Brondesbury and Mapesbury are small areas between Kilburn and Willesden
The Early Years
Together with the Willesden part of Kilburn, Brondesbury and Mapesbury used to belong to St.Paul's Cathedral in the medieval times. Mapesbury (named after Walter Map, an early medieval priest) lies north of Mapes (later Willesden) Lane, and Brondesbury ('Brand's manor') to the south.
Their history is closed related with Kilburn.
A rural area for much of its history, some houses were built on Willesden Lane in Brondesbury only in 1847. It was on a hill, which made it suitable for better quality housing. In 1860 new suburban development of Willesden began were. Larger villas were built in Brondesbury. Several of them served as hostels for Belgian refugees during the First World War.
A mill stood in Mapesbury, which was destroyed by fire in 1863. This incident led to the creation of a volunteer fire services in Kilburn.
In 1866 the parish of Christchurch, Brondesbury, was formed, the first new parish within the original parish of Willesden.
The decline in the housing market at the turn of the 20th century meant that the western part of Brondesbury was not built over until 1920, and Brondesbury Manor House remained standing until 1934.
Mapesbury was developed later than Brondesbury. Shortly after 1901 houses were built north of the Metropolitan Railway. Mapesbury House, south of the Metropolitan, survived until 1924.
The Jewish Community
In the 1870s a wave of Jewish immigrated came to Brondesbury, both from East End and directly from Eastern Europe. Initially the Jews in Brondesbury walked to synagogues in St.John's Wood or Hampstead. The first temporary synagogue was built in 1902 and a permanent one in 1905. By 1914 the Synagogue had 413 male seatholders.
Later the Jewish population moved to Willesden Cricklewood, Dollis Hill and beyond. The Synagogue closed in 1974 and the building is now part of Muslim school.
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© Brent Heritage website 2002