Wembley (/ˈwɛmbli/) is an area of northwest London, England, and
part of the
London Borough of Brent. It is home to the
Wembley formed a separate civil parish from 1894
and was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1937. In 1965, the area
merged with the
Municipal Borough of Willesden
Municipal Borough of Willesden to create the London
Borough of Brent, and has since formed part of Greater London.
2 Ethnic diversity
4.1 Postal district
7 Sport and leisure
9.3 SSE Arena access
9.4 Transport proposals
11 Notable people
Wembley (parish) population
◄ Split from Harrow on the Hill
Kingsbury parish absorbed
# no census was held due to war
source: UK census
Wembley is derived from the
Old English proper name "Wemba" and the
Old English "Lea" for meadow or clearing. The name was first mentioned
in the charter of 825 of Selvin. A further instance may be seen in the
Plea Rolls of the Common Pleas, as Wambeleye.
The village of
Wembley grew up on the hill by the clearing with the
Harrow Road south of it. Much of the surrounding area remained wooded.
In 1547 there were but six houses in Wembley. Though small, it was one
of the wealthiest parts of Harrow. At the dissolution of the
monasteries in 1543, the manor of
Wembley fell to Richard Andrews and
Leonard Chamberlayne, who sold it to Richard Page, Esq., of Harrow on
the Hill, the same year.
The Page family continued as lords of the manor of
Wembley for several
centuries and eventually commissioned
Humphry Repton (1752-1818) the
landscape gardener to design what is now
Wembley Park. Wembley
Park thus derived its name from Repton's habit of referring to the
areas he designed as "parks".
There was a mill on
Wembley Hill by 1673. In 1837, the
Birmingham Railway (now part of the West Coast Main Line) was opened
London Euston through
Wembley to Hemel Hempstead, and completed
to Birmingham Curzon Street the following year. The changing names of
the local station demonstrated the increasing importance of the
'Wembley' name. 'Sudbury' station opened in 1845, renamed as 'Sudbury
and Wembley' in 1882, renamed as '
Wembley for Sudbury' in 1910,
renamed as '
Wembley Central' in 1948, at the time of the Olympic
To modernise the service, a new
Watford DC Line
Watford DC Line was built alongside
the main lines and
Bakerloo line trains, and electric trains to Broad
Street started in 1917. Electric trains to
London Euston began running
in 1922. Since 1917, there have been six platforms at what is now
Wembley Central station. In 1880, the
Metropolitan Railway opened its
line from Baker Street through the eastern side of Wembley, but only
built a station,
Wembley Park, in 1894. There are now three physically
separate services, the
London to Aylesbury Line, the Metropolitan
line, and the Jubilee line. Only the latter two services have
Wembley Park station.
In November 1905, the
Great Central Railway
Great Central Railway (now, in this section,
part of the Chiltern Main Line) opened a new route for fast expresses
that by-passed the congested
Metropolitan Railway tracks. It ran
Neasden Junction, south of Wembley, and
west of London, where a new joint main line with the Great Western
Railway began. Local passenger services from
added from March 1906, when new stations were opened, including
Wembley Hill', next to what later became the site of
- the national stadium of English sport - which opened for the FA Cup
Final of April 1923, remaining open for 77 years until it closed for
reconstruction in October 2000. After a long planning and
redevelopment process dogged by a series of funding problems and
construction delays, the new stadium finally opened its doors in March
Wembley Hill station was renamed '
Wembley Complex' in May 1978, before
getting its present name of '
Wembley Stadium' in May 1987.
British Empire Exhibition
British Empire Exhibition postage stamps
The area around the current
Wembley Stadium was the location of the
British Empire Exhibition of 1924-1925.
Until the 2000s, remnants of the many reinforced concrete buildings,
including the original
Wembley Stadium, remained, but nearly all have
now been removed, to make way for redevelopment.
Wembley, in common with much of northwest London, had an extensive
manufacturing industry, but much of it closed in the 1980s. Factories
in the area included Glacier Metals (bearings), Wolf Power Tools,
Sunbeam Electrical Appliances, Griffin & George (laboratory
equipment) and GEC (whose research laboratories, opened in 1923, were
one of the first of their type in the United Kingdom.).
