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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In 1086 Kingsbury was divided between two holdings. The largest, held by Albold, consisted of 7½ hides, made up of land for 7 ploughs, enough meadow for ½ plough, and woodland for 1,000 pigs yielding £1. Of the arable land, 2 ploughs were on the demesne and 5 on the land held by peasants. The whole estate, worth £4 in 1086 and £6 T.R.E., was worth only £1 when Albold received it, suggesting considerable devastation after the Conquest. The second estate, at Chalkhill, consisted of 2½ hides, composed of land for 2 ploughs and woodland for 200 pigs. Of the arable, 1 plough was in demesne and one divided among the 5 villeins, who each held a virgate, and one cottar. The estate, worth £1 10s. in 1086, had been valued at £3 T.R.E. (fn. 1)
Of the cultivated land in Kingsbury in 1086 6 ploughs were required on the peasant land, approximately 4 hides, and 3 ploughs on the freehold demesne land, probably about 3 hides. If there was more customary than freehold land in cultivation, there was also a large area of uncultivated, probably wooded, land. Most had been granted out by the end of the 13th century, part forming freehold estates like those of the de la Hayes in northern and of the Brancasters in southern Kingsbury, (fn. 2) and part forming new villein holdings. In 1276-7 there were 16 virgates and 20 a. of copyhold land of Edgware manor in Kingsbury. (fn. 3) By c. 1350 most of the freehold land in northern Kingsbury had been absorbed into the demesne of Kingsbury manor, which then consisted of approximately 320 a. (fn. 4) Southern Kingsbury was predominantly freehold. By c. 1350 the Westminster estate at Chalkhill had been replaced by a freehold estate of 40 a., a few small freehold estates, and 3¾ virgates and 22 a. of copyhold land held from Kingsbury manor; southeastern Kingsbury was occupied by the freehold Brancaster estate. Copyhold land, which was at its greatest extent during the early Middle Ages, contracted during the 15th and 16th centuries as it was absorbed into the larger freehold estates of Chalkhill and Kingsbury manor. (fn. 5) By 1597 750 a. out of a total of 1,580 a. (48 per cent) was freehold land. (fn. 6) This proportion remained until the copyhold contracted still further with new acquisitions by All Souls College and enfranchisements in the 19th century.
Accounts made by the bailiff of Geoffrey le Scrope for the period Feb. 1325-Michaelmas 1326 are the only evidence for the organization of the economy on the freehold demesnes. (fn. 7) The work was directed by the bailiff and carried out by famuli, permanent and hired workers, and villeins performing customary services. Permanent labourers, who included a dairyman, a swineherd, a herdsman, a drover, a carter, two ploughmen, a boy to watch the horses and a woman to make ale, were paid in money and grain. Hired workers performed all the mowing of hay, collecting, binding and stacking, winnowing, most of the threshing and part of the weeding and reaping of grain. Famuli (fn. 8) carried out half the weeding, a small part of the threshing, and part of the collecting of hay and building of hayricks. The rest of the reaping of grain and collecting of hay and building of hayricks was performed by boonworkers.
In 1304 Thomas of Brancaster alluded to service owed him by William Gospriest and Richard Simond. (fn. 9) Although Ralph Gospriest and Ralph Simond were among the six tenants who paid assized rents to Geoffrey le Scrope in 1325, (fn. 10) there is no evidence that customary services other than boon-works were ever exacted on the Coffers estate. Most people in Kingsbury owed customary services to Edgware manor. The services appear to have been evenly divided between Kingsbury and Edgware, being respectively worth £1 6s. 10¾d. and £1 6s. 11¼d. in 1276-7 (fn. 11) and £1 7s. ¼d. and £1 9s. 3d. in 1426. In 1426 23 tenements in Kingsbury, representing 13¾ virgates, owed a total of 289 works: 50 carrying works (averagia), 23 each of hedging, harrowing, hoeing, and binding corn, 92 reaping and 55 carrying corn works. Apart from one tenant who had to mow Rush Mead, there was no mention in 1426 (fn. 12) of any works connected with hay, in contrast to 1276-7 when mowing, carrying, and building haystacks were demanded from all customary tenants. (fn. 13) In 1438-9 11 customary tenants of Kingsbury manor owed services of harrowing and hoeing, boon-works of mowing, lifting and carrying, and certain autumn works, valued in all at 7s. a year. (fn. 14) Although services were included in the appurtenances of Freren manor leased in the early 16th century, (fn. 15) there is no evidence that any were performed. The tenants of Freren were said in 1358 to be free (fn. 16) and of the 13 tenants mentioned in 1510-12, many held land in Hendon and Harrow. (fn. 17)
