Queen's Park, London
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Queen's Park Library, Harrow Road
Queen's Park shown within Greater London
|OS grid reference|
|– Charing Cross||4 mi (6.4 km) SE|
|Civil parish||Queen's Park|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||NW6, NW10|
|UK Parliament||Hampstead and Kilburn|
|London Assembly||Brent and Harrow|
The neighbourhood lies between Kilburn and Kensal Green, and was developed from 1875 and named to honour Queen Victoria. The open space opened in 1887, located to the north, also shares the name.
The north of Queen's Park formed part of the parish of Willesden and the southern section formed an exclave of the parish of Chelsea, both in the Ossulstone hundred of Middlesex. In 1855 the vestry of the Chelsea parish was incorporated as a local council in the metropolitan area of London governed by the Metropolitan Board of Works. Willesden parish remained outside the area and formed a local government district from 1874. In 1889 the area of the Metropolitan Board of Works that included the southern section of Queen's Park was transferred from Middlesex to the County of London, and in 1900 the anomaly of being administered from Chelsea was removed when the exclave was united with the parish of Paddington. In 1965 both parts of Queen's Park became part of Greater London: the northern section formed part of Brent and the southern section joined the City of Westminster.
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The northern half of Queen's Park, like much of Kilburn, was developed by Solomon Barnett. The two-storey terraced houses east of the park, built between 1895 and 1900, typically have clean, classical lines. Those west of the park, built 1900–05, tend to be more Gothic in style. Barnett's wife was from the West Country, and many of the roads he developed are named either for places she knew (e.g. Torbay, Tiverton, Honiton) or for popular poets of the time (e.g. Tennyson). The first occupants of the area in late Victorian times were typically lower middle class, such as clerks and teachers. Currently Queen's Park is both demographically and architecturally diverse. The streets around the park at the heart of Queens Park are a conservation area.
The northern part of Queens Park is very different from the area south of Kilburn Lane. The northern part is in the borough of Brent and has historically been made up of family houses. The southern part, in the borough of Westminster, was made up of multi-tenanted properties and many of these have been converted back to single family use and luxury flats. There is hardly any social housing in the streets around Queens Park itself, and the area was zoned as not suitable for social housing in the 1970s and 1980s as even then house prices were above average for the borough of Brent, which made them unaffordable for local Housing Associations. The main shopping streets of Salusbury Road and Chamberlayne Road have fewer convenience stores and more high-value shops and restaurants, more like the 1960s and 1970s when there were high class butchers, bakers and greengrocers. Local schools – some of which struggled to attract the children of wealthier local families in the past – are now over-subscribed. House prices have risen accordingly, with typical prices for 3–4 bedroom terraced houses to the east of the Park having surpassed £1,500,000, whilst larger 5–7 bedroomed houses overlooking the park on the east side sell for millions.
There are two wards in the area called Queen's Park: one each in the boroughs of Brent and Westminster. They are two distinct areas.
The Queen's Park ward in the north west of the City of Westminster is represented by three Labour Party councillors on Westminster City Council. This ward forms part of the Westminster North parliamentary constituency, represented by Labour MP Karen Buck. In May 2012 residents of the ward voted in favour of the establishment of a Queen's Park civil parish and parish council. In June 2012, Westminster City Council approved the establishment of the first civil parish created in London since new legislation was enacted in 2007. The first election of councillors took place in May 2014 at the same time as other local elections.
The adjacent Queen's Park ward in the southeast of the London Borough of Brent is represented by three Labour Party councillors on Brent London Borough Council as of the 2014 election. This ward forms part of the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency, represented by Labour MP Tulip Siddiq.
The main focus of the area is Queen's Park itself: a park with an area of 30 acres (12 ha). Queens Park Rangers originally came from here, but they now play nearby in Shepherd's Bush. In 1879 the Royal Agricultural Society chose Willesden as the site of its annual show. A 100-acre (40 ha) site was designated at Kilburn, and on 30 June the show was opened. Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales attended to view a working dairy, agricultural machinery and a wide range of farm animals. The show ran for a week, in extremely bad weather. Although it attracted 185,000 visitors, it made a loss of £15,000. It was decided to set up a permanent venue for the show, and the Society chose a place in Twyford. A public campaign was launched to try to secure the whole site (bounded by Salusbury Road to the east, Chamberlayne Road to the west, and railway lines to the north and south) as a park to retain some green space in a fast-developing part of London. In the end only the central part of the site (30 acres or 7 hectares) was purchased. The park opened in 1886 and was named Queen's Park in honour of the reigning monarch, who celebrated her Golden Jubilee the following year.
Queen's Park is now managed by the City of London Corporation. It has recently been named a Green Flag Park in recognition of the quality of its services and environment. Facilities in the park include six all-weather tennis courts, a pitch-and-putt course, a pétanque pitch, an ornamental garden, a children's playground with paddling pool, a children's animal farm and a cafe.
