Blackbird Hill (1906)

Image dated 1906

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Photo taken in a southeasterly direction · Kingsbury · HA9 ·
July
16
2017

Blackbird Hill is image in 1906 and then part of Neasden.


Given the road entering from the left and the building in the background, this is a suggested location for this 1906 photograph.

Blackbird Hill was named after Blackbird Farm. We don’t know when there was first a farm here. There were at least five “villagers” cultivating small areas of land in this part of Kingsbury at the time of the Domesday Book in 1085.

The large field behind it is shown as being leased to John Page, gentleman, by St Paul’s Cathedral (‘The Deane of Powles’), while the land on the opposite side of the main track was held by Eyan Chalkhill, who also had a watermill on the River Brent.

By the time of John Rocque’s map of 1745, there were farm buildings and orchards on both sides of Old Church Lane. These would come to be known as the upper and lower yards of Blackbird (or Blackbird Hill) Farm. Whereas the original farm, or smallholding, was probably growing a mixture of crops, mainly to support the farmer’s own family, by the mid-18th century the map shows most of the fields as pasture land. This was probably for raising livestock, some of which would be driven to London to help provide meat for the capital’s fast-growing population.

At the start of the First World War in 1914, Blackbird Hill Farm was still rural, as was much of Kingsbury, even though it was classed as an Urban District for local government purposes. When foot and mouth disease broke out at Blackbird Farm in 1923, and all of the cows had to be shot, that was the end of it as a working farm. Although the Noad family continued to live in the farmhouse, the rest of the land was sold off for housing.


Main source: Brent Council
Further citations and sources


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Kingsbury

DTH=302 style='float:left; width=250px; margin-right:10px;'>Kingsbury station was opened on 10 December 1932 as part of the Stanmore branch of the Metropolitan Railway and served by that company’s electric trains.

After the formation of London Transport in 1933 this branch became part of the Metropolitan line and was later transferred to the Bakerloo line in 1939 then to the Jubilee line in 1979. The design style is similar to that of other Metropolitan Railway buildings of the same period rather than to the concrete and glass style used at the same time by the LER group.

In common with other nearby Metropolitan Railway stations (e.g. Harrow-on-the-Hill, Neasden, Queensbury) there is an element of fiction in the station name; the area is properly within the eastern extent of Kenton (Kingsbury Road at this point was originally part of the eastern end of Kenton Lane) and Kingsbury proper is actually closer to Neasden station.

Although now only served by deep-level tube trains, the section of line serving the station is built to surface gauge, and trains to that larger LU loading gauge occasionally pass through.
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