London Borough of Harrow

ABERCORN

The Abercorn (formerly the Abercorn Arms) is also important for its history and associations. It was called the Royal Hotel after a meeting which took place there in 1814 between the Prince Regent, the King of Prussia and Louis XVIII. Louis was returning in state to France to reclaim the throne after spending his exile in Hartwell, Buckinghamshire. The Morning Chronicle of 21st April, 1814 describes a procession through the town in honour of the French King who had to be helped down from his carriage as he was so infirm. Louis had breakfast at the hotel. There were stables and outbuildings there for travellers horses. Coaches ran from outside the Abercorn to Oxford Street twice a day as early as 1826 and between Stanmore and Holborn from 1803.

Around 2010, the Abercorn Arms was renamed The Abercorn.

ALEXANDRA AVENUE

Alexandra Avenue was conceived as an impressive boulevard lined with wide concrete pavements edged with granite kerbs and enhanced by ornamental trees planted along the western side. At the junctions of Alexandra Avenue with Warden Avenue and Imperial Drive, grass verges surrounded by concrete posts and post and chain fencing provided a welcome splash of greenery and an important streetscape feature.

Street furniture was simple and included rather fine lampposts with a large circular globe sitting directly on top of the post. These were replaced in the 1960s by a futuristic concrete design with a curved top and a circular suspended shade. Other notable features include the fine signage around the Underground Station and a set of railings on the east side of the bridge over the tube line. Despite many changes, the original street layout survives.

ASHBOURNE AVENUE (1899)

South Harrow Station opened in South Hill Avenue, near the present conservation area, in 1903. This was for the Metropolitan District Railway and trains here ran to Hanger Lane Junction where a connection could be caught to central London. In 1933 the Piccadilly Line was a spur to further formal linear suburban development in the area. A particular example is Ashbourne Avenue where properties were largely built in the 1930s. However, the actual road was laid out from 1899 to 1902 on the site of Ashbourne House where Charles Wood ran a preparatory school from 1871 until the late 1890s.

AYLMER DRIVE (1930s)

Another house that has shaped the layout of later development was Aylwards. It was one of the old head tenements of the manor of Great Stanmore and was a yeoman’s house in the 16/17th centuries. It had belonged to the Norwoods and was passed to William Boys in 1711. John Boys was the first owner of the adjacent house, Hill House, and it is possible that he built Hill House out of land he had carved off from Aylwards. The house was later owned by two of the important families in Little Common’s history; Mr Hollond of Stanmore Hall and in 1888 Peter Clutterbuck of the brewery.

Aylwards was demolished some time after 1934 and Aylmer Drive now occupies its former driveway whilst Aylwards Close is on the site of the house and gardens. The boundaries of these estates are frequently marked by high walls, which are one of the most important characteristics of the area.

Aylmer Close contains modern, 1960s architect designed houses, one of which is listed.

BIRCHMEAD AVENUE

Eastcote was once filled with large country houses and their grounds these included Eastcote House dating from the 16th Century, Haydon Hall dating from the 17th Century and High Grove from the 18th Century. Continued residentialdevelopment almost doubled the number of inhabitants in Eastcote over the following century.

The meadow (see 1913 map) that now encapsulates the whole of this small conservation area once belonged to the owner of the Circuits a large residential dwelling situated to the north of the Conservation Area on Cuckoo Hill Road. Spindle Cottage and The Cottage (previously known as Cuckoo Hill Cottages) date from the 1920s, and in the 1930s development occurred around what appears to have been an old public footpath (shown in the 1913 OS Map) which formed into Birchmead Avenue.

BISHOP’S WALK, PINNER

Bishops Walk was developed in the 1970s to lead off the High Street towards Bishop’s Stores, which is now Marks and Spencers. It is a well-used passage because of this link with the foodhall, as well as the adjacent car park. The walk way provides a significantly different townscape environment to the rest of the conservation area.

On entrance from the High Street the link way is dark and enclosed, but soon becomes light and open as the route bridges the River Pinn and turns the corner to reveal the
food store and car park.