The retail centre of
Wembley (the High Road and
Ealing Road) has
suffered from chronic traffic congestion and from the opening of
neighbouring purpose-built shopping centres, first
Brent Cross in the
early 1970s and later the Harrow and
Ealing Broadway Shopping Centres.
During the 1960s, rebuilding of
Wembley Central station, a block of
flats, an open-plan shopping plaza, and a car park were constructed on
a concrete raft over the railway.
The shopping plaza suffered a slow decline and was therefore poorly
maintained, but it is being redeveloped. The first phase, including
construction of eighty-five homes and reconstruction of the plaza, has
Most of the rest of Wembley's housing consists of inter-war
semi-detached houses and terraces and of modern apartment blocks, with
a significant minority of detached housing.
Extensive redevelopment has occurred in the
Wembley Park area, about a
mile northeast from
Wembley town centre.
On 16 May 1990, the
Provisional Irish Republican Army
Provisional Irish Republican Army planted a bomb
under a minibus at the Army Recruiting Centre in Harrow Road, killing
34-year-old soldier Sergeant Charles Chapman and injuring four others
including his colleague. The bomb was believed to have been 2
lb of Semtex. The attack occurred near the Stadium intersection and
caused shattered windows in nearby buildings. No one was ever
convicted of Chapman's murder.
A pie chart showing the ethnic makeup of central
Wembley in 2001
Wembley has a high degree of ethnic diversity, as illustrated by the
accompanying pie chart for
Wembley Central (ward). According to the
1991 census, 49.2% of the
Wembley Cental ward was Asian, with 39%
being Indian. The ward along with neighbouring
Alperton were in the top 10 most diverse in London. The
white population dropped further to 21.3% by the 2001 census, with
78.6% being of black or minority ethnic (BME) groups.
The White British population of
Wembley Central (population 14,727)
decreased to only 792 people (5.3% of the population) in the 2011
census. This makes it the sixth least White British ward in London
(seventh in the country). Other ethnicities include 7.0% Other
White, 66.2% Asian (46.2% Indian), and 13.9% Black. Surrounding
districts are notably more white and less Asian.
Wembley Central only
Wembley town centre and the whole town is represented by five
Aerial view of
Wembley and its stadium
Wembley formed part of the large ancient parish of Harrow on the Hill
in the Gore hundred of Middlesex. In 1894
Wembley was split from
Harrow, creating a new parish and urban district. It included
Alperton, Preston, North Wembley, South Kenton, Tokyngton, Sudbury,
Wembley Park and Northwick Park. The urban district included the
neighbouring parish of
Kingsbury until 1901 and again from 1934.
In 1937 it was incorporated as the Municipal Borough of Wembley. The
fire brigade headquarters of
Middlesex County Council were located on
Harrow Road and is now a fire station of the
London Fire Brigade.
Wembley Town Hall on Forty Lane, built in 1938, became Brent Town Hall
when the municipal boroughs of
Willesden were amalgamated
in 1965 to form the
London Borough of Brent
London Borough of Brent and transferred to Greater
London. Since the 2010 elections,
Brent Council has been controlled by
the Labour Party.
Wembley falls within the UK Parliament constituency of Brent North and
London Assembly constituency of Brent and Harrow.
Until the nineteenth century,
Wembley was rural and the sector retains
a number of green spaces. These include
Barham Park (10.5 hectares) in
Sudbury Town, King Edward VII Park, established in 1914 behind the
High Road (10.5 hectares), and Sudbury Green. Less managed spaces
include Fryent Country Park, Barn Hill (19.87 hectares), and Vale Farm
sports ground (30 hectares). Brent River Park /
Ground (20.26 hectares) has recently been restored, returning the
river to a more natural course.
Nearby Sudbury Golf Course backs onto the Grand Union Canal, with its
towpath running into central London. Sudbury Squash and Tennis Club
has outdoor tennis courts, an indoor squash court, and a clubhouse.
