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Willesden Green Old Library Building
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||NW10, NW2|
Willesden ( // ) is an area of North West London, situated 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Charing Cross. It is historically a parish in the county of Middlesex that was incorporated as the Municipal Borough of Willesden in 1933, and has formed part of the London Borough of Brent in Greater London since 1965. Dollis Hill is also sometimes referred to as being part of Willesden.
With its close proximity to affluent neighbourhoods Brondesbury Park, Queen's Park and Kensal Rise, the area surrounding Willesden Green station has seen increased gentrification in the past several years, with rapidly rising property prices. The Daily Telegraph called Willesden Green one of London's "new middle class" areas.The area has a population of 44,295 as of 2011 including the Willesden Green, Dollis Hill and Dudden Hill wards. Willesden Green has one of the city's highest Irish populations, and is also strongly associated with Afro-Caribbeans and Latin Americans.
Willesden is mostly in the NW10 postcode district, but part of it is in the NW2 postcode district.
The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon Willesdune, meaning the Hill of the Spring,and a settlement bearing this name dates back to 939 AD. The Domesday Book of 1086 records it as Wellesdone. However, on 19th century maps of the town such as those from the 'Ordnance Survey First Series', the town is shown as Wilsdon. The motto of Willesden Borough Council was Laborare est orare ("to labour is to pray"). The current spelling was adopted by the London and Birmingham Railway in 1844, when they opened a local station.
From the 14th to 16th centuries, the town was a place of pilgrimage due to the presence of two ancient statues of the Virgin Mary at the Church of St Mary. One of these statues is thought to have been a Black Madonna, venerated as Our Lady of Willesden, which was insulted by the Lollards, taken to Thomas Cromwell's house and burnt in 1538 on a large bonfire of "notable images" including those of Our Lady of Walsingham, Our Lady of Worcester, and Our Lady of Ipswich. There was also a "holy well" which was thought to possess miraculous qualities, particularly for blindness and other eye disorders. Much of the district supplied Apples, Pears and vegetables to the city of London for many years from the early years of the industrial revolution.
The Iris was a British car brand that was manufactured from 1906 by Legros & Knowles Ltd in Willesden. Lucien Alphonse Legros (1866–1933), son of the artist Alphonse Legros, and Guy Knowles, scion of a wealthy and artistic family, founded Legros & Knowles Ltd in Cumberland Park, Willesden Junction, in 1904 to build and repair vehicles.
The parish of Willesden remained predominantly rural up until 1875, when its population was 18,500. It included the villages and hamlets of Brondesbury, Dollis Hill, Dudden Hill, Harlesden, Kilburn, Mapesbury, Oxgate and Stonebridge. [ citation needed ] and later the Jubilee line.However, this changed with the opening of the Metropolitan Railway (later the Metropolitan line) station of Willesden Green on 24 November 1879. By 1906 the population had grown to 140,000, a phenomenon of rapid growth that was to be repeated in the 1920s in neighbouring areas such as Harrow. The Metropolitan line service was withdrawn in 1940, when the station was served by the Bakerloo line,
The First World War caused Willesden to change from a predominantly middle class suburb to a working class part of London. After the war, Willesden grew rapidly as many factories opened up with numerous flats and terraced houses. The local council encouraged building to prevent large unemployment and decline. To the present day, Willesden has been shaped by the patterns of migration which marks it out as one of the most diverse areas in the United Kingdom. City of London Corporation records show that the first black person recorded in Brent was Sarah Eco, who was christened in St. Mary's Church in Willesden on 15 September 1723.The 1901 United Kingdom census recorded that 42% of the population was born in London. In 1923, the specialist coach builder Freestone and Webb established their base in Willesden, producing bespoke cars on Rolls-Royce and Bentley chassis until 1956.