Most services had probably been commuted by 1276-7, (fn. 18) although there was some presentment of tenants of Edgware manor for failure to perform ploughing-services in 1280 (fn. 19) and 1331 (fn. 20) and mowing was expected from tenants in Kingsbury in 1433. (fn. 21) On Kingsbury manor tenants had to mow Honeyslough meadow in 1350 (fn. 22) and 16 people were presented for default at 'the time of mowing' in 1379; at the same court Robert Wrench was presented for having 30 autumn works in arrears. (fn. 23)
None of the customary holdings in Kingsbury during the Middle Ages was very large. On the main manor in 1086 8 villeins held a virgate each, 3 villeins held a half-virgate each, and 5 bordars held 5 a. each; there was one cottar. (fn. 24) In 1276-7 holdings consisted of a virgate and a quartron or quarter-virgate, 6 virgates, 6 triple-quartrons, 7 half-virgates, 3 quartrons, and two 5-acre holdings. Except for Tollesland and Allechonland, two triplequartrons which were probably held in common, each was held by one tenant, giving a total of 23 tenants. (fn. 25) By 1426 customary land in Kingsbury held from Edgware manor comprised 4 virgates, 3 triple-quartrons, 10 half-virgates, 10 quartrons, and 24 other holdings, mostly crofts. There were 32 tenants, ranging from John Hamond, who held part of a virgate, a triple-quartron, a quartron and 4 a., to John Lyon of Boys, who had 2 a. (fn. 26)
A comparison of the figures for 1086, 1276-7, and 1426 suggests that, as the population of Kingsbury grew, the larger holdings were divided and by 1426 many under-holdings had become separated from the main tenement. Since the total amount also expanded, however, there must have been continuous assarting. Colmans Dean, the valley of the charcoal man, (fn. 27) was presumably once densely wooded, but by 1276-7 it was a field of 70 a. belonging to the manor of Stanmore Chenduit. (fn. 28) The same process took place elsewhere in Kingsbury, although most areas, when cleared from the forest, formed small assarts surrounded by wood rather than large open fields. In eastern Kingsbury in the late 13th and early 14th century land was held in 1 r. strips or selions by about five or six people in Apsfurlong, Streetfurlong (identifiable with Stratford Long or Shoelands), (fn. 29) Oldham, Arneyshaw, Sneteleshale, and Hay Dean. (fn. 30) In 1350 customary land held from Kingsbury manor included 7 halfvirgates, one quartron, one 7-acre and one 11-acre holding. (fn. 31) Unlike Edgware manor, where there were no free holdings apart from the large estates, there were four freehold estates held from Kingsbury manor: Chalkhill, consisting of 40 a. in 1350, and three one-acre holdings. The land held from Kingsbury manor consisted of scattered holdings like Brasiers at Kingsbury Green, Dawes on Edgware Road, strips in Tunworth and strips and closes in south-west Kingsbury. (fn. 32)
The process of consolidating and inclosing selions by exchange (fn. 33) and by accumulating undersets (fn. 34) was furthered when the Black Death considerably reduced the numbers of landholders, especially on Kingsbury manor. Colmans Dean had probably been inclosed by 1426, when it was parcelled among six tenants, (fn. 35) and consolidation had been carried a stage further by 1482 when it was held by two tenants. (fn. 36) By 1597 strip-cultivation was confined to a small area of Broad field between Bacon Lane, Stag Lane, and Roe Green. (fn. 37) The inclosure of strips into closes took place in Tunworth in the 15th century, (fn. 38) on Freren manor at the beginning of the 16th century, (fn. 39) and to the west of Stag Lane in 1584. (fn. 40) It had begun in Broad field by 1479 (fn. 41) and was completed by 1752. (fn. 42) Much of the land in the southwest became absorbed into Kingsbury demesne and Chalkhill, while much of the rest was incorporated into the estates built up by the Shepherd, Scudamore, and Nicholl families.
