History of the Estate
The name of the estate is derived from the principal farm in the area, Sudbury Court Farm, which stood in Sudbury Court Road until its demolition in 1957. The farm was one of the most important on the estate of Lord Northwick and comprised 380 acres. It was here that for a while the Manor Courts were held, hence the name.
Sudbury Court and its immediate surroundings lay in the Manor of Harrow held for many years by the Lords Northwick until the death of the 3rd Lord in 1887. His widow survived until 1912 and her son-in-law, the fifth son of the sixth Duke of Marlborough died in 1911. So it was her grandson, Captain Edward George Spencer-Churchill (1876-1964), a first cousin of Sir Winston, who became Lord of Harrow Manor in 1912. Unfortunately, at the time of his investiture he was left with two sets of death duties. It was perhaps this burden that encouraged Spencer Churchill to propose residential development on the estate. However, estate development was held up by the First World War and then by the shortage of building materials immediately afterwards.
The British Empire Exhibition held at Wembley Park in 1924-25 introduced for the first time large numbers of people to Wembley’s countryside. This created a new momentum for development in the area. For the Sudbury Court Estate, the The name of the estate is derived from the principal farm in the area, Sudbury Court Farm, which stood in Sudbury Court Road until its demolition in 1957. The farm was one of the most important on the estate of Lord Northwick and comprised 380 acres. It was here that for a while the Manor Courts were held, hence the name.
Sudbury Court and its immediate surroundings lay in the Manor of Harrow held for many years by the Lords Northwick until the death of the 3rd Lord in 1887. His widow survived until 1912 and her son-in-law, the fifth son of the sixth Duke of Marlborough died in 1911. So it was her grandson, Captain Edward George architectural firm of Herbert Collis and George Charles Clark produced a master plan giving the entire road layout in 1925. It was to this street plan that the local building firm Comben and Wakeling built houses between 1927 and 1936. By 1931 houses had appeared between the Fairway, Oldborough Road and Carlton Avenue West; Pasture Close was built and parts of Campden Crescent. The mock-Tudor architecture, which was prominent in suburban design from about 1924 for ten years, arose out of the Garden Suburb Movement.
In the development of his estate, Spencer-Churchill chose road names that recalled members of his family such as Rushout Avenue and Spencer Road. Others recall the names of villages near his seat at Northwick Park, near Blockley in Gloucester, including Blockley, Campden, Pasture, Paxford and Stapenhill.
The special character of Sudbury Court Conservation Area is derived from the number of large well-detailed stylised Arts and Crafts influenced houses set in generous well-planted mature garden plots.
The estate was built in the late 1920’s and designed by Comben and Wakeling. One of the Key features with the design of the estate was the spacious positioning of houses set back from gently curved, tree-lined roads, generally semi-detached with long rear gardens. Special consideration was given to the particular design of the individual houses, paying particular attention to architectural details such as windows, doors and porches.
The area is exceptional in that although the builders of the estate used standard design packages the character of the area appears to be one of individually designed and constructed houses. All the houses follow the same basis principle of L or Eshaped plan form with projecting circular or 45 degree bays. Many have brick plinths with applied “black and white” timber to first floor and bay gables. The houses are nearly all capped with typically steep sweeping roofs with sprocketed eaves sitting on projecting soffits. Many of the mock-Tudor houses have Curton style frontages, with the front gable sloping down on one side to rest upon the entrance porch, often with a corner window above.
Extract from “Brent Council Conservation Handbook”
The Local Area
If you look at the map of the area, you will see that there are no major through roads. This makes it very peaceful and generally not overburdened with traffic. For those with children of primary school age, there is a very popular school, Byron Court, situated within the estate towards South Kenton Station. At the other end of the estate is Wembley High Technology College. A walk through the underpass at South Kenton Station brings you to the Windermere Pub and a small parade of shops that includes a convenience store, a sub-Post Office, hairdresser, pharmacy and a restaurant. A little further east is Preston Park incorporating a pre-school nursery as well as Preston Park Bowls Club, 6 tennis courts and a cricket pitch.
The area is well-served by public transport having South Kenton and North Wembley stations on the London Overground and Bakerloo Lines. There are also several buses that can be picked up at Windermere Avenue and Watford Road.
The estate backs on to Northwick Park – a large public recreational space – at the end of which are Northwick Park and St. Mark’s Hospitals, the Harrow campus of the University of Westminster and Northwick Park Station on the Metropolitan Line. A short walk through the underpass at Northwick Park station brings you to Kenton Road with a large variety of shops including a very large Sainsbury’s. Alternatively, this shopping area can be reached by London Underground and Overground trains to Kenton Station- one stop from South Kenton or two stops from North Wembley.
The area around the Estate is also of great interest. The Estate sits at the foot of Harrow Hill and affords lovely views of the school buildings. Together with Eton, Harrow is one of the most prestigious public schools in the country and former alumni include Lord Byron, Winston Churchill and King Hussein of Jordan.
The top of the hill is also the site of the ancient church of St. Mary. Work on this commenced in 1087 and it was finally consecrated by St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, in January 1094. It is seen as an icon of Harrow and can be seen for miles around. It has views towards Central London and of the many buildings that can be seen are Canary Wharf and the BT Tower. Inside the church can be found a brass to John Lyon, the founder of Harrow School, and his wife, Joan. The churchyard contains several interesting memorials including a very graphic one to the memory of the first man in England to be killed on the railway. In more recent years it has been used as a navigational reference for planes heading for RAF Northolt.
Northwick Park Hospital shares its campus with St. Mark’s Hospital. Both these institutions are national centres for research and development. They work closely with Imperial College and are also teaching hospitals. St. Mark’s specialises in gastro-intestinal and liver disease including bowel cancer. Northwick Park is an extensive general hospital covering most areas and includes links to Moorfields Eye Hospital.
The area also abounds with opportunities for relaxation. It is home to Northwick Park Golf Centre that also provides a baseball practice area, gym, restaurant and conference rooms. Northwick Park itself is a large public recreational space and can be used for football, rugby and cricket practice as well as being an area to walk the dog and large enough for flying model aircraft (weekends only!). There is also a children’s playground and a pavilion it used to be possible to hire although I think there are proposals being mooted for a different use.
Looking for something less exhausting? There are a bewildering array of places to eat from old traditional British pubs to restaurants offering an eye-watering variety of cuisines. Or, you could just sit in the park and look in the opposite direction to the hill to admire the graceful arch of Wembley’s new Stadium.