BROOMFIELD HOUSE
FALLOWFIELD COURT

On Stanmore Hill the Fallowfield Court and Broomfield House flats were built on the site of and have the same name as Broomfield, a mid 19th century house designed by James Knowles, which was later demolished.

The flats were built in the 1950s and 60s.

BROOKSHILL DRIVE

The Brookshill Drive area once belonged to the Lord of the Manor and those with farming rights were able to lease acres from his estate for small farms. Sir Edward North was Lord of the Manor during the 16th century. At this time extensive Weald woodlands were heavily coppiced for fuel and timber. During the 17th century there was a move to full-scale clearance in order to provide land on which to graze livestock, and the area adapted to a more arable and livestock-based economy.

Brookshill Drive marks a field boundary to the south, as does the hedgerow of White Cottage and the northern part of Hill House’s garden wall. Copse Farm, historically Weald Copse Farm, dates from the 17th century, and was developed as a result of cleared coppiced woodland, hence its name.

Brookshill Farm sits adjacent to Copse Farm but was developed much later, during the 19th century, when farming began to intensify within the area. The brick kilns owned by Brookshill Farm, and sited north and east of Copse Farm, were built and run by the Bodimeade family in the 17th century, then taken over and adapted by the Blackwell family from 1899 after the marriage of Mary-Anne Bodimeade to Charles Blackwell, remaining in their family until the 1930s. Their son Thomas (1804-1879), was the co-founder in 1829 of the firm of Crosse & Blackwell, food manufacturers.

By the mid-C18 these brick kilns had become one of the most significant industrial enterprises in North Middlesex. A 1767 inventory of the works, owned by William Bodimeade (d.1777) in partnership with his son, John, lists 380,000 burnt bricks, 20,000 moulded bricks, 150,000 moulded bricks standing in clamps, as well as 135,000 tiles and 25,000 paving bricks. In 1777 John Bodimeade set up 50 kilns to supply bricks for the mansion being built at Gorhambury, Hertfordshire for the Third Viscount Grimston. The brickworks eventually ceased production in 1912.

BYRON HILL ROAD

Development during the late 18th century was concentrated along Byron Hill Road and the parts of Middle Road nearest to this.

CANONS DRIVE

The grade II listed manor house was built in 1747 on the foundations of the Jacobean mansion and formed the estate centrepiece. The contemporary landscape includes remains of landscape designed by William Kent, Humphry Repton and Charles Mellows, now designated as a registered park and garden and numerous listed features such as the George V memorial garden and a garden temple.

In 1926 George Cross purchased 85 acres of Canons Park (land to the east of villa) from the Pards Estate, a trust established in 1919 by Sir Arthur du Cros. Cross decided to build houses which were ‘faithful reproductions of old Kentish black and white sixteenth century farm house by Mr Love of Canterbury, making perfect pictures in the rural surroundings’. He entrusted the task of planning the scheme to A J Butcher, ARIBA who kept the trees, the basin, and the lake and divided the existing carriage road into 30 foot frontages. He also designed the layout for a number of roads and cul de sac off Canons Drive.

Permissions were granted for the scheme in 1927, with permissions for houses designed by Butcher and a number of others, most notably Sandon Brothers, H A J Copps, Sword Daniel and Go and F W Bristol and Go. These permissions date from 1927 to 1936. Early publicity describes three to six bedroom houses, semis and detached properties with garages, at prices ranging from £1,425 to £3,500.

Cross invested a large amount of his own money in the project, building roads and ‘encouragement’ houses.

In 1928 part of the estate was designated a public park.

The Canons Park Estate CA includes the following roads:
The NLCS campus, The Lake Grove Recreation Ground, Seven Acres Lake, Whitchurch
Lane: Church of St. Lawrence (LB), Chestnut Avenue, Dukes Avenue, Handel Close, Lake
View, Orchard Close, Powell Close, Rose Garden Close, Canons Close, Canons Drive.