During the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries most customary land was held by local peasant families, the Mosshatches, Randolfs, Lewgars, Roes, Lemans, Hamonds, Edwins, Richards, Simonds, Dibels, Wrenches, Warrens, Dawes, Pages, Lyons, and Groves. (fn. 43) The Hamonds had the longest association with Kingsbury. Hamon Constantine, hanged in 1280, (fn. 44) was succeeded by his son John Hamond, whose descendants remained landholders in Kingsbury until 1641. (fn. 45) The Wrench family, which held a half-virgate in 1276-7, (fn. 46) was active in Kingsbury until 1530. (fn. 47) Most of the Wrench lands passed to the Shepherd family. A William Shepherd had an interest in land in Kingsbury in 1306 (fn. 48) but the main connexion of the family with the parish dates from the mid 15th century. The Shepherds were lessees of Kingsbury manor demesne (1450-1618), of Hyde farm (1534-66 and 1584-94), and of Coffers (c. 1541). (fn. 49) Of the copyhold estates, they held Edwins (1463-1572), Richards (1466-1541), Townsend (1462-1542), land around Roe Green (1498-1599), and part of Colmans Dean (1543-93). (fn. 50) The family was at its height c. 1540 when it held 285 a. and leased 783 a., 46 per cent of Kingsbury parish. In 1597 Thomas Shepherd leased 233 a. of Kingsbury manor demesne and 5 other members of the family held a total of 118 a. (fn. 51) In 1631 9 members, mostly sons of Michael Shepherd, held 66 a.; (fn. 52) four houses, all small, were charged to the family in 1664. (fn. 53) In 1698 three Shepherds held 28 a.; (fn. 54) the remaining land was lost and the family died out in the early 18th century. (fn. 55)
The rise and decline of the Shepherds illustrates the part played by local families. During the Middle Ages only one large freehold estate, Chalkhill, was held by such a family but most customary lands were in the hands of local peasants. Towards the end of the medieval period control began to pass to three groups of outsiders: those whose main interests were in neighbouring parishes, those who received estates in Kingsbury as a reward for services elsewhere, and the Londoners. Among the first group were the Pages, who originally acquired Kingsbury manor as an extension of their estate in Stanmore. The Barnvilles, Bellamys, Pages, Lyons, and Walters extended their Harrow estates into Kingsbury. Colmans Dean and Redhill were closely linked with Little Stanmore and Coffers with Willesden, and the Franklin and Roberts families, who held land in southern Kingsbury, were primarily concerned with Willesden. The most important of this group was the Brydges family, centred on Canons in Little Stanmore.
The second group was especially important in the Middle Ages. The de la Hayes and Poleyns were vassals of the earls of Lincoln. Geoffrey le Scrope was a royal favourite who may have obtained his estate near Hendon through his brother, Henry. John Warner, Christopher Hovenden, and Robert Strensham, warden and fellows of All Souls College, and their relatives, had interests in Kingsbury in the 16th century, (fn. 56) which were maintained, in the latter's case, even against royal pressure. (fn. 57)
The third class of outsiders, the Londoners, was always influential. Kingsbury manor was leased to Londoners in the 14th century and owned by London merchants during the early 15th century. In the south a large area was held by Gilbert of Brancaster, the son of a London citizen, and by his daughter, who married another. Although most of these two estates passed into the hands of institutions, All Souls College and the Knights Hospitallers and later St. Paul's Cathedral, Chalkhill and Coffers and most of the copyhold land were acquired by Londoners. By 1597 only 35 per cent of Kingsbury was owned by people who lived in the parish. (fn. 58) The proportion continued to decline, to 26 per cent in 1672, (fn. 59) 17 per cent in 1839, (fn. 60) 12 per cent in 1887, and 0.2 per cent in 1917. (fn. 61)
Although more and more land passed to outsiders, the size of estates remained much the same. From the Domesday survey until the 19th century most estates were of between 5 and 50 a. (fn. 62) During the 19th century there were more large estates and new cottages were erected.
The most important tenure for most of Kingsbury's history, however, was not freehold or copyhold but leasehold. Few outsiders were prepared to farm the land themselves. Land was leased. sometimes to the local peasant families but increasingly to other outsiders, who in turn sub-let it to local farmers. The most important figures in 18th- and early-19th-century Kingsbury were not owners but the duke of Chandos and his heirs who from 1714 until 1800 held, mainly by lease, 38 per cent (640 a.) of the parish. (fn. 63) Thus, especially on the larger freehold estates, there was a chain of leasing and under-leasing which was a major cause of the backward character of rural Kingsbury. Middlesex was the most highly rented county in England in 1833 (fn. 64) and the high rents for cottages were given in 1834 as the main cause of poverty. (fn. 65) The farmers were themselves lessees and, although their rents were lowered in the 1830s, (fn. 66) often insolvent.
