Kensal Green is an area in north-west London located in the London boroughs of Brent and Kensington & Chelsea. The surrounding areas are Harlesden to the West, Willesden to the north and Queens Park to the east and Notting Hill and White City to the south; the areas of College Park and Ladbroke Grove are located in the London boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea respectively. The area is located close to the site of Old Oak Common. Kensal Green is a residential area with good transport links to central London. Surrounding districts include Willesden to the north, Harlesden to the west, Queens Park to the east and Notting Hill to the south; as well as the Kensal Green ward, the area takes in the wards of Dalgarno, St Helens, parts of Queens Park and College Park & Old Oak. The area is known for independent boutiques and bars as well as Gee Barber, an original sixties gents' barber; the area has seen significant gentrification over recent years and is earning a reputation as a'celebrity haunt-meets-Nappy Valley'.
In 2009, Chamberlayne Road in Kensal Rise was named by Vogue as the hippest street in Europe. The area is now home to a number of noteworthy residents including musicians Paloma Faith and Rita Ora, chef Thomasina Miers, film director, DJs and musicians Don Letts and Mark Rae, actress Thandie Newton, singer Lily Allen, model-turned-author Sophie Dahl, author Zadie Smith, handbag designer Bill Amberg, David Cameron's ex-strategy guru Steve Hilton, footballer-turned-media personality Ian Wright and Sienna Miller; the area now boasts Britain's first independent boutique cinema and social enterprise, The Lexi Cinema. It is staffed by local volunteers and all its profits go to an eco-village in South Africa. In 2014, luxury goods maker Mulberry named its handbag Kensal and launched an advertising campaign with Cara Delevingne. Time Out described Kensal Green as "a cool, rebellious young upstart with torn jeans and wacky ideas about politics and marijuana and shit", highlighting pubs The Chamberlayne and Paradise by Kensal Green, cocktail bar The Shop, high-end butcher Brooks and authentic Neapolitan pizzas from Sacro Cuore.
Burger restaurant Benz Burgers in Kensal Green, set up by entrepreneur Ben Todar in 2016, was awarded second best takeaway in Britain. It has traditionally been popular with those working in creative industries. According to local estate agents, those buying properties in the area include developers, people working in the financial district of the city and others moving from nearby Notting Hill; the area attracts Americans thanks to the American School in neighbouring St John's Wood, as well as being popular with the French due to a Lycée Français opening in Brent's former town hall. Little Wormwood Scrubs is a wide open space and has various activities, Kensington memorial Park remains popular amongst locals. Queens Park and King Edwards Vll park are both within walking distance. Part of one of the ten manors within the district of Willesden, Kensal Green is first mentioned in 1253, translating from old English meaning the King’s Holt, its location marked the boundary between Willesden and the Chelsea & Paddington, on which it remains today.
It formed part of one of ten manors, most Chamberlayne Wood Manor, named after Canon Richard de Camera. In the 15th century the Archbishop of Canterbury Henry Chichele, acquired lands in Willesden and Kingsbury. In 1443 he founded All Souls' College and endowed it with the same lands in his will; as a resultant, most of Willesden and Kensal Green remained agricultural until the mid-1800s, well into the Victorian era. In 1805, the construction of the Grand Junction Canal passed through the district to join the Regent's Canal at Paddington; as the combined Grand Union Canal, this allowed passage of commercial freight traffic from the Midlands to London Docks, hence onwards to the River Thames. There were two dairy farms in Kensal Green by the early 1800s, which expanded after the 1864 Act of Parliament which made it illegal to keep cattle within the City of London. Although by the late 1800s residential development had reduced the farmland, still in the 1890s many sheep and pigs were raised in the district.
