Five things you didn’t know about Willesden Green

Published: 17/01/2017 By Empire Estates

1. Earliest records date back to 939 AD

The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon Willesdune, meaning the Hill of the Spring, in fact it dates back to 939 AD.

2. They used to make cars here

The Iris was a British car brand manufactured from 1906 by Legros & Knowles Ltd in Willesden. The Iris cars were luxury vehicles with large, water-cooled four-cylinder in-line engines. Between 1906 and 1908 a six-cylinder 40 HP was available, but it is probable that only one unit was built. A striking feature of all models was the diamond shaped radiator grille.
In 1923, the specialist coach builder Freestone and Webb established their base in Willesden, producing bespoke cars on Rolls-Royce and Bentley chassis until 1956.

3. Middles class to working class to Middle Class
World War I caused Willesden to change from a predominantly middle class suburb to a working class part of London. Willesden suffered large damage due to the heavy concentration of industry, such as munitions factories, and railways in the area. Many factories opened up after the war and it is at this time that the area became predominantly working class, including Irish, Jewish and later people from the Indian sub-continent. 

The area surrounding Willesden Green station has become more middle-class and gentrified with marked property price rises in 2015 and 2016.

4. It’s safer than you think
There has been year on year drop of all crime in the Brondesbury park area (combing robbery, theft, violence sexual behaviour, drugs, vehicle and antisocial behaviour). Crime data from Home office Communities and Local Government show a -12 point drop for every 100 reported incident.

Brent as a borough has a lower crime rate than plush areas including Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Greenwich, Camden and Westminster (this borough has the highest crime rate not only in London but in the entire nation with 1,580 crimes reported per km2 in a year).

5. It’s still up and coming
Today, north-west London is witnessing a new era of railway improvement, while the legacy of the pioneering Metropolitan Railway, perhaps the greatest of the Victorian-era train companies, is still producing property ripples.

Buyers in Kensal, once displaced from Notting Hill and Holland Park, are moving into Willesden Green and the fringe areas such as Harlesden. Urban redevelopment plans are underway for neighbouring Cricklewood too. If you’re interested in properties in the area check out what properties we have available.