The local community host two annual festivals at Queen's Park.
- Queens Parks Day in September brings together a funfair, stalls for local community groups and shops, various entertainments (including acrobats and bird of prey displays) and live music hosted by the Rhythm Studio who foster young bands and singers in the Queens Park area.
- The Queens Park Book Festival, in May, mixes national and international writers with local writing groups as part of the growing book festival movement across England.
Queen's Park Estate
The part of Queen's Park which is in the City of Westminster is south of Queen's Park station and south of the main railway line out of Euston. It includes the Queens Park Estate, built from 1874 by the Artisans, Labourers & General Dwellings Company. The architecture of that estate of some 2,000 small houses is distinctively Gothic-revival, with polychrome brickwork, pinnacles and turrets along the bigger roads. It retains First Avenue, Second Avenue etc. up to Sixth Avenue, and originally had streets A-P. The street names have been made into full words, (Alperton Street, Barfett Street, Caird Street, Droop Street, Enbrook Street, Farrant Street (demolished in the 1970s to make way for a park), Galton Street, Huxley Street, Ilbert Street, Kilravock Street, Lothrop Street, Marne Street, Nutbourne Street, Oliphant Street, Peach Street). It was on this estate that the first QPR footballers had their homes. It stretches from Kilburn Lane down to the Harrow Road.
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Queen's Park is host to a number of cultures and religions, the most prominent of which is Christianity. In the 2001 National Census, 54.9% of residents of Queen's Park ward in Brent (the areas west and east of the park plus some neighbouring roads in Kilburn and Kensal) categorised themselves as Christians. St Anne's and St Andrew's Church (a joint Church of England/United Reformed Church ecumenical foundation, which is also home to the London Interfaith Centre). St Anne Brondesbury, the Anglican parish church, was established on Salusbury Road in 1902, at first using a temporary metal building known as "the old tin church" before a permanent building was erected in 1905. This Gothic Revival church was demolished in 1995 due to serious structural problems, and was replaced by the current ecumenical centre in 1997. Other Christian centres in the area include the Church of The Transfiguration, a Roman Catholic church on the corner of Wrentham Avenue and Chamberlayne Road, and the West Kilburn Baptist Church on Carlton Vale. The area used to have a significant Jewish population; this has now declined to around 2%, in line with the London average. The former synagogue on Chevening Road was converted into a mosque in the 1990s, although there is an important synagogue nearby in Willesden.
The area also has a number of Islamic institutions, even though the Muslim population, at 6.1%, is small for Brent (the average for the borough, according to the 2001 Census, is 12.25%). The mosque on Chevening Road was founded by Abdul Majid al-Khoei, who returned to Iraq following the second Gulf War to help in the reorganisation of the country. Only few weeks from his arrival he was murdered. Tony Blair had visited the religious leader several times at the mosque. Queen's Park is also home to a number of Islamic schools, including the Al-Sadiq/Al-Zahara Islamic Schools, for boys and girls respectively, which are attached to the mosque, and the Islamia Schools, founded by Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens).
In the Queen's Park ward of Brent, White British was the largest ethnic group as of the 2011 census, at 41%. Second largest was Other White, at 18%. In the Queen's Park ward of Westminster in the 2011 census, the figures were 30% and 14% respectively.
Salusbury Road has an increasing number of shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants. The Queen's Park Farmers' Market, which operates on Sunday mornings in the grounds of Salusbury Primary School on Salusbury Road, draws people from across north west London to stock up on locally grown/produced produce.
Primary education is provided by Salusbury Primary School and Islamia Primary School, both located on Salusbury Road. Islamia, established in October 1983 by Yusuf Islam, is a two form entry voluntary-aided Islamic faith school that educates around 390 pupils aged 4 to 11.
Queen's Park station is a tube and Network Rail station in Travelcard Zone 2; it has direct links to south and central London via the Bakerloo line or to Euston, Watford Junction and intermediate stations via London Overground trains (or to Harrow & Wealdstone station using Bakerloo line trains). Brondesbury Park station, on the London Overground North London Line, is near the northeast corner of Queen's Park.
- Mills, A.D. (2001). Dictionary of London Place Names. Oxford.
- "Historical Records of Westminster City Council". Westminster City Council. Archived from the original on 26 December 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Queen's Park parish council gets go-ahead". BBC News London online (London). 29 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- Derounian, James (2 February 2014). "Queen's Park: home of London's first parish council". The Guardian.
- "X Marks the Spot for London's First Parish Council". Local Council Review. 29 April 2014.
- "Election results for Queens Park". Brent Council. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- Brondesbury Synagogue at 20th Century London
- "Prince goes pop to praise school". BBC News. 10 May 2000. Retrieved 17 May 2013.