Uxendon Shooting Grounds

Sports field in/near Wembley Park, existed between 1898 and 1932

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Sports field · * · ·
APRIL
10
2017
Uxendon Shooting Grounds was the location of the clay pigeon shooting for the 1908 Olympics.

A field just to the east of Uxendon Farm had been set aside for shooting at the end of the nineteenth century.

Uxendon on the western slopes of Barn Hill was first recorded in 1257 as a small settlement in a transaction concerning Hugh of "Woxindon". In the 14th or 15th centuries some local people, including the Uxendon family, moved south to form another small community at Forty Green, where the Sudbury to Kingsbury road crossed the Lidding brook at Forty Bridge. This settlement was known as Uxendon Forty, Wembley Forty or Preston Forty. In 1516 the Bellamy family acquired Uxendon through marriage. They remained staunchly Roman Catholic after the Reformation and sheltered Catholic priests. Because of their faith the Bellamys suffered considerably in the final years of the 16th century.

By 1608 their land was in the hands of the Page family, who had become the leading landowners in the Wembley area. The Bellamys had already enclosed a small amount of open land. The Pages continued this process throughout the 17th century. Nonetheless a significant amount of common land remained until the Enclosure Act of 1803.

By 1732 a new farm, Barn Hill Farm, existed on the summit of Barn Hill. It was probably gone by the late 18th century, when Richard Page began building a folly or prospect house on Barn Hill. In 1792 Page engaged the celebrated landscape gardener, Humphry Repton, to layout "Wembley Park".

In 1829 many of the Page family lands, including Uxendon, went to Henry Young, the junior partner of the Page’s solicitor. There is good reason to suspect that Young obtained the lands fraudulently. In the decades that followed Young’s death numerous persons turned up claiming the ‘Page millions’, but no one was successful.

The district did not change significantly in the 19th century. This was due to an agricultural depression after the Napoleonic Wars and London’s growing need for hay; both Uxendon and Forty farms had converted to hay farming by 1852. The depression also led to an outbreak of violence in the area around 1828, when desperate agricultural labourers burnt haystacks and threatened local landowners.

In 1851 Uxendon Farm housed 13 people and Forty Farm 10, while three more lived at the top of Barn Hill. Around this time Uxendon was the venue for steeplechases and well known for its "sensational water jump”.

The construction of the Metropolitan Railway in 1880 effectively destroyed Forty Green, although South Forty Farm continued into the 20th century. In 1928 that farm became the headquarters of the Century Sports Ground. The celebrated gunsmiths Holland & Holland had a shooting ground nearby. As Forty Farm Sports Ground the site of the farm remains green to this day. The Holland & Holland grounds, however, were built over after 1931.

In 1896 the suggestion that a station should be built serving Preston was rejected because the local population was so small.

By 1900 Uxendon Farm had become a shooting ground (the Lancaster Shooting Club). When the Olympic Games were held in London in 1908 the ground was sufficiently important to be used for Olympic clay pigeon shooting. Pressure from the shooting club, which was a two mile walk from the nearest station, played a part in the opening of Preston Road Halt in May 1908.

A station on the eastern side of the Preston Road bridge was opened on 21 May 1908, and was originally named Preston Road Halt for Uxendon and Kenton; it was later renamed Preston Road. A path through Uxendon Farm connected to the lane which became Preston Road. From there it was but a short walk to the new halt. The temporary wooden platforms for this halt (the trains stopped “by request” only) were used until the current station was built, on the opposite side of Preston Road, as part of a 1930s suburban development.

The station was a halt (a request stop) and initially many trains failed to slow down enough to enable the driver to notice passengers waiting on the platform. Preston Road Halt triggered the first commuter development in the district. Some large Edwardian houses were built along Preston Road after 1910 and Harrow Golf Club opened near the station in 1912. Wembley Golf Club had already existed on the southern slopes of Barn Hill from about 1895. Both these golf courses would disappear under housing between the wars.

West Hill, Uxendon Hill and the roads between them were built around the same time on the site of the shooting ground, after the farm was demolished to make way for a railway extension to Stanmore, which opened in 1932 and is now the Jubilee Line.

Preston Road station was upgraded from a halt to a fully serviced station in 1931 when, during 1931–32, Preston Road station was re-sited on the opposite side of the road bridge, and the work was carried out in two stages: the southbound platform was re-sited on 22 November 1931, and the northbound on 3 January 1932.


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CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY

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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Comment
Jude Allen   
Added: 29 Jul 2021 07:53 GMT   

Bra top
I jave a jewelled item of clothong worn by a revie girl.
It is red with diamante straps. Inside it jas a label Bermans Revue 16 Orange Street but I cannot find any info online about the revue only that 16 Orange Street used to be a theatre. Does any one know about the revue. I would be intesrested to imagine the wearer of the article and her London life.