High rents for short leases did not encourage long term investment and land became exhausted and farm-houses dilapidated. Another effect of leasing was the lack of authority in the parish. All Souls College and St. Paul's regarded the estates purely in terms of profit. Everything that could be leased out, including seigneurial and church rights and appurtenances, (fn. 67) was leased, usually to men who rarely visited Kingsbury. In the absence of the lord and his bailiff and with courts held at Edgware, it is not surprising that court orders were ignored and that neglect, quarrels and corruption became something of a tradition, from the cases of fraud and forgery in the 15th and 16th centuries (fn. 68) to the local government feuds of the 20th century. (fn. 69)
Leasing began on the freehold estates in the Middle Ages. Geoffrey le Scrope's estate was administered for him by a bailiff in 1325 (fn. 70) but it was probably leased out from 1333. (fn. 71) Walter Saling may have farmed Kingsbury manor in the 1330s but most of the owners were absentees who leased it out. From 1458 the manorial demesne was let on 10year leases at £8 a year. (fn. 72) It was held on 20-year leases at £8 13s. 4d. from 1508 until the end of the century (fn. 73) when a mixed money and corn rent was introduced which lasted, with little variation, (fn. 74) until 1867 when a more realistic rent of £420 a year was demanded. (fn. 75) Hyde farm was let on 20-year leases at £6 a year in 1534 (fn. 76) and for a mixed money and grain rent from 1584 (fn. 77) until 1870, when the 139acre farm was let at £340 a year. (fn. 78) Freren manor was leased in the early 16th century for £8 and its woods were leased in 1524 for £1. (fn. 79) From the mid 16th century until 1886 the Freren estate was held by 21-year leases at £9 or £9 10s. a year rent with the addition, from the mid 17th century, of an annual payment to the curate (£40), and from the early 19th century, of an annual redeemed land-tax payment of £66. (fn. 80) In 1886, when the connexion with the dukes of Buckingham came to an end, the estate was divided into two farms, leased for £210 and £204 respectively. (fn. 81)
During the 16th century leasing became widespread on the copyhold estates. Sometimes a father or elder brother leased portions of the estate to other members of the family (fn. 82) but most leasing was by outsiders to local farmers. The farms were rarely conterminous with the estates but, from the 17th century, were usually small, of between 30 a. and 150 a. Large estates, notably those of All Souls College, were divided into several farms, while smaller estates were combined. In 1870, for example, William Field's farm of 236 a. was formed from land owned by 9 people, he himself owning only 7 a. (fn. 83) The acreage of farms remained much the same throughout the 19th century, although there was a tendency towards large farms, the largest in 1870 being of 282 a., compared with 212 a. in 1839. (fn. 84)
The size and shape of farms was intimately connected with agriculture. The quartron and virgate strip-holdings of the early Middle Ages were part of a predominantly arable farming system. Wheat, oats, and beans were grown. (fn. 85) In 1350 there were at least 18 oxen on the demesne of Kingsbury manor (fn. 86) and in 1426 wheat was grown in Paradise, possibly identified with Cow Leas, west of Salmon Street. (fn. 87) During the 15th century oats were frequently sold by the lessee to the stables of All Souls College in Oxford. (fn. 88)
Oats were apparently the most important crop grown in 1325-6 at Geoffrey le Scrope's Kingsbury grange which produced nearly 43 qr. of oats and 18½ qr. of oats and wheat growing together compared with 10¼ qr. of wheat, 11¼ qr. of maslin, and 1 qr. 6 bu. of beans. About 28 per cent of the wheat and 50 per cent of the beans were sold and some wheat was sent to the lord's house in London, but all the other produce was consumed at Kingsbury, as seed, payment for manorial workers and officials, and food for servants, dogs, and stock. Compared with 106 a. producing grain crops, there were only 17½ a. of meadow and the only pasture was at Wakemans Hill, which was leased out. The cattle, of which at Michaelmas 1325 there were 20 cows, 16 calves, a bull and 4 bullocks, were also leased out. Other stock included 9 oxen, 4 plough-stots, 2 carthorses, 15 pigs, and poultry. There were no sheep although a sheephouse (domus bercar') was mentioned. There were also apples in a garden. (fn. 89)
The relative unimportance of meadow and pasture compared with arable land on the le Scrope estate seems to have been general throughout Kingsbury in the Middle Ages. In 1086 there was only enough meadow for ½ plough, presumably water-meadow along the Brent. There was extensive woodland, enough for 1,200 pigs, (fn. 90) and some of it may have been cleared by c. 1200 to give pasture for cattle. (fn. 91) Nevertheless, pannage was still demanded in 1333 (fn. 92) and pigs and draught animals figured more frequently than cattle in suits of trespass during the 14th and early 15th centuries. (fn. 93) Meadow formed a very small proportion of estates curing the 14th century and pasture is rarely recorded before 1430. (fn. 94) Meadow was apparently held in common in 1284. (fn. 95) The lord's meadow was mentioned in 1379 (fn. 96) and hay was grown on the demesne of Kingsbury manor during the 15th century. (fn. 97)
