Wembley is synonymous with the stadium
Wembley shown within Greater London
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||HA0, HA9|
|EU Parliament||Greater London|
|UK Parliament||Brent North, Brent Central|
|London Assembly||Brent and Harrow|
Wembley (//) is an area of northwest London, England, and part of the London Borough of Brent. It is home to the famous Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena. Wembley formed a separate civil parish from 1894 and was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1937. In 1965, the area merged with the Municipal Borough of Willesden to create the London Borough of Brent, and has since formed part of Greater London.
|◄ Split from Harrow on the Hill|
|◄ Kingsbury parish absorbed|
|# no census was held due to war|
|source: UK census|
The village of Wembley grew up on the hill by the clearing with the Harrow Road south of it. Much of the surrounding area remained wooded. In 1547 there were but six houses in Wembley. Though small, it was one of the wealthiest parts of Harrow. At the dissolution of the monasteries in 1543, the manor of Wembley fell to Richard Andrews and Leonard Chamberlayne, who sold it to Richard Page, Esq., of Harrow on the Hill, the same year.
There was a mill on Wembley Hill by 1673. In 1837, the London and Birmingham Railway (now part of the West Coast Main Line) was opened from London Euston through Wembley to Hemel Hempstead, and completed to Birmingham the following year. The changing names of the local station demonstrated the increasing importance of the 'Wembley' name. 'Sudbury' station opened in 1845, renamed as 'Sudbury and Wembley' in 1882, renamed as 'Wembley for Sudbury' in 1910, renamed as 'Wembley Central' in 1948, at the time of the Olympic Games.
To modernise the service, a new Watford DC Line was built alongside the main lines and Bakerloo line trains, and electric trains to Broad Street started in 1917. Electric trains to Euston began running in 1922. (Since 1917, there have been six platforms at what is now Wembley Central station.) In 1880, the Metropolitan Railway opened its line from Baker Street through the eastern side of Wembley, but only built a station, Wembley Park, in 1894. (There are now three physically separate services, the London to Aylesbury Line, the Metropolitan line, and the Jubilee line. Only the latter two services have platforms at Wembley Park station.)
In November 1905, the Great Central Railway (now, in this section, part of the Chiltern Main Line) opened a new route for fast expresses that by-passed the congested Metropolitan Railway tracks. It ran between Neasden Junction, south of Wembley, and Northolt Junction, west of London, where a new joint main line with the Great Western Railway began. Local passenger services from Marylebone were added from March 1906, when new stations were opened, including 'Wembley Hill', next to what later became the site of Wembley Stadium - the national stadium of English sport - which opened for the FA Cup Final of April 1923, remaining open for 77 years until it closed for reconstruction in October 2000. After a long planning and redevelopment process dogged by a series of funding problems and construction delays, the new stadium finally opened its doors in March 2007.
The area around the current Wembley Stadium was the location of the British Empire Exhibition of 1924-1925. Until the 2000s, remnants of the many reinforced concrete buildings, including the original Wembley Stadium, remained, but nearly all have now been removed, to make way for redevelopment.
Wembley, in common with much of northwest London, had an extensive manufacturing industry, but much of it closed in the 1980s. Factories in the area included Glacier Metals (bearings), Wolf Power Tools, Sunbeam Electrical Appliances, Griffin & George (laboratory equipment) and GEC (whose research laboratories, opened in 1923, were one of the first of their type in the United Kingdom.).
The retail centre of Wembley (the High Road and Ealing Road) has suffered from chronic traffic congestion and from the opening of neighbouring purpose-built shopping centres, first Brent Cross in the early 1970s and later the Harrow and Ealing Broadway Shopping Centres. During the 1960s, rebuilding of Wembley Central station, a block of flats, an open-plan shopping plaza, and a car park were constructed on a concrete raft over the railway.
The shopping plaza suffered a slow decline and was therefore poorly maintained, but it is being redeveloped as Central Square. The first phase, including construction of eighty-five homes and reconstruction of the plaza, has been completed.
Wembley City, which includes a new Civic Centre for the borough, is being constructed around the junction of Engineers Way and Empire Way near the stadium.
Most of the rest of Wembley's housing consists of inter-war semi-detached houses and terraces and of modern apartment blocks, with a significant minority of detached housing.
