Primarily an interwar garden suburb, situated in south-east Wembley. Although it was sometimes called Oakington, the name
does not derive from its tree cover but from ‘the farm of the sons of Toca’ and was first mentioned in 1171. The
manor rivalled Wembley for economic significance in the Middle Ages and had a chapel that survived into the 18th century.
After a brief spell as Oakington Park in the mid 19th century, the last decades of the manor’s rural existence were
as Sherrin’s Farm. The Great Central Railway line ran across the north of the farm in 1906 and the lord of Tokyngton
manor, Sir Audley Neeld, entered into an agreement with Wembley council to develop a ‘garden city’ estate of semi-detached
houses in 1913. Work began the following year, paused during World War I and resumed afterwards. The estate was the borough’s
first exercise in town planning and is now a conservation area. Neeld extended the estate in 1932 and later conveyed 21 acres,
together with the dilapidated Tokyngton manor house, to the council for use as open space. A proposal to convert the manor
house into a library was rejected and in 1939 it was blown up in an exercise designed to test the readiness of air raid precautions.
After World War II the council built low-rise blocks of flats, partly in place of bomb-damaged houses. The construction of
the Bakerloo Line depot at Stonebridge Park in the far south of the locality proved an unpopular development in the 1970s.
Most homes in the Tokyngton ward are owner-occupied and the largest ethnic group is of Asian descent, primarily Indian. Christianity,
Hinduism and Islam are the main religions. At Oakington Manor Primary School, 80 per cent of pupils come from ethnic minorities
and most speak English as an additional language.
Will Self, in the Evening Standard
HOW COULD THEY FORGET TOKYNGTON?
IT IS with sadness that I censure the London Gazetteer. This handy looking tome was sent to me by its publisher, Chambers.
It claims to be "An A-Z guide to the famous and hidden quarters of Britain's capital". However, the very first quarter I looked
up, Tokyngton, wasn't in it. I myself have never actually been to Tokyngton but I've often noted its peculiar name while perusing
my bog-ordinary A-Z map. Now it's been so unjustly neglected by Chambers I feel an almost insuperable urge to travel to what
a website describes as "the most populated part of Harrow", albeit in the medieval era. The "farm of the sons of Toca" was
first mentioned in 1171, so it seems rather shabby that it doesn't make it into Chambers's Gazetteer 900-odd years later.
Author’s subsequent letter and Will Self’s apology, published 8 November 2007:
Will Self deprecated my recent book, Chambers London Gazetteer, for omitting Tokyngton, a quaintly named corner of Wembley
(12 October). I’m at a loss to know how he came to this conclusion, since Tokyngton fills almost half a page between
Three Mills and Tollington.
I would like to apologise to Mr Willey and say that having now read the Gazetteer's entry on Tokyngton, I have been enlightened.
Postcode area: Wembley HA9
Further reading: M C Barrès-Baker, Wembley and Tokyngton, Grange Museum of Community History and Brent Archive, 2001