The area was referred to as Oxegate as early as 1250, although the 1000 acre Manor of Oxgate owned by St Paul’s Cathedral dates from the Anglo-Saxon period, and was already established by the time of the Norman Conquest of 1066. It refers to the literal gate which prevented cattle from straying on to the nearby old Roman road of Watling Street (now the A5) from neighbouring pasture. The name comes from the Old English words oxa and geat – their meaning being self-evident. The Grade II-listed Oxgate Farm, dating from the 16thCentury is the oldest surviving house in the Borough of Brent. As a prebend, the money made from farming the land, which covered the wooded manor of Willesden and Dollis Hill, was used to support the church and its priests, the first occupant being a man named Arthur sometime around 1102. The property was still being used to support the Dean and Chapter in 1860. Oxgate remained one of the last farming areas of Willesden. The area was developed between the First and Second World Wars, bringing heavy industry, the North Circular, and thousands more people into the area.
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