One of the farms became a United Dairies creamery, supplied by milk trains from Mitre Bridge Junction. St. John's Church was built in 1844 followed by more inns. In 1832 Kensal Green Cemetery was incorporated by Act of Parliament and opened January 1833; this led to a revaluation of the surrounding lands, in 1835 ecclesiastical commissioners were appointed by the Crown, who reported in 1846 that: "the larger portion of the Prebendal Estates possess, in our opinion, a value far beyond their present agricultural value." With enough people living locally to create a new parish, in 1844 St. John the Evangelist Church in Kilburn Lane was consecrated; the 1851 census records just over 800 people living in the new parish. In the 1860s, Kensal Green manor house, situated where Wakeman Road joins Harrow Road, was demolished. Rapid increase in residential development followed, firstly with land west of Kilburn High Road, followed by the sale of Banister's Farm leading to the development of Bannister Road and Mortimer Road.
At this time Kensal Green was suffering huge social problems and had a reputation of being a slum, with 55% off its residents living in poverty and squalor, despite being neighbours to thriving Queen's Park. The rapid residential development led to local commissioners reporting in 1880 that there was inadequate drainage and sewerage facilities, with most houses having only improved access to what were the old agricultural drains. In that same year, All S
Site of Special Scientific Interest
A Site of Special Scientific Interest in Great Britain or an Area of Special Scientific Interest in the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland is a conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom and Isle of Man. SSSI/ASSIs are the basic building block of site-based nature conservation legislation and most other legal nature/geological conservation designations in the United Kingdom are based upon them, including national nature reserves, Ramsar sites, Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation; the acronym "SSSI" is pronounced "triple-S I". Sites notified for their biological interest are known as Biological SSSIs, those notified for geological or physiographic interest are Geological SSSIs. Sites may be divided into management units, with some areas including units that are noted for both biological and geological interest. Biological SSSI/ASSIs may be selected for various reasons, which for Great Britain is governed by published SSSI Selection Guidelines. Within each area, a representative series of the best examples of each significant natural habitat may be notified, for rarer habitats all examples may be included.
Sites of particular significance for various taxonomic groups may be selected —each of these groups has its own set of selection guidelines. Conservation of biological SSSI/ASSIs involves continuation of the natural and artificial processes which resulted in their development and survival, for example the continued traditional grazing of heathland or chalk grassland. In England, the designating body for SSSIs, Natural England, selects biological SSSIs from within natural areas which are areas with particular landscape and ecological characteristics, or on a county basis. In Scotland, the designating authority is Scottish Natural Heritage. In the Isle of Man the role is performed by the Department of Environment and Agriculture. Geological SSSI/ASSIs are selected by a different mechanism to biological ones, with a minimalistic system selecting one site for each geological feature in Great Britain. Academic geological specialists have reviewed geological literature, selecting sites within Great Britain of at least national importance for each of the most important features within each geological topic.
Each of these sites is described, with most published in the Geological Conservation Review series, so becomes a GCR site. All GCR sites are subsequently notified as geological SSSIs, except some that coincide with designated biological SSSI management units. A GCR site may contain features from several different topic blocks, for example a site may contain strata containing vertebrate fossils, insect fossils and plant fossils and it may be of importance for stratigraphy. Geological sites fall into two types, having different conservation priorities: exposure sites, deposit sites. Exposure sites are where quarries, disused railway cuttings, cliffs or outcrops give access to extensive geological features, such as particular rock layers. If the exposure becomes obscured, the feature could in principle be re-exposed elsewhere. Conservation of these sites concentrates on maintenance of access for future study. Deposit sites are features which are limited in extent or physically delicate—for example, they include small lenses of sediment, mine tailings and other landforms.
If such features become damaged they cannot be recreated, conservation involves protecting the feature from erosion or other damage. Following devolution, legal arrangements for SSSIs and ASSIs differ between the countries of the UK; the Isle of Man ASSI system is a separate entity. Scottish Natural Heritage publishes a summary of the SSSI arrangements for SSSI owners and occupiers which can be downloaded from the SNH website. Legal documents for all SSSIs in Scotland are available on the SSSI Register, hosted by The Registers of Scotland. Further information about SSSIs in Scotland is available on the SNH website; the decision to notify an SSSI is made by the relevant nature conservation body for that part of the United Kingdom: Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage or Natural Resources Wales. SSSIs were set up by the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, but the current legal framework for SSSIs is provided in England and Wales by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, amended in 1985 and further amended in 2000, in Scotland by the Nature Conservation Act 2004 and in Northern Ireland by the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands Order 1985.
