St Gabriel's Church, the parish church of North Acton.
North Acton shown within Greater London
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Ealing Central and Acton|
|London Assembly||Ealing and Hillingdon|
North Acton is a place in London, UK, and within the London Borough of Ealing. It is part of Acton and runs adjacent to the industrial district of Park Royal. Historically part of the Municipal Borough of Acton in the county of Middlesex, it has formed part of the London Borough of Ealing since 1965.
It is primarily within the London W3 postal district, although the northern, mainly industrial part of the area is covered by NW10 and overlaps with neighbouring Park Royal, essentially as a satellite region. Park Royal, which is heavily associated with North Acton, and forms part of the same ecclesiastical parish, falls under the NW10 postcode area.
The commercial district of Park Royal overspills into North Acton, and several facilities are located on the edge of North Acton Playing Fields, including the Black Island Film Studios, which are the largest television and film studios in central London. In recent years there has been new commercial and high-rise residential redevelopment to the south of North Acton tube station, including extensive provision of student accommodation for the University of the Arts and Imperial College London.
The BBC has been associated with North Acton for many decades, with its main television rehearsal studios and its costume collection located in North Acton, adjacent to the railway station. There is a short and easy journey of just two stops on the Central line to reach White City and the BBC Television Centre there. Many famous actors and producers have utilised the rehearsal studios, and North Acton public house 'The Castle' opposite, where actors frequently gathered for lunch and refreshments. Following a decision by the BBC to relocate services, the rehearsal studios have closed, and the Television Centre itself also closed in 2013. The costume collection building has closed and been demolished with a new tower block of student accommodation (for the University of the Arts) opening on the site late in 2012. The student block has been named "The Costume Store" in tribute to the former BBC activity on the site.
The last remaining BBC facility in North Acton today is the "BBC Park Western" studios and office block, located on Kendall Avenue, beside the Central line, midway between North Acton and West Acton tube stations. Once the headquarters of the BBC TV Outside Broadcasting Department, half the site has now been sold and redeveloped, with the remaining BBC Park Western used as the operating base, standing set, and production offices for popular television series Silent Witness, much of which is filmed around Acton and Park Royal.
North Acton is served by the Parish Church of St Gabriel, North Acton, located on Noel Road, beside North Acton Playing Fields, part of the Church of England. St Gabriel's is one of the forty new churches 'planted' in the early 1930s by Bishop Winnington-Ingram, the Bishop of London, to serve London's expanding suburbs. It celebrated its eightieth anniversary in July 2011. The very large church was designed and built by architect Ernest Charles Shearman, and houses an original painting ("The Annunciation") by artist John Pelling. Other points of interest include a high altar frontal used at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and a stone font originally located in Westminster Abbey, and still bearing carved stone symbols of the Abbey Church.
North Acton Playing Fields is a large open space for public recreation. Its facilities include several football and cricket pitches, multiple hard-surfaced and grass tennis courts, a basketball court, exercise machines forming a public 'outside gym', refreshment facilities including "Piccolo Cafeteria" (open all year round), a pavilion, a children's playground, hard (tarmac) surfaced paths for walking in inclement weather, a picnic area with metal picnic tables, and designated dog-walking areas.
The main tube station is North Acton Station (Central line), although several others are within easy walking distance of the community. The Piccadilly line also passes through the parish of North Acton, although with no station stop. North Acton station is on the border of fare zones 2 and 3. It is also the location of a junction (to the west of the station) where the Central line splits between its main line and the Ealing Broadway branch.
London Buses serving North Acton are:
|260||White City||Golders Green||Metroline|
|266||Hammersmith||Brent Cross||Tower Transit|
|440||Stonebridge Park Station||Chiswick||London United|
|487||South Harrow||Willesden Junction Station||Metroline|
- Postcode area map of West London, showing North Acton tube, North Acton playing fields, and North Acton parish church, all in W3.
- The Contact Page of North Acton parish church, showing W3 postcodes.
- The Contact Page for North Acton tube station, showing W3 postcodes.
- This website provides more details and substantiates claim to size.
- BBC comedy writer Jimmy Perry recalls rehearsals for Dad's Army at North Acton in the 1970s in this conversation with Nicolas Ridley.
- See the University accommodation website.
- Details shown here.
- See details on this website.
- See details of construction and celebrations referenced on this website.
- Cited on this public attractions website.