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Property Kilburn

Kilburn Area Guide

History of Kilburn

Kilburn High Road originally was a Celtic route between Canterbury and St Albans. The route was paved under the romans.

The rural community of Kilburn grew up on the banks of the Westbourne river which flows from Hampstead through Hyde Park and into the River Thames. The river was piped underground in the 1850s like so many of London’s rivers.

The name Kilburn was first recorded in 1134 as Cuneburna, referring to a priory which had been built on the site of the cell of a hermit known as Godwyn. Kilburn Priory's position was a popular stopping point for pilgrims heading for the shrines at St Albans or Willesden. It was dissolved by Henry VIII.

In the 18th century, a well was discovered near the Bell Inn which became famed for its medicinal properties and competed with Hampstead Well. To attract more visitors, gardens and a 'great room' were opened to promote the well.

In the 19th century wells declined, but the Kilburn Wells remained popular as a tea garden. The Bell Inn was demolished and rebuilt as is today in 1863.

The ancient route known as Watling Street which runs through the area as Edgware Road/Kilburn High Road, was gradually built up with inns and farm houses but remained rural till the second half of the 19th century.

A notable landmark on the Kilburn High Road is the grade II* listed Gaumont State Cinema, which was designed by George Coles and opened in 1937. It was the biggest auditorium in Europe, with seating for 4,004 people. Many famous bands have performed there since then. It has a 130-foot tower, designed in the style of a 1930s New York skyscraper, which can be seen for miles around. The interior features a Wurlitzer organ which is the largest fully functioning Wurlitzer in Britain. The building is currently up for sale and local residents are campaigning to make into a cultural centre.

Kilburn has the highest concentration of Irish Population in London with 13% born in Ireland and many more of Irish decent. With its excellent transport links, good choice of shops, the area has become increasingly attractive to young professionals looking for more affordable housing. There is a wide choice of flats, conversions or prupose built and many houses with gardens in quiet streets. It is close to Hampstead and only 15 minutes from the West End.


Places of interest

Gaumont State Cinema • The Tricycle Theatre


Transport Links Visit Transport for London for more information

Kilburn – Jubilee line & Rail
Kilburn Park
Bakerloo Line
Queen's Park
Bakerloo Line & Rail


Local Authority

Brent –

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