The Grange

Large house in/near Kilburn, existed between 1843 and the 1910s

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Large house · Kilburn · NW6 ·
December
18
2015

The Grange was a large mansion situated on Kilburn High Road until the turn of the twentieth century.

The Grange, from "The Graphic magazine", 1901
Credit: Marianne Colloms
The Peters family lived in the Grange from 1843 until its demolition.

Thomas Peters was a successful and wealthy coach builder who made coaches for Queen Victoria. The final occupant was Mrs Ada Peters, the widow of his son John Winpenny Peters. Ada died in the house on 5 February 1910.

The Grange was the last of Kilburn’s large houses. Suburban building surrounded the property, leaving the house and its extensive grounds marooned in a sea of small streets and tight terrace housing.

After Ada’s death, the land was parcelled out - much of it became Kilbrun Grange Park.

Meantime the house contents were disposed of in a 50 page catalogue, and the sheer volume of goods meant the auction lasted three days.

On 12 April 1910 more than 300 items of furniture went under the hammer, followed by 600 paintings, clocks and bronzes the next day. Finally there were around 1000 items of less valuable plate, china and kitchen equipment plus all the outdoor effects such as statues, six carriages built by Peters and Sons and a Merryweather fire engine. The sale commenced each day at 1pm, and the lots were knocked down at a rapid rate.

The house was earmarked for demolition so where possible, its structural components were sold for salvage. This included the door to the billiard room, purchased by local developer and publican Richard Pincham. He installed it as the new entry to a function hall on the first floor of his Railway Hotel on West End Lane.


Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence

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The Grange, from "The Graphic magazine", 1901
Marianne Colloms


 

Kilburn

Kilburn is an area which straddles both sides of the Edgware Road (Kilburn High Road).

Kilburn High Road originated as an ancient trackway, part of a Celtic route between the settlements now known as Canterbury and St Albans. Under Roman rule, the route was paved. In Anglo-Saxon times the road became known as Watling Street.

Kilburn grew up on the banks of a stream which has been known variously as Cuneburna, Kelebourne and Cyebourne, which flows from Hampstead down through Hyde Park and into the River Thames. It is suggested the name means either Royal River or Cattle River ('Bourne' being an Anglo-Saxon word for 'river'). That river is known today as the Westbourne.

The name Kilburn was first recorded in 1134 as Cuneburna, referring to the priory which had been built on the site of the cell of a hermit known as Godwyn. Godwyn had built his hermitage by the Kilburn river during the reign of Henry I, and both his hermitage and the priory took their name from the river.

Kilburn Priory was a small community of nuns, probably Augustinian canonesses. It was founded in 1134 at the Kilburn river crossing on Watling Street (the modern-day junction of Kilburn High Road and Belsize Road). Kilburn Priory's position on Watling Street meant that it became a popular resting point for pilgrims heading for the shrines at St Albans and Willesden. The Priory was dissolved in 1536-37 by Henry VIII, and nothing remains of it today. The priory lands included a mansion and a hostium (a guesthouse), which may have been the origin of the Red Lion pub, thought to have been founded in 1444. Opposite, the Bell Inn was opened around 1600, on the site of the old mansion.

The fashion for taking 'medicinal waters' in the 18th century came to Kilburn when a well of chalybeate waters (water impregnated with iron) was discovered near the Bell Inn in 1714. In an attempt to compete with the nearby Hampstead Well, gardens and a 'great room' were opened to promote the well, and its waters were promoted in journals of the day as cure for 'stomach ailments'.

In the 19th century the wells declined, but the Kilburn Wells remained popular as a tea garden. The Bell was demolished and rebuilt in 1863. The Kilburn stretch of Watling Street, now called Edgware Road and Kilburn High Road, was gradually built up with inns and farm houses. Kilburn did not attract any significant building until around 1819 in the area near St John's Wood.

Much of the area was developed in the last decades of the 19th century by Solomon Barnett, who named many of the streets after places in the West Country (e.g. Torbay) or after popular poets of the day (e.g. Tennyson) in honour of his wife.

There are three railway stations on Kilburn High Road: Kilburn tube station (Jubilee line) at its northern end and a little to the south Brondesbury station (London Overground). Approximately a mile further south is Kilburn High Road station (also London Overground). The name of Ian Dury's first band, Kilburn and the High Roads, refers to this road, as does the Flogging Molly song, "Kilburn High Road" and the Shack song, "Kilburn High Road".

Kilburn tube station opened as Kilburn and Brondesbury on 24 November 1879, as part of the Metropolitan and St. John's Wood Railway run by the Metropolitan Railway. Following the merger of the Metropolitan Railway into London Transport in 1933, it then became part of the Stanmore branch of the Bakerloo line on 20 November 1939, at which time the station was extensively rebuilt. The station was renamed to its current name on 25 September 1950. It was transferred to the Jubilee line on its opening, on 1 May 1979.
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