Tokyngton, Brent

Primarily an interwar garden suburb, nowadays possessing remarkable ethnic diversity, situated in south-east Wembley

Neil Theasby - Oakington Manor Drive

Although it was some­times called Oak­ing­ton, this place’s name does not derive from some his­toric tree (unlike, for exam­ple, Noak Hill or Lit­tle Roke) 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 the First World War 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 the Sec­ond World War 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 Tokyn­g­ton are own­er-​​oc­cu­pied and Chris­tian­i­ty, Hin­duism and Islam are the main reli­gions.

Accord­ing to the 2011 cen­sus, the ward of Tokyn­g­ton has an extra­or­di­nar­i­ly diverse eth­nic mix, even by the stan­dards of Brent, which is a very mul­ti­cul­tur­al bor­ough. Most parts of Lon­don tend to be dom­i­nat­ed by a small num­ber of eth­nic groups to the exclu­sion of cer­tain oth­ers, but this is not the case in Tokyn­g­ton, as the table below shows.

Not all Lon­don’s main eth­nic­i­ties are well rep­re­sent­ed – there are, for exam­ple, very few Turks (who pre­fer not to live this far west) or Bangladeshis (who pre­fer not to live this far north-west) – but the breadth is nonethe­less excep­tion­al.

Ethnicity/NationalityPop­u­la­tionShare of total
Asian or Asian British: Indi­an4,27928.3%
Black or Black British: Caribbean1,71011.3%
White British1,2778.5%
Asian or Asian British: Pak­istani9896.5%
Black or Black British: African9716.4%
Asian or Asian British: Sri Lankan4262.8%
‘Oth­er East­ern Euro­pean’3242.1%
All oth­ers3,16420.9%
Postcode area: Wembley HA9
Population: 15,105 (2011 census, showing a 28 per cent increase on 2001)
Further reading: M C Barrès-Baker, Wembley and Tokyngton, Grange Museum of Community History and Brent Archive, 2001
The picture of Oakington Manor Drive on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Neil Theasby, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is hereby freely permitted under the terms of that licence.