Stanmore Avenue
This woodland strip, which flanked the north edge, is all that remains of the original Stanmore
Avenue, to the west of the house – which was another carriage entrance and the main trade
entrance. It is also important in framing distant views of “Belmont” the part man-made hill, now
part of Stanmore Golf Course.

CECIL PARK

The area is characterised by its Metroland origins given the presence of, on the whole, residential Metroland development. This is very important as, along with Wembley Park, Cecil Park formed the first of England’s Metroland as houses were developed by the Metropolitan Railway from 1902, following the opening of Pinner Station in 1885, and can therefore be considered as the prototype for later Metroland. Once the Metropolitan Railway began to acquire and develop land adjacent to its lines for housing development from the early 1900s to the 1930s such development helped to form much of the suburbs of London.

The architecture of this area is also an important reminder of Metroland’s intension to create a better lifestyle away from the city. Properties are detached or semi-detached Metroland villas with a vertical emphasis. They include those more decorative properties in an Arts and Crafts style with sloping roofs and gable ends fronting the highway and otherwise residential dwellings in a more typical suburban style of Harrow with Mock Tudor detailing.

CLONMELL CLOSE, CHARTWELL PLACE (1990s)

Piecemeal residential development led to a more scattered plan form as permission for two offshoot cul de sac roads (Clonmel Close and Chartwell Place) was
granted in the late 1990s to infill open land to the rear of the existing main roads.

CLUTTERBUCKS

The creation of a brewery at the top of Stanmore Hill would have been linked to the good communications offered by the road. The former Clutterbucks Brewery comprises extensive 18th and 19th century brewing premises. Thomas Clutterbuck appears in the Great Stanmore court rolls in 1749 and the last lords of the manor were the Clutterbucks, until manorial rights were extinguished in 1935.

Again houses for workers would have been required since, with a workforce of 30 in 1851, the brewery was the largest single local employer. Two brewery ponds on the edge of the cricket ground were formed in the late 19th or early 20th century to supply the brewery.

Brewing ceased in the late 1920s but the site continued in an industrial use and still with a large workforce when H Pattison and Co, manufacturers of golf equipment, acquired it. They ran their business there until in 1988 the site was sold off for residential use with the former grain store being demolished and the other buildings converted into flats.

COTTAGE ROAD (2004)

A new private road off Roxeth Hill was named Cottage Road, which gained its name from the former ‘Cottage Hospital’.

CROWN STREET

Crown Street, and some properties on Byron Hill Road were constructed by the early 1800s, growing gradually denser by 1852.

Part of Wellington Terrace, Victoria Terrace and Waldron Road were built within ten years of this date, and Nelson Road followed in the later half of the 19th century.

Modern streets such as Leigh Court and Yew Walk were developed in the following century, by which time the focus of Harrow on the Hill had shifted from east to west.

Hotels and public houses tended to be situated on Crown Street, which was formally known as Hogarth Lane. In the 19th century, Hogarth Lane was renamed
Crown Street after the Inn of the same name. The North Star is now a private residence but interestingly still exhibits decorative pub signage.

In addition to those mentioned, Crown Street also held a working men’s club and the Bricklayer’s Arms, which is now also a residential dwelling.

EDGWARE

Present-day Edgware is largely a product of early 20th century suburban development, but its origins date back to at least the Roman occupation of Britain. The area’s focus onto, and alignment with Edgware High Street, is a key part of the character of the area since the original settlement was focused along the High Street, part of a much longer road known by the Anglo-Saxons as Watling Street, and more recently referred to as the Edgware Road. The road also marks the boundary between the ancient parishes of Edgware in the east, and Little Stanmore in the west, with the CA lying solely on the western side. The eastern side is more altered and lies
within Barnet.