The conversion of arable to grassland may intitially have been connected with the inclosure of arable strips and building up of estates. It was welladvanced in some areas by the late 15th century and by 1597 arable formed only 30 per cent of the 1,240 a. marked on the All Souls map. (fn. 98) Of the area in south Kingsbury not marked on the map, Coffers (366 a. in Kingsbury, Hendon, and Willesden) had 33 per cent arable in 1478-9, (fn. 99) Chalkhill (166 a.) had 24 per cent arable in 1533, (fn. 100) and Freren (184 a.) had 41 per cent arable in 1650. (fn. 101) Although Kingsbury was on the edge of the wheat-growing belt and grain was still grown, animal farming became increasingly important during the 16th century. Sheep and cattle, especially bullocks for the London meat market, were raised. (fn. 102) Kingsbury's position on Edgware Road was excellent for middlemen operating between London and the animal-raising regions of Hertfordshire. John Molesley, a drover from London, acquired a small estate at Redhill in 1445. (fn. 103) Between 1615 and 1617, 8 inhabitants of Kingsbury were licensed as drovers, badgers, and kidders. (fn. 104)
Pasture continued to increase throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, until by 1838 it covered 97 per cent of Kingsbury. Boundaries were rearranged and arable was converted to pasture at Gore fields during the early 17th century. (fn. 105) The process was completed in eastern Kingsbury, bordering Edgware Road, by the mid 18th century, (fn. 106) at Hungry Down by 1812, (fn. 107) at Pipers farm by 1832, (fn. 108) Freren farm by 1866, (fn. 109) and at Hill farm by 1867. (fn. 110) A three-field system involving fallowing and the use of leas was long practised on farms before the total conversion to grassland. Another feature was the conversion of woodland to arable before it was turned over to pasture. (fn. 111) By the mid 18th century most of the grassland in Kingsbury was given over to hay, which was taken to London by waggon along Edgware Road (fn. 112) and remained the chief crop until well into the 19th century. (fn. 113) The dependence on hay, while possibly helping the farmers during the agricultural depression of the 1830s, increased the poverty of the labourers. While Irishmen were hired during the harvest, local farm-workers became chargeable on the parish during the winter. (fn. 114) In 1851 30 labourers were employed on 7 of the 11 farms in Kingsbury; since 95 labourers, a shepherd, three farm servants, and a farmer's boy lived in the parish, many must have been unemployed for most of the year. (fn. 115) Hay-farming began to decline at the end of the 19th century when cheap foreign hay could be imported and when motor traffic replaced horse traffic. (fn. 116)
Some diversification was introduced into farming during the 19th century. Crops were never important. In 1867 there were 9 a. of mangolds, 3 a. of turnips, and 180 a. of clover and artificial grass, all presumably grown as fodder crops. (fn. 117) Mushrooms were grown at Blackpot Hill farm in 1909 (fn. 118) and fruit and vegetables together covered 11½ a. in 1917. (fn. 119)
There was a shepherd in Kingsbury in 1851 (fn. 120) and Grove House was in the hands of a sheep salesman between 1868 and 1880. (fn. 121) There were 851 sheep in 1867 but only 332 in 1917. During the same period the number of pigs rose from 100 to 486. (fn. 122)
Gore farm, owned by Dr. Arthur Calcutta White, was a pig farm from 1901 (fn. 123) and there were piggeries at Grange farm, Shoelands, and Fryent farms by 1915. (fn. 124) Horses were probably reared in consequence of the hay trade. There were two jobmasters in 1851 (fn. 125) and from that date until 1900 Redhill farm was in the hands of horse-dealers. (fn. 126) In 1921 it was leased by Capt. Bertram Mills as a stud farm for hackney horses. (fn. 127) The lessees of Hyde farm in 1882 (fn. 128) and of Freren farm from 1882 until 1915 were horse-dealers. (fn. 129) There were stud farms at Roe Green in 1904 (fn. 130) and at Kingsbury House in 1913, (fn. 131) and in 1917 Shoelands farm was licensed as a slaughterhouse of horses for human consumption. (fn. 132) The number of horses increased from 80 in 1887 to 146 in 1917. (fn. 133)
Like hay-farming horse-breeding declined with the growth of motor traffic and was mostly replaced by dairy farming. A cowkeeper was mentioned in 1823 (fn. 134) but most farms did not transfer to dairy farming until the end of the century. It was practised at Blackbird farm by 1894, (fn. 135) at Grange farm by 1900, (fn. 136) and at Valley farm, Chalkhill farm, and the Hyde by 1901. (fn. 137) It was introduced at Hyde farm in 1911, (fn. 138) and Freren farm passed from a jobmaster to a dairy farmer from Willesden in 1915. (fn. 139) The number of cattle increased from 68 in 1867 to 225 in 1887 and 472 in 1917. (fn. 140) Nine dairy farmers were registered in 1922 (fn. 141) but suburban building development began to encroach on farming land soon afterwards and by 1933 there were only three. (fn. 142) The last of the farms disappeared after the Second World War but cattle were still grazed in Kingsbury, on Fryent open space, in 1970. (fn. 143)
A pound-keeper had been granted Radletts cottage in 1489 (fn. 144) but no pound was marked on the map of 1597. Hyde pound existed by 1698 (fn. 145) and was dilapidated in 1857. (fn. 146) In 1844, when there was no hayward or pound-keeper for Kingsbury, one man was appointed to hold both offices. (fn. 147)
In 1086 there was enough woodland, yielding £1, for 1,000 pigs on the main estate at Kingsbury and woodland for another 200 pigs on the Westminster abbey estate, (fn. 148) which had been described in Edward the Confessor's grant of 1044-50 as the 'wood, which belongs to Kingsbury, which is held in common as it was constituted in olden times'. (fn. 149) By c. 1200 the common wood had become common pasture, (fn. 150) considerable clearance presumably having taken place in the meantime.
