Thursday, May 7, 2015

Kilburn Park

This is the 15th station Northbound on the Bakerloo Line. It is also the last of the stations underground on that line.

Gazing upwards from the escalator I noticed this large art deco style window allowing daylight to filter down.
Entering into the ticket hall I could hear the unmistakeable sounds of classical music being piped out. A very soothing sound for the weary traveller and I think the first time I have ever heard piped music in an underground station.

Once again the familiar ox blood red tileage covered the station building.

For a station that just serves one underground line I was surprised by its wide frontage.

I have never been to this area before so it really was a journey into the unknown. I didn't think I would find anything out of the ordinary as I am now out into surburbia. However ,walking along Cambridge Avenue, the road leading away from the station there were one or two surprises in store for me. Firstly this building, the likes of which I had never seen before. It looks like a church made from corrugated iron.

Once home I did a little research and found that it is called the Tin Tabernacle. Built in 1863 as a corrugated iron chapel. Apparently they were developed in the nineteenth century as prefabricated churches. This one is now home to the sea cadets. After the last war it was transformed into a ship by local people complete with decks, portholes and a bridge.

Just next door to the Tin tabernacle is The Animals War Memorial Dispensary which was officially opened in November 1932 and still plays a role in helping sick animals today.

The bronze frieze above the door showing a winged depiction of victory with animals on either side that suffered or died during the First world war.

There are plaques on either side of the door. The one on the left is inscribed as follows:
This building is dedicated as a memorial to the countless thousands of god's humble creatures who suffered and perished in the Great War, 1914-18. Knowing nothing of the cause, looking forward to no final victory, filled only with love, faith and loyalty, they endured much and died for us. May we all remember them with gratitude, and in the future commemorate their suffering and death by showing kindness and consideration to living animals.


1914 -1918, this tablet records the deaths by enemy action, disease or accident, of 484,143 horses, mules, camels and bullocks and of many hundreds of dogs, carrier pigeons and other creatures on the various fronts during the Great War. It also records the fact that in France alone, 725,216 sick and wounded animals were treated in the veterinary hospitals by the RSPCA.

At the end of Cambridge Avenue is the very busy Kilburn High Road. The road dates back to pre Roman times and is part of the Roman Road known as Watling Street. Watling Street is approx 276 miles in length and starts at the ports in Kent, going through Canterbury, London following an almost straight path to Wales.
As this was a major route inns and taverns soon appeared along the road.

The Red Lion was situated at 34 Kilburn High Road. This pub was known as The Westbury when it closed in 2012. Rebuilt in the late 19th century, a pub has occupied this site since 1444.

The Bell Inn was opened around 1600 on the site of an old mansion. A well was discovered near the Bell in 1714. In the 18th century it was very fashionable 'to take the waters' and so the Bell opened a 'great room' and gardens to promote the well. It was said the water was a cure for stomach ailments.

The other pub which was established in the mid 1400s was the Cock Tavern

This pub was also an award winning theatre but health and safety issues in 2011 with regard to its Victorian staircases meant it had to close but the pub remains open.

Also on Kilburn High Road is the old Gaumont State Cinema which opened in 1937. At the time it was the biggest auditorium in Europe and had seating for 4004 people. Latterly it was used as a bingo hall for 20 years but is now owned by a religious organisation. It is a Grade 2 listed art deco building.

Another art deco building on the High Road is this store built in 1930.

Kilburn Priory was founded near here in 1134 and became a resting place for pilgrims heading for the shrines in St Albans and Willesden. The Priory was dissolved in 1536 by Henry VIII and the only reminder today are the names of the local roads such as Abbey Road and Priory Road. In 1856 it was decided to build a church close to where the priory would have been to meet the need of the growing population of Hampstead. Originally the church was known as St Mary's in the Fields as there were no houses to the north of Abbey Road and just a few mansions to the south. How that has changed!

The church which is on Abbey Road is now just known as St Mary's Church. Looking up at the church you can see the turret clock installed in 1877. These clocks were becoming popular following the installation of Big Ben into the Palace of Westminster in 1854. Both Big Ben and the St Mary's clock were built by the same company, E J Dent and Co of the Strand.

Walking through the back streets towards the station it was what you would expect to see in a surburban area with its mixture of houses.

But there was just one more surprise for me and it was this estate. If any of you watch British police/detective dramas you may have noticed a particular housing estate that seems to crop up on a variety of programmes and usually involves a chase. I am not the most observant person but even I noticed the amazing regularity that this one estate seemed to be used. All of a sudden, there it was with its distinctive ziggurat style of housing. Strictly speaking not within a five minute walk of the station but I couldn't resist including the Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate in this post. 

Sharing with Our World Tuesday


  1. I certainly remember that estate from The Bill but I can't remember what it was called in the show. I've seen it in other shows too. Kilburn Park Station is wonderful, one of the nicest I can remember seeing.

  2. Thanks for the walk around some wonderful places. Odd the tim church survived but there are still a few around

  3. Interesting bit of history in that part of town. When do you take your hiking trip?

  4. Yes I recognise that estate from TV shows and I don't watch that much telly. Even the suburbs have such old historical buildings.

  5. Wonderful post on this Kilburn park station.. The town is cute and I like the church..My favorite is the style of the housing in the last photo. Thanks for sharing your world. Have a happy day and new week ahead!

  6. Great photos and a very interesting description of this area. The old historical buildings are fascinating.

  7. Interesting to read and very nice photos!

  8. Wow! I'd say this station had plenty of surprise in its neighbourhood!

  9. nice photos! how old is the train station?

  10. I enjoyed the tour. Great shots!

  11. Wonderful shots of station and places around.

  12. How lovely! I really like that Art Deco window.

  13. Wonderful virtual tour for me, thank you!

  14. What an interesting challenge you have set yourself to visit various tube stations and photograph what you see in the immediate area. There are a lot of interesting finds, and it makes me think probably there is interest all around us if we stop, look, photograph and then research when we get home again. Most poignant for me is the Animals' War Memorial Dispensary. Sadly, some of the horses that helped in WW1 were put to sleep in WW2 because of food shortages.

  15. What an interesting tour. I love Art Deco. :)

  16. A virtual tour that would make Flogging Molly proud. Thanks for sharing.

  17. lots of interest - that Primark looks like a former Woolworths.

  18. what a great collection and commentary this post is.

  19. A lot to discover just at the end of one of so many subway lines. You need more then a lifetime to explore all of them.

  20. Truly a lot to see on your journey. The architecture is quite diverse and pleasing to the eye.

  21. So MANY beautiful places you have shown us.
    The art deco window is just SUPERB.
    Happy weekend!


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