The name Edgware is of Saxon origin, and is thought to have derived from “Ecgi’s” or “Aeges” weir or fishing pool”, in reference to the Edgware or Dean’s Brook that runs to the south of the main settlement. Despite no specific entry in the Domesday Book of 1086, it is likely that the medieval manor of Edgware was in existence by this time, possibly included as part of Kingsbury or Stanmore. The growth of Edgware during the medieval period is unclear, although the parish church was in existence by the mid-13th century, with the present day St Margaret’s Church, on the eastern side of the High Street, built a century or so later (and substantially remodelled in the
18th and 19th centuries).

EDGWARE ROAD

The Edgware Road was one of the key thoroughfares constructed by the Romans to link London with St Albans and the north. Although Roman remains have not yet been found in Edgware
itself, the road would have generated substantial traffic, trade and settlement. Nearby archaeological investigations have shown Roman impact at Brockley Hill, which is widely thought to be the site of the former Roman settlement of Sulloniacae. To the south of Edgware, and to the east of the main road, remains of a late 3rd century A.D. house in Burnt Oak were discovered in 1971.

GREEN LANE, STANMORE

Green Lane was not developed to any great extent until development of former fields after enclosure which explains their relatively spacious, green character. Indeed, the 1864 OS map shows development did not extend along Green Lane on either side beyond Franklin and Green Lane Cottages. Either side of the road were open fields. Green Lane remained very rural until houses were built in the late 19th/early 20th century. Green Lane as it is today began to develop in the late 19th century when the west side was colonised by four new large residences. These were Culverlands to the north, Benhale, Woodside and Clodiagh. By 1896, the OS shows four houses on the east of Green Lane have replaced fields. By 1911, three extra houses had developed on the east side including Martinsell, Wallon Cottage and Littlecote.

GRIMSDYKE

Grim’s Dyke, or Ditch, runs through the north and east of this area, and is a Scheduled
Ancient Monument. It was probably a defence line or boundary marker. Grim is the Saxon word
for devil or goblin and it is likely that the name dates from the 5th century Saxon period, however
the linear earthwork is thought to date from before the Roman invasion of England. A fire hearth
from the 1st century or earlier was found during 1979 archaeological excavations at Grim’s Dyke
Hotel.

The soils of the area supported gravels and sands, which overlay clay. For centuries, materials were removed to the nearby Brick Kilns for brick production, and used for the construction and surfacing of local roads. This produced gravel pits, and caused the destruction of parts of the Dyke.

Grimsdyke House, statutorily listed grade II*, was built in 1872 for the painter Frederik Goodall by architect Richard Norman Shaw. He was popular for his organic and modern version of the Tudor style, and here designed a grand, irregular and rambling house to fill the site built in red brick and limestone, with timber framed gables and a tiles roof. The gravel pits to the north of the estate were reused as small lakes, and a moat was constructed along the line of Grim’s Dyke.

In 1890, William Schwenck Gilbert, of Gilbert and Sullivan fame, bought the house. Gilbert planted additional trees and introduced the rhododendrons which famously line the driveway, creating a tunnelling effect. He developed the model farm, a kitchen garden, orchard and vinery.

He altered the stable block to accommodate his motor car collection. Lady Gilbert cultivated a sunken rose garden and the larger lake was excavated to create a central island on which to site a boathouse. Gilbert enjoyed many hours swimming in the lake, and it was here on 11 May 1911 that he lost his life trying to save a local girl from drowning. Lady Gilbert continued to live in the house until her death in 1936.

The house was purchased a year later by Middlesex County Council and Harrow Urban District Council and leased to the North West Metropolitan Hospital Board for use as a T.B.
Rehabilitation Centre until 1963. The house then stood empty, used occasionally as a film location, until 1971 when it was opened as a hotel after undergoing extensive restoration and refurbishment.

A hotel annex was built within the walled kitchen garden in 1983. Further restoration followed a change of ownership in the 1990s.

HALSBURY CLOSE (1930s)

From the 1930s development increased dramatically. Pynnacles burnt down and so 10 acres was released for development.