There were four woods, Oldfield wood, Roberts grove, Faytes grove, and Honeyslough, on the demesne land of Kingsbury manor c. 1438. (fn. 151) Roberts grove was leased out as early as 1370 (fn. 152) but usually All Souls reserved the wood grounds, calculated in 1597 as 113 a., (fn. 153) when it leased out the rest of its lands. Mid-15th-century leases of Kingsbury manor allowed lessees ploughbote, firebote, and cartbote but reserved all other wood. (fn. 154) For about a century from 1470 the college found a lucrative source of income in selling the right to fell wood in certain fields for two-year periods, providing that sufficient storers were left and hedges maintained to protect the young trees. (fn. 155)
In 1580 Robert Hovenden, warden of All Souls, leased all the college's woods in Middlesex to Christopher Hovenden, presumably a relative, for 20 years. The college maintained the grant, even against royal pressure. (fn. 156) In spite of a decision in 1661 that leasing woods and hedgerows was contrary to the statutes of the college, (fn. 157) such leases continued to be made from 1667, usually to the lessee or under-lessee of the farm-lands. (fn. 158) On other estates the practice was probably the same. In 1524 the Knights Hospitallers reserved oaks and elms over 60 years of age but allowed the lessee to uproot 12 a. of woodland on payment of £10. (fn. 159) Great trees over 60 years old continued to be reserved. (fn. 160) The lessee of Freren paid £40 on his entry for underwood c. 1668. (fn. 161)
During the Middle Ages there were frequent presentments for illegally taking wood, sometimes large amounts, like the 26 oaks which Jon Chalkhill had cut down in 1479. (fn. 162) It was probably during the 16th century, however, that the reduction of woodland reached alarming proportions. Oaks were felled on Hyde farm in 1551 (fn. 163) and wood on the borders of Harrow and Kingsbury was cut down by Joan Lyon in 1593. (fn. 164) Wood mentioned at Tunworth in 1558 (fn. 165) had been cut down by 1597. (fn. 166) By that date woodland, mostly in bands around fields, comprised rather more than 11 per cent of the known area of Kingsbury. The largest areas were Roberts grove (7 a.), Dawes (7 a.), Oldfield grove (4½ a.), Crabsland (4½ a.), Hogsheads (3½ a.), and Frowicks (3½ a.). (fn. 167)
Woodland seems to have been preserved longer on the demesne lands of Kingsbury and Freren estates than on the copyhold estates. In 1662 All Souls owned 730 oaks, 213 elms, and 16 ashes worth a total of £652. (fn. 168) Trees were cut down on the Groves estate at the beginning of the 17th century (fn. 169) and copses were uprooted at Gore field and Framesland between 1706 and 1722. (fn. 170) By 1729-38 woodland occupied about 4 per cent of the parish and was mostly concentrated on the demesne lands of Hill and Pipers farms. (fn. 171) There were still 43 a. of woodland on All Souls estates (fn. 172) in 1788, 23 a. having recently been converted to farm-land. The land was thought to grow very fine timber but to be less productive than if it had been laid down to grass. (fn. 173)
The woodland on the old demesne lands was cleared during the next 50 years. Two acres of wood ground were grubbed up at Hyde farm in 1800, (fn. 174) some more on Pipers farm in 1803, (fn. 175) and Roberts wood disappeared between 1800 (fn. 176) and 1819. The 24 a. of woodland which survived in 1819, (fn. 177) were reduced by 1839 to 4 a., mostly on the Chalkhill estate. (fn. 178) Many trees remained - in 1843, for example, there were 65 oaks, 174 elms, 3 ashes and 3 willows on Little Bush farm - but there was no separate acreage for woodland. (fn. 179)
There was a mill rendering 3s. on the land of Ernulf of Hesdin in 1086. (fn. 180) 'Brentmill', which was farmed, was recorded from 1461 until 1499, (fn. 181) but it may have been in Kingsbury, Hendon, or Willesden. The site of a water-mill was included among appurtenances of Coffers manor in 1556 (fn. 182) but it, too, might have lain in Kingsbury or Hendon. There was a Mill field approximately on the site of the present Willesden cemetery. (fn. 183) Shortly before 1596 Jon Chalkhill erected a mill over the Brent to the southwest of Blackbird Hill. (fn. 184) A windmill, which stood at Redhill from 1675 at least until 1729-38, (fn. 185) had been blown down by 1754. (fn. 186)
Trade and industry.
