Rural Chamberlayne Road (1900s)
Image dated 2015
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Until after the first world war, the area north of Kensal Rise was still fields.
was originally part of a footpath which ran from Kensal Green to Willesden Green.
As the nineteenth century wore on, a railway which later became the North London Line pushes east-west across the fields and Kensal Rise (a made up name) station was built.
The footpath of Chamberlayne Road
was upgraded to a suburban street as far as the station.
In 1890, the National Athletic Grounds were built just to the north of the station and Chamberlayne Road
leapt over the railway to serve it.
The land hereabouts belonged to All Soul’s College and who were keen to exploit it. But, they like the rest of London were affected by a slump in property prices after 1904 and lasting until the First World War.
North of the railway they built Clifford Gardens
in 1897, designed by Charles Langler and Charles Pinkham, the facades decorated with quaint and curious stucco scenes. (Note that the "1900" map was actually surveyed in 1896 as so does not show Clifford Gardens
But Chamberlayne Road
stopped here until the 1920s and reverted to the footpath, pictured.
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence
The footpath at the top of Chamberlayne Road leading to Willesden.
User unknown/public domain
Former location of the National Athletic Grounds
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Kensal Rise railway station opened in 1873 as Kensal Green, replacing Kensal Green & Harlesden railway station which opened in 1861 at the crossing of Green Lane (later Wrottesley Road
), lying in between the present station and Willesden Junction. The present station was renamed Kensal Rise in 1890.
The names Kensal Green and Kensal Rise are used somewhat interchangeably by non-residents to denote the same district, although residents differentiate between the areas based on proximity to the local tube and railway stations.
Roughly speaking, the area west of Chamberlayne Road
, north of Harrow Road
and south of Kensal Rise railway station is considered Kensal Green while that to the east of Chamberlayne Road
and north of the station is considered Kensal Rise. These boundaries are by no means fixed however and some residents are known to use both terms with little regard for geographical accuracy.