Wembley is a short distance away from the Welsh Harp reservoir and
open space, created in the early 19th century by damming the River
Brent to provide water for the Grand Union Canal.
The area is identified in the Mayor of London's
London Plan as one of
thirty-five major centres in Greater London.
Wembley is made up of six wards:
Wembley Central, Alperton, Tokyngton,
Barnhill, Preston and Sudbury. The town takes up the south-western
quarter of the borough of Brent, being west of Kilburn and south of
Kenton. It is also east of
Northolt in the neighbouring London
Borough of Ealing.
Neighbouring areas of
Harrow on the Hill
Western section of High Road
Wembley is part of both HA0 and HA9 post codes, and has its own post
code. It includes Alperton, Preston, North Wembley, South Kenton,
Wembley Park and partly of Sudbury and Northwick Park.
The main shopping area used to be centred on
Wembley High Road,
Central Square (which is undergoing redevelopment) and
Ealing Road. In
1971 the High Road was seen as being the 11th best place to shop in
London. However, it had fallen to 24th place by 1987.
remains important as a centre of South Asian jewellery and gold
shops, attracting people from as far afield as Leicester, but
otherwise the focus of shopping has shifted north and east to London
Designer Outlet in
Air France-KLM European Sales and Service Centre, which is a sales
channel for 15 European countries, is located in Brent Civic Centre in
High Road, near the local station, looking east
The area's regeneration is one of the major development projects in
London in the early 21st century, as specified in the
published by the Mayor of
Ken Livingstone in 2004.
The regeneration project is focused on the site first developed by Sir
Edward Watkin as a pleasure ground in the 1890s, and then used for the
Empire Exhibition of 1924-5. This area includes
Wembley Stadium and
Wembley Arena. The 1923
Wembley Stadium closed in October 2000 and was
demolished in 2003. The new
Wembley stadium was designed by a
consortium including engineering consultant Mott MacDonald and built
by the Australian firm Multiplex. It cost £798 million and opened in
2007. Grade II-listed
Wembley Arena, now the SSE Arena, has been
sensitively refurbished in keeping with its
Art Deco style.
Brent Council approved a mixed use plan by
Buro Happold for
the development of 55 acres (223,000 m²) adjacent to the stadium,
which was presented by Quintain Limited. It is envisaged that the
whole of the former
British Empire Exhibition
British Empire Exhibition site will be
redeveloped. At the same time
Brent Council is seeking to encourage
redevelopment of the neighbouring
Wembley town centre area around the
Sport and leisure
Wembley has two local non-League football clubs,
Wembley F.C. and
South Kilburn F.C., that both play at Vale Farm stadium in nearby
There once were two golf clubs in Wembley.
Wembley Golf Club, founded
in 1896, was situated north of the
Metropolitan Railway line in what
is now the Fryent Country Park. The club closed in the late 1920s.
Wembley Park Golf Club was founded in 1912 in Sir Edward Watkin's
Wembley Park pleasure gardens, improving on the 9-hole course that had
opened, along with Watkin's
Wembley Park, in 1896. The course itself
became the site of the British Empire Exhibition.
The prime landmark is
Wembley Stadium, rebuilt 2003-2007 at a cost of
£827 million, which is approached via the White Horse Bridge
designed by the
London Eye architects. Nearby is the SSE Arena, a
Grade II-listed concert venue built in 1934 as the Empire Pool, a
multi-use facility built for the 2nd Empire Games. The former Wembley
(later Brent) Town Hall is a Grade II-listed building located on Barn
Wembley Stadium; it has now been refurbished as a French
school, the Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill. The
London Borough of Brent's council chamber and administration have
moved to the new Brent Civic Centre in Engineers Way,
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in
Ealing Road, Wembley, was built in
1904, designed by Thomas Collcutt and Stanley Hemp. Construction was
of brick and the design was influenced by the Arts and Crafts
Movement. It was listed as a Grade II building in 1993. The church
was converted into the
Central Mosque Wembley
Central Mosque Wembley in the late 1990s.
English Heritage blue plaque is on Forty Lane in Wembley,
commemorating the comedian and entertainer Arthur Lucan.