Agriculture, the main occupation throughout most of Kingsbury's history, was followed, in terms of numbers, by domestic service. In 1831 there were 30 servants, compared with 56 agricultural labourers. Twenty years later the figures were 63 and 100 respectively. Merchants and professional men numbered 10 in 1831 and included an architect, a solicitor, a civil engineer, a civil servant, three landed proprietors and two 'gentlemen' in 1851. (fn. 187)
Apart from charcoal-burners who may have flourished in Colmans Dean in the early Middle Ages (fn. 188) and a 'collier' who lived in Kingsbury in 1528-9, (fn. 189) the only crafts were those which sprang directly from an agricultural community. There was a tailor in 1615, (fn. 190) a tallow-melter in 1826, and a plumber in 1835, (fn. 191) and tradesmen included a milliner, a carriage-painter, a dressmaker, and a fruit-seller in 1851. (fn. 192) Most of the tradesmen lived at the Hyde, although there was probably a general store or grocer's shop at Kingsbury Green. In 1906 it was said that all the local shopping had to be done at Hendon. (fn. 193) Shops came to Kingsbury with the development between the World Wars. Kingsbury and Queensbury Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1938. (fn. 194) In 1967 there were shopping centres at Burnt Oak, the Hyde, and the western part of Kingsbury Road. (fn. 195)
Industry was attracted by government intervention during the First World War, when Kingsbury's proximity to Hendon Aerodrome made it a centre of aircraft and munitions production. Edgware Road provided good communications with the main market, London, and with the source of much of the raw material, the Midlands. Labour, mostly unskilled, was initially brought from more denselypopulated areas in the south by cheap trams and electric railways and later housed in estates built on farm-land. After the First World War, new concerns, mainly motor and engineering factories, were officially encouraged to employ the many made idle by the collapse of the war industries. (fn. 196) By 1923 there were 23 factories employing thousands. (fn. 197) More recently, the high price of land and cramped conditions have forced many companies farther out into the country, leaving their sites to small, new firms making goods such as plastics or electronic components. There are three industrial areas in Kingsbury: Edgware Road and its extensions, Kingsbury Road, and Honeypot Lane.
Messrs. Thrupp & Maberly were making motor bodies at Shoelands Farm in 1914 (fn. 198) and Messrs. Handley Page were permitted to erect buildings at the back of Thrupp & Maberly's factory in 1915. (fn. 199) The Aircraft Manufacturing Co. (Airco), which had been founded in 1912 in Hendon, extended its premises to the Kingsbury side of Edgware Road in 1915 and by the end of the war had acquired all the area between Hay Lane and Carlisle Road, stretching westward across Grove Park, which was used as a take-off field. Airco failed to adapt itself to peacetime production and in 1920 it was sold to the Birmingham Small Arms Co. (fn. 200) The site was occupied by factories mostly concerned with motor engineering, including the Daimler Co., Beardmore Motors, Windover, and Desoutter Bros. (fn. 201) The American firm of General Motors opened a branch with 6 employees in Edgware Road in 1923, beginning the production of American and later of Vauxhall vehicles in 1928. Frigidaire, a division of General Motors, occupied part of the premises in 1931 and took over the whole site when Vauxhall moved to Luton (Beds.) in 1946. By 1969 Frigidaire occupied 25 a. and employed over 2,000 people in Kingsbury. (fn. 202)
One of the largest Edgware Road factories was that of the Phoenix Telephone & Electric Works, which started in 1912 in Cricklewood, became the War Department Signal Factory, and moved to Kingsbury in the early 1920s. (fn. 203) At its height it employed 1,600 workers but there were only 1,000 at the factory's closure in 1968-9. (fn. 204) In 1920 Thrupp & Maberly's premises were acquired by Lamson Paragon, which had been established in the City of London in 1886 as the Paragon Check Book Co. The factory was opened in 1922 as Papercraft Works, manufacturing bags and wrappings but became inadequate after the Second World War, when most production was moved to West Hartlepool (co. Dur.). A new factory and offices were being built in Carlisle Road in 1969, (fn. 205) when the old premises were occupied by Hupfield Bros. and Hedges Reinforced Plastics. (fn. 206) Carlisle Road was built as a westward extension from Edgware Road in the 1930s and was occupied mostly by small factories like Acorn Products Ltd., which was founded in 1928 and moved from Camden Town in 1936. It changed its name in 1965 to Acorn Aluminium Products and was closed down in 1968. (fn. 207)
