From maps of Ealing from 1890 and beforehand, Northfields can be seen to be a very small rural village, with only a few houses here and there and much of the surrounding land being used as orchards. However the rapid onset of development of the Metropolitan District Railway in 1883 led to the subsequent development of Northfields, with many residential areas slowly springing up around the area. This development was also aided by the Northfields Halt which was completed in 1908.
Nowadays Northfields exists as a centrally residential area within Ealing. The area’s heart is focused around Northfield Avenue, where the street possesses many shops and amenities. There are a various number of schools around the area and every year Northfields hold host to a street festival, which is organised by the local Northfield Avenue Business Association, which first began in 2007.
The Northfields Tube Station is an important part of the town in that it caters to the transport needs of many of the people who live in the area and around it. The station originally began as a Halt, which is a small, unmanned type of station which often lack any facilities whatsoever. It was originally constructed in 1908 and was upgraded slightly in the 1910’s. In the 1930’s the Tube Station was completely redesigned and reconstructed in order to fit with the impending Piccadilly Line services that were going to be routed through this station.
In 1928 17.25 acres of land was obtained by Ealing Town Council for the purpose of being a publicly open recreational ground. It originally opened under the name Northfields Recreation Ground, but was renamed in 1957 to Blondin Park after Charles Blondin, the famous French Acrobat and tightrope walker who retired to Northfields. Another area was named after him in 1997, when the Blondin Nature Area was opened. Charles Blondin’s real name was Jean Francois Gravelet and retired to Niagara House in the Southern region of what was known then as Northfield Lane, until he passed away. Blondin was most famous for crossing a 110 foot long tightrope that was suspended over Niagara Falls in 1859. He carried out this stunt a number of times, adding more dangerous elements each time, such as walking over on stilts, whilst blindfolded, whilst pushing a wheelbarrow and with a man on his back.