A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.
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Growth after 1850.
Despite a rising population in the late 19th century, largely around Childs Hill and Brent Street, much of Hendon was unchanged until the Hampstead tube reached Golders Green in 1907 and Edgware in 1924. (fn. 1) Growth after 1850 therefore took place in two stages: the first, before the coming of the Underground, saw the expansion of some of the old hamlets and the creation of railway settlements, while the second saw most of the parish covered by suburban housing.
Brent Street, a 'genteel hamlet' in 1876, (fn. 2) became the leading shopping district in the late 19th century. (fn. 3) New Brent Street, with its terraced and semi-detached houses, was built between 1843 and 1863, and included a post office, a police station, and a school opposite the junction with Bell Lane. (fn. 4) The area around Church Road, which connected Brent Street with Church End, was also covered with houses after Hendon station was opened in 1868. Fuller Street was built before 1874 (fn. 5) and nearby terraces, including Heading Street and Prince of Wales Road, were built at about that time. (fn. 6) The northern limit of housing was marked by Sunningfields Road, Sunny Gardens Road, and Sunningfields Crescent, the last of which was laid out in 1882 and built up at the end of the century. (fn. 7) East of Brent Street, small houses lined Victoria, Stratford, and Belle Vue roads by 1899. (fn. 8) A statement in 1876 that Hendon had recently come to look like any other suburban or railway village (fn. 9) applied to Church Road, Brent Street, and Finchley Lane, rather than to Church End, whose remoteness from the main roads allowed it to remain relatively unchanged until the 1960s.
North of Brent Street, large houses continued to be built in and around Parson Street. (fn. 10) Many of them, hidden by high walls and plantations and presenting a marked contrast to the humbler terraces lower down the hill, were built on the Hendon Place estate during the occupancy of a Mr. Somerville, who laid out Waverley Grove and Tenterden Grove after 1863. (fn. 11) Thirty-five acres of the estate were bought by C. F. Hancock of Hendon Hall, who built several houses, (fn. 12) as did a Mr. Prachitt, who came to live in Fuller Street in 1877. (fn. 13) Down House and other 18thcentury houses made way for the new buildings, several of which were themselves later replaced by smaller dwellings and luxury flats. Those houses which survived in 1970 gave the area its character of tree-shaded Victorian opulence: among them were Westhorpe, an Italianate brick building in a derelict state, Nazareth House, known in 1902 as St. Swithins, a large brick house with a crenellated tower, extended c. 1900 to the designs of George Hornblower, (fn. 14) and the Towers, formerly Ivy Tower, (fn. 15) adorned with gables and turrets.
Away from Brent Street the fastest growth in the mid 19th century took place at Childs Hill, which was linked with near-by Hampstead. Terraces of artisans' houses sprang up along Cricklewood Lane near the Red Lion, in the Mead (later Granville Road), and near the Castle inn. (fn. 16) By 1863 a school and All Saints church had been built in the village and other streets, including the Ridge (later Ridge Road), had been laid out; the population of the parish of All Saints rose from 906 in 1861 to 2,138 in 1871 and 5,525 in 1891. (fn. 17) To the east, around West Heath Road on the slopes of Hampstead Heath, some large houses were built between 1863 and 1897, (fn. 18) several of which were standing in 1970. North of Childs Hill, however, open country survived the coming of the Underground in 1907, when Lyndale Avenue (fn. 19) and other roads were built on land belonging to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 20)
The growth of modern Cricklewood began after the opening of Childs Hill (later Cricklewood) station in 1868, when the 'railway village', terraced cottages for Midland railway employees, was built between the railway and Edgware Road. (fn. 21) After a pause small houses spread north from Kilburn and Brondesbury, until by 1897 they had been built in Elm Grove, Yew Grove, and Ash Grove, south of Cricklewood Lane; St. Peter's church and school were opened at about that time, when housing began to creep up Cricklewood Lane towards Cowhouse Green and Childs Hill. (fn. 22) Rockhall Terrace, large houses in Edgware Road dating from before 1863, (fn. 23) was demolished in 1905, and the shopping centre of Cricklewood Broadway was built near the terminus for trams from the west end of London. (fn. 24) In 1908 the Hendon part of Cricklewood was much less built up than the area west of Edgware Road. Thorverton, Caddington, and Dersingham roads were laid out in 1907 (fn. 25) but much of the land remained empty along Cricklewood Lane, leading to Childs Hill, until after the First World War. (fn. 26) Cowhouse Farm survived until 1932. (fn. 27)