Willesden became a municipal borough in 1933, and it is at this time that the area became predominantly working class. A small Irish community had formed in Willesden by this time, which grew rapidly during the period of the Second World War. A small Jewish community of refugees from Europe also formed during the war, with 3.5% of the population in 1951 born in Germany, Poland, Russia or Austria. During the war, Willesden suffered large bombing damage due to the heavy concentration of manufacturing industry, such as munition factories, the location of 'Smiths Instruments" (Used defensive aircraft instrumentation). Mulliner-Park Ward (Coach builders to Rolls Royce and Bentley, hand built cars). Power Station location, canal and major railway locomotive overhaul facilities located in the area.
The period from 1960 saw migrants settling from the Caribbean and the Indian Subcontinent. Additionally, from 1963 it was the site of the Kuo Yuan, the first Chinese restaurant to serve Pekinese dishes in Britain.Since the 1960s, Willesden has been popular with young working holidaymakers from Canada, Australia and New Zealand, although this popularity has declined somewhat in favour of other areas since about 2003.
Willesden went into a period of decline during the 1970s and 1980s as much of the housing was inadequate due to overcrowding as industry was mixed with housing. The whole of central Willesden (bar the area by the Willesden Green station) was earmarked for redevelopment; however, this did not come to fruition. In the late 1980s, traders were given money to revamp the High Street to prevent shops closing.
The area surrounding Willesden Green station has become more middle-class and gentrified with marked property price rises in 2014 and 2015.
The Willesden Green ward is represented on Brent Council by three Labour councillors, Fleur Donnelly-Jackson, Elliot George Chappell and Tom Miller.
Willesden forms part of the Brent Central parliamentary constituency and is home to the local Labour Party MP Dawn Butler.
According to the 2011 census, the Willesden Green ward had a population of 15,587. Ethnically, 22% of the population was Other White, followed by 20% White British, 8.2% Other Asian, 8.1% Black African and 7.1% Black Caribbean.52.7% were BAME. The most spoken foreign language is Portuguese. 2,621 of the tenure households were privately rented; 1,625 were socially rented; 1,540 were owned.
Roundwood Park is on the south-western side while Gladstone Park is nearby to the north of Willesden.
Several rail and London Underground lines pass through Willesden, calling at local stations including:
The Jubilee line connects the area directly to Stanmore via Wembley Park northbound, and to Central London southbound. Key southbound destinations include Baker Street, Bond Street, Westminster, Waterloo and Canary Wharf. Most southbound services terminate at Stratford.
Northbound Bakerloo line trains from Willesden Junction terminate at nearby Stonebridge Park, with some continuing towards Wembley Central and Harrow & Wealdstone. Like the Bakerloo line, southbound services also pass through Central London, with trains to Paddington, Marylebone, Baker Street, Oxford Circus, Waterloo and Elephant & Castle.
Metropolitan line trains pass through Willesden Green and Dollis Hill, but do not stop. This has not always been the case: Willesden Green station was opened by the Metropolitan Railway in 1879, and the area owes much of its development to the Metropolitan Railway and Metro-land. Today, passengers from Willesden can access the Metropolitan line by using the Jubilee line and changing at either Wembley Central to the north, or Finchley Road to the south.
Willesden Junction is served by several London Overground routes:
|Watford DC line||Northbound||Watford Junction||Harlesden, Stonebridge Park, Wembley Central , North Wembley, South Kenton, Kenton, Harrow & Wealdstone , Headstone Lane, Hatch End, Carpenders Park, Bushey , Watford High Street|
|Watford DC line||Southbound||Euston||Kensal Green, Queen's Park , Kilburn High Road, South Hampstead|
|North London line||Eastbound||Stratford||Kensal Rise, Brondesbury Park, Brondesbury, West Hampstead, Finchley Road & Frognal, Hampstead Heath, Gospel Oak , Kentish Town West, Camden Road, Caledonian Road & Barnsbury, Highbury & Islington , Canonbury . Dalston Kingsland, Hackney Central , Homerton, Hackney Wick|
|North London line||Westbound||Richmond||Acton Central, South Acton, Gunnersbury , Kew Gardens|
|West London line||Westbound||Clapham Junction||Shepherd's Bush , Kensington Olympia , West Brompton , Imperial Wharf|
Stations in Willesden straddle London fare zones 2 and 3.
