Local Community


At the heart of Kilburn lies the High Road. This major north westerly route from London was first established by the Romans and forms part of the ancient Roman road of Watling Street. Like many areas of London, Kilburn was once a village and was notable for its mediæval inns that offered food and drink to the weary traveler. By the 18th Century Kilburn, like it’s neighbour Hampstead, had become a fashionable spa resort.

In 1810 the engineer Thomas Telford was asked to improve the road, which runs from London to Holyhead in North Wales, the main sea port for crossings to Dublin. This construction helped to develop the large Irish population for which Kilburn became renowned, many of the men working on the road itself.

West Hampstead lies on the hillside between Kilburn High Road and Hampstead. Until the arrival of the railways in the 19th Century, the area was largely rural and was know as West End, a name that still lives on in the neighbourhood’s main thoroughfare West End Lane. With the arrival of the Metropolitan Railway, farm land gave way to housing estates and West Hampstead was chosen as the name of the new railway station to avoid confusion with central London’s West End.


Today the area has a rich mix of different ethnic groups and is one of London’s most ethnically diverse neighbourhoods with predominately Irish, West Indian and Middle Eastern communities.

At the last census (2001) around 13% of the local population described themselves as Black or Black British, 9% as Asian or Asian British, 4% as Chinese or Other Ethnic Group and 4% as Mixed Race. For Fortune Green the figures are 7% describing themselves as Black British, 7% Asian or Asian British, 7% Chinese of Other Ethnic Group, and 4% Mixed Race. Census figures do not give detailed analysis of local ethnic groups, and the last census was taken before the expansion of the European Union which resulted in new members of the local community arriving from Eastern Europe.

The age profile of the local area is typical of Inner London with a higher than average number of people (34%) being in the 20-34 age range.

You can find links to further statistics on our resources page.


Kilburn Grange Park lies to the east of the High Road, and is a short distance from Kingsgate Community Centre. Within its 8 acres there is a children’s play area, a multi-use games area and tennis courts.

Both Kilburn High Road and West End Lane offer a huge number of local shops and eating places. The recently opened Kilburn Library Centre is the first new library in Camden for 40 years.

And, of course, there are the four local Community Centres.

Neighbourhood Renewal.

Also in common with many areas of Inner London, a programme of Neighbourhood Renewal has been taking place in recent years. The local Neighbourhood Renewal Area covers the whole of West Hampstead and Kilburn wards and the western part of Fortune Green ward.

Camden Council’s Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy focuses on raising the prosperity and well-being of communities and individuals in a sustainable way. Despite these efforts there are still many pockets of deprivation in the area. There are many measurements used to quantify levels of deprivation including:

  • Income deprivation
  • Employment deprivation
  • Health deprivation and disability
  • Education, skills and training deprivation
  • Barriers to Housing and Services
  • Living Environment deprivation
  • Crime

Against these Camden ranks highly. For further details see the London Councils website.

Further Resources.

Try here for further information about Kilburn and West Hampstead.

Camden Council. www.camden.gov.uk

Kilburn at Wikipedia.

West Hampstead at Wikipedia.

Things to Like about West Hampstead photo pool on Flickr.com.