Inventory Site Record

Queen's Park (Brent)

Brief Description

Queen's Park was laid out in 1887 and retains much of its original structure and early features, including the bandstand. Part of the land had been used as a showground for the Royal Kilburn Agricultural Show in 1879, and in 1885 it was offered to the Corporation of London by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, along with Gravel Pit Wood, 'for the preservation as open spaces forever'. The park was opened by the Lord Mayor of London in 1887, one of the many parks created in celebration of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. The surrounding residential development followed soon after this.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Kilburn Recreation Ground
Site location:
Harvist Road/Kingswood Road/Chevening Road/Milman Road, Kensal Rise
Postcode:
NW6
Type of site:
Public Park
Borough:
Brent
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
7.30am - dusk. Pet Corner 11am-5pm weekdays/BHols; weekends 1-5.30pm
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Café, toilets, children's playground with paddling pool (May-Sept), tennis courts, petanque pitch, trim trail, pitch-and-putt course, children's farm
Events:
Regular sporting and entertainment events, including concerts on bandstand; Queen's Park Day (2nd Sunday in September), Winter Wonderland (November). Educational activities
Public transport:
London Overground/Tube (Bakerloo): Queen's Park. London Overground: Brondesbury Park, Kensal Rise. Bus: 6, 36, 52, 184, 187, 206, 302, 316.
Research updated:
09/02/2012
Last minor changes:
12/04/2021

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

Full Site Description

Queen's Park was laid out in 1887 and retains much of its original structure and many features. Part of the land had been used as a showground for the Royal Kilburn Agricultural Show in July 1879, which Queen Victoria not only visited but also exhibited farm animals. The show was opened by the Prince of Wales and the 100 acre site displayed a wealth of new farming equipment, as well as animals and produce. In 1885 the site was offered to the Corporation of London by the landowners, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, along with Gravel Pit Wood, later called Highgate Wood (q.v.) 'for the preservation as open spaces forever'. This was enacted through the Highgate and Kilburn Open Spaces Act of 1886 and in the same year the Corporation acquired both sites. At first the Corporation had been wary of accepting, given likely maintenance costs and at that time limited funds. A legacy from William Ward enabled the Corporation to spend £3,000 on laying out the park, which was undertaken by the 2nd Superintendent of Epping Forest, Major Alexander McKenzie. Ward had left a bequest towards establishing a girls' school in the City of London, with the residuary 'to be applied and expended in the erection and maintaining of some institution and the creation of some fund for the benefit of the poorer classes'. It was eventually agreed to transfer this bequest into a fund, the income of which was to be used to maintain Queen's Park and Highgate Wood. The new park was opened by Sir Reginald Hanson, the Lord Mayor of London, and dedicated to the public on 5 November 1887. Originally called Kilburn Recreation Ground, royal permission was given to change the name to Queen's Park, one of the many parks throughout the country so-named in celebration of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. The surrounding residential development followed soon after, between 1895-1905.

The original layout of the park survives with elliptical paths in the form of a figure-of-eight, similar to the famous Andre design for Sefton Park, Liverpool, meeting in the centre where the 1960s cafe now stands. This replaced an earlier refreshment pavilion built in 1890 that took the form of a rustic chalet. Around the paths were mown grass with clumps of trees and shrubs, and there were 6 areas with formal bedding displays, and also a children's gymnasium. The fine C19th wrought-iron bandstand, restored in 1992, was erected in 1891. From the early 1900s the park had its own glasshouse, with a second one built in 1924 but they were demolished in 1970. Tennis courts were added in 1937 and remain to the west, and to the north is a pitch-and-putt course dating from 1966 where there are mature willows.

During WWII Queen's Park was used for allotments and had army huts and air-raid shelters, with a barrage balloon in the south. The figure-of-eight path layout was lost around that time but was later reinstated in 1999. The children's playground with paddling pool is at the site of the original gymnasium. Near the cafe is a sculpture by a local artist, entitled 'Mbuni' representing a bird. The park contains many good horse chestnuts and limes, with a Woodland Walk created in 1999 in the north, although the heavily planted peripheral shrubberies recorded on early OS maps are now largely removed. London planes line the boundary with Harvist Road. In the east the railings are formed around an ancient oak tree east of the café, one of a number of trees that predate the laying out as a public park.

In 1936, the mock-Tudor shelter or lych-gate in the south-east corner of the park was built. It originally formed an entrance to the park, but this was blocked up in 1960 and it remains with claire-voie to the street, and faces a discrete flower garden laid out in 1966 called the Quiet Garden. Near here is a small children's farm or Pets' Corner that was added in 1990,

Sources consulted:

Joyce Bellamy, Site Recommendation for IoAAS, York, 1986; Ian Yarham, Meg Game 'Nature Conservation in Brent, Ecology Handbook 31', London Ecology Unit, 2000 LB Brent Local History Archives - photographs and cuttings files.Mairtin Coss, 'Queen's Park Management Plan 2008-2013' (City of London Corporation, Review draft November 2007)

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ242832 (524222,183344)
Size in hectares:
12
Site ownership:
City of London Corporation
Site management:
Queen’s Park and Highgate Wood Management Committee; Queen's Park Joint Consultative Group
Date(s):
1887
Designer(s):
Major Alexander McKenzie
Listed structures:
Local list: lych-gate
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

No
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

No
Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

No

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:
No
In Conservation Area:
Yes
Conservation Area name:
Queen's Park
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Local Importance
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
None
Photos

Queen's Park

Queen's Park, bandstand, February 2012. Photograph Sally Williams

Queen's Park, Entrance at north-east corner, March 2001. Photo: S Williams
2001
Queen's Park, Quiet Garden, May 2000. Photo: S Williams
2000
Queen's Park,  May 2000. Photo: S Williams
2000
Queen's Park,  May 2000. Photo: S Williams
2000
Pupils from King Albert Belgian School in Queen's Park, 1917. Courtesy of Brent Archives
1917
Queen's Park, Band Stand, postcard 1905. Courtesy of Brent Archives
1905
The Lodge, Queen's Park, undated postcard. Courtesy of Brent Archives
Queen's Park, Flower Garden, undated postcard. Courtesy of Brent Archives

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.