kenton, brent, london, history of kenton, london suburbs, northwick park

Kenton lies in the northwest of Brent, bordering on Harrow.

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The Rest Hotel, Kenton Rd
The Rest Hotel, Kenton Road
St.Leonards Church
Woodcock Park Kenton
Woodcock Park

Rural Past

The name Kenton comes from the Anglo-Saxon 'the farm of the sons of Coena'. It probably began as a Saxon settlement in a forest clearing.'KeninTheton' as it was then know, is first mentioned in 1231.

For generations, until the beginning of the 20th century, this was a farmland. By the middle of the 18th century Kenton consisted of a house, seven cottages and a blacksmith's shop. Local roads, in a poor state, lead to Kingsbury, Preston and Edgware.

In the 1850s the Loudons, a Scottish family, leased local farms and introduced Scottish methods of farming. Nearby the Grimwade family owned Sheepcote Farm where they produced some of the first dried milk. The milk was supplied to troops in the Crimea and met with the approval of Florence Nightingale.

The railways ran thorough the agricultural land as early as 1837, but no stations were built and it had no immediate effect on the development of the area. The two stations of the London & North Western Railway in Kenton were opened only in 1912. There were some railway cottages along Kenton Road.

Northwick Park

In 1905 Harrow School Trust bought 192 acres of Sheepcote Farm to prevent the development of the area near the school. In 1907 this became a golf course. The rest of Kenton was owned by Captain Spencer-Churchill who planned to create Northwick Park, a leisure estate with a tennis and social club. However, only three roads were built there before the First World War.

During the War anti-aircraft positions were set up off Kenton Road at Churchill Avenue and near the present Mayfield Avenue.

The Suburb

After the War the plans for a leisure park were abandoned and houses were built in Northwick Park.

As everywhere else in the area, the development of railways and the British Empire Exhibition of 1924-5 facilitated the development of Kenton and by 1938 all traces of the rural village disappeared.

In 1933 the newly rebuilt Rest public houses became the largest pub in Middlesex. Several churches and schools were opened.

From 1934 the northern Kenton became part of Harrow Urban District, and the south was in Wembley Urban District. In 1936 the Council bought the 192-acre Northwick Park Estate for use as an open space.

After the Second World War building continued, and nowadays Kenton is a typical London suburb.

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© Brent Heritage website 2002