The area was originally and informally known as New Hendon (1878 to 1890). Before that there were no streets or houses, only the Welsh Harp (see Brent Reservoir) and three farms: Upper and Lower Guttershedge, and Cockman's in the Wood. Francis Pettit Smith, the inventor of the screw propeller, lived at Guttershedge Farm, and performed many of his experiments near by.
The Midland Railway opened Hendon Station in 1868 but development was slow. A Mr Bishop built Neeld Terrace (1881) and a little later Brent Vue, both on land originally owned by the Midland Company. By 1886 there were 200 new houses. This was the start of 'New Hendon'.
In 1885 the Baptists had opened a mission hall and the Anglican chapel of St John was opened. The present St John's church was opened in 1896, by which time the area had become known as West Hendon. In 1896 Schweppes opened a large mineral water factory. With a planned tramline down the Broadway due to open (1904), West Hendon became a thriving Edwardian retail district.
In February 1941, during World War Two, the German air force dropped a SC2500 maximum Heavy Explosive bomb (equivalent of two V2 rockets), on West Hendon, destroying 40 houses and killing 80 people. The area was redeveloped in the 1970s. In 1984 a small Islamic Centre was established at 135 The Broadway, which moved to Brent View and re-opened as Hendon Mosque on August 23 1996.