Old Welsh Harp

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

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Pub · * · NW9 ·
September
5
2022
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


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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Gillian   
Added: 17 Feb 2024 00:08 GMT   

No 36 Upper East Smithfield
My great great grandfather was born at No 36 Upper East Smithfield and spent his early years staring out at a "dead wall" of St Katharine’s Docks. His father was an outfitter and sold clothing for sailors. He describes the place as being backed by tenements in terrible condition and most of the people living there were Irish.

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Kevin Pont   
Added: 16 Feb 2024 20:32 GMT   

Name origin
Interestingly South Lambeth derives its name from the same source as Lambeth itself - a landing place for lambs.

But South Lambeth has no landing place - it is not on the River Thames

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C Hobbs   
Added: 31 Jan 2024 23:53 GMT   

George Gut (1853 - 1861)
George Gut, Master Baker lived with his family in Long Lane.
George was born in Bernbach, Hesse, Germany and came to the UK sometime in the 1840s. In 1849, George married an Englishwoman called Matilda Baker and became a nauralized Englishman. He was given the Freedom of the City of London (by Redemption in the Company of Bakers), in 1853 and was at that time, recorded as living at 3 Long Lane. In the 1861 census, George Gut was living at 11 Long Lane.

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Emma Beach   
Added: 18 Jan 2024 04:33 GMT   

William Sutton Thwaites
William Sutton Thwaites was the father of Frances Lydia Alice Knorr nee Thwaites�’�’she was executed in 1894 in Melbourne, Victoria Australia for infanticide. In the year prior to his marriage, to her mother Frances Jeanette Thwaites nee Robin, William Sutton was working as a tailor for Mr Orchard who employed four tailors in the hamlet of Mile End Old Town on at Crombies Row, Commercial Road East.

Source: 1861 England Census Class: Rg 9; Piece: 293; Folio: 20; Page: 2; GSU roll: 542608

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Simon   
Added: 15 Jan 2024 15:44 GMT   

Simon De Charmes, clockmaker
De Charmes (or Des Charmes), Simon, of French Huguenot extraction. Recorded 1688 and Free of the Clockmakers’ Company 1691-1730. In London until 1704 at least at ’his House, the Sign of the Clock, the Corner of Warwick St, Charing Cross’. See Brian Loomes The Early Clockmakers of Great Britain, NAG Press, 1981, p.188

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Born here
Jacqueline Mico   
Added: 14 Jan 2024 07:29 GMT   

Robert Bolam
This is where my grandad was born, he went on to be a beautiful man, he became a shop owner, a father, and grandfather, he lost a leg when he was a milkman and the horse kicked him, then opened a shop in New Cross and then moved to Lewisham where he had a Newsagents and tobacconists.

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Tom Hughes   
Added: 5 Jan 2024 14:11 GMT   

4 Edwardes Terrace
In 1871, Mrs. Blake, widow of Gen. Blake, died in her home at 4 Edwardes Terrace, leaving a fortune of 140,000 pounds, something like 20 million quid today. She left no will. The exact fortune may have been exaggerated but for years claimants sought their share of the "Blake millions" which eventually went to "the Crown."

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Matthew Proctor   
Added: 7 Dec 2023 17:36 GMT   

Blackheath Grove, SE3
Road was originally known as The Avenue, then became "The Grove" in 1942.

From 1864 there was Blackheath Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on this street until it was destroyed by a V2 in 1944

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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.


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Hendon Central (1923)
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