The name Burnt Oak was first used in 1754 and from then until the 1850s
referred to no more than a field on the eastern side of the Edgware Road
Watling Street . Nor is there evidence that the name implies anything except
that the field had once contained a burnt oak tree. In May 1844 Burnt Oak field
was sold to a Mr Essex, and by the 1860s plans were in place to build three
residential streets: North Street, East Street, and South Street. The
application of the field name to the area seems to have followed from this new
estate and was in use by the end of the 19th century. However, the area was
generally known as Red Hill until the opening of Burnt Oak tube station (see
were a handful of shops by the 1890s. There was a post office and grocery run
by George and William Plumb, a bakery run by Caller & Poole, as well as
James Huggett the greengrocer. A tramway along the Edgware Road to opened in
1905, but the population remained small, by 1921 still only around 1000.
Oak tube station on the Northern line of London Underground was opened on 27
October 1924. It was first open on weekdays with a small booking hall suitable
for a rural area. As it was on farmland south-east of the community in Edgware
Road, London Passenger Transport Board London Transport constructed a new road,
Watling Avenue. In the same year news leaked out that the London County Council
was to build a housing estate (Watling Estate), which was ready for its first
occupants in April 1927. Because of the large number of residents who had moved
from East End slums, and their left-wing political tendencies, the estate
became known as Little Moscow. With this and other private estates the area was
provided with a new station by 1928, and the population by 1931 had grown to
both sides of Watling Avenue shops were built along with a number of schools to
serve the area, such as Woodcroft and Goldbeaters. In 1929 Jack Cohen used the
name Tesco in Burnt Oak for the first time, and founded the chain of stores.
The first Tesco shop was not on the site of the present Tesco, on Burnt Oak
Broadway, but in smaller premises round the corner at 9 Watling Avenue
(formally Superdrug but now Savers).
1930, Dominican Order Dominican nuns established St Rose's Convent on Orange
Hill Road which led to the foundation of
Catholic High School Colindale in 1934.
1936 Watling Market opened with a hundred covered shops and stalls, and the
Co-operative Group opened its "finest department store" at the
junction of Stag Lane and Burnt Oak Broadway (now Peacocks).
County Council built over 89,000 homes between the wars. Over half – some 47,000 – were built in
out-of-county ‘cottage suburbs’. The
Watling Estate, then in the urban district of Hendon, was the third largest of
extension of the Northern Line to Edgware in 1924. The LCC acted quickly to purchase 387 acres
of farmland adjacent to the new Burnt Oak station. The plans, drawn up by the LCC’s Chief
Architect, George Forrest, set aside 46 acres for allotments and parks and 16
acres for schools and public buildings. The rest was for housing.
in February 1926. The first family moved in in April 1927; 2100 more followed
within twelve months. By 1931, the
Estate – 4021 dwellings in total – was complete, aside from 34 larger homes for
letting at higher rents added in 1936.
rent on the Estate (for a two-room flat) was a little over 50p; for a five-room
parlour home it stood at around £1.44.
These were often twice the rents people had previously paid.
traditional brick but the total includes 252 ‘Atholl’ steel and 464
timber-frame homes built as the LCC experimented with methods
Office: 70 Watling Avenue Burnt Oak Edgware Middlesex HA8 0LU