The hamlet was recorded as "Keninton" in 1232. The name derives from the personal name of the Saxon "Coena" and the Old English "tun", a farm - and means "the farm of Coena" and his family who once lived on a site near here. Before the 20th century, the tiny settlement was concentrated around in what was Kenton Lane (the easternmost part of which remains as Old Kenton Lane to the east of Kingsbury station) and is now part of the present day Woodgrange Avenue and Kenton Road.
The Windermere is a Grade II listed public house in Windermere Avenue. It is on the Campaign for Real Ale's National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors and was built in 1938. The Plough public house was Kenton's first, opening in the early 18th century; the current building is not the original. It is now an Indo-Chinese fusion restaurant and bar called Blue Ginger.
The main road through the area is Kenton Road.
The local school is Priestmead Primary School on Hartford Avenue. The local high school is Claremont High School on Claremont Avenue off Kenton Road.
Kenton station was opened by the London and North Western Railway on 15 June 1912. The Metropolitan Railway's "Northwick Park and Kenton" station (later renamed Northwick Park) followed on 28 June 1923. The coming of the railways was soon followed by suburban development, most of Kenton being built between the Wars.
Thomas Francis Nash owned building companies which from the 1920s onward built numerous private housing estates in Kenton, Ruislip and other parts of the "Metroland" area of Middlesex. F. & C. Costin was another local building company that built much of Kenton between the wars. Local estate agents still use the term "Nash-built" or "Costin-built" to describe properties built by them in Kenton.
Apart from the infamous appearance of several of Kenton's streets in the "Gourmet Night" episode of the BBC-TV comedy series Fawlty Towers starring John Cleese, the only known reference to Kenton in modern popular culture is the song "Kenton Kev", by the Berlin-based punk-jazz band The Magoo Brothers on their album "Beyond Believable", released on the Bouncing Corporation label in 1988. The song refers to the "pleasant valley" high suburban boredom factor then prevalent in the area, and cites local characters and places, some fairly well known. It is said that "Kenton Kev" refers in fact to Kevin Jones, the US-based property magnate, who was actually born in Kenton. The song was written by Paul Bonin, Philip Ulysses Sanders and Melanie Hickford, all of whom grew up and lived in the area.
The following London Bus routes operate through the area:
|114||Mill Hill Broadway||Ruislip||London Sovereign|
|183||Golders Green||Pinner||London Sovereign|
|H9/H10 Circular||Harrow H9: anticlockwise||Harrow H10: clockwise||London Sovereign|
|H18/H19 Circular||Harrow H18: anticlockwise||Harrow H19: clockwise||Arriva Shires & Essex|
Stations in the area are:
- Kenton Station (Bakerloo line & Watford DC Line)
- South Kenton Station (Bakerloo line & Watford DC Line)
- Northwick Park Station (Metropolitan line)
- Actress Michele Austin, best known as PC Yvonne Hemmingway in ITV's The Bill, attended Claremont High School in Kenton
- Cricketer Denis Compton (1918–1997) lived in Kenton
- TV exercise instructor Mr Motivator (Derrick Evans) lived in Kenton
- Stage actress Annette McLaughlin attended Claremont High School in Kenton
- Mary Millington (1945–1979), 1970s sex symbol, was born in Kenton
- Actress Sophie Okonedo lived in Kenton
- Stuart "Psycho" Pearce, football manager and former player, attended Claremont High School in Kenton
- Actress Pam St. Clement, best known as Pat in BBC soap EastEnders, lived in Kenton
- Journalist and broadcaster John Timpson (1928–2005) was born in Kenton
- Footballer Darren Ward was born in Kenton
- Actress Mary Wimbush (1924–2005), best known as Julia Pargetter in BBC Radio 4's The Archers, was born in Kenton
- Doctor Amieth Yogarajah, best known as Amieth in BBC Three's "Junior Doctors", was born and raised in Kenton