The White Horse Bridge, across
Wembley Stadium station
Stations in the area are:
Wembley Stadium (Chiltern Railways)
Wembley Central (Bakerloo line, Southern,
London Midland and Watford
North Wembley (
Bakerloo line and Watford DC Line)
Wembley Park (
Jubilee line and Metropolitan line)
Sudbury Town tube station
Sudbury Town tube station (Piccadilly line)
Preston Road tube station
Preston Road tube station (Metropolitan line)
Alperton tube station (Piccadilly line)
Stonebridge Park tube station
Stonebridge Park tube station (Bakerloo Line)
The position of
Wembley Park on the
Metropolitan line and the suburban
development of the surrounding area following the British Empire
Exhibition has ensured that
Wembley remains an integral part of
Metro-land in the popular imagination.
Wembley lies near to the A406 North Circular Road and the Harrow Road
passes through its centre. The town centre is served by three
pay-and-display car parks.
SSE Arena access
Wembley Arena is served by
Wembley Park station on the London
Underground via Olympic Way,
Wembley Stadium on the Chiltern Railways
Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill, and Wembley
Central (walking via the White Horse Bridge). Bus route 92 stops
The onsite parking facilities are close by, with a multistorey car
park called Red Parking and a surface level car park on the eastern
flank of the Stadium called Green Parking. Disabled parking is
available at a reduced rate but on a first-come first-served
Three possible transport services have been proposed for the area; the
Fastbus and the North and West
Main article: List of schools in Brent
Drummer Charlie Watts, founding member of The Rolling Stones, was born
Engineer and Formula One aerodynamicist, John Barnard, who is credited
with introducing the first semi-automatic gearbox, the first carbon
fibre composite chassis and the "coke bottle" shape of the rear
bodywork, was Born in
Wembley in 1946.
Actor Riz Ahmed, star of satirist Chris Morris's black comedy Four
Lions (2010), was born in Wembley.
John D Barrow FRS, Professor of Mathematical Sciences at
Cambridge University, cosmologist, Templeton prize winner and author
of many popular science books and the award-winning play Infinities
was born in
Wembley in 1952 and attended Barham Primary School.
Peter Fribbins was born, and grew up, in Wembley.
British ambassador to
Matthew Gould grew up in Wembley.
Russell Grant lived in Wembley.
Vivian H. H. Green (1915–2005), the model for author John le
Carré's spymaster character George Smiley, was born in Wembley.
Matthew Harrison was born in
Wembley in 1979.
Actor and comedian
Lenny Henry lived in Wembley.
Actor and musician
Gary Holton (1952–1985), Wayne in Auf
Wiedersehen, Pet and frontman of Heavy Metal Kids, lived in
the time of his death.
Jerel Ifil and
Jerome Thomas were born in Wembley.
Musician John Lingwood, drummer in Manfred Mann's Earth Band, was born
Arthur Lucan (Arthur Towle), famous for his performances as
'Old Mother Riley', lived at 11 Forty Lane, Wembley, as did his wife
and co-star, Catherine 'Kitty' McShane.
Robert McBain (1932–2004), who appeared in
Fawlty Towers and A
Fish Called Wanda, was born in Wembley.
Keith Moon (1946–1978), drummer for The Who, lived in
Singer Maxine Nightingale, best known for her soul hit records in the
1970s, was born in Wembley.
Valda Osborn was born in Wembley.
Nurse, journalist, broadcaster and novelist Claire Raynor lived in
Dancer, author, musician and bandleader
Victor Silvester was the
second son of J. W. P. Silvester, vicar of St. John the Evangelist
Anglican church, Wembley.
John Tavener was born in Wembley.
High Road, looking west towards the junction with Park Lane
Western section of High Road, looking east
Junction of High Road and Park Lane
Mannions Free House, Irish pub, on High Road
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wembley.
Wembley is made up of six wards in the borough of Brent
third entry, line 3, "apud Wambeleye"; in 1349
Harrow on the Hill
Harrow on the Hill - British History Online".
