Coordinates: 51°33′17″N 0°13′03″W / 51.5548°N 0.2176°W / 51.5548; -0.2176

Cricklewood is located in Greater London

 Cricklewood shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ235855
London borough Barnet
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district NW2
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Brent Central
Hampstead and Kilburn
Finchley and Golders Green
London Assembly Barnet and Camden
Brent and Harrow
List of places: UK • England • London

Cricklewood is a district of North London, England whose northeastern part is in the London Borough of Barnet, western part is the London Borough of Brent and southeastern part is in London Borough of Camden.



There was a small settlement at the junction of Cricklewood Lane and the Edgware Road by 1294, which by 1321 was being called Cricklewood. By the 1750s the Crown (rebuilt in 1889), was providing for coach travellers and by the 1800s it had a handful of cottages and Cricklewood House as neighbours, and was known for its “pleasure gardens”. By the 1860s there were a number of substantial villas along the Edgware Road starting with Rockhall Lodge and culminating in Rockhall Terrace.

Childs Hill Station, later Cricklewood, opened in 1868, but Cricklewood only fully became an industrial and suburban district in the 1930s. In the summer of 1881 the Midland Railway Company moved its locomotive works from Kentish Town to the new “Brent Sidings”, and in October of the same year it was announced that new accommodation for its workers would be built, later the Cricklewood Railway Cottages. Mr H Finch laid out a handful of roads directly behind the Crown Inn, (including Yew, Ash, and Elm Groves) in 1880. The station had become the terminus for the Midland Railway suburban services by 1884. The census of 1881 showed that the population had grown enough for a new church, and St. Peter's replaced a tin chapel in 1891. A daughter church called Little St. Peter's was opened in 1958 on Claremont Way and closed in 1983. The parish church on Cricklewood Lane was demolished and rebuilt in the 1970s. This church building was closed in 2004 although services for Anglicans are still held in Carey Hall on Claremont Road, now called New St. Peter's. The London General Omnibus Company commenced services to Regent Street from the Crown in 1883, in 1899 opening a bus garage (Garage code W), which is still in use, although completely rebuilt by 2010.

The Crown Moran Hotel

By the 1890s, houses and shops had been built along part of Cricklewood Lane. Cricklewood Broadway had become a retail area by 1900 replacing the Victorian villas. The Queens Hall Cinema, later the Gaumont, replaced Rock Hall House, and was itself demolished in 1960. Thorverton, Caddington and Dersingham Roads were laid out in 1907, the year of the opening of Golders Green tube station. With the introduction of the tram system in 1904 and the motorisation of bus services by 1911, numerous important industries were established. The first of these was the Phoenix Telephone Co. in 1911 (later moved to the Hyde). The Handley Page Aircraft Company soon followed, from 1912 until 1917, at 110 Cricklewood Lane and subsequently occupying a large part of Claremont Road. The Cricklewood Aerodrome was adjacent to their factory.

Cricklewood was home to Smith's Industries. This started in 1915 as S. Smith & Sons, on the Edgware Road, established to manufacture fuses, instruments and accessories. By 1939 it was making electrical motors, aircraft accessories and electric clocks. Their large advertisement on the iron railway bridge over the Broadway next to the bus garage became a familiar landmark for decades. As the company grew it acquired other companies and sites overseas but Cricklewood remained the most important site, with 8,000 employees between 1937 and 1978.[1] Coincidentally, Cricklewood also became the home for the first Smith's Crisps potato crisp factory which replaced the omnibus depot at Crown Yard. Having moved into new premises in Cricklewood Lane, the yard was taken over by Clang Electrical Goods Ltd. From 1929 to 1933 the area was finally built over. Cowhouse Farm, latterly Dickers Farm and finally Avenue Farm, was closed in 1932. From 1908 to 1935, Westcroft Farm was owned by the Home of Rest for Horses; at its peak it could house 250 horses. The Metropolitan Borough of Hampstead opened the Westcroft Estate in 1935. From the 1960s, industry in the local area went into decline, and all the above-mentioned businesses have left.

