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A ‘remade’ housing estate situated on the east side of Wembley Park, separated from Neasden by the River Brent. Although not shown on maps, the name is widely used locally. Now considered a part of Wembley, Chalkhill was a manor within the ancient parish of Kingsbury at the time of Domesday Book. The land here once belonged to Edward the Confessor, and later to Westminster Cathedral. Chalkhill was built up as a Metroland estate in the early 1920s, while the Empire Exhibition was held at Wembley Park. In the 1970s a council estate replaced most of the original housing. This in turn was demolished thirty years later in a project entitled ‘Remaking Chalkhill’. The last remaining symbol of the old estate came down in July 2002 when council leader Ann John blew up the estate’s boiler house chimney, which used to provide heating for more than 1,300 residents. It had begun operation in 1969 and was finally shut down after the last tenant moved out in April 2002. Councillor John said, “We are saying goodbye to the bad things such as vandalism and disrepair and have listened to what our residents want and need from their homes.” The final 160 homes were completed in 2003. Chalkhill’s new housing is undoubtedly an improvement on what went before, but still smacks of tight cost control and a lack of room to breathe.

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The new face of Chalkhill

Postcode area: Wembley, HA9

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

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