^ "Harrow, including Pinner : Manors - British History
^ TheFA. "404 - Page not found - wembleystadium.com".
^ "Doors finally open at new Wembley". BBC News. 17 March 2007.
^ Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (February 2005). "Figure 51". Marylebone
to Rickmansworth. Midland Main Lines. Midhurst: Middleton Press.
^ Photograph of exhibition site[permanent dead link]
^ Map of exhibition site[permanent dead link]
^ Sunday Tribune of India (newspaper) Article on exhibition (2004)
^ British Pathe (agency) Film of British Empire Exhibition, reel one
^ British Pathe (agency) Film of British Empire Exhibition, reel two
^ British Pathe (agency) Film of British Empire Exhibition, reel three
^ British Pathe (agency) Film of British Empire Exhibition, reel four
^ Clayton, Robert; Algar, Joan (1989). The GEC Research Laboratories
1919-1984. Peter Peregrinus. ISBN 0-86341-146-0.
^ Brent Resource and Information Network (BRAIN). "Public square
Wembley Central". Brent Council. Retrieved
^ Operation Banner: The British Army in Northern Ireland 1969-2007 by
Nick Van der Bijl, 2009
^ a b "
Wembley Central - UK Census Data 2011". UK Census Data.
^ Mayor of
London (February 2008). "
London Plan (Consolidated with
Alterations since 2004)" (PDF).
Greater London Authority.
^ Barres-Baker, M.C. "Places in Brent
Wembley and Tokyngton" (PDF).
^ "Rallying to the gold standard". Retrieved 2016-07-03.
^ "Enjoy more things to do in
Wembley Park /
London Designer Outlet".
www.londondesigneroutlet.com. Retrieved 2016-07-03.
^ "Air France - Refund request - Official website". AirFrance.
^ "Wembley: Towers to arches". New Civil Engineer. Retrieved
^ Stadium, Wembley. "90 Years Of
www.wembleystadium.com. Retrieved 2016-07-03.
Wembley Arena John Sisk and Son". www.johnsiskandson.com.
Wembley Golf Club", "Golf’s Missing Links".
^ Llewellyn, John. "
Wembley Park Golf Club, Greater London".
www.golfsmissinglinks.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-03.
^ Campbell, Denis (15 October 2006). "Eight-year
Wembley stadium saga
is over at last". The Guardian. London.
^ "Lycée International De Londres - Home".
www.lyceeinternational.london. Retrieved 2016-07-03.
^ "St Andrew's Presbyterian Church - Wembley".
britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
^ "LUCAN, Arthur (1887-1954)". English Heritage. Retrieved 23 August
^ Grant, Philip. "
Arthur Lucan – the man who was "Old Mother Riley""
(PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-03.
^ team, Code8. "Road and parking - WEMBLEY PARK". Retrieved
^ team, Code8. "Accessibility - WEMBLEY PARK". Retrieved
London Campaign for Better Transport North and West
railway (NWLLR) /
Brent Cross Railway (BCR) plan
^ The Times Archived 25 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Comment
on NWLLR light-rail proposal
London Orbital Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "ParkRoyal.org is for sale" (PDF).
London Borough of Brent
Dollis Hill House
The Stables Gallery & Art Centre
Willesden Green Library Centre
Parks and open spaces
Fryent Country Park
King Edward VII Park
Hampstead and Kilburn
Tube and rail stations
Sudbury & Harrow Road
Coat of arms
Grade I and II* listed buildings
Parks and open spaces
Areas of London
Central activities zone
Holloway Nags Head
Kensington High Street
King's Road East
Elephant and Castle
Isle of Dogs
Lists of areas
Barking and Dagenham
Hammersmith and Fulham
Kensington and Chelsea
Kingston upon Thames
Richmond upon Thames
Canley (borough) (The Bill: TV soap)
Charnham (suburb) (Family Affairs: TV soap)
Gasforth (town) (The Thin Blue Line: TV series)
London Below (magical realm) (Neverwhere: TV series, novel)
Walford (borough) (EastEnders: TV soap)
London Plan 2011, Annex Two: London's Town Centre Network –
Greater London Authority