Kingsbury is a district of northwest London in the London Borough of Brent. The name Kingsbury means "The King's Manor". Its ancient scope stretches north and west to include Queensbury and parts of Kenton and Wembley Park in other directions. Kingsbury was in 2001 a ward and in 2011 was identifiable with the Fryent and Barnhill wards approximately. About 25% of Kingsbury is Fryent Country Park, forming the southern quarter. It is of highly mixed density, ranging from high rise to suburban to a green wildlife reserve in the country park.
Kingsbury was historically a rural parish of a fairly modest in the Hundred of Gore and county of Middlesex. It formerly included Queensbury. Following local government redrawing of electoral wards Kingsbury corresponds to the Fryent and Barnhill wards and in all of its various older guises, a minority or all of the Queensbury ward.
The early English kings had parted with their manor of Kingsbury long before the Conquest. An estate called Tunworth, in the northern part of Kingsbury parish, was granted by Edwy to his thegn Lyfing in 957. By 1066 it probably formed part of the manor of Kingsbury, which was then held by Wlward White, a thegn of the Confessor, and passed from him to Ernulf of Hesdin who died in 1097 and his lands passed to the family of Walter of Salisbury. Thereafter the overlordship of Kingsbury descended with Edgware manor. By 1086 on the Domesday survey of property, Ernulf's manor in Kingsbury had been subinfeudated to Albold as Lord. It was not mentioned again until 1317, when, under the name of the manor of Kingsbury, it belonged to Baldwin Poleyn of Tebworth.
Kingsbury developed little in housing and population in the 19th century, remaining a polyfocal village. In this age, Oliver Goldsmith, writer and playwright, lived at Hyde Farm, Kingsbury (1771–1774); the third Lord Mansfield was buried at St. Andrew's churchyard in 1840.
Although it lay close to London, development started slowly, and it was not until after World War I that the district became built up. An aircraft industry was established in the part of Kingsbury adjacent to Hendon aerdrome during the war, while the road network was improved to cater for the British Empire Exhibition in nearby Wembley in 1924. The number of inhabited houses in the civil parish increased from just 140 in 1901 to 3,937 in 1931. By 1951 this had risen to 11,776. Between 1921 and 1931 Kingsbury's population increased by 796%.
From 1923 to 1979 Kingsbury Road was the location of the Vanden Plas specialist motor body works, body makers for Bentley and later part of Austin, BMC, and British Leyland. The site is now Kingsbury Trading Estate. In 1894 Kingsbury was included in the urban district of Wembley. However as Kingsbury had only three councillors on the urban district council to Wembley's nine, Kingsbury's councillors felt the needs of the area were not well-served. In 1900 Kingsbury became a separate urban district with six councillors. The new council was immediately involved in controversy and in 1906 it failed to make a rate or meet its financial commitments. Following an inquiry initiated by ratepayers, the councillors numbered nine, not halting fiscal accusations directed towards the initial three councillors.
In 1934 the Kingsbury Urban District was abolished and merged once more in Wembley Urban District. The urban district became a municipal borough in 1937 and in 1965 the area became part of the London Borough of Brent.
A congregation of Jews affiliated to the United Synagogue is first recorded in Kingsbury in 1939. In 1942 Eden Lodge at Kingsbury Green was registered for worship, becoming Kingsbury district synagogue in 1954. A new synagogue was built on the site by David Stern & Partners, architects, in 1967, in dark grey bricks with rough-cast buttresses, full-length stained glass windows and with a wooden roof. The BBC play Bar Mitzvah Boy is a British television play, written by Jack Rosenthal and originally transmitted in the Play for Today anthology series on BBC1. Broadcast on 14 September 1976, the 75-minute production was directed by Michael Tuchner and produced by Graeme MacDonald. This was filmed in a house in Valley Drive Kingsbury.
Middlesex Research Tips
Parts of Middlesex were absorbed into London in 1889 (Inner London), and some in 1965 (Outer London). Depending on the specific location and the year being investigated it may be necessary to check London records as well as those of Middlesex.