There are two buildings here by the notable German émigré architect Rudolph Frankel (1901-1974). Number 1 was built in 1938 for Frankel’s sister and is listed as being “one of the
most elegant and least altered private houses erected before the Second World War”. The house is a brick cube with a cut away corner on the garden side to create a porch and there is a brick cube in front which forms the garage. The parapet walls have thin stone copings. Number 2 is also by Frankel, and number 10 in Pinnacles Close, is thought to be by the same architect.

HARROW PARK

The open space of Harrow Park itself can generally be characterised by its areas of open grassland and extensive mature tree cover. The 2 hectare serpentine lake provides an outstanding focal point to this area. This and the footpath on its northside has a particularly quiet and sheltered character as it is surrounded by a variety of mature trees including; crack willow, horse chestnut, ash, and oak. The presence of ducks, fish and other wildlife add to the sense of
tranquillity. This quiet, sheltered woodland feel continues to the south where there is a well planted copse around a small pond.

HARROW PARK ROAD

Harrow Park Road is characterised by a soft and sheltered feel due to the steep bank on the south side and the thick, tall mature trees and vegetation lining the road.

However, there is a more open nature to it than that along Julian Hill as the road is wider and the vegetation lightens and opens out at times to reveal good sweeping and long distance views.

Harrow Park Road has a wonderfully quiet character as it is a minor offshoot and is a cul-de-sac which considerably limits traffic volume.

HIGH STREET HARROW ON THE HILL

With fabric dating back to the 12th century and set on the Hill’s peak, St Mary’s Church stands proud as a landmark feature of very early origins. Set within a picturesque churchyard and woodland setting, it is literally the high point of the area.

Harrow on the Hill developed as a settlement running south from St Mary’s with initial organic growth along the frontage of natural pathways crossing the elongated land island. At its earliest stages this route, which became the High Street, roughly followed the north-south line of the Hill’s ridge. A medieval route named Old Village Way cascaded down the Hill’s western flank away from the beginnings of the High Street to meet with flatter terrain below. This medieval route would explain the siting of one of the earliest properties within the area, Old Pye House or Pie Poudre Court, as it was then known. Only a small
section survives today and is the only remaining evidence of this medieval building line, which would have been located to the rear of the later developed West
Street.

The former courthouse derived its name from pieds poudres, which is French for dusty feet, a name which is likely to have been derived to reflect the area’s market town roots, which regularly saw travellers to and from the Hill.

The significance of the village settlement grew with the advent of a weekly market and annual fair, granted by Royal Charter from Henry III in 1261.

The fair was held on Church Fields to the rear of the Old Village Way and the market is likely to have been held where this pathway met the High Street to allow space for the trading of goods and livestock. It is interesting to note that Harrow on the Hill was quite early in this respect, as most towns did not
gain this privilege until the 14th or 15th century. The weekly market lapsed at the end of the 16th century, but the annual fair continued until 1872.

The King’s Head remains a landmark feature of the High Street, and is believed to stand on the site of Henry VIII’s hunting lodge.

A public hall was built in 1874 opposite the King’s Head, later becoming a cinema and is now Cafe Cafe.

The street pattern of Harrow on the Hill Village Conservation Area exhibits features typical of a medieval settlement, illustrative of the area’s organic and adaptive growth. A widening of a main street or junction between streets characteristically formed a market place. Where West Street and Crown Street create a ‘T’-shape junction this would point towards historic market town origins, however this particular area now lacks such vitality.

The topography and layout of the roads is one of the most interesting factors of the townscape. Where West Street and High Street diverge at wildly different levels an extremely attractive area of townscape is created, especially where the land falls away to reveal a number of good and early buildings. These frontages (nos. 1-35) step down the slope and look particularly fine as a group seen from the Crown Street junction. The prevailing building height for the majority of such residential properties is 2-storey with pitched roofs and chimneys as common features. The roofs of streets such as West Street and Waldron Road step down the Hill’s slope, whereas streets that were developed from cutting into the Hill, such as Victoria Terrace and Nelson Road, demonstrate a more uniform roof height. Although roads have been laid out in an irregular network, the regular roof types help to form an even skyline in these areas. Residential Built Environment 5.4 The conservation area’s residential buildings tend to have vertical emphases, illustrated through terraced rows with rhythmic patterns of openings, chimneystacks and rainwater goods. A strong building line is a prevailing characteristic of a number of these streets although exceptions include Byron Hill Road, the top of Waldron Road and western parts of Crown Street, the areas of which are considerably less rigid and demonstrate a variety of building scales of much lower density in differently shaped plots. Here the building line retreats from