SSSIs are covered under the Water Resources Act 1991 and related legislation. An SSSI may be made on any area of land, considered to be of special interest by virtue of its fauna, geological or physiographical / geomorphological features. SSSI notification can cover any "land" within the area of the relevant nature conservation body, including dry land, land covered by freshwater; the extent to which an SSSI/ASSI may extend seawards differs between countries. In Scotland an SSSI may include the intertidal land down to mean low water spring or to the extent of the local planning authority area, thus only limited areas of estuaries and coastal waters beyond MLWS may be included. In England, Natural England may notify an SSSI over estuarial waters and further adjacent waters in certain circumstances (section 28 of The
The Brent Reservoir is a reservoir between Hendon and Wembley Park in London. It straddles the boundary between the boroughs of Brent and Barnet and is owned by the Canal & River Trust; the reservoir takes its informal name from a public house called The Welsh Harp, which stood nearby until the early 1970s. It is a 68.6 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest, the only SSSI in either Borough and among more than 30 SSSIs in London. The reservoir is fed by the River Brent, its main outflow is the River Brent. Its smaller outflow is a feeder channel to the canal system, it holds an estimated 1,600,000 m³. In 1994 when the reservoir was drained more than 6,700 lb of fish were captured, 95% of which were roach. However, fishing is prohibited; the reservoir has a sailing centre, home to Welsh Harp Sailing Club, Wembley Sailing Club, the Sea Cadets, the University of London Sailing club. In 1960, it hosted the Women's European Rowing Championships. Plans for the construction laid in 1803 were abandoned because of cost.
Canal branches and wharfs continued to be dug in the early 19th century. Regular traffic meant lock openings draining the local canals leading to canal-water shortages. By 1820 there was not enough water to supply the Grand Union Canal and the Regent's Canal so having obtained an enabling act of Parliament in 1819, the Regent's Canal Company decided to dam the River Brent to create a reservoir and cut a feeder channel from it to an upper point on the Grand Union Canal, it now holds an estimated 1,600,000 m³. The reservoir was constructed by contractor William Hoof between 1834 and 1835; the water flooded much of Cockman's Farm. Its owner gave it the name of its then-parish. At first it was 69 acres between Old Kingsbury Edgware Road. Hoof, under the tender awarded for the work, was paid £ six shillings. Construction met problems. Additional building was completed in December 1837 to extend the reservoir. In 1841 after seven days of continuous rain the dam head collapsed, it was after this that a supervisor was employed for the first time, with a cottage near the dam, which remains.
At its greatest extent it covered 400 acres in 1853. It was reduced to 195 acres in the 1890s. During the second half of the 19th century the area became a destination for recreation and evening entertainment entirely due to W. P. Warner, who in 1858 became licensee of the Old Welsh Harp Tavern; the tavern stood near where it crossed the Brent. Warner, who fought with distinction in the Crimean War, created the tavern along the lines of the London pleasure gardens. For 40 years, Warner made the Old Welsh Harp Tavern one of London's most popular places and it was celebrated in song by the music hall star Annie Adams as'The Jolliest Place That's Out'; the amusements were focused not just around the reservoir. Warner operated; the first greyhound races with mechanical hares took place here in 1876. In 1891 Capazza attempted to launch his Patent Parachute Balloon – it failed to take off and accounts record'nasty incidents' among the 5000 spectators; these activities attracted crime and violence were not uncommon.
One observer described the races as a'carnival of vice'. The reservoir, like nearby Hampstead Heath, was famous for Bank Holiday fairs. During its Victorian heyday a bear escaped from the menagerie; the reservoir was popular for speed boat and other water sports. The reservoir has a sailing centre, home to Welsh Harp Sailing Club, Wembley Sailing Club, the Sea Cadets, the University of London Sailing club, it hosted the 1960 European Rowing Championships, which that year was for women only as the men competed at the 1960 Summer Olympics instead. More than 200 competitors and officials attended, with 5,000 spectators; the BBC and Eurovision televised the event. The first formal cycle race was held at the Welsh Harp grounds on 1 June 1868, it was won by Arthur Markham. He received a silver cup from the licensee of the sponsor of the race. For many years Markham had a bicycle shop at nearby 345 Edgware Road; the race was held the day after what is referred to as the world's first race, in the park at St Cloud west of Paris.
