Thursday, 6 December 2012

River Brent Neasden

River Brent
The River Brent flows out of the Brent Reservoir and continues south westwards and is joined by a tributary from the north. The canal feeder also runs from the reservoir, slightly to the east of the Brent, and flows south

Post to the east Neasden
Post to the north Kingsbury
Post to the west Wembley Park
Post to the south Neasden

Aylesbury Street
The Metropolitan Railway was extended to Harrow in 1880. To provide accommodation for its employees at their works the Company built in 1882 a staff colony known as Neasden Village. By 1883 a housing estate had been built with roads originally named A and B Streets which were later renamed after stations along the line. The metropolitan railway had begun services to Aylesbury in the early 1890s although it has since been transferred from what became the Metropolitan Line and part of London Underground’ to Chiltern Railway
40 additional cottages were built here in 1904.

Barnhill Road
Wembley Church of Christ
Church of the English Martyrs licensed for worship in 1930 and opened in 1931. Replaced in 1970.

Blackbird Hill
This was at one time called Black Pot Hill and was part of Kingsbury village – it was also called Kingsbury Lane. After the Black Death the village centre moved north to the area of Kingsbury Green. 
Brent Bridge.  The river Brent has been crossed here since ancient time. The bridge is mentioned in there early 16th and a footbridge had been here for a very long time – repaired by both Kingsbury and Neasden manors. A ford next to the bridge was a crossing point for horses drawn traffic. In the late 16th All Souls College built a bridge suitable for horses and carts and this was repaired by the mill but by the early 19th Kingsbury vestry was asked to undertake repairs. In 1826 it was a wooden bridge 11 ft. wide.  In 1922 a new bridge was built for the British Empire Exhibition.
Bridge over the Canal Feeder – all wire netting and safety mesh
Blackbird Farm. 17th this was a dairy farm on the corner of Old Church Lane
Gower House School, Private primary school.
Church of the English Martyrs.  Catholic Church. A circular church by John E. Sterrett and B. D. Kaye opened in 1970 to replace a temporary church
Blackbird Inn. Named for the Blackbird Farm – but the pub has closed and been demolished but towards the end was renamed The Blarney Stone.  Replaced by housing

Brent River
Mill - In the late 16th Jon Chalkhill built a mill southwest of Blackbird Hill.

Canal Feeder
The Grand Junction Canal Company built this 3 mile feeder from the Brent to Waxlow Road in 1810. As traffic increased on the canal grew, there was an increasing demand for water as locks were used more frequently. This feeder channel was built around to try and solve the problem 1811 from the River Brent. It was gravity fed and followed the natural contours. When the Brent Reservoir was built in 1835 the feeder was supplied through the dam.

Chalkhill Road
Named for a local manor and for a 17th mill owner, John Chalkhill

Chesham Street
Part of Neasden Railway village which was enlarged when it was added and laid out parallel to the Works in 1925 and the three original streets were extended to meet it. It consists of 130 houses built with a Government subsidy to designs by Charles W Clark on the Hamish Cross concrete post and panel system which had been approved by the Ministry of Health.  Chesham is the final station on the Metropolitan Railway.

Church Lane
St. Andrew’s Church.  The new church was originally built by S. W. Dawkes and Hamilton in 1847 at Wells Street, St. Marylebone. It was moved here stone by stone by W. A. Forsyth in 1933. It is an early neo-Gothic church built of limestone rubble. It had been a centre of Anglo-Catholicism, and inside was a metal chancel screen and pulpit designed by W.Street and a lectern by W. Butterfield. Window by Pugin was destroyed during the Second World War.
Church Hall - A temporary church hall, built after 1907, was replaced in 1950.

Coombe Road
Executive House

Forty Lane
11 home of Arthur Lucan,. There is a plaquwe which sats “ entertainer and creator of Old Mother Riley”.  Lucan, came from Dublin, and dressed up as an Irish washerwoman. His wife, was his stage daughter

Harp Island Close
This is built on the peninsula between the River Brent and the Feeder channel.

Ken Way
1 Chalkhill police station

Kingsbury Garden Village
The village community was extended further after the war. In 1919 the Metropolitan Railway Board Metropolitan Country Estates Ltd to develop surplus railway land and 40 acres adjoining the village outside the conservation area where sold to the company. This estate was called Kingsbury Garden Village and was the nearest of their estates to London. It was the only one catering for low incomes and about 40 houses were ready in the early part of 1921. These properties are not considered to possess special interest and lie outside the Conservation Area.

Neasden Lane
Four properties in Neasden Lane were added to the railway village in 1904-5, constructed by the builders Bott and Stennett to plans by E P Seaton.

