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Fryent Country Park (including Barn Hill Open Space) Brent

Summary

Part of Fryent Country Park has the remains of Barn Hill Farm, an C18th landscaped farm that was part of Wembley Park estate. In the late C18th, land owner Richard Page sought the advice of Humphry Repton who was employed at Wembley Park. Remnants of his scheme survive such as the belt of trees running down from the hilltop and crossing Brampton Grove and Basing Hill. The area was saved from development, firstly in 1927 when 50 acres of wood and hilltop were conveyed to Wembley UDC for Barn Hill Open Space. Then, after Fryent Way opened in 1935, Middlesex County Council compulsorily purchased what was largely farmland to keep it public open space.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
Barns Hill Park

Site location:
Barn Hill/Fryent Way, Kingsbury

Postcode:
NW9 ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Public Open Land; Garden Feature Remnants

Date(s):
C18 (Barn Hill)

Designer(s):
Humphry Repton (Barn Hill)

Listed structures:
None

Borough:
Brent

Site ownership:
LB Brent

Site management:
Parks Service; Barn Hill Conservation Group/Friends of Fryent Country Park

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
unrestricted

Special conditions:

Facilities:
Car park. Fryent Country Park Circular Walk

Events:
Walks 3rd Sunday of month (except winter), conservation projects; children's nature activities, other events such as Brent Countryside Day

Public transport:
Tube: Kingsbury (Jubilee); Wembley Park then bus. Bus: 79, 183, 204, 302, PR2.

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/05/2009
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.brent.gov.uk; www.bhcg.ik.com

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ198881 (519454,187798)

Size in hectares:
103

Green Flag:
No

On EH National Register :
No

EH grade:
None

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
No

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
No

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
No

In Conservation Area:
No

Conservation Area name:
Abuts Barn Hill CA

Tree Preservation Order:
Not known

Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Metropolitan Importance

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
Yes

Special Policy Area:
No

Other LA designation:
Local Nature Reserve

Fryent Country Park (including Barn Hill Open Space)

Fryent Country Park, June 2001. Photo: S Williams

Click photo to enlarge.

Fuller information

Part of Fryent Country Park (west of Fryent Way, which bisects the park) has the remains of an C18th landscaped farm formerly part of Wembley Park. 'Bardonhill' is referred to in a Manorial survey of 1547 and was part of the Uxendon estate until it became part of Wembley Park Estate owned by Richard Page. Barn Hill Farm on the summit is first mentioned in 1732, owned by the Page family of Wembley Park. In the late C18th, Richard Page commenced work on a prospect tower on the hilltop. Page sought the advice of Humphry Repton who was employed at Wembley Park; the southern slopes were laid out as Barn Hills Park. A Red Book apparently refers to "the prospect at Wembley Hill". Mature planting on the summit still corresponds with that recorded on the 1817 enclosure map; the belt of trees running down from the hilltop and crossing Brampton Grove and Basing Hill remains from Repton's scheme. At the foot of the north slope, the edge of the wood contains several picturesque groups of 3-4 oaks, plus at least 1 2-in-a-hole. There are good sycamore, groups of beech, and of horse chestnut on top; also later planting of Lombardy poplars.

In 1923 the Barn Hill Estate was acquired for development by Messrs Haymills, who were speculating on the likely impact of the Wembley Park Exhibition, which in 1924/25 attracted c.27 million visitors. In 1927 Frank Bastable of Haymills effectively saved the wooded area and hilltop when he conveyed 50 acres to Wembley UDC for establishment of Barn Hill Open Space. Fryent Way opened in 1935 and Wimpey began development of the area with access and sewerage works, but Middlesex County Council compulsorily purchased land to keep it public open space, with Wembley UDC paying 25% of the cost. The eastern side of Fryent Way was largely farmland, much of the land belonged to All Soul's College, whose estate map of 1597 shows meadow and fields layout much as it is today; some old hedges have been replanted. All the farm buildings had been destroyed but some old farm ponds remain with some new ones created by Barn Hill Conservation Group. New trees have been planted in the park, grown from seeds collected in the park in the organically-managed tree nursery in Roe Green Walled Garden (q.v.).

Sources consulted:

G Hewlett, 'A History of Wembley' 1979 p153-156; 'Hills of Wembley' (LB Brent Planning); Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed); 'Barn Hill Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan' (LB Brent, Planning Service, March 2006)

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