The farthest extension westward of the Edgware Road industrial complex was the de Havilland works in Stag Lane. The de Havilland Aircraft Co. Ltd. was founded in 1920 by a group from Airco which leased and in 1921 bought the 76-acre site from two flying instructors. Factory buildings for aircraft bodies and engines were erected west of Stag Lane, around the later De Havilland Road, while the rest of the site, to the north and west, was occupied by the airfield. The company opened the de Havilland Aeronautical Technical school in 1928, and by 1929 it employed 1,500 people. In 1932, however, owing to the depression and to increasing air congestion, all but 14 a. of the Stag Lane site were sold to builders and a new factory was opened at Hatfield (Herts.). Manufacture, notably of propellers, continued at Stag Lane, and during the Second World War other factories, including some in Carlisle Road and Honeypot Lane, were requisitioned. (fn. 208) The Stag Lane works were acquired in 1946 by the de Havilland Engine Division, itself taken over in 1960 by the Hawker Siddeley Group, which used it as a Rolls Royce works (fn. 209) until the sale of the site in 1969 to Brixton Estate. (fn. 210)
The second area of industry is at the Kingsbury Works, south of Kingsbury Road. (fn. 211) The works were built for the Kingsbury Aviation Co., which was formed in 1917 as a subsidiary to Barningham Ltd., machine tool engineers, to make aeroplanes and motor-cars. The company occupied 109 a., including an airfield stretching from Church Lane across Jubilee park, and in 1918 it employed 800 people building aero engines. As Kingsbury Engineering Co., (fn. 212) it tried to transfer to motor-car manufacture after the war but went into liquidation in 1921. The works remained empty until 1924, when several firms were attracted by the improvements to Kingsbury Road which linked the site with Edgware Road. The main hangar was taken over by Vanden Plas (England) 1923 Ltd., which had been formed after the failure of Vanden Plas (England) 1917 Ltd., the firm at Colindale formed out of Airco. The new firm built up a reputation for highquality motor-car bodies and gradually extended its site, purchasing Kingsbury House in 1926. It made aircraft during the Second World War and reverted to motor cars in 1946, when it became a subsidiary of the Austin (later British) Motor Co. In 1969 it was building Daimlers as part of British Leyland.
With the exception of the Albion Food Mills, most industry at Kingsbury Works has been concerned with engineering and most firms have been small and relatively short-lived. (fn. 213) Firms in the 1920s included the Power Co., Ajax Motor & Engineering Co., and Fry's Metal Foundry. (fn. 214) The Power Co., founded in Cricklewood in 1919, moved to premises in Kingsbury Works in 1924 and to adjacent premises in 1937, the old factory being occupied by Linotype-Paul in 1969. (fn. 215) LinotypePaul, formerly known as K. S. Paul & Associates, has made electronic equipment since it started at Kingsbury Works in 1961 and by 1969 had three factories employing over 250 people. (fn. 216) In 1962 Harry Neal, engineers, took over the premises occupied since 1947 by another engineering firm, Charles R. Price, and was in 1969 employing 135 people. (fn. 217) India Tyres occupied Semtex's premises from 1954 until it moved to Park Royal in 1968. (fn. 218) Purdy & McIntosh (Electronic Developments) moved into Scott's Wire Works in 1962, took over the adjoining factory of K. S. Paul & Associates in 1967, and moved to Wembley in 1969. (fn. 219)
The third industrial region at Honeypot Lane and its extensions, Cumberland and Westmoreland roads, grew up during the 1930s after the building of Honeypot Lane and of the Stanmore line and after the opening of Kingsbury and Queensbury stations in 1932 and 1934. (fn. 220) The largest firm in 1965 was Rotaprint, which built its first factory in 1936 and steadily expanded until in 1969 it had 8 factories in the area and one in east Kingsbury, employing a total of 1,200 people. (fn. 221) Injection Moulders opened its first factory in Westmoreland Road in 1935 with three employees. By 1939 there were 60 employees and a second factory was opened in Dalston Gardens, Great Stanmore. Three other factories followed, the last, opened in 1960, being in Honeypot Lane. By 1969 the firm, which was taken over in 1966 by G. K. N. Sankey, employed some 400 people in Kingsbury, although the main plant had been moved to the Midlands. (fn. 222) The Gee Tee Co., manufacturers of paper products, which was founded at King's Cross, London, in 1926, moved to Colindale Avenue, Hendon, in 1931 and thence to a new factory in Cumberland Road in 1936. During the Second World War the factory was requisitioned for work on torpedoes; although the company afterwards returned, there was no room for expansion and in 1966 it moved to Thetford (Norf.). (fn. 223)
In 1965, 21 firms in Edgware Road employed 5,511 people, 20 firms in Kingsbury Road employed 1,164 people, and 26 firms in Honeypot Lane employed 3,822 people. (fn. 224)