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The River Brent at Brent Cross. The Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 scale mapping shows a sea of dark green here as the A406 North Circular Road and the A41 Hendon Way meet at the Brent Cross Flyover. A small weir impounds a head of water as the river flows down towards the Brent Reservoir.

Brent Cross is in the London Borough of Barnet and contains the Brent Cross Shopping Centre. The area takes its name from an old crossroads near the River Brent. It has no specific boundaries but in general only premises west of the Brent Cross Flyover, east of the M1 motorway and close to the North Circular are described as being in Brent Cross. The River Brent passes through it, flowing from east to west in a man-made channel.


The Brent Cross Flyover interchange between the A41 and A406 roads

"Brent Cross" was originally the name of a crossroads in the vicinity of the current Brent Cross Flyover. By 1944, the term was being used to describe addresses north of the A406 North Circular Road and west of the A41 Hendon Way[1][2] and after the eponymous shopping centre was built it was also used to describe business addresses south of the North Circular.

Previously the area had been known as Renters Farm, a name dating from 1309, and it remained largely farmland until the nineteenth century. In the late nineteenth century a sewage works was built there and Hendon Greyhound Stadium stood there from 1935 to 1972.[3] In 1976 the Brent Cross Shopping Centre was opened, the first stand-alone shopping centre to be built in the United Kingdom.

In the 1920s and 1930s, two major roads through the area were constructed, the east-west A406 North Circular Road and the north-south A41 Hendon Way. In 1923 the Northern line (Edgware branch) was extended on a short viaduct over the River Brent.

In 1964/65 the Brent Cross Flyover was built to carry the Hendon Way over the North Circular. During its construction on Saturday 20 June 1964 a fatal accident occurred while erecting a large crane at the site. The crane jib buckled and collapsed onto a coach travelling east on the North Circular Road killing seven passengers on board. A question was raised in parliament about the accident on 22 June.[4]

In the 1970s, the North Circular Road was upgraded with a huge east-west flyover rising from Brent Cross above both the A5 road and the railway line. The M1 motorway was extended south to meet the North Circular Road slip roads below this flyover.

Shopping CentreEdit

The Brent Cross Shopping Centre is a major retail facility which opened in 1976.[5]

Brent Cross Cricklewood developmentEdit

Brent Cross Cricklewood is a planned new town centre development in Hendon and Cricklewood. The development is planned to cost around £4.5 billion to construct and will include 7,500 homes, 4,000,000 sq ft (370,000 m2) of offices, four parks, transport improvements and a 592,000 sq ft (55,000 m2) extension of Brent Cross Shopping Centre.[6] The developers of the scheme are Hammerson and Standard Life Aberdeen.[7] 200 new retail stores are included in the original plan. [8][7] To counter the disruption of the area by the building works, the developers have offered to 'green up' the bridge over the North Circular and maintain it as a 'living bridge' making a horticultural contribution to the basic scheme. [9] As market for new retail stores changes and demand is expected to decline with the shift to online shopping, BXS is changing its delivery plan and intends to focus on residential development first. Construction was planned to start in 2018 and be completed in 2021-22 but[10] the retail development has currently been put on hold.


Brent Cross Bus Station
Northern Line viaduct over the North Circular Road in Brent Cross

The London Underground stations nearest to the shopping centre are Brent Cross and Hendon Central, both on the Northern line. According to the council, both "feel very remote and lack adequate pedestrian links and signage", and the 10 to 15-minute walks are through "a hostile pedestrian environment.".[11][12]

The bus station adjacent to the shopping centre is served by 13 bus routes. It is open 24 hours a day and when the shopping centre is closed a cash machine, some phone boxes and drinks and confectionery machines remain accessible.

Proposed Transport ImprovementsEdit

Transport schemes have been proposed involving Brent Cross, as part of, or concurrent to, the Brent Cross Cricklewood development. These include


  1. ^ "London Gazette listing of uses of Brent Cross". The London Gazette. TSO on behalf of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  2. ^ "London Gazette issue 36543". The London Gazette. 2 June 1944. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  3. ^ "Hendon NW4 Brent Cross". Barnet Council. Archived from the original on 10 July 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  4. ^ "ACCIDENT, NORTH CIRCULAR ROAD (Hansard, 22 June 1964)". 22 June 1964. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  5. ^ London Transport Museum View of shopping centre, 1977
  6. ^ "Full consent for £4.5bn Cricklewood scheme". Property Week. 29 October 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Green light for the £4.5bn rebuilding of Brent Cross". London Evening Standard. 29 October 2010. Archived from the original on 20 November 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  8. ^ "The Proposed Scheme".
  9. ^ "HortWeek". 27 May 2017.
  10. ^ "BXS Newsletter". 5 May 2017.
  11. ^ London Borough of Barnet Archived 7 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Development framework, chapter 3, page 13
  12. ^ London Borough of Barnet Archived 7 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Development framework, chapter 3, page 12
  13. ^ Brent Cross Cricklewood Partners. "Brent Cross Cricklewood: 05 Transport Improvements". Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
  14. ^ Barnet Council. "Report ref C/17559/08". Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  15. ^ Barnet Council. "Report of the Head of Planning and Development, re Brent Cross Cricklewood Regeneration Area, with Addendum". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  16. ^ Campaign for Better Transport (UK) Press release on 'Brent Cross railway'
  17. ^ London Campaign for Better Transport North and West London light railway (NWLLR) / Brent Cross Railway (BCR) plan

External linksEdit