Wembley has a high degree of ethnic diversity, as illustrated by the accompanying pie chart for Wembley Central (ward) in 2001.
Wembley formed part of the large ancient parish of Harrow on the Hill in the Gore hundred of Middlesex. In 1894 Wembley was split from Harrow, creating a new parish and urban district. It included Alperton, Preston, North Wembley, South Kenton, Tokyngton, Sudbury, Wembley Park and Northwick Park. The urban district included the neighbouring parish of Kingsbury until 1901 and again from 1934.
In 1937 it was incorporated as the Municipal Borough of Wembley. The fire brigade headquarters of Middlesex County Council were located on Harrow Road and is now a fire station of the London Fire Brigade. Wembley Town Hall on Forty Lane, built in 1938, became Brent Town Hall when the municipal boroughs of Wembley and Willesden were amalgamated in 1965 to form the London Borough of Brent and transferred to Greater London. Since the 2010 elections, Brent Council has been controlled by the Labour Party.
Until the nineteenth century, Wembley was rural and the sector retains a number of green spaces. These include Barham Park (10.5 hectares) in Sudbury Town, King Edward VII Park, established in 1914 behind the High Road (10.5 hectares), and Sudbury Green. Less managed spaces include Fryent Country Park, Barn Hill (19.87 hectares), and Vale Farm sports ground (30 hectares). Brent River Park / Tokyngton Recreation Ground (20.26 hectares) has recently been restored, returning the river to a more natural course.
Nearby Sudbury Golf Course backs onto the Grand Union Canal, with its towpath running into central London. Sudbury Squash and Tennis Club has outdoor tennis courts, an indoor squash court, and a clubhouse. Wembley is a short distance away from the Welsh Harp reservoir and open space, created in the early 19th century by damming the River Brent to provide water for the Grand Union Canal.
||Harrow on the Hill||North Wembley||Wembley Park|
Wembley is part of both HA0 and HA9 post codes, and has its own post code. It includes Alperton, Preston, North Wembley, South Kenton, Tokyngton, Wembley Park and partly of Sudbury and Northwick Park.
The main shopping area is centred on Wembley High Road, Central Square, which is also undergoing redevelopment, and Ealing Road. The industrial and commercial estate close to Wembley Stadium includes warehouse-style outlets and retail sheds, and at 'Brent Park', further south on the A406 North Circular Road, there is a large Ikea Store, Tesco, and other stores and industrial units. A large open-air market is held most Sundays in the car park in front of Wembley Stadium, continuing a long tradition.
The 'Wembley City' development in the area of Wembley Stadium has a number of stakeholders, in particular Quintain Estates and Development, which owns much of the proposed site. It is to include new leisure facilities (e.g. the first new swimming baths being built in the borough in sixty years and a multiplex cinema), residential and retail units, and a new Civic Centre, incorporating council offices and assembly hall, a library, and other community facilities and some retail space and is due to be completed by 2013.
'Wembley Central Square' is being redeveloped with new leisure and retail facilities and residential units by St. Modwen Properties. The first two phases of the development were completed by July 2009, and the final phase will see the replacement of the old central square by an improved Wembley Central station and new shops.
The regeneration project is focused on the site first developed for the Empire Exhibition of 1924. This area includes Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena, both of which recently finished undergoing complete rebuilds. The remainder of the area is mostly in low grade uses such as carparking and storage. In 2004 Brent Council approved a mixed use masterplan by Buro Happold for the development of 55 acres (223,000 m²) adjacent to the stadium which was presented by Quintain Estates and Development plc. It is envisaged that the whole of the former Empire Exhibition of 1924 site will be redeveloped in stages over two or three decades. At the same time Brent Council is seeking to encourage redevelopment of the neighbouring Wembley town centre area. It now has a large civic centre and THE LONDON DESIGNER OUTLET where many brands such as hollister have their shops
Sport and leisure
There once were two golf clubs in Wembley (both now defunct). Wembley Golf Club, founded 1896, continued to the 1920s, and Wembley Park Golf Club, founded in 1912, lasted only ten years. It now lies beneath Wembley Stadium.
The prime landmark is Wembley Stadium, rebuilt 2003-2007 at a cost of £827 million, which is approached via the White Horse Bridge designed by the London Eye architects. Nearby are Wembley Arena, a concert venue built in 1934 as the Empire Pool, a swimming pool for the Empire Games, and Fountain Studios, one of the country's largest purpose built television studios and host to X Factor, Bremner, Bird and Fortune and Britain's Got Talent. Brent Town Hall is a Grade-2-listed building located on Barn Hill facing Wembley Stadium; its future is uncertain due to plans to move the town hall function, including council chamber, to a new civic centre as part of the Wembley redevelopment.
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in the centre of Wembley was built in 1904, designed by Thomas Collcutt and Stanley Hemp. Construction was of brick and the design was influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement. It was listed as a Grade II building in 1993. The church was converted into the Central Mosque Wembley in the late 1990s.
Stations in the area are:
- Wembley Stadium Station (Chiltern Railways)
- Wembley Central Station (Bakerloo line, Southern, London Midland and Watford DC Line)
- North Wembley Station (Bakerloo line and Watford DC Line)
- Wembley Park Station (Jubilee line and Metropolitan line)
- Actor and musician Gary Holton (1952–1985), Wayne in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and frontman of Heavy Metal Kids, lived in Wembley at the time of his death
- Composer John Tavener was born in Wembley
- Actor Riz Ahmed, star of satirist Chris Morris's black comedy Four Lions (2010), was born in Wembley
- Singer Maxine Nightingale, best known for her soul hit records in the 1970s, was born in Wembley
- Actor Robert McBain (1932–2004), who appeared in Fawlty Towers and A Fish Called Wanda, was born in Wembley
- Scholar Vivian H. H. Green (1915–2005), the model for author John le Carré's spymaster character George Smiley, was born in Wembley
- Figure-skater Valda Osborn was born in Wembley
- Scientist John D Barrow FRS, Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge University, cosmologist, Templeton prize winner and author of many popular science books and the award-winning play Infinities was born in Wembley in 1952 and attended Barham Primary School.
- Lenny Henry lived in Wembley.
- Claire Raynor lived in Wembley.
- Russell Grant Lived in Wembley.
- The Environs of London: Volume 2, Daniel Lysons, 1795, Centre for Metropolitan History, British History Online
- A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4, T. F. T. Baker, J. S. Cockburn, R. B. Pugh (ed.), Victoria County History, 1971, British History Online
- "Doors finally open at new Wembley". BBC News. 17 March 2007.
- Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (February 2005). "Figure 51". Marylebone to Rickmansworth. Midland Main Lines. Midhurst: Middleton Press. ISBN 1-904474-49-7.
- Photograph of exhibition site
- Map of exhibition site
- Sunday Tribune of India (newspaper) Article on exhibition (2004)
- British Pathe (agency) Film of British Empire Exhibition, reel one
- British Pathe (agency) Film of British Empire Exhibition, reel two
- British Pathe (agency) Film of British Empire Exhibition, reel three
- British Pathe (agency) Film of British Empire Exhibition, reel four
- Clayton, Robert; Algar, Joan (1989). The GEC Research Laboratories 1919-1984. Peter Peregrinus. ISBN 0-86341-146-0.
- Brent Resource and Information Network (BRAIN). "Public square reopens in Wembley Central". Brent Council. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
- Mayor of London (February 2008). "London Plan (Consolidated with Alterations since 2004)" (PDF). Greater London Authority.
- "Hopkins wins Brent civic centre competition". 2009-02-27. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
- "Arch rivals: Hopkins Architects’ winning design for Brent civic centre". 2009-03-20. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
- the regeneration of wembley (stadium and city) journal Modern British architecture
- "Career Opportunities Air France KLM in the UK and Ireland." Air France. Retrieved on 29 June 2010.
- "Wembley Golf Club", "Golf’s Missing Links".
- Campbell, Denis (15 October 2006). "Eight-year Wembley stadium saga is over at last". The Guardian (London).
- "St Andrew's Presbyterian Church - Wembley". britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "LUCAN, Arthur (1887-1954)". English Heritage. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- London Campaign for Better Transport North and West London light railway (NWLLR) / Brent Cross Railway (BCR) plan
- The Times Comment on NWLLR light-rail proposal
- West London Orbital
- FastBus scheme