Old Church Lane
Church of St.Andrew.  This is a 12th church, with evidence of Norman, Saxon and Roman work and there was almost certainly a Saxon church on the site. It is may be built on gravel spur between two streams flowing to the Brent. Stukeley claimed these as the enclosure of a Roman camp – but this has been discredited. However the church is built at a point where much of the surrounding area could easily be seen, - including Watling Street and the silk stream bridge. It is may be surrounded by medieval ditch and there may be Sarson corner stones. It is very small with walls of rendered flint rubble and red tiles which could be Roman. By the mid-13th it was owned by the hospital of St John of Jerusalem hence a dual dedication to St Andrew and to St John the Baptist.  The porch was used as a school before 1570. There have been many additions and alterations and a major restoration in 1840 when the south porch was removed and the outside was roughcast. At the same time a gallery and a vestry were added.  There has been more work since. The font is 13th and has no drainage hole so may have been a mortar. It is said to have been thrown into a pond in 1840, rescued by a local who used it as a flower pot and returned it from his death-bed in 1905. The lectern is 17th from a City church and was used Gladstone.  It has bells one from 1340. There are three brasses and also a memorial to the Earl of Mansfield and toy John Bull, Keeper of the King's Poultry.  In 1977 it was made redundant and is used by the Welbury Historical Society as a Museum. Under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust
Churchyard.  The old church is in in an overgrown churchyard, with many Victorian yew trees, a row of lime trees along the west side, a lych-gate and monuments hidden in the undergrowth. There are some listed tombstones.  The parish was always too poor to enlarge the church and there were 13th incentives o people who helped maintain the church. The churchyard is in three sections with additions of 1900 and the 1930s.
1/1a-12/12a Old St Andrew's Mansions. Flats with integral garages designed in 1936 by Ernest George Trobridge. They are in brick, with two storeys joined by an amazing external brick stair leading to the upper flat. These are two of a group of flats by Trobridge whose limited surviving works are concentrated in this area. He developed a method of using unseasoned timber and unskilled ex-servicemen to build cheap charismatic homes for heroes. The detailing is inspired by his Swedenborgian beliefs - Swedenborg proposed a system of "correspondence" whereby worldly, spiritual and divine ideas could be related together.' The effect on Trobridge was the idiosyncratic expression of every detail.
5-5a, 6-6a Gatepiers built 1936 by E G Trobridge. Brick. They are lozenge- angled to the alleyway

Quainton Street
The road is built on the Metropolitan Railway housing estate.
Neasdon High School, site – the school closed in 1989. It was built on the site of London Transport's power station at Quainton Street in 1968
Neasden Power Station. This replaced a coal gas plant and was a coal fired power station built by Westinghouse for the Metropolitan Railway in 1904. It was alongside the railway depot and workshops and built in connection with their electrification scheme. It closed in 1968.
Coal gas plant. This was built at the end of Quainton Street for the Metropolitan Railway in 1893 and survived until 1902 when the power station was planned.
St Margaret Clitherow School. Roman Catholic primary school built in 1973

Poplar Grove
Poplar Grove Centre or Chalkhill Youth and Community Centre

Salmon Street
22 St Nicholas School. Private ‘preparatory’ school opened in 1937

Welsh Harp – Brent Reservoir
The lake is the officially Brent or Kingsbury Reservoir now owned by The Canal & River Trust. It was built for the Regents Canal Co. in 1835 when the Brent was dammed because of the need to keep water at the summit level at Camden Town. It forms part of the River Brent Flood Alleviation Scheme. Automatic sluices control the flow of water out, flood warning system is in operation to provide warning for residential and commercial areas downstream of the reservoir.
Earth dam – the dam and a massive masonry semi-circular overspill weir lie at the west end. The construction work comprised “the formation of an embankment or head with weirs, sluices, retaining walls and basins across the river”. It was deepened in 1851 and extended between 1853-1854 when the wall was increased in height and extended thus enlarging the reservoir. In 2005, British Waterways again extended the height of the dam wall on the southern flank, extended the dam into Neasden Recreation Ground as a clay bund; and reconstructed the face of the dam wall.

Sources
Barker & Robins. A History of London Transport
British History. Kingsbury. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
GLIAS Newsletter
Jackson. London’s Metropolitan Railway
London Borough of Brent. Web site
London Gardens on line. Web site
Middlesex Churches.
Middlesex County council history of Middlesex,
Stevenson. Middlesex,
Thames 21. Web site
Thames Basin Archaeological Group. Report,
Walford. Village London,

1 comment:

Colin Pike said...

The "temporary" Church Hall for St Andrew's was a wooden hut adjacent to the junction of Church Lane and Old Church Lane. After the replacement hall was built at the rear of the church the old hut remained in regular use for many years as the HQ for the 13th Wembley (St Andrew's) Scout Group and the Guides/Brownies. It was demolished in the 1990s to make way for a new (smaller) vicarage, the original large one having been sold off for conversion into apartments.\uc0\u8236 }