JULIAN HILL

The characteristic and continuing use of much of Harrow Park Conservation Area by Harrow School can be traced to the early 19th century. The current owner, John Rushout was a Governor of Harrow School and by this stage the school had grown to dominate the town. So, he allowed the boys to use the grounds of the new
house for recreational purposes.

Jullian Hill was an area of land south of the Harrow Park Estate in separate ownership. This explains its separate development.

The limited development alongthis track began with the establishment of Julian Hill in 1817 (the childhood home of Antony Trollope) with Julian Hill a track linking this to Sudbury Hill.

To the south of Julian Hill was Orley Farm, which was the home of Trollope in his later years and some think was described in his famous book, ‘Orley Farm’.

It is a shady and enclosed country lane feel to this road as it is narrow minor offshoot with tall,dense mature tree planting on either side forming a tunnel of
greenery.

KERRY AVENUE (1935)

The land was historically part of the area surrounding Warren House, and is mentioned in the posthumous 1753 marriage settlement of James Brydges (1674-1744, the first Duke of Chandos, who rebuilt the Little Church of St Lawrence, Little Stanmore) and Margaret Nicholl as part of the Warren House Estate: “the messuage called The Warren House or The Warren and lands of Bailey and Gray, rent £12pa” (GLROM Acc. 788/12).

The Warren House Estate was gradually broken up over the following two centuries, though little to no redevelopment occurred until the early 20th century. The map shows the area still undeveloped in c.1913-14.

In 1922, various parts of the original estate were inherited by Major General Sir John Fitzgerald, Irish Baronet and Knight of Kerry. Sir John Fitzgerald continued the estate’s development, as well as making the decision to sell off some of the land for housing. The land sold was the southern most strip of the original Warren House Estate.

However, Kerry Estates went into voluntary liquidation in 1930, and what remained of the estate reverted back to Sir John. In June 1931, Sir John granted a permit for residential development to Douglas Wood Architects, at the southern end of the estate. The area reserved for this development was 17.5 acres to be developed at a density of six residences to an acre. Although the permit to develop was granted in 1931, actual building in this part of the estate did not commence until 1935. Stanmore Station, designed by the in-house architect Charles Walter Clarke, was opened on 10 December 1932, becoming the terminus of the Metropolitan Line after a proposed extension to Elstree was never constructed.

The new development on the south of the Warren Estate began by the construction of a road (now Lower Kerry Avenue), contemporaneously described in the National Builder (1935) as ‘a charming country road entry to the pastures and woodland opposite known as the Warren House estate.’ This road formed an axial layout linking the station and the new development, crossing the already existing ‘timbered road [London Road] from Edgware to Stanmore.’ 110 acres of the estate were reserved as Regional Open Space. A separate 111 acres, excluding the mansion and the land immediately surrounding it, were purchased by Middlesex County Council for Green Belt purposes in 1940. This is the area now known as Stanmore Country Park.

The following year the building of numbers 1 to 6 Kerry Avenue commenced, designed by the fashionable architect Gerald Lacoste (1908-83). The proposal drawing for number 5 is shown below. Sir John Fitzgerald most likely commissioned Lacoste to make the initial designs for the new houses on Kerry Avenue, as both men moved in similar Mayfair social. It is notable that Lacoste designed these buildings as he was a fleetingly fashionable Architect in the 1930s. With a family background in the interior decorating business, he worked with Oswald Milne and Tomkins, Hamer and Ley (designing, under their name, Gracie Field’s Spanish colonial style house in Frognal Way, Hampstead). He was not a doctrinaire modernist, