The Grange (Brent)
The Grange was an outbuilding of an early C18th farm known as The Grove. In the C19th improvements included transforming this outbuilding into a cottage, called Rose Cottage until it was sold in the 1870s. At that time the garden had a croquet lawn and conservatory. In 1962 The Grange was purchased by Willesden Borough Council. Threatened with demolition for a road scheme in 1970, the roundabout was then constructed around the building and in 1975 it was renovated as a local history resource. From 1993 to 2004 it was used as Brent's local community history museum, which had an old well from the original farm in the rear garden, and a nature reserve to the front. In c.2006 The Grange was purchased by ABi Associates, a company providing space and training to local and charitable organisations.
- Previous / Other name:
- The Grange Museum
- Site location:
- Neasden Roundabout, Neasden Lane/Dudden Hill Lane, Neasden
- NW10 1QB
- What 3 Words:
- Type of site:
- Public Gardens
- Open to public?
- Opening times:
- although access generally restricted to users of the building. Nature Reserve is accessible
- Special conditions:
- Car park
- Public transport:
- Tube: Neasden (Jubilee) then bus. Bus: 112, 182, 232, 245, 297, 302, 316.
- Research updated:
- Last minor changes:
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.abi.co.uk
Full Site Description
In 1700 the site of Pickles Field was sold to Thomas Wingfield who built a large farmhouse known as The Grove with extensive outbuildings, barns, and stables. If it was ever used as a farm, this appears not to have continued for long. The Wingfield family lived at The Grove until the early 1720s when it was sold to Edward Carr and then soon after to Lord Carpenter, MP for Westminster from 1722, who was described as 'a gentleman with a colourful military career'. The porch at the entrance was probably added by Lord Carpenter to give the building character. His son, who inherited the property in 1732, sold it to the Rambouillet family from Ealing who let it, and finally sold it in 1796 for £1,360 to the then tenant, John Bristow, the curate of Willesden. The next owner, solicitor James Hall, improved the property, rebuilding the stables and extending the house. Between 1806 and 1817 he transformed the outbuilding that later became The Grange Museum into a gothic-style cottage, which by the 1870s was called Rose Cottage. It was located to the north of the main house. From at least 1845 the cottage appears to have been let to tenants, which continued after the freehold was sold in 1856 to John William Prout, a barrister who was trustee for a family called Nicholl. The cottage appears to have become known as The Grange at some time between 1872-4 when the tenancy changed. In 1877 the freehold was up for auction although it did not sell, but the particulars refer to a croquet lawn in the garden and a conservatory at the back of the house, which was described as 'a charming cottage residence'.
The original larger farmhouse, The Grove, was demolished in the late 1930s but The Grange remained in the ownership of the Nicholl family until 1962 when it was purchased by Willesden Borough Council. The intention was to house a local history museum here, although it was tenanted until 1972 by a member of the Collingridge family who had moved here by 1910. The house was threatened with demolition when the Neasden Underpass scheme was proposed in c.1964, as a result of which plans for converting it were put in abeyance and the house deteriorated. It was not until 1970 that it was saved following a public enquiry and the roundabout was constructed around the building. In 1975 it was renovated for use as a local history resource and was registered in 1993 as The Grange Museum, the local community history museum for Brent. The museum had a small area of enclosed garden at the rear within which was an old well from the original farm. A nature area was created in front of the building, overlooked by the pedestrian walkway, and trees including ash and horse chestnut were retained. The Museum closed in 2004 and the Grange was sold in 2006, re-opened, as Brent Museum, in Willesden Green Library Centre.
The Grange is now leased by ABi, a company that provides space and computers for small start-up companies, and a venue for local and charitable organisations to showcase their activities. Local groups using The Grange in 2011 included Grange Gardening Club, a local group run by Elders Voice that advises elderly people about remaining active in their gardens. The Nature Reserve is maintained by LB Brent Parks Service.
Michael Dewe, 'The Grange, Neasden' in The London Archaeologist, Vol. 2 No. 12 Autumn 1975; 'The History of the Museum Building' (leaflet, n.d.); Len Snow, 'Brent - Wembley, Willesden and Kingsbury', Phillimore, 1990
Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
- Grid ref:
- TQ214858 (521450,185830)
- Size in hectares:
- Nature area: 0.32
- Site ownership:
- Small Business Incubator Company Ltd, leased to ABi Associates Ltd
- Site management:
- ABi Associates Ltd. Nature Reserve managed by LB Brent Parks Service
- C18th/C19th; 1970s
- Listed structures:
- LBII: The Grange
- On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:
- Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
- Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
Local Authority Data
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
- On Local List:
- In Conservation Area:
- Tree Preservation Order:
- Not known
- Nature Conservation Area:
- Yes - Borough Importance II (nature area)
- Green Belt:
- Metropolitan Open Land:
- Special Policy Area:
- Other LA designation:
The Grange, old well in the rear garden, March 2001. Photo: S Williams
Click a photo to enlarge.
Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.