The Midland Railway made its greatest impact on the western part of the parish, where, apart from Cricklewood, the only hamlets were at the Hyde, Colindeep, and the Hale. A small group of houses at Burnt Oak was under construction in 1863, presumably to serve the new Redhill workhouse; the houses occupied North, South, and East roads, which formed a square with Edgware Road. (fn. 28) A school and a church were built near by at the end of the 19th century but the area remained rural until the L.C.C.'s Watling estate was laid out in 1924-7. (fn. 29) To the south a new suburb called West Hendon grew up near Hendon station, opened in 1868 amid fields at the foot of Burroughs Lane (later Station Road). Streets of terraced houses stretching west from Edgware Road to Brent reservoir had been partially completed by 1897, while Herbert, Wilberforce, and Algernon roads were laid out to the east. (fn. 30) West Hendon expanded after the opening of Schweppes's mineral water factory in 1895. Deerfield Cottages were built for Schweppes's employees (fn. 31) and by 1914 small houses had spread up the hill towards the Burroughs on the Neeld family's estate, (fn. 32) in and around Vivian Avenue, Audley Road, and Graham Road. (fn. 33) Building also spread north to the Hyde and to Colindale, a suburban outpost near the old hamlet of Colindeep, where terraces were built in Colindale and Annesley avenues between 1897 and 1914, (fn. 34) presumably because of the near-by hospital, Public Health laboratory, and tramway depot. Open country, however, stretched south from West Hendon to Cricklewood railway sidings in 1914, while the badly drained ground on the Kingsbury border never attracted housing; Reets Farm survived in 1929, (fn. 35) and the area was occupied by a park, playing fields, a nursery, and allotment gardens in 1970.
The railway did little to affect Mill Hill, whose ward had a population of only 4,414 in 1911, com pared with Central ward's 17,776 and Childs Hill's 16,616. (fn. 36) After the opening of the G.N.R.'s Mill Hill station (later Mill Hill East) in 1867 a few terraced cottages and a public house grew up near the gasworks at the foot of Bittacy Hill, but the poor train service failed to attract commuters. The Midland, too, seemed uninterested in suburban growth: fields stretched around its station (later called Mill Hill Broadway) until well into the 20th century, although between 1897 and 1913 some new streets, including Langley Park, Sylvan Avenue, and Brockenhurst Gardens, were laid out near by (fn. 37) and the nucleus of the shopping centre in Mill Hill Broadway (then still known as Lawrence Street) was built c. 1910. (fn. 38) Abortive plans were made in 1910 for a village, resembling Hampstead Garden Suburb, on 50 a. north-west of the Midland Railway station. (fn. 39) Some large villas were built along Hale Lane in the late 19th century, (fn. 40) but the Hale itself remained apart until the 1920s. The one early attempt at large-scale building failed, probably because of inadequate public transport. In 1878 the Birkbeck Building Society and the Birkbeck Freehold Land Society laid out plots for 500 small houses in the angle between Daws Lane and Hammers Lane. (fn. 41) The first houses were built in Tennyson Road in 1879 but buyers hung back and the society finally collapsed in 1910. (fn. 42) There were many vacant plots on the estate in 1897 (fn. 43) and some as late as 1954. (fn. 44)
Religious communities first reached the old village of Mill Hill in 1871, when St. Joseph's college was opened near the top of Lawrence Street. (fn. 45) Other institutions followed and Mill Hill school began to expand at the end of the century, but the area remained free of dense housing. Residences at the tops of Bittacy Hill and Milespit Hill included the Priory and another house, possibly Parkfield, both built c. 1875 to designs by T. E. Colcutt in the tile-hung Norman Shaw manner, (fn. 46) and Wentworth House, west of Bittacy House, a gabled building with a cupola designed by W. E. and F. Brown c. 1891. (fn. 47) In the 1890s James C. Marshall established, in conjunction with the Linen and Woollen Drapers' Institution, a Cottage Home for retired members of the drapery trade. At first the home comprised 61 dwellings but after extensions in 1927 and 1961 it provided accommodation and full medical facilities for 250 people on both sides of Hammers Lane. (fn. 48) The original cottages, designed by George Hornblower and dating from 1898, form three sides of a courtyard; the central block, in the Jacobean manner, contains a hall with an open timber roof and is surmounted by a cupola. (fn. 49) Shortly before 1910 the Inglis barracks replaced Bittacy farm, although the farm-house survived in 1936. (fn. 50) The barracks were occupied in 1970 by the Royal Engineers, for whom large extensions had been carried out in 1968. (fn. 51) In Frith Lane farther to the east Nether Court, the largest Victorian house in Hendon, was built to the neo-Jacobean designs of Percy Stone in 1883. (fn. 52) Most 20th-century buildings along the Ridgeway, including Watchtower House and cottages built on the site of the Angel and Crown, are of modest height, although the neoGeorgian headquarters of the National Institute of Medical Research, designed by Maxwell Ayrton and opened in 1950, (fn. 53) is an exception.