Cricklewood Broadway in the snow, February 2009

Mention should be made of two buildings on Cricklewood Lane. The first was Production Village (Virgin Active gym now stands on the site; apparently this was part of the old HP factory). Production Village was part of the British film-making scene and owned by Samuelsons. Towards its end it was a pub with rehearsal rooms attached. It was demolished around 2000 to make way for the gym. Secondly, and a little further up the hill, is a rather odd modern building on the south side of the road (about number 138): this was the factory for the revolutionary Stylophone handheld organ of the late 1960s / early 1970s - as demonstrated by Rolf Harris. Cricklewood is often mentioned by and is considered to be the home of The Goodies.

In June 2001, a lynx was captured in Cricklewood after a 10 year campaign by residents. The animal was originally nicknamed the "Beast of Barnet" by the local press following numerous sightings around south Hertfordshire and the fringes of north London. A senior veterinary officer for the London Zoological Society arrived with the task of sedating the beast using a tranquiliser gun. It is believed that someone was keeping the animal illegally and it had escaped.[2] The lynx was taken to London Zoo, and named Lara.[3]



Cricklewood railway station is the nearest main-line station (for Thameslink services). There is a railway complex and sidings to the north of the station.

The nearest London Underground stations are Willesden Green, Kilburn, and West Hampstead, on the Jubilee line. To the east are Brent Cross and Golders Green on the Northern line.

The A5 Cricklewood Broadway is the main north-south road through the area, being the original Roman Road called Watling Street.

Cricklewood Aerodrome adjacent to the Handley Page factory in the 1920s was used for the first London-Paris air service.


Brent Cross Cricklewood, a £4.5 billion regeneration scheme for Cricklewood, Brent Cross and West Hendon has been proposed, to start in 2011.[4] A new Brent Cross Thameslink station, for 12-car trains, is planned, and for that reason the planned lengthening of Cricklewood station platforms, from 8 to 12-cars, has been abandoned. West Hendon is now being dealt with separately.

As of 2009, the proposal is subject to a planning application for extensive redevelopment of 'Brent Cross Cricklewood', and there are views for[5][6] and against[7][8] the proposals, and reports in the media.[9][10][11]

In April 2009, the London Borough of Camden decided to oppose the application.

In May 2009, the London Borough of Brent concluded, although without widespread public pronouncement, that the developers needed to apply for planning permission from Brent as well as from Barnet, because of various road changes that spilled over on to Brent land.

On 15 September 2009, Barnet recommended approval of the application, in a report to its 23 September Planning Committee, later postponed to 20 October.[12] The issue was reported by local media,[13][14] and was taken up by the national media.[15]

Notable residents

In pop culture

Films made at Cricklewood Film Studios


  1. ^ 'Willesden: Economic history', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 7: Acton, Chiswick, Ealing and Brentford, West Twyford, Willesden (1982), pp. 220-228. URL: Date accessed: 14 November 2007.
  2. ^ 'The Beast of Cricklewood is caged'
  3. ^ 'Captured 'Beast Of Barnet' Recovers In Zoo'
  4. ^ Update: major plans for Brent Cross and Cricklewood
  5. ^ Developers' website
  6. ^ London Borough of Barnet Regeneration proposals
  7. ^ Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Briefing paper, 14 September 2009
  8. ^ London Campaign for Better Transport Response to planning application
  9. ^ Barnet Times Planning Committee postponed
  10. ^ Ham and High (newspaper) Planning Committee delay
  11. ^ Barnet Press Opposition group attacks scheme
  12. ^ Barnet Local Planning Authority: recommendation regarding planning application
  13. ^ Media reporting on Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood group
  14. ^ Media reporting on planning application recommendation
  15. ^ The Times Comment on Brent Cross plan
  16. ^ Hamilton, Alan (October 20, 2007), "Alan Coren, satirist of the world - and Cricklewood", The Times (London: News International Limited),, retrieved 14 December 2008 
  17. ^ [|Cadwalladr, Carole] (22 June 2008), "Interview: Ken Livingstone", The Observer, 
  18. ^ Rafanelli, Stephanie (22 August 2008), "Róisín Murphy: a muse and her music", Daily Telegraph, 
  19. ^ British police on trail of mass murderer
  20. ^ Peter O'Toole, A winner in waiting
  21. ^ Nick Curtis, Planet Cricklewood, 'Evening Standard', 6 June 2000.

External links

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