It was won by James Moore. His grandson, believes Moore is buried near the reservoir. In winter the reservoir froze for skating. In February 1893, Jack Selby drove four horses across the reservoir. Towards the end of the 19th century, urbanisation led to fewer informally organised frolics. Naturists gathered at the Welsh Harp from 1921, until in June 1930 about 250 sunbathers were attacked by 200 objectors; this is referred to as "The Sun-Bathing Riots". The Midland Railway built its Welsh Harp station in 1870 on its new line from Bedford to St. Pancras; the area lost its attraction with the development of West Hendon between 1895 and 1915 and the station closed in 1903. The Mechanical Warfare Department, part of the War Office based nearby in Cricklewood, used the Welsh Harp for secret tests of a new weapon from 1916 - the Tank the amphibious Mark IX tank. Early film of these tests was shown on British Television in the l
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 mixed density, ranging from high rise to suburban to a green wildlife reserve in the country park. Kingsbury was a rural parish of a modest 6.9 square kilometres in the Hundred of Gore and county of Middlesex. It 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 formed part of the manor of Kingsbury, held by Wlward White, a thegn of the Confessor, 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, 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 and playwright, lived at Hyde Farm, Kingsbury. Although it lay close to London, development started and it was not until after the First World War that the district became built up. An aircraft industry was established in the part of Kingsbury adjacent to Hendon aerodrome 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%. John Logie Baird's experimental television transmissions from the United Kingdom to Berlin, Germany were transmitted from the stable block of Kingsbury Manor, now the Veterans Club in Roe Green Park. From 1923 to 1979 Kingsbury Road was the location of the Vanden Plas specialist motor body works, body makers for Bentley and part of Austin, BMC, 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 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 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; the 2011 census showed that the Fryent ward's largest ethnic group was Indian at 21%. Whites as a whole form 37%. 11% was Other Asian. 41 % were 20 % Hindu. The Welsh Harp ward, which covers southern areas of Kingsbury Green, was 17% White Other, 17% Indian, 16% White British; the first two series of BBC children's drama Grange Hill were filmed at Kingsbury High School. Video of Round Here, about George Michael's childhood, features Roe Green Park, Roe Green Primary School and other local landmarks.
John Beard, had his last home in 27 Wyndale Avenue at the time of his death in 1950. James Hanratty, among last condemned to hang for murder, lived in Kingsbury. Charlie Watts, drummer of The Rolling Stones, was raised in Kingsbury. Julie Rogers, was educated and lived in Kingsbury. Shirley Eaton, actress. Courtney Pine OBE, jazz musician, was raised in Kingsbury from age 14. Chris Squire, bassist of Yes, was born in Kingsbury. Tony Kanal, bassist of No Doubt, was raised in Kingsbury. Mutya Buena and Keisha Buchanan, singer/songwriters, Sugababes and raised in Kingsbury. Jet Harris, musician with Tony Meehan and The Shadows, was born in Kingsbury. Gary Waddock, Wycombe Wanderers manager, was born in Kingsbury. Jasmyn Banks, was educated in Kingsbury. Stuart Pearce, raised in Kingsbury. George Michael and songwriter, was raised in Kingsbury. Brian Michaels and opera director, was born and raised in Kingsbury. Kingsbury Road A4006 is the largest road within the district. London Buses serving Kingsbury are: Stations in the area are: Kingsbury Station Barn Hill Open Space Fryent Country Park Kingsbury Green Recreation Ground Roe Green Park Silver Jubilee Park Grove Park Open Space Eton Grove Park Kingsbury High School Jewish Free School Fryent Primary School Oliver Goldsmith Primary School Kingsbury Green Primary School Roe Green Primary School St Robert Southwell Primary School Old St
Kenton is an area in northwest London, England in the London Borough of Harrow and in the London Borough of Brent. The hamlet was recorded as "Keninton" in 1232; the name derives from the personal name of the Saxon "Coena" and the Old English "tun", a farm – and means "the farm of Coena" and his family who once lived on a site near here. Before the 20th century, the tiny settlement was concentrated around in what was Kenton Lane and is now part of the present day Woodgrange Avenue and Kenton Road; the Windermere is a Grade II listed public house in Windermere Avenue. It is on the Campaign for Real Ale's National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors and was built in 1938; the Plough public house was Kenton's first, opening in the early 18th century. It is now an Indo-Chinese fusion bar called Blue Ginger; the main road through the area is Kenton Road. Local Primary Schools include Uxendon Manor on Vista Way and Priestmead Primary School on Hartford Avenue; the local high school is Claremont High School on Claremont Avenue off Kenton Road.
