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Kilburn & West Hampstead

Kilburn straggles along what used to be Watling Street, the old Roman Road. The picture above shows Kilburn High Road looking North, in the 1890s.

In 1714, a medicinal well was discovered, and the Bell public house said to date from 1660, opened gardens and a great room for polite company, but it never rivalled Hampstead and did not attract ‘the gentry’ in the same way as did Hampstead. For one thing, Kilburn didn't have the height or the beautiful views that Hampstead has.

For a full history of Kilburn, you cannot beat British History Online

Kilburn High Road is the boundary between Camden and Brent. Camden has the right side (as in the picture) and Brent the left hand side. When I first came here, the pubs in Camden stayed open until 11pm, but the pubs in Brent had to close at 10.30pm. Every evening at 10.30, there would be a mass exodus from the Brent side to the Camden pubs for the extra half hour of drinking time.

Kilburn High Road is also home to the Kilburn State Cinema. Opened in 1937, it was the largest cinema in Europe and had a capacity of just over 4000 seated and four thousand standing. (Imagine that now! 'Elf & Safety would have apoplexy!) Film premieres were held there and the red carpet would be laid down for the stars who arrived in their limousines to attend. Spotlights would play up and down the High Road, while the crowds congregated to see the film stars. The 130ft tower was a landmark. Now, sadly, it is a bingo hall, and the magic has gone. It is, however, a Grade 2 star listed building and thus preserved for posterity.

The lavish ceiling decoration inside the State.

West Hampstead used to be known as West End.


Brondesbury Baptist Chapel, corner of Iverson Road and Kilburn High Road. Built 1878, closed in 1980. Demolished and replaced by flats.

Emmanuel Church, Lyncroft Gardens, West End. In 1898 Emmanuel church moved from mission church in Aldred Road to the corner of Lyncroft Gardens and West End Green.

Presbyterian Church, Rondu Road. Opened in 1900, demolished around 1957 and replaced with a block of flats.

St Augustine's, Kilburn. Opened in 1880. The spire was the tallest in London, but I don't know if it still holds that title. I tried to take my own photo of this church, but due to the tallness of the spire and the lacks of my camera, I was unable to get it all in, so I've used this postcard which is on sale in the church.

Names on the war memorial. Great War: Bertram Bartlett James Bennett Cecil Calvert Gerald Clarke Stephen Codd Edwin Collisson Frank Cooper Charles Cope Robert Davies Robin Fairchild Ernest Fry Ernest Gray George Gray Frank Hallett Leslie Harris Thomas Higgins Cecil Meadows Harold Miles Ernest Nottingham Eric Odger Percy Pipe Herbert Pryce-Brown Leonard Robertson Jack Shenton John Sutton Gordon Sweet Frederick Townshend Joseph Wallington Bernard Wansborough Gilbert Waterhouse Christopher Wren 1939-45 Albert Messer Albert Sharpe Kenward Stevens Albert Taylor

St Augustine's site

Brondesbury Baptist Church, opened (1878).
Corner of Iverson Road & Kilburn High Road. Closed 1980, demolished and replaced by flats.


St Cuthbert's, Fordwych Road (1886)

St. James, Sheriff Rd., West End Lane. (
about 1886)

St James Congregational, Cambridge Ave (1863) Built as a temporary structure, closed by 1902. It is now occupied by the sea cadets, and is Grade II listed.

St. John The Evangelist, Cambridge Gardens., Kilburn. Founded 1860. United with St. Augustine's, Kilburn, 1971, opened at junction of Carlton and Kilburn Park roads and destroyed by fire 1860. Rebuilt 1862.  Closed 1971 and burnt down 1975.
St. Mary, Priory Rd., Kilburn. (1863)
St Michael's,
corner of Mora Road. Opened 1907
Ebenezer Chapel.
Kilburn Vale (later Hermit Pl.), Belsize Rd (1870)
The plaque on the chapel says:
Ebenezer Chapel was erected by Margaret Creswick in memory of her brother Thomas Creswick, who departed this life August 31st 1868. He laboured daily among the sick, and in the open air at Kilburn, St Johns Wood, and Primrose Hill. His first sermon was preached from a platform  in the Abbey Fields 1859. His last sermon was delivered at the bridge near this spot on the week before he fell asleep in Jesus. This stone was laid July 18th 1870. John Fordham, builder.

