Pottery unearthed in Kingsbury that could date back to the Iron Age

Steve Chew showing an Iron Age pottery find

Steve Chew showing an Iron Age pottery find - Credit: Archant

Iron Age settlements, the Black Death, foot and mouth disease - Kingsbury’s rich history is being noted before it is forgotten forever.

The Blackbird pub (pic credit: Philip Grant)

The Blackbird pub (pic credit: Philip Grant) - Credit: Archant

Archaeologists from Archaeology South East have been working to uncover clues at the corner of Blackbird Hill and Old Church Lane where a farm once stood long before the Blarney Stone pub was demolished.

The original Blackbird Farm

The original Blackbird Farm - Credit: Archant

Developers are planning to build homes on the site.

Steve Chew showing an Iron Age pottery find

Steve Chew showing an Iron Age pottery find - Credit: Archant

Wembley History Society worked with Brent’s Museum and planners to ensure a proper “dig” of the site after Brent Council gave planning permission for the proposed development in March 2011,

Fragments of pottery have been unearthed that could date back as far as the Iron Age,while evidence has been found that there has been continuous occupation of the area since Elizabeth 1.


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Sandy Kidd, from English Heritage said: “It is so important this was being done here now because if there is something to be found, we know about it.”

Records held by WHS recall many local inhabitants died during the Black Death plagues in the mid 14th century.

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A detailed map of the parish drawn in 1597 showed what may have been a farm and another in 1745 show farm buildings and orchards on both sides of Old Church Lane.

Blackbird Farm as a working farm ceased operating in 1923 when an outbreak of foot and mouth disease meant all the cows had to be shot.

The site of the farm currently being excavated had not been disturbed when the Blackbird then Blarney Stone pub was built, but in a few weeks, when the archaeologists take away their findings, there will be no trace on the soon to be built up area.

Philip Grant of the Wembley History Society said: ‘It is quite exciting that the archaeologists have found several pieces of Iron Age pottery on the site.

“Although there is no proof yet of a settlement here more than 2,000 years ago, this gives extra weight to the view that Blackbird Hill was part of a pre-Roman trackway running through Brent from Willesden Lane to Honeypot Lane.

“I look forward to finding out what they uncover when they clear the site at the end of their excavation.’

Andy Leonard, project manager at University College London’s Archaeology South East said: “What we’ve found so far has local significance. In an area like this which is heavily built up there are surviving fragments of the past before Brent was built up.

“I hope children will be able to appreciate the stories, even if they can’t visit it.”

Read Philip Grant’s article for more information http://www.brent.gov.uk/media/4468821/Blackbird%20Farm,%20Kingsbury.pdf

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