Kenton station was opened by the London and North Western Railway on 15 June 1912. The Metropolitan Railway's Northwick Park and Kenton station followed on 28 June 1923; the coming of the railways was soon followed by suburban development, most of Kenton being built between the Wars. The London County Council built the Kenmore Park cottage estate between the wars. There are 654 houses on a housing density of 11.3 per acre. Thomas Francis Nash owned building companies which from the 1920s onward built numerous private housing estates in Kenton and other parts of the "Metroland" area of Middlesex. F. & C. Costin was another local building company. Local estate agents still use the term "Nash-built" or "Costin-built" to describe properties built by them in Kenton. Apart from the infamous appearance of several of Kenton's streets in the "Gourmet Night" episode of the BBC-TV comedy series Fawlty Towers starring John Cleese, the only known reference to Kenton in modern popular culture is the song "Kenton Kev", by the Berlin-based punk-jazz band The Magoo Brothers on their album "Beyond Believable", released on the Bouncing Corporation label in 1988.
The song refers to the "pleasant valley" high suburban boredom factor prevalent in the area, cites local characters and places, some well known. It is said that "Kenton Kev" refers in fact to Kevin Jones, the US-based property magnate, born in Kenton; the song was written by Paul Bonin, Philip Ulysses Sanders and Melanie Hickford, all of whom grew up and lived in the area. The following London Bus routes operate through the area: Stations in the area are: Kenton Station South Kenton Station Northwick Park Station Actress Michele Austin, best known as PC Yvonne Hemmingway in ITV's The Bill, attended Claremont High School in Kenton Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, the human rights lawyer, was born in Kenton Cricketer Denis Compton lived in Kenton TV exercise instructor Mr Motivator lived in Kenton Mary Millington, 1970s sex symbol, was born in Kenton Actress Sophie Okonedo lived in Kenton Stuart "Psycho" Pearce, football manager and former player, attended Claremont High School in Kenton Actress Pam St. Clement, best known as Pat in BBC soap EastEnders, lived in Kenton Journalist and broadcaster John Timpson was born in Kenton Footballer Darren Ward was born in Kenton Actress Mary Wimbush, best known as Julia Pargetter in BBC Radio 4's The Archers, was born in Kenton Doctor Amieth Yogarajah, best known as Amieth in BBC Three's Junior Doctors, was born and raised in Kenton Notes Further reading Ebdon, John Ebdon's England David & Charles.
ISBN 0-7153-8595-X Kenton Recreation Ground – Kenton Recreation Ground featuring The Old Bowls Cafe
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir London
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a Hindu temple in Neasden, London. Built using traditional methods and materials, the Swaminarayan Mandir has been described as being Britain's first authentic Hindu temple, it was Europe's first traditional Hindu stone temple, as distinct from converted secular buildings. It is a part of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha organisation and was inaugurated in 1995 by Pramukh Swami Maharaj; the Mandir was cited in Guinness World Records 2000, as follows: However, since 2000 it has been surpassed in size by other BAPS temples elsewhere. The mandir was built and funded by the Hindu community; the entire project spanned five years although the Mandir construction itself was completed in two-and-a-half years. Building work began in August 1992. In November 1992, the temple recorded the largest concrete-pour in the UK, when 4,500 tons were put down in 24 hours to create a foundation mat 6 ft thick; the first stone was laid in June 1993. The temple complex consists of: a traditional Hindu temple, constructed from hand-carved Italian Carrara marble and Bulgarian limestone.