Several key routes pass through or around Willesden:
|Scrubs Lane||White City||-|
|Harrow Road/Manor Park Road||Kensal||Wembley|
|North Circular Road||Ealing||Brent Cross|
|High Road||Willesden Junction||Cricklewood|
|Old Oak Lane||Acton||-|
|Dudding Hill Lane||-||Wembley|
|Shoot Up Hill||Kilburn||Cricklewood|
A large bus garage was built in 1902 and thus, many bus routes start or run through the town. The Queen visited it during her Golden Jubilee celebrations. London Buses routes serving Willesden are: 6, 52, 98, 206, 226, 260, 266, 297, 460 and N98.
To the north of Willesden, Quietway 3 runs unbroken between Gladstone Park and Shoot Up Hill on quiet, residential streets. The route is coordinated by Transport for London (TfL) and is planned to extend eastbound into West Hampstead towards Regent's Park.
A direct, traffic-free cycle route runs to the south of Willesden along the Grand Union Canal towpath. Cyclists share the route with pedestrians, but the towpath provides cyclists with an unbroken, traffic-free connection to Paddington. From Paddington, cyclists can access further Central London destinations using traffic-free Cycle Superhighway 3.
This section needs additional citations for verification .(July 2015)
Well I tried to settle down Fulham Broadway
And I tried to make my home in Golders Green
But I gotta get that train
And go back home again
Oh how I miss the folks back home in Willesden Green
You know, I tried, I really tried to settle in this big city
And I always thought I could make it all on my very own
But there's one thing that keeps calling me
To that little, that little semi-detached
That's the folks, yeah, the folks back home
In Willesden Green
The Metropolitan line, colloquially known as the Met, is a London Underground line between Aldgate in the City of London and Amersham and Chesham in Buckinghamshire, with branches to Watford in Hertfordshire and Uxbridge in Hillingdon. Coloured magenta on the tube map, the line is 41.4 miles (66.7 km) in length and serves 34 stations. Between Aldgate and Finchley Road the track is mostly in shallow "cut and cover" tunnels, apart from short sections at Barbican and Farringdon stations. The rest of the line is above ground, with a loading gauge of a similar size to those on main lines. Just under 67 million passenger journeys were made on the line in 2011/12.
The Bakerloo line is a London Underground line that runs between Harrow & Wealdstone in suburban north-west London and Elephant & Castle in south London, via the West End. Coloured brown on the Tube map, it serves 25 stations, 15 of which are below ground, over 14.4 miles (23.2 km). It runs partly on the surface and partly in deep-level tube tunnels.
The Jubilee line is a London Underground line that runs between Stratford in east London and Stanmore in the suburban north-west, via the Docklands, South Bank and West End. Opened in 1979, it is the newest line on the network, although some sections of track date back to 1932 and some stations to 1879.
Cricklewood is an area of London, England, which spans the boundaries of three London boroughs: Barnet to the east, Brent to the west and Camden to the south-east. The Crown pub, now the Clayton Crown Hotel, is a local landmark and lies 5 miles (8.0 km) north-west of Charing Cross.
Neasden is a suburban area in northwest London, England. It is located around the centre of the London Borough of Brent and is within the NW2 (Cricklewood) and NW10 (Willesden) postal districts. Neasden is near Wembley Stadium, the Welsh Harp, and Gladstone Park; the reservoir and River Brent marks its boundaries with Kingsbury and Wembley, while Gladstone Park and the Dudding Hill line separates it from Dollis Hill and Church End respectively. The A406 North Circular Road runs through the middle of Neasden; to the west is the Neasden Underground Depot, Brent Park retail area and the St Raphael's Estate; on the east is Neasden tube station, the large Neasden Temple, and former Neasden Power Station. The area is known as the place where Bob Marley lived after moving from Jamaica, living at a house in The Circle; the house was honoured with a blue plaque in 2012.
