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Dollis Hill is an area of north-west Londonmarker. It lies close to Willesdenmarker, in the London Borough of Brentmarker. As a result, Dollis Hill is sometimes referred as being part of Willesdenmarker, especially by the national press. Dollis Hill consists of the streets surrounding Gladstone Parkmarker, formerly the estate belonging to Dollis Hill House.

History

Crossing the Dudding Hill Line in late Victorian times, near the eastern end of Dudding Hill station, and at the western end of Gladstone Park


The Dollis Hill Estate was formed in the early 19th century, when the Finch family bought up a number of farms in the area to form a single estate. Dollis Hill Housemarker itself was built in the 1820s.

The first railway in the area was the Dudding Hill Linemarker, opened in 1875 by the Midland Railway to connect its Midland Main Line and Cricklewood goods yard in the east to other lines to the south-west. The Dudding Hill station on the line closed for passengers in 1902, but the line still carried freight.

Dollis Hill tube stationmarker opened on 1 October 1909 as part of the second railway in the area, the Metropolitan Line, now transferred to the Jubilee Line.

In World War I the tank design team responsible for the new Anglo-American or Liberty tank, Mark VIII was located here.

The code-breaking Colossus computer, used at Bletchley Parkmarker during the Second World War, was built at the Post Office Research Stationmarker in Dollis Hill by a team led by Tommy Flowers. The station was relocated to Martlesham Heathmarker at the end of the 1970s. The Post Office Research Station building has now been converted into 62 flats and is now known as 'Chartwell Court'.

A World War II bunker for Winston Churchill called Paddockmarker is located here.

Famous residents

William Ewart Gladstone, the UK Prime Minister, was a frequent visitor to Dollis Hill House in the late 19th century. The year after his death, 1899, Willesden Council acquired much of the Dollis Hill Estate for use as a public park, which was named Gladstone Park. Brent Arts Council are staging a play in Gladstone Park in July 2009 to mark the 200th anniversary of Gladstone's birth. For details see www.madhattertheatre.org.uk

Mark Twain stayed in Dollis Hill House in the summer of 1900. He wrote that 'Dollis Hill comes nearer to being a paradise than any other home I ever occupied'.

British electronica artists the Future Sound of London and 4 Hero both hail from the area.

Fictional references

The fictional Dollis Hill Football Club features occasionally in the British satirical magazine Private Eyemarker as arch-rivals to Neasden Football Club, with on at least one occasion the fictional Dollis Hill South council ward used in the irregular 'Those Election Results In Full' mock section.


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