The temple is the focal point of the complex. The Mandir is the focal point of the complex. Designed according to the Shilpa-Shastras, a Vedic text that develops Hindu architecture to metaphorically represent the different attributes of God, it was constructed entirely from Indian marble, Italian marble, Sardinian granite and Bulgarian limestone. No iron or steel was used in the construction, a unique feature for a modern building in the UK. From the conceptual design and vision of Pramukh Swami, the architect C. B. Sompura and his team created the mandir from stone, it is a shikharbaddha mandir: seven tiered pinnacles topped by golden spires crowd the roofline, complemented by five ribbed domes. The temple is noted for its profusely carved cantilevered central dome, believed to be the only one in Britain that does not use steel or lead. Inside, serpentine ribbons of stone link the columns into arches. Light cream Vartza limestone from Bulgaria was chosen for the exterior, for the interior, Italian Carrara marble supplemented by Indian Ambaji marble.
The Bulgarian and Italian stone were shipped to the port of Kandla in Gujarat, where most of the carving was completed, by over 1,500 craftsmen in a workshop specially set up for the project. More than 26,300 individually numbered stones pieces which were shipped back to London, the building was assembled like a giant three-dimensional jigsaw; the Mandir was inaugurated on 20 August 1995 by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS – the organisation behind the temple. The entire Mandir complex represents an act of faith and collective effort. Inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, more than 1,000 volunteers worked on the building, many more contributed and solicited donations, or organised sponsored walks and other activities; the Mandir serves as the centre of worship. Directly beneath each of the seven pinnacles seen from the outside is a shrine; each of these seven shrines houses murtis within altars. Each murti is revered like God in person and devoutly attended to each day by the sadhus who live in the temple ashram.
Beneath the Mandir is the permanent exhibition'Understanding Hinduism'. Through 3-D dioramas, paintings and traditional craftwork, it provides an insight into the wisdom and values of Hinduism. Visitors can learn about the origin and contribution of Hindu seers, how this ancient religion is being practised today through traditions such as the BAPS Swaminarayan Sampraday; the Mandir is open to people of none. Entrance is free, except to the'Understanding Hinduism' exhibition. Adjoining the Mandir is BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Haveli, a multi-function cultural centre. Whereas the Mandir is carved from stone, the Haveli uses wood: English Oak and Burmese Teak have been fashioned into panels and screens, all carved by craftsmen in India with a cornucopia of geometric patterns, stylised animal heads and flower garlands; the Burmese teak used was harvested from sustainable forests. To compensate for the 226 English oak trees used, over 2,300 English oak saplings were planted in Devon; the Haveli incorporates energy-saving features such as light-wells.
Richly carved haveli -style woodwork from Gujarat is the most striking characteristic of the building's façade and foyer. It has been designed according to traditional Indian haveli architecture, to evoke feelings of being in Gujarat, where such havelis were once commonplace, it required over 150 craftsmen from all over India three years to carve 17,000 square feet of wood. Behind the traditional wooden façade, the cultural centre houses a vast pillarless prayer hall with space for 3,000 people, a gymnasium, medical centre, dining facilities, conference facilities, offices; the temple is close to the North Circular Road. Although there is no railway station adjacent to the temple, it can be accessed by bus and/or walking from Wembley Park, Stonebridge Park and Neasden Underground and Overground stations; the proposed West London Orbital railway would serve the temple. June 1970: The first BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in the UK was opened in a converted disused churc
Gladstone Park, London
Gladstone Park is situated in the Dollis Hill area of north-west London. It is about 35 hectares in area Dollis Hill House was an early 19th-century farmhouse, located within the northern boundary of the park. Dollis Hill tube station on the London Underground Jubilee line is about a 10-minute walk away from the park, to the south-west. Cricklewood Thameslink station is to the east. Bus services run through the area; the park is situated on both sides of the Dudding Hill Line. This railway is only used by freight trains, but it has been subject to various railway schemes over the years, including a recent proposal for a radial North and West London Light railway, which might result in a light-rail stop being built at one or both ends of the park. There is a footbridge over the railway at the western end of the park, a private road bridge at the eastern end, it was chiefly the loss of sports grounds at Neasden by the arrival of the Great Central Railway towards the end of the 19th century that motivated local public backing for a new park at Dollis Hill.
Hence, there was strong support at Neasden for the idea that the District Council should buy from the Finch family the part of their estate that lay south of Dollis Hill Lane, for £50,000. However, considerable opposition to the proposal on cost grounds, arose from other parts of Willesden driven by the editor of the Willesden Chronicle from his office in South Kilburn. In the end the issue was resolved at an inquiry held by an inspector from the Local Government Board, he recommended acquisition of the land. Middlesex County Council agreed conditionally to put up £12,500 towards the cost; the Municipal Borough of Willesden was left to find the rest of the money from their ratepayers and from donations. It would cost nearly £52,000; the contract to purchase the house and estate from "Robert Augustus Finch and others" was signed by the Council on 9 August 1899, soon afterwards, notices to terminate existing tenancies were sent out. Despite some reservations by local Conservatives, on 12 December 1899 it was formally agreed to name the park after William Ewart Gladstone, the old Prime Minister who had died the previous year, who had spent many happy hours there.
Purchase was completed early in 1900. The Earl of Rosebery twice Prime Minister, had promised to perform the opening ceremony on Saturday 25 May 1901, but was prevented from attending by the death of his mother. In his absence, the park was declared open by the Earl of Aberdeen. Once it had been agreed that Gladstone Park should become a reality, the main planning was handed over to Oliver Claude Robson, the District Council Surveyor, to serve for 43 years, from 1875 to 1918. Robson's first major pleasure ground project had been the nearby Roundwood Park which had opened in 1895, where he had to convert poorly drained farmland; the much larger Gladstone Park was to prove a rather less challenging undertaking. It was decided to leave the northern part of new park in its "original and natural beauty", devote the section south of the railway to sports; the latter was to prove useful to Robson since it was levelled with slop, for which he was always short of landfill sites. Hedges and ditches dividing these southern fields were obliterated, but some trees were left standing.
Robson had little laying out work to do but provided boundary fencing, a children's playground, 103 seats, stabling, pavilions for football and cricket clubs, water supply, 2900 feet of roadways. All the old farm ponds on the estate were filled in to depth not exceeding 2 feet for safety reasons, some converted to children's paddling pools.. Cleverly, Robson waited for the public to mark out what he called "trespass paths" across the park before converting them to metalled pathways; some plantations in Roundwood Park were thinned and the surplus trees transplanted at Gladstone Park. Hundreds of plane trees were set along the pathways. A major event for Willesden was the provision of its first public swimming bath, which Robson designed in 1902. According to the Willesden Guide 1905/6, the cost was £2569 6s 5d, it was based on Harrow School swimming bath, which representatives of the Council had visited and approved. All the construction work, which commenced on 2 March 1903, was carried out by the Engineer's Department without the intervention of a contractor, thus providing work for the local unemployed.
By 1908/9, Robson had added four tennis courts. Dollis Hill House was renovated at an estimated cost of £616 11s 6d, the ground floor was let to a contractor for the sale of refreshments; the park constable occupied the rear portion of the house. The following year the Surveyor converted the former fruit and vegetable garden attached to the house into an Old English garden, to become one of the park's star attractions. Robson erected a sundial, provided by Cricklewood & District Improvements Association in 1907, at the centre of the garden. For many years there had been worries about the level crossing over the Dudding Hill Line where the public were exposed to danger from the trains. There was an intention to provide two subways under the railway to improve communications between southern and northern sections of the park but, although the Midland Railway Company raised no objection to the work, it never materialised. However, in October 1912 the Council entere