The London Borough of Brent is a London borough in north-west London. It borders the boroughs of Harrow to the north-west, Barnet to the north-east, Camden to the east, the City of Westminster to the south-east, as well as the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham and Ealing to the south. Most of the eastern border is formed by the Roman road Watling Street, which is now the modern A5.
Wembley (/ˈwɛmbli/) is a suburban town in north-west London, England, located in the ceremonial county of Greater London and the historic county of Middlesex. It is situated about 8 miles (13 km) west-northwest of Charing Cross, and includes the areas of Alperton, North Wembley, Preston, Sudbury, Tokyngton, and Wembley Park. The total population of the seven wards that make it up was of 102,856 as of 2011.
Dollis Hill is an area in northwest London, which consists of the streets surrounding the 35 hectares Gladstone Park. It is served by a London Underground station, Dollis Hill, on the Jubilee line, providing good links to central London. It is in the London Borough of Brent, close to Willesden Green, Neasden and Cricklewood, and in the latter's postal district (NW2).
Dollis Hill is a London Underground station at Dollis Hill near to Willesden and Gladstone Park of the London Borough of Brent. It is on the Jubilee line, between Willesden Green and Neasden stations and is in Travelcard Zone 3. Metropolitan line trains pass through the station without stopping here.
Baker Street is a London Underground station at the junction of Baker Street and the Marylebone Road in the City of Westminster. It is one of the original stations of the Metropolitan Railway (MR), the world's first underground railway, opened on 10 January 1863.
Wembley Park is a London Underground station in Wembley Park, north west London. The station is served by the Underground's Metropolitan and Jubilee Lines and is in Travelcard Zone 4. It is located on Bridge Road (A4089) and is the nearest Underground station to the Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena complex. This is where the Jubilee line from Stanmore diverges from the Metropolitan line which was formerly a branch of the Metropolitan Railway and was taken over by the Bakerloo line and today part of the Jubilee line.
Neasden is a London Underground station in Neasden. It is on the Jubilee line, between Wembley Park and Dollis Hill. Metropolitan line trains pass through the station but do not stop, except on rare occasions. The Chiltern Main Line/London to Aylesbury Line runs to the west of the station.
Willesden Green is a London Underground station on Walm Lane in Willesden. It is served by the Jubilee line and is between Dollis Hill and Kilburn. Metropolitan line trains also pass through the station, but do not usually stop. The station is in both Travelcard Zone 2 and Zone 3.
Kilburn is a London Underground station at Brondesbury Park in north-west London. It is on the Jubilee line, between Willesden Green and West Hampstead stations and is in Travelcard Zone 2. The station is on the A5 Kilburn High Road or Shoot-up Hill, approximately 0.1 miles (0.16 km) north of Brondesbury station.
Swiss Cottage is a disused London Underground station in Swiss Cottage, north-west London. It was opened in 1868 as the northern terminus of the Metropolitan and St. John's Wood Railway (M&StJWR), the first northward branch extension from Baker Street of the Metropolitan Railway.
Dollis Brook runs through the London Borough of Barnet in north London. It is a tributary of the River Brent, which is itself a tributary of the River Thames. The Dollis Valley Greenwalk follows almost all of Dollis Brook, apart from a short section at the beginning which passes through private land, and the London Loop follows it as far as Barnet Lane. The name Dollis is probably derived from the Middle English word 'dole', meaning the shares of land in the common field.
Queen's Park is an area and civil parish in North-West London located 3.9 miles (6.3 km) north-west of Charing Cross. The northern half lies in the London Borough of Brent while the southern half lies in the City of Westminster.
Brent Central is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. It is currently represented, since 2015, by Dawn Butler of the Labour Party.
Mapesbury is a residential area of northwest London, England. It forms one of twenty-one electoral wards of the London Borough of Brent.
Gladstone Park is situated in the Dollis Hill area of north-west London. It is about 35 hectares in area.