The Underground gave rise to two distinct kinds of housing, the one idealistic in conception and carefully planned, the other commercially inspired and similar to scores of other suburban developments. The first kind is instanced in Hampstead Garden Suburb, built on part of Eton College's estate (fn. 54) to the east of Finchley Road. In 1905 a committee was formed at the instigation of Henrietta, afterwards Dame Henrietta, Barnett (1851-1936), the social reformer, to buy 80 a. as an extension to Hampstead Heath; later in that year, in expectation of the coming of the railway, the rest of the estate, totalling 243 a. east of Finchley Road and north of Golders Hill, was bought by the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust for development on lines laid down by Mrs. Barnett. (fn. 55) Building was begun in 1907, near Asmuns Hill, by independent groups, (fn. 56) although the Hampstead Garden Suburb Act of 1906 (fn. 57) enabled the character of the area to be determined by the trustees and their architects, Raymond Unwin and R. B. Parker, with Sir Edwin Lutyens as consultant. There were directions on the density of housing, the width of the streets, and the use of trees and building materials. The first major contractors included the Garden Suburb Development Co. and the Improved Industrial Dwellings Co. but many smaller houses were built by Hampstead Tenants Ltd. and Second Hampstead Tenants Ltd., collective enterprises financed by tenants' shares and outside contributions, which, it was hoped, would extend house-ownership to persons of smaller means. (fn. 58) The trustees themselves built the institute in Central Square and some cottages. In 1911 another 411 a., extending into Finchley, were leased from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 59) That part of the Suburb was built after the First World War, with J. C. S. Soutar as chief planner, while Hampstead Heath Extension Tenants Ltd., Oakwood Tenants Ltd., and other bodies joined the original contractors. (fn. 60)
The lay-out of the Suburb is similar to that employed by Parker and Unwin at Letchworth (Herts.) some ten years earlier, with winding roads, many trees, and a diversity of styles and materials. The focal point, Central Square, occupies a hill and consists of large brick neo-Georgian houses around an open space containing the church of St. Jude-on-the-Hill, the Free church, and, between them, the institute, all designed by Lutyens. (fn. 61) Henrietta Barnett lived in no. 1 South Square from 1915 until her death. (fn. 62) Most of the houses elsewhere are terraced or semi-detached and many are grouped in closes. Other buildings included artisans' flats in Addison Way and a quadrangle of houses for the aged, called the Orchard, both designed by Unwin, and a quadrangle of flats for single working women called Waterlow Court, designed by Baillie Scott in 1909. On the edge of the estate, at Temple Fortune, two impressive blocks of shops and flats, of Germanic appearance, with steeply-pitched roofs and towers, were designed by Unwin, who also designed the club house in Willifield Way, destroyed in the Second World War. Several architects, including W. Curtis Green, E. Guy Dawber, C. M. Crickmer, and Geoffrey Lucas, were employed but at first there was a prevailing style, derived from vernacular building and emphasizing the choice of materials. Neo-Georgian designs, however, were chosen by Lutyens, C. Cowles Voysey, and others c. 1912 and became usual for larger houses after the First World War. Since the part of the Suburb which lay in Hendon was substantially complete by 1914, most later building took place beyond the boundary, where the eastern extension was served by a shopping centre in Lyttelton Way, Finchley.
