Stonebridge, London

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Stonebridge is located in Greater London
Stonebridge shown within Greater London
Population 16,903 (2011 Census. Ward)[1]
OS grid reference TQ203839
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district NW10
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
London Assembly
List of places
LondonCoordinates: 51°32′28″N 0°15′50″W / 51.541184°N 0.263800°W / 51.541184; -0.263800

Stonebridge is an area of northwest London, England in the London Borough of Brent, and forms the western part of Harlesden. It is also the name of the largest electoral ward in the borough, which includes Stonebridge itself as well as Park Royal, Brent Park and the St Raphael's Estate. It is the most populated ward in Brent with a population over 17,000 with the majority of Afro-Caribbean heritage.


The area was named after a stone bridge built (built in the later 17th century, when most bridges were of wood) over the River Brent to the north.

The exclusive Craven Park Estate of large houses was built in the 1860s and later, roughly at the same time as the Midland Railway constructed the Dudding Hill Line (now a freight line), which gave its new residents access to central London. However, the passenger service on the line closed for a second and final time in 1902, but only after a sustained protest campaign by local people.

Although other high-quality housing had grown up around the now-closed nearby Harlesden (Midland) railway station, the area failed to consolidate as an up-market suburb, because of the general expansion of London, increasing industry, and the building of low-quality, cheap housing, in the late nineteenth century. Sub-division of many of the large houses was carried out and Stonebridge became a low-income area, which continued after high-rise comprehensive redevelopment, mostly built in a single architectural style and called the 'Stonebridge Estate', in the 1960s and 1970s.[2][3]

Some parts of Stonebridge have always been in private ownership, and not been part of the Stonebridge Estate.

Demolition of an old 8-storey building in 2007 (replacement housing is visible behind)

Built environment[edit]

Some improvements in the street scene happened in the early 1990s, as a result of the 'Harlesden City Challenge' award of government money to the area, which was by now regarded as one of the most troubled parts of London. In April 1994, The Independent newspaper highlighted an unemployment rate of around 25% (compared to a national average of around 10% at the time), as well as widespread drug abuse, burglaries and violence.[4]

Most improvements, however, came after 2000, when comprehensive redevelopment of the 1960s and 1970s housing started. This is mainly complete by 2010, although some empty high-rise buildings were still being demolished.

A traditional street layout has been introduced, largely of two- and three-storey houses, often with four-story flats around street junctions.

The Stonebridge Estate has been redeveloped by Stonebridge Housing Action Trust, set up in 1994 under the Housing Act 1988, and with the aim

It responded with various training and leisure initiatives, and modern, low-rise houses with some four-storey blocks of flats, mainly on street corners to give variety to the street scene.

In 2008, the redevelopment was awarded the European Urban and Regional Planning Award, under the category Public Participation in Planning,[5] for the

The Housing Action Trust was dissolved in 2007, and housing is now a mixture of housing association ownership (Hillside Housing Trust, part of the Hyde Group) and reversion to the London Borough of Brent. Tenants were given a choice about which ownership they preferred.

Winchlesea Road, Stonebridge. The trees on the left have been protected by a Tree Preservation Order

New development on Hillside, part of the A404 Harrow Road through the area, includes private ownership of flats above offices, and a health centre. Redevelopment has gone hand-in-hand with training and sports initiatives for local people.

A tree preservation order has been adopted by Brent Council on Winchelsea Road nearby, to protect the street scene, forcing new buildings to be set back from the road. The "exemplary approach to public participation" award quoted above may well have been justified regarding estate residents, but there were local media claims in 2007 that it was not true regarding neighbours, as evidenced by Brent Council's willingness to protect the Winchelsea Road trees.


The Stonebridge Estate had historically been known for its high crime rate. Neighbouring Harlesden witnessed a huge increase in shootings and gun crime starting 1999, and became the highest rated in the country by 2001.

A contract killing of two sisters and their mother's partner in Clark Court, Stonebridge, occurred in August 2005,[citation needed] as well the murder of a young father in 2009 outside a local party at a Stonebridge primary school.[6]

Press comment has generally changed from being negative,[7] which demoralised the local residents, to being positive.[8]

In 2010 former Millwall footballer Gavin Grant was found guilty of shooting and murdering Leon Labastide. Stephen Batten QC, prosecuting, said the case was linked to shootings and drug dealing on the Stonebridge Park Estate.

In 2015 Stonebridge had more guncrime then any other ward in London, despite decreasing over the last decade.[9]


Stonebridge has a large black population. The 1991 census showed that 41.9% of the population was black, the highest in Brent. This increased to 49.1% in 2001. The black groups are diverse, with Caribbeans forming 22.1%, Africans 19.9%, and 7.1% from other black groups as of 2001. Whites formed 33%.[10]


London Buses serving Stonebridge are:


Route Start End Operator
18 Euston Station Sudbury Metroline
92 Ealing Hospital Brent Park Metroline
112 Ealing Broadway Brent Cross Metroline
206 Wembley Park Kilburn Park Metroline
224 St Raphael's Estate Wembley Stadium Metroline
232 St Raphael's Estate Turnpike Lane Station Metroline
332 Brent Park Paddington Metroline
440 Stonebridge Park Station Gunnersbury London United
611 Stonebridge Park Station East Finchley Metroline
N18 Trafalgar Square Harrow Weald Metroline


The North and West London Light Railway has been proposed for the area.[11]

Nearest places[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Brent Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "BBC News Race Special, Turning away from crime". BBC News. Retrieved 24 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Stonebridge". Hidden London. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ "Murder squad detectives are calling for people who attended a party at a Harlesden school to come forward after a man was shot dead outside in the early hours of Sunday morning". Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  7. ^ "Is this how to deal with gun crime?|26Jul03". Socialist Worker. 2003-07-26. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  8. ^ "Gun crime: Notorious North London housing estate is reborn - Exclusive - Mirror Online". 2009-07-24. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  9. ^ . 2015-12-10 Retrieved 2015-12-12.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Reducing Car Use: Proposals for a Brent Cross Railway" (PDF). London Campaign for Better Transport. 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 

External links[edit]