Catholic Apostolic, Abbey House, Springfield Villas  1 Manchester Terrace, Kilburn (1876  closed by 1895)

Congrational Chapel,
Greville Place (1859)
Church of the Sacred Heart,
Quex Road

Quex Road. A very handsome  building  with classical columns and portico, opened in 1869 . Sadly, by 1961 replaced by a block of flats.
West Hampstead Congregational church, 527A Finchley Road (1894).  Closed 1940, became a synagogue 1946
Quex Road Unitarian Church. (1890s), closed 1965
Unitarians opened All Souls' Free Church, at the corner of Weech and Fortune Green Road. (1903). Closed 1925
Quex Rd Methodist Church, Kilburn, (1870).  Replaced by 1975
St John's, Oxford Road, built 1871. Following a fire in 1975, demolished.
St Paul's, Kilburn Square. Opened 1820s. Closed in 1936, demolished in the 1960s and replaced with one of the ugliest modern developments ever to get planning permission.


St Dominic's School, Mutrix Road

Beckford Primary, Dornfell Street, Mill Lane, West End.  (1886- still open)



Emmanuel C of E Primary (formerly West End National) 101 Mill Lane. (1845)
Harben, Linstead Street, Kilburn. Opened 1881 as Netherwood Street Board School. Now expensive private apartments.
Kilburn Day And Sunday School. (1829). No further information.
Kilburn RC, Quex Rd.  (c. 1868)
Kingsgate, Messina Ave., Kilburn.  (1903)
St Mary's Schools
, Kilburn, C of E Primary, West End Lane. (1864)
Iverson Road, Kilburn. (c. 1899),  for defective children
Henley House School, nos. 6 & 7 Mortimer Road (later Crescent), Kilburn
Brondesbury and Kilburn High School for girls
, Salusbury Road, Kilburn. Opened 1892. Amalgamated with Kilburn Grammar for boys 1967 as Brondesbury and Kilburn High.
Gordon Memorial C of E, Cambridge Rd., Kilburn. Opened 1885. Closed 1953.
Kilburn Park, Kilburn Park Rd. Opened 1907. Moved to new site in Malvern Rd. 1972.
Kilburn Park, Percy Rd. Opened 1879.
Kilburn Protestant, Kilburn Park Rd. Opened in Kilburn Protestant and Evangelical church buildings 1900.  Taken over by council 1907 as Kilburn Park school.
St. John C of E, Granville Rd., Kilburn. Opened 1871 in buildings belonging to St. John's church. Opened 1882 as National school in new building.  Enlarged 1895.

Benevolent Institutions

Cottage Home for Destitute Orphan Girls, Mill Lane
Home for Blind Children, Goldsmith's Place, Kilburn
Metroplitan Association for Befriending Young Servants, I Greville Road, Kilburn

Volunteer Corps

London Artillery Brigade, No 19 Battery, 297 High Road, Kilburn

Public Houses & Taverns

The Bell, High Rd. 1885-6 William Harwood.

The Bird in Hand, West End Lane.

1939 directory: Stanley Salter. In the 1885-86 directory this address shows as G Miller, beer retailer, so it's not a very old pub.




The Black Lion, High Rd. 1874 directory - John Smalley. 1885-6  - J Smalley

(photo by Camden Council)


Brondesbury Arms, Canterbury rd. Kilburn n. w. 1874 directory  - Wm. Clark,

The Cock & Hoop, West End. March 1827 - Frances Kendall, sureties Samuel Kendall, Red Lion Hill and Thomas Robert, High Street. 1885-6 -  John Hall.  Demolished in 1902 and replaced by Alexander Mansions.

The Cock Tavern, High Rd. 1885-6 - Acton Phillips

The Palmerston Hotel, High Rd. 1885-6 -  George Shield. Later the Lord Palmerston, Built 1860, closed 1977 and re-opened as The Roman Way.

The Prince of Wales, Fortune Green. 1885-6 - John Coles

The Princess of Wales, 121 Abbey Rd/Belsize Road. 1885-6 Benjamin Heyden. Between 1897-1901 Thomas R Gifford. Rebuilt as the Lillie Langtry. Now called The Cricketers.

The Priory Tavern, Belsize Rd. 1885-6 - Samuel Shott Death

The Queens Arms, High Rd. 1885-6 - T H P Hartley

The Railway Hotel, West End Lane. 1885-6 Richard Pincham. The  Railway Hotel was a famous music pub in the 60s and 70s, with clubs variously known as Klooks Kleek, The Starlight, The Moonlight. Was also known as the Rat & Parrot for a short while, when those modern names became fashionable. Fortunately, sanity prevailed.

The Red Lion, High Rd. March 1827 - James Peters, surety John Hare, Hampstead. 1885-6 John Ellis

The Victoria Tavern, High Rd. 1885-6 - Hopton Holliman.

The Volunteer Hotel, High Rd. 1885-6 J Pinn.



Salvation Army Band, Kilburn 1


A 1905 postcard of Kilburn High Road


Kilburn Grange  from an old postcard
Demolished about 1910. Only the park is left now.

Kilburn Toll Gate 1860 from an old postcard

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