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Comment
Kathleen   
Added: 28 Jul 2021 09:12 GMT   

Dunloe Avenue, N17
I was born in 1951,my grandparents lived at 5 Dunloe Avenue.I had photos of the coronation decorations in the area for 1953.The houses were rented out by Rowleys,their ’workers yard’ was at the top of Dunloe Avenue.The house was fairly big 3 bedroom with bath and toilet upstairs,and kitchenette downstairs -a fairly big garden.My Grandmother died 1980 and the house was taken back to be rented again

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Comment
Kathleen   
Added: 28 Jul 2021 08:59 GMT   

Spigurnell Road, N17
I was born and lived in Spigurnell Road no 32 from 1951.My father George lived in Spigurnell Road from 1930’s.When he died in’76 we moved to number 3 until I got married in 1982 and moved to Edmonton.Spigurnell Road was a great place to live.Number 32 was 2 up 2 down toilet out the back council house in those days

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Comment
Lewis   
Added: 27 Jul 2021 20:48 GMT   

Ploy
Allotment

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Comment
   
Added: 27 Jul 2021 14:31 GMT   

correction
Chaucer did not write Pilgrims Progress. His stories were called the Canterbury Tales

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Comment
old lady   
Added: 19 Jul 2021 11:58 GMT   

mis information
Cheltenham road was originally
Hall road not Hill rd
original street name printed on house still standing

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Comment
Patricia Bridges   
Added: 19 Jul 2021 10:57 GMT   

Lancefield Coachworks
My grandfather Tom Murray worked here

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Lived here
Former Philbeach Gardens Resident   
Added: 14 Jul 2021 00:44 GMT   

Philbeach Gardens Resident (Al Stewart)
Al Stewart, who had huts in the 70s with the sings ’Year of the Cat’ and ’On The Borders’, lived in Philbeach Gdns for a while and referenced Earl’s Court in a couple of his songs.
I lived in Philbeach Gardens from a child until my late teens. For a few years, on one evening in the midst of Summer, you could hear Al Stewart songs ringing out across Philbeach Gardens, particularly from his album ’Time Passages". I don’t think Al was living there at the time but perhaps he came back to see some pals. Or perhaps the broadcasters were just his fans,like me.
Either way, it was a wonderful treat to hear!

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NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
Uxendon Farm Uxendon was once more important than Wembley.
Uxendon Shooting Grounds Uxendon Shooting Grounds was the location of the clay pigeon shooting for the 1908 Olympics.

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Wembley Park

Wembley Park is a London Underground station, the nearest Underground station to the Wembley Stadium complex.

Tracks were laid through the area by the Metropolitan Railway (MR, now the Metropolitan Line) when it extended its services from Willesden Green to Harrow-on-the-Hill. Services to Harrow started on 2 August 1880 although Wembley Park station was not constructed until later.

The station was constructed to serve the pleasure grounds developed by the MR at Wembley Park, a former country estate bought by the company in 1881 as a destination for excursion trips on the company’s trains. The station opened for the first time on 14 October 1893 and initially operated to serve only Saturday football matches in the park. It opened fully on 12 May 1894.

Later in the 1890s, the Great Central Railway’s (GCR’s) London extension was constructed adjacent to the MR’s tracks. The tracks pass under the entrance building but the station has never been served by mainline operators. In 1905 the tracks were electrified and the first electric trains became operational. Between 1913 and 1915, the MR added additional tracks to double the line’s capacity.

On 10 December 1932, the MR opened a branch line north from Wembley Park to Stanmore.

Originally, the MR served all stations south from Wembley Park to Baker Street station but the line suffered from congestion due to limited capacity on the tracks heading into Baker Street. Following the combination of the MR and London’s other underground railways to form the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) in 1933, the LPTB took steps to alleviate the congestion by constructing new Bakerloo Line tunnels from Baker Street to connect to the Metropolitan’s tracks south of Finchley Road station. From 20 November 1939, the Bakerloo Line then took over the Metropolitan stopping services between Wembley Park and Finchley Road and the Stanmore branch.

To handle the exceptional passenger numbers associated with the 1948 Olympics held at Wembley Stadium, the original station building was extended and given a new ticket hall and additional circulation routes and platform stairs. At the opening of the Jubilee Line on 1 May 1979, the Bakerloo service from Baker Street to Stanmore was transferred to the new line.

When the UEFA European Football Championship was held at Wembley in 1996, a large staircase was constructed leading down from the 1948 extension and under the newly-built Bobby Moore Bridge, which had opened in 1993. This was intended as a temporary structure and remained in its unfinished state until 2004, when extensive work began on the station in conjunction with the reconstruction of Wembley Stadium. Additional facilities were provided to handle event crowds, and the staircase was completed in time for the opening of the new stadium in 2007.


LOCAL PHOTOS
Postcard of Forty Farm
TUM image id: 1557227472
Licence: CC BY 2.0

In the neighbourhood...

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Postcard of Forty Farm
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