Hampstead Garden Suburb was planned for people of widely varying incomes and in that respect differed both from earlier ventures like Bournville (fn. 63) or Port Sunlight, originally the products of industrial paternalism, and from later council estates. Idealism produced buildings which ranged from large detached houses overlooking the Heath Extension to small cottages and flats near Temple Fortune in the north. In practice, however, manual workers were forced out by rising prices and rents, until the suburb became middle-class. Central Square provided facilities of an improving nature but atrophied as a result of the banishment of all shops, public houses, and amusements to the fringes of the estate, at Temple Fortune and Finchley. Despite its failure as a social experiment the Suburb embodied one of the most influential housing schemes of its time in England and contrasted strongly with the rest of 20th-century Hendon.
At Golders Green, a straggling hamlet in 1901, (fn. 64) new houses were built at the corner of Wentworth Road and Hoop Lane in 1905. Two years later the arrival of the Underground started a building boom in houses whose rustic appearance was to set a trend for suburban exteriors over the next three decades. Growth continued until after the First World War: the new Golders Green ward, covering an area with a population of 4,465 in 1911, had 7,518 people by 1921 and 17,837 by 1931. (fn. 65) Work began on 85½ a. near Woodstock House in 1906 (fn. 66) and the Finchley Road and Golders Green Syndicate began to build an estate south of Temple Fortune, including Templars Avenue and Wentworth Road, in 1907. (fn. 67) In the same year work started on the Ecclesiastical Commissioners' land south of Golders Green station, and Rodborough and Hodford roads were laid out, (fn. 68) whereupon housing spread south towards Childs Hill. Prominent among those responsible was Sir Edwin Evans, 'the Napoleon of suburban development', who worked on the Woodstock estate and elsewhere in conjunction with local firms, like those of Ernest Owers and Farrow and Howkins. (fn. 69) The old villas in their large gardens disappeared: in 1909 Golders Lodge was demolished and Golders Gardens, Gainsborough Gardens, and Powis Gardens were built on its site. (fn. 70) At Golders Green cross-roads, near the Underground station, rows of shops were under construction in 1911-12 (fn. 71) on a site which in 1904 had been deserted; (fn. 72) churches, chapels, a theatre, a cinema, and a large shopping centre followed. After the First World War, most of the remaining villas in Golders Green Road were replaced by semi-detached houses and large blocks of luxury flats, such as Brook Lodge and Riverside Drive. (fn. 73) Houses were also built north and west of Temple Fortune, work beginning on Eastfield Crescent, Cranbourne Gardens, and Park Way in 1924. (fn. 74) Many of the new houses at Golders Green were bought by middle-class Jews, who opened their first synagogue in 1922 (fn. 75) and became the forerunners of a large Jewish population.
