The Development of the Neeld Estate
Phillip Rundell, the millionaire goldsmith, took up residence in Westbourne Farm during the reign of George III. He also leased the Manor House Estate, to the north of Harrow Road, from the Dean of Westminster. This area around what is now Chippenham Road was once St Peter's Park, as it was the northern part of the Manor of Westbourne which belonged to Westminster Abbey (the Abbey of St Peter).
Rundell's sister, Elanora, married Samuel Golney, from Chippenham in Wiltshire and they were all close friends of the Neelds of nearby Grittlestone Hall. Phillip Rundell transferred the lease to Joseph Neeld, who was his nephew and heir. Joseph Neeld enclosed part of the Common and Waste in 1821. This gave him a long, narrow estate just north of the present Marylands Road.
The irregular north-east margin of the Neeld estate was formed naturally by the River Westbourne as it snaked along what is now Shirland Road. Today the river has been hidden in a rather straighter culvert. From the playground of North Westminster School in Oakington Road, now Paddington Academy, one looks down into the valley of the River Westbourne, with the river below and Shirland Road on the other bank. From there, the culvert runs to near the canal footbridge by St Mary Magdalene Church, across Westbourne Green and so to the Serpentine and the River Thames.
Thirty years later Neeld's grandson, Sir John Neeld, began to develop the estate which included Rundell, Goldney and Grittlestone Roads, all family names. Many of the names of other local roads derive from place names in Wiltshire, where they came from. There is another Neeld estate near Harrow with identical family names.
The Lucas map of 1869 shows that the edges of the canal and the area to the south had been developed, North of the canal, building on the Neeld estate had started at Chippenham Road and had reached Edenbrooke Road by this time. The Harrow Road start is still marked by the Neeld Arms public house, while the western limit, Fernhead Road, was once called Neeld Road.
Information about Neeld etc. from ‘London Street Names’, by C. Bebbington.