Northwick Circle was laid out as part of the Northwick Park Estate developed by Captain E G Spencer-Churchill, who had inherited the Kenton estate in 1912. The opening of 2 stations provided an incentive to Spencer-Churchill's plans to develop an estate of high class residences, with a tennis and social club as the focal point. Although 3 roads were laid out by 1914, the estate was not built until the 1920s/30s, and was less ambitious than planned. The Palaestra was built as the estate's social and sports club in 1923, set in 5 acres of grounds at Northwick Circle. In 1953 it became the home of the Harrow District Masonic Society, and remains set in a pleasant grassed area with scattered trees and shrubs.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2001
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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.
Northwick Circle, June 2001. Photo: S Williams
Click photo to enlarge.
The Kenton area was in the Manor of Harrow, which from 1630 had been owned by the Rushout family, who acquired the Barony of Northwick in 1797. Up until the C20th much of the land remained in agricultural use. Northwick Circle was laid out as part of the Northwick Park Estate developed in Kenton by Captain Edward George Spencer-Churchill (1876-1964), who had inherited the Kenton estate in 1912 following the death of his grandmother, widow of the 3rd Lord Northwick (d.1887). Two new stations opened in the area in 1912, providing an incentive to suburban development here. Spencer-Churchill's aim was to develop his Northwick Park estate as high class residences with a tennis and social club as the focal point. He put up his land for development prior to WWI and although three roads were laid out by 1914, the estate was not built until the late 1920s /early 30s and was less ambitious than the original plans.
It was laid out as a geometric pattern of streets radiating from Northwick Circle, in the centre of which The Palaestra was built in 1923, forming the focal point and the estate's social and sports centre. The suburban estate of mock-Tudor houses was predominantly built by F & C Costin, and many of the road names were taken from villages close to Spencer Churchill’s country seats at Northwick Park, Blockley and Gloucester. The Palaestra sports club was the venue for the Brent Junior Lawn Tennis Championships and in 1932 for the All England Lawn Tennis championships. It was here that tennis player Betty Nuttall played.
In 1953 it was sold to the Freemasons and opened in 1954 as the home of the Harrow District Masonic Society. Planning permission was granted so that the building could be adapted for its new use; one of the squash courts was converted into a meeting room and the tennis courts were covered for a car park. New meeting rooms were built in 1966. The surrounding landscape is a pleasant grassed area with scattered trees and shrubs set in lawn, now with a car park on part of the site, and not publicly accessible.
'Places in Brent: Kenton' (Brent Council, Grange Museum of Community History and Brent Archive, n.d.); 'Northwick Circle Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan' (LB Brent, Planning Service, March 2006)