Change in the agricultural north-west began in 1910, when Claude Grahame-White acquired a field near Colindale from which Louis Paulhan had set off for the first flight from London to Manchester in one day. (fn. 76) The field became part of Hendon Aerodrome which soon covered 207 a. In 1912 Grahame-White moved into Orange Hill House, a short distance to the north, (fn. 77) and by 1914 had made Hendon by skilful advertising one of the four leading airfields in the country and a major centre for the training of pilots. He also attracted thousands of visitors, for whom were provided a club-house, a 30-bedroomed hotel, and five enclosures for viewing. (fn. 78) Hendon witnessed several landmarks in the history of British aviation: an experimental aerial postal service was inaugurated there in 1911 and the first aerial Derby was held in 1912. (fn. 79) In 1914 the airfield was requisitioned for training by the Royal Naval Air Service and aircraft production was increased, but with the coming of peace Grahame-White resumed the development of its recreational side. The R.A.F. staged its first pageant there in 1920 and took the airport over completely in 1922. As a military airport (fn. 80) Hendon continued to draw large crowds in the period between the two World Wars. During the Second World War fighter aircraft were stationed at Hendon until 1940, after which the airport was used solely for transport and training. It was closed to flying in 1957, when the R.A.F. metropolitan communications squadron was transferred to Northolt, but remained in use by ground units. (fn. 81) In 1973 an R.A.F. museum opened on part of the site. (fn. 82)
In 1917 Claude Grahame-White planned housing for 300 employees, in the vain belief that Hendon would become 'the Charing Cross of our international air routes'. Simple terraced cottages, designed by Henry Matthews, were built around a square called Aeroville and some were occupied by 1919. (fn. 83) Handley Page established an airport at Claremont Road, Cricklewood, in 1912. (fn. 84) It was used by Handley Page Transport from 1919, and later also by Imperial Airways, for passenger flights to the Continent. Surrounding building so restricted expansion that the airfield was closed in 1929, whereupon the site was rapidly covered with houses or converted to playing fields. (fn. 85)
Aircraft production during the First World War hastened the growth of Colindale and the Hyde. Rows of small terraced and semi-detached houses continued to be built between the airport and Edgware Road after the factories had turned over to peacetime production. (fn. 86) Industry, restricted by Hendon U.D.C's determination not to offend owner-occupiers, (fn. 87) spread south along either side of Edgware Road towards Cricklewood after parts of the Brent reservoir had been reclaimed in 1921. The beginning of work on the North Circular Road in 1924 acted as a further impetus, until by the Second World War factories, second-hand car depots, and rubbish dumps, interspersed with blocks of flats, small shops, and houses, stretched from Cricklewood almost to Burnt Oak and Edgware. The British Museum's newspaper repository was opened in a new building in Colindale Avenue in 1932. (fn. 88)
Growth east of Edgware Road awaited the extension of the Underground through Hendon Central to Edgware and the building of arterial roads. All the new stations, except Colindale, were in open country (fn. 89) but the Underground group at once advertised 'little palaces' at Colindale, (fn. 90) and in 1923 the large Moat Mount estate in the north was said to be ready for development. (fn. 91) Hendon Way and the North Circular Road helped to open up the land west of Golders Green. At the southern end of Hendon Way, at Childs Hill, three large blocks of private flats, called Vernon Court, Wendover Court, and Moreland Court, with mockTudor timbering, were erected after the opening of the road in 1927. (fn. 92) Farther north the Vale, which ran from near Cricklewood to Golders Green, was being laid out in 1924, as was Renters Avenue, near Brent Underground station. (fn. 93) Houses were still being built in Shirehall Lane and neighbouring streets near the river Brent in 1928 by Messrs. Haymills, who were responsible for several estates in the area. (fn. 94) Council houses were built in 1924 on the Brent Farm estate around Sturgess Avenue, (fn. 95) and a larger estate was under construction at the Hyde in 1927. (fn. 96)
A roundabout and roads were constructed near Hendon Central station in 1923, where Watford Way crossed Queen's Road (formerly Butcher's Lane). As at Golders Green, motor-bus routes terminated in the station forecourt, close to a new shopping centre. Shops were spreading from Central Circus to the Burroughs in 1928 (fn. 97) and some semidetached houses were built near Watford Way, although the land west of the road was covered by the Hendon Aerodrome. Building was approved on part of the Hancock estate, near Sunny Gardens Road, in 1924 (fn. 98) and was also about to begin on the site of Ashley Farm, west of Holders Hill Road, in 1929. (fn. 99) Holders Hill Road itself was lined with expensive houses and blocks of flats. (fn. 100) Beyond Great North Way, however, Copthall playing field, Hendon golf course, and Hendon Park cemetery together constituted a large open tract which, with the airfield, still separated the north of the parish from the south in 1970. Houses covered all the remaining spaces in the south before 1935, (fn. 101) apart from some low-lying land near the Brent, which included the area south of the old U.D.C. sewage works by the North Circular Road. (fn. 102) The Ecclesiastical Commissioners refused to allow building at Cowhouse Farm because of bad drainage and it was sold to University College school as a sports ground. (fn. 103)
North of Hendon Central the railway passed through Colindale, which served the factories along Edgware Road, to Burnt Oak, which was surrounded by farm-land in 1924. (fn. 104) Here the L.C.C. purchased 390 a., including Goldbeaters farm, for their Watling estate. The first residents arrived in 1927 and the estate was completed by 1931, when there were 4,021 houses and flats. (fn. 105) In 1937 its population, drawn mainly from Islington and St. Pancras, was 19,012, compared with a population of 1,016 in Burnt Oak ward in 1921. (fn. 106) The estate was designed by G. Topham Forrest, (fn. 107) architect to the L.C.C., who relied much on the design of earlier garden suburbs: houses of tarred weatherboarding, roughcast or brick, many of them sheltered by older trees, formed winding streets and closes, inter spersed with small parks. Watling Avenue, leading to Burnt Oak station, became the chief shopping centre of the estate, and a market was built off Barnfield Road.
