upper Welsh Harp was a pub on West Hendon Broadway.


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West Hendon

West Hendon - or New Hendon to the older folk. Or The Hyde to those older folk's grandparents.

West Hendon was a settlement within that part of the ancient parish of Hendon known as the Hyde, and is now a part of the London Borough of Barnet.

It was formally known, from 1878–1890, as New Hendon, a small railway development on the Edgware Road. Before the 1830s there were three farms, Upper and Lower Guttershedge (east of the road) and Cockman’s in the Wood (west of the road) and an inn, The Welsh Harp. Between 1835 and 1838, the Brent Reservoir was constructed by damming the Brent and the Silk brooks and flooding much of Cockman’s Farm. The water was used to supply the Grand Union Canal. At its greatest extent, in 1853, it covered 400 acres but was dramatically reduced to 195 acres in the 1890s. Subsequently it has been reduced to 110 acres. It contains enough water to fill 3 million baths and in 1991 was believed to contain 10,000 lb of fish.

The residue of Cockman’s Farm became Woodfield House, home to the Roman Catholic Passioist Fathers (1852 and 1858). The house was demolished in 1940 and the site used by the Borough of Hendon and its successor the London Borough of Barnet as a plant nursery.

Originally The Harp and Horn (c1750s), The Welsh Harp was rebuilt in 1859 and again in 1937, before finally being pulled down in 1970 to make way for the M1. During the 1960s, it was known as The Lakeside Scene and hosted some of the great rock and blues bands of the day, such as the Yardbirds. From 1859 until the end of the century it was run by the Warner brothers, and the reservoir became a centre for all sorts of sporting events such as ice skating, swimming and angling; it was, until 1878, the Kingsbury Race Course and the first mechanical hare in greyhound racing was used there in 1876. By 1850, there was a second public house, the Upper Welsh Harp. At its height in the mid-1880s crowds in excess of 25,000 people could be expected on a Bank Holiday weekend.

Two railway stations were opened, both of the Midland Railway: Hendon (1868), and Welsh Harp (1870). A local builder called Bishop laid the first brick of a new terrace called Neeld Terrace (1881), which heralded the start of New Hendon. Brent Vue was built on land originally owned by the Midland Company. In 1885, the Baptists had a mission hall and their present hall was opened in 1930. By 1886, there were 200 new houses and the Anglican church of St. John’s was built.

In 1896 Schweppes opened a large mineral water factory, and the present Anglican church of St. John’s was established in Algernon Road. With a planned tram line along the West Hendon Broadway due to open in 1904, Welsh Harp station was closed in 1903, and West Hendon became a thriving Edwardian retail district until overshadowed by Golders Green.

During World War II, on 13 February 1941, the Luftwaffe dropped an SC2500 Maximum Heavy Explosive bomb (equivalent to two V2 rockets), killing 80 people and destroying 40 houses in an area west of the Edgware Road. This area was completely redeveloped in the 1960s.


LOCAL PHOTOS
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Hendon Central (1923)
TUM image id: 1489498425
Licence: CC BY 2.0

In the neighbourhood...

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St. John the Evangelist, an Anglican church located on the end of Algernon Road, next to Vicarage Road.
Credit: Martin Addison
Licence: CC BY 2.0


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