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Cricklewood formed around Edgware Road in the 13th century. The name is borrowed from a wood and it is recorded starting with 1321. It comes from the Old Brittonic word “cruc” which means hill and the Anglo-Saxon word “hyll” which also means hill. The name translates to “hill hill wood”. The Crown pub is one of most important buildings in this NW2 area. In 1750, the inn was frequented by coach travelers. In the beginning of the 19th century, Cricklewood had several cottages and it was popular for its pleasure gardens. Many villas were built along Edgware Road by the middle of the 19th century.
The local railway station opened in 1870 as Childs Hill and Cricklewood. Since 1903, it adopted the name of this North West London area. The Railway Cottages built to accommodate the workers of Midland Railway are listed structures. New Ash and Elm Grove streets were built in 1880. St. Peter’s church was built in 1891 on the site of the old tin chapel. There was another church, Little St. Peter’s on Claremont Way, but it operated for less than 30 years. By the end of the 19th century, many houses and shops were built along Cricklewood Lane. The area featured a Gaumont cinema originally called Queens Hall Cinema. The building was demolished in 1960. Cowhouse Farm closed in 1932.
Actor Peter O’Toole is one of the famous Cricklewood residents. He is best known for playing in Lawrence of Arabia and The Lion in Winter movies. Actress Tamsin Grieg who is known for portraying Fran in the sitcom Black Books and Caroline Todd in Green Wing lived in Cricklewood as well. Phil Lynott the lead singer of Thin Lizzy is one of the most famous musicians who lived here. Another one is Emma Anderson associated with the indie bands Lush and Sing-Sing. Actress Elizabeth Adare, TV chef Ching He Huang, and writer Zadie Smith are other notable residents.