North and west of the Watling estate the remaining farm-land was slowly covered by private semidetached houses in the 1920s and 1930s. Building was stimulated not only by the Underground but also by the opening of Watford Way and the Barnet and Edgware by-pass roads in 1927. The Stoneyfields estate, north of the Hale, was sold for building in 1924 (fn. 108) and Upper and Lower Hale farms were sold in 1925, (fn. 109) when Hale and Selvage lanes were widened. (fn. 110) Fewer than 400 houses had been built by 1928, when the Elmgate Gardens estate was planned, although roads which included Downhurst Avenue and Sunbury Gardens had been laid out. (fn. 111) Shops at the Hale were also planned in 1928, when firms intended to build on nearly all the land near by; (fn. 112) they included Upper Hale Estates and Streather Estates. (fn. 113) In 1932 John Groom's Crippleage, founded in Clerkenwell in 1866, moved to new premises for 120 crippled women in Edgware Way. (fn. 114) By 1935 (fn. 115) continuous building had spread as far north as the Moat Mount golf course. (fn. 116)
East of the former Midland Railway's main line suburban growth was slower than at the Hale, chiefly because of the distance from Underground stations. The Broadway, near Mill Hill Broadway station, became a major shopping centre between the two World Wars: in 1930 the site of Bunn's Farm was being built upon and there were plans for the area around Lawrence Street. (fn. 117) Large detached houses were erected in Uphill Road and Tretawn Gardens in 1924 (fn. 118) and covered much of the area south of Marsh Lane by 1935. (fn. 119) The streets farther north did not appear until after the Second World War and a large tract of open land survived south of Mill Hill Broadway in 1935. (fn. 120) A council estate, including flats, was built near Mill Hill East station, at the foot of Bittacy Hill c. 1924. (fn. 121) A scheme by Mill Hill Homesteads Ltd. to build on Devonshire farm, south of the station, was approved in 1928, (fn. 122) although the farm was not sold until 1933. (fn. 123) An estate centred on Lullington Garth on the Finchley border was built c. 1932. (fn. 124) On the southern slopes of the Mill Hill ridge Engel Park, Bittacy Rise, and the avenues around Pursley Road were not completed until immediately before and after the Second World War; Dole Street farm survived until 1937, when the farm-house was replaced by a council estate. (fn. 125)
Hendon changed little in appearance between 1945 and 1970. The extreme north, from Mill Hill and Highwood Hill to the boundary, became part of the Green Belt. Elsewhere development was largely concerned with replacing older houses and making use of their grounds; new buildings of note included multi-storey flats east of Brent Street and a block of private flats, designed by Owen Luder, which had been built next to Hendon Hall by 1966. (fn. 126) There were sharp contrasts in 1970: between the open north and the shopping centres around the stations or the factories along Edgware Road, and between the expensive dwellings on the Mill Hill ridge or at Hampstead Garden Suburb and the avenues of semi-detached houses which covered most of the parish.
The population rose steadily from 4,544 in 1861 to 22,450 in 1901 and, more steeply, to 38,806 in 1911. Between 1921 and 1931 numbers nearly doubled, from 56,013 to 110,331. The rate slowed down to 40.2 per cent between 1931 and 1951, after which the population fell slightly to 151,843 by 1961. Mill Hill retained its low density in 1961, when there were 9 persons to the acre in Mill Hill ward, 26 in Childs Hill, and 34 in Burnt Oak. (fn. 127)