Jackie spent much of the day cooking for tomorrow’s guests. I finished the hoovering and did a bit of tidying up. I then paid attention to the rest of the May 2004 colour slides from the Streets of London series, scanned yesterday.

Continuing yesterday’s walk along Kilburn High Road, a bit further North of The Old Bell is the short

Birchington Road NW6 5.04

Birchington Road NW6, which has a bank on one corner

Birchington Road NW6 5.04 2

and fairly large residential houses bearing the tell-tale sign of multi-occupancy on the entry-buzzers. I am not sure which national dress is being sported by the elegant woman in the first picture.

Quex Road NW6 5.04

Next on the right is Quex Road, where preparation in the greetings card shop was under way for Father’s Day in June.

The Terrace NW6 5.04

A short distance further, and The Terrace is on the left. This Felfala Restaurant is apparently no longer in operation, although there are a number of others listed nationwide. I’m surprised I didn’t go back and try it when I had the chance.

Kingsgate Place NW6 5.04

Almost opposite on the right is Kingsgate Place. No self-respecting high street in the less salubrious areas of our cities is without its ‘Pound Shop’ or equivalent.

Kingsgate Road NW6 5.04

The short Kingsgate Place runs into the more major Kingsgate Road. There is something rather poignant about RAKS NEWS AND RELIGIOUS GOODS bearing a placard from the Kilburn Times proclaiming ‘I was seduced by jailed pastor’. The Aerlingus advertisement is an indication that many Irish people live in Kilburn; encouragements to play the lottery and invest in Vernon’s Pools suggest a certain amount of need for some easy money; and the area is one ripe for graffiti.

Kilburn has quite a history, based on Kilburn Priory, “a small monastic community[1] of nuns established around 1130–1134 three miles north-west of the medieval City of London, where Watling Street (now Kilburn High Road) met the stream now known as the Westbourne, but variously known as CuneburnaKeneburnaKeeleburneColdburne, or Caleburn, meaning either the royal or cow’s stream.[2] The priory gave its name to the area now known as Kilburn, and the local streets Priory Road, Kilburn Priory and Abbey Road.” (Wikipedia)

Abbot's Place NW6 5.04 1Abbot's Place NW6 5.04 2

Presumably Abbot’s Place has the same origin.

“The site was used until 1130 as a hermitage by Godwyn, a recluse, who subsequently gave the property to the conventual church of St. Peter, Westminster. The priory was established with the consent of Gilbert Universalis, bishop of London, before his death in August 1134. Though it was originally subordinate to Westminster Abbey, whose monks followed the Benedictine rule, by 1377 it was described as being an order of Augustinian canonesses. It was once believed that the Ancrene Riwle was written for the first three nuns of Kilburn, but this is now thought unlikely.

Agnes Strickland states that the priory was established in 1128 for the three pious and charitable ladies-in-waiting of Queen Matilda of Scotland, consort of Henry I, named Emma, Gunilda, and Cristina.

After the death of the queen [in 1118] these ladies retired to the hermitage of Kilburn near London, where there was a holy well, or medicinal spring. This was changed to a priory in 1128, as the deed says, for the reception of these . . . damsels who had belonged to the chamber of Matilda.[5]

Kilburn Priory was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1537 and its site in Kilburn was given to the Knights of St. John in exchange for other property, and then seized back by the crown in 1540.” (Wikipedia)

Kilburn Priory NW6 5.04

There is something sweet about Islamic Centre England being housed in Kilburn Priory, (Actually 140 Maida Vale) in the midst of such a multi-ethnic area.

Andover Place NW6 5.04

Parallel with Maida Vale, on my return to Warwick Crescent, I walked along Andover Place.  These two young women were happy to appear in my project. I swear I didn’t arrange the pose.

Elgin Mews North W9 5.04

Back in W9, work was being completed on a development in Elgin Mews North.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s excellent heart casserole, carrots, runner beans, and new potatoes. This was followed by strawberries and cream. Well, we had been watching the Wimbledon tennis on T.V.


  1. D, it’s a tour du force through the old streets in my memories. Sometimes I get sad, wistful, sometimes i’m glad I’m not there anymore, there is a sadness but a durability and resistance to the courage of those who immigrate and build lives from poverty. I miss the old buildings but was aghast to see what they are doing by the Thames on the south side with all the American Embassy plans. YUK!

  2. Wonderful post! I so loved your observation about the Islamic Center now being housed in Kilburn Priory. Oh, if that attitude could only spread ever outwards.

  3. It’s interesting to see neighborhoods change, provided they don’t become crime-ridden. 🙂

    When I entered my first apartment (by myself), my neighbors were American citizens born in Poland, Greece, and Laos. When I left the area seven years later, my neighbors were Albanian-Americans and recent immigrants from Vietnam and Iraq. The Coney Island-style restaurant down the street had changed owners from Greek to Chaldean, but the only real difference was that all the workers were young siblings and cousins, and the hummus was even better than before. (BTW I think it’s a zoning law that every square mile of the Detroit Metro area must have a Coney Island restaurant. Bonus points if it’s called Ram’s Horn.)

    However, it was time to leave because the apartment complex had switched managers from a no-nonsense married couple to look-the-other-way sorts. The two-bedroom apartment next to mine had 14 residents, and across the hall was a family of six!

    1. Thanks, Lisa. I think the plant is a ceanothus. I had thought of a book when I began the project, but never got around to it – largely because it was nowhere near comprehensive, although I was into four figures.

  4. What an interesting tour including the history. Thanks for sharing! I think the first lady in your post might be wearing an Indonesian dress.

      1. Well I am not sure I’m right, just a guess as my sister-in-law had married an Indonesian and had very similar clothing

  5. That’s an impressive selection of plastic containers in the SK local cheap shop. And as you say, Derrick, those sort of shops are always very much in demand.

  6. These lovely and fascinating 2004 photographs will be shown to my Mom later in the day. She liked the time she spent in Britain in the 50’s and these to me, are rem iniscent of an older period of time. You captured fine scenery!
    Shh! I got up early to try and catch up and have 8 more days of vacation!
    Hope you are well, as well as Jackie. Happy company spending time together is always a treat, Derrick.

  7. Lovely tour, Derrick. I wish I could see the area back when the priory was first created. Strange to think how rural it would have been then.
    The man on the ladder photo caught my eye. Something about him and the angled ladders–I think it’s an interesting photo.

  8. A further fascinating tour of Kilburn – thank you. The medieval connections are definitely still there in the road names. And, Godwyn is just a perfect name for a hermit – I believe we also had one near us here. The Priory to Islamic Centre change is an interesting observation too – though I am guessing this is largely a new building on the same site? It’s been interesting learning about the ‘other’ Kilburn – living in the north, when I hear the place name ‘Kilburn’, I first think of the one in North Yorkshire where the ‘Mouseman’ crafted his furniture 🙂

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