Dollis Hill Lane is an ancient throughway.
At the time of the Enclosure Award of 1816, the area of a 16th century farm at Oxgate, another farm at the top of Dollis Hill, a mansion known as Neasden House and some 75 fields resulted from the enclosure. The region was typical open farming country and the only road across the area was Dollis Hill Lane which traversed it from east to west.
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, and it is somewhat to the north of the later location of the station. Dollis Hill House
was built in 1825, opposite its farm.
Author Mark Twain stayed at Dollis Hill House
in the summer of 1900. Twain wrote that he had "never seen any place that was so satisfactorily situated, with its noble trees and stretch of country, and everything that went to make life delightful, and all within a biscuit's throw of the metropolis of the world." "There is no suggestion of city here; it is country, pure and simple, and as still and reposeful as is the bottom of the sea." He later wrote "Dollis Hill comes nearer to being a paradise than any other home I ever occupied".
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
The railway was built in 1868 but a station only opened on the line in 1909. By 1895 there was a golf-course and residential building really got going in the south-east of Dollis Hill from 1907 onwards.
Of the major landmarks constructed in the first quarter of the twentieth century, the two most noteworthy are St Andrew’s Hospital, built in 1913, and the Post Office Research Station which rose in 1923 on the site of the old Dollis Hill Farm
. In the mid-1920s Edgware Road was developed and there was some small-scale building in the middle of Dollis Hill.
So far a large part of the area still retained much of its rural character, but a great transformation took place between 1928 and 1930 when 29 more new streets were laid out; this was also the period in which the North Circular Road
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. The John Kelly Schools went up in 1958 on open land north of the Research Station.
A World War II bunker for Winston Churchill called Paddock is located here.
In the summer of 1900, a photographer was at large along the lane. It is unclear who was photographed here, but the man and a woman in a two-wheeled carriage, may have been coming to or from Dollis Hill House
There is the possibility that this set of photographs shows an outing from the house, since here we see a different couple of people; the man is in a top hat and the woman shading herself from the winter sun using an umbrella.
In the final image of the 1900 series, pictured below, a group of people are pushing their bicycles along Dollis Hill Lane.
Dollis Hill House
was badly damaged by fire in 1996. Brent council demolished the building in the winter of 2011-12.