Brent Town Hall

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Brent Town Hall
Brent Town Hall (detail), Wembley - - 865095.jpg
Brent Town Hall in 2008, prior to being vacated by the council
Location54 Forty Lane, Wembley Park HA9 9HD, Brent
Coordinates51°33′58″N 0°16′25″W / 51.56611°N 0.27361°W / 51.56611; -0.27361Coordinates: 51°33′58″N 0°16′25″W / 51.56611°N 0.27361°W / 51.56611; -0.27361
Built1940; 82 years ago (1940)
ArchitectClifford Strange
Architectural style(s)Modern style
Listed Building – Grade II
Designated24 September 1990; 32 years ago (1990-09-24)
Reference no.1262141
Brent Town Hall is located in London Borough of Brent
Brent Town Hall
Shown in Brent

Brent Town Hall, formerly Wembley Town Hall, is a landmark building in Wembley Park in the London Borough of Brent, northwest London, England. The building is T-shaped, with a long façade on Forty Lane. The building was the seat of Brent London Borough Council until 2013 and is now occupied by the Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill. It is a Grade II listed building.[1]


The building was commissioned by the Municipal Borough of Wembley to replace their aging council offices in High Road, Wembley.[2] The site selected for the new building was some open land known as "The Paddocks".[3]

The foundation stone for the new building was laid by Alderman Herbert Gauntlett on 9 October 1937.[4] The new building was designed by Clifford Strange,[5] a former student of Thomas S. Tait who had been influenced in his work by the Dutch architect Willem Marinus Dudok.[3] The building, which was even fitted with a bomb-proof first-aid post,[3] was opened as Wembley Town Hall in 1940.[1] The main frontage featured a central tower with a doorway and canopy on the ground floor, a tall window on the first and second floors and the borough coat of arms above.[1] Internally, the principal rooms were the assembly hall and the council chamber, both located on the first floor.[6]

In September 1943, during the Second World War, a ceremony was held at the town hall, attended by the former Prime Minister of Canada, Viscount Bennett, to commemorate the borough's fund raising achievements during Wings for Victory Week.[7] In 1951, Pevsner described the town hall as "the best of the modern town halls around London, neither fanciful nor drab".[8] It has also been described as "an English interpretation of Modernism", using brick rather than concrete.[9]

The building was the headquarters of the Municipal Borough of Wembley for much of the 20th century and it remained the local seat of government as "Brent Town Hall", after Wembley amalgamated with Willesden to form the London Borough of Brent in 1965.[10]

In 2009 the council tried unsuccessfully to have the building delisted to facilitate redevelopment of the site.[11] After the council relocated to the new Brent Civic Centre in August 2013, the town hall was sold to The French Education Property Trust which transformed it into an international French school called the Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill, which opened in September 2015.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Historic England. "Brent Town Hall (1262141)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  2. ^ "No. 33668". The London Gazette. 9 December 1930. p. 7918.
  3. ^ a b c Barrès-Baker, M.C. "A Brief Architectural History of Wembley (later Brent) Town Hall" (PDF). Brent Archives. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  4. ^ "London's Town Halls". Historic England. p. 18. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  5. ^ Abbott, Joshua. "Brent Town Hall". Modernism In Metro-Land. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  6. ^ "The Civic Plunge Revisited" (PDF). Twentieth Century Society. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  7. ^ Paterson, Sir Clifford (1991). A Scientist's War: The War Diary (IEE History of Technology Series): The War Diary of Sir Clifford Paterson 1939-45. Institute of Electrical Engineers. p. 406. ISBN 978-0863412189.
  8. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus (1951), The Buildings of England: Middlesex, Harmondsworth, Penguin, p. 170
  9. ^ "Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill". LSI Architects. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  10. ^ King, Rosamund & Barres-Baker, Malcolm (2011), Britain in Old Photographs: The London Borough of Brent, Stroud, The History Press, pp. 5, 47, 96 ISBN 0-75245-827-2
  11. ^ "Brent Town Hall could be delisted", Harrow Times, 9 March 2009, retrieved 15 April 2006
  12. ^ "French school Lycee Internationale de Londres Winston Churchill opens in Wembley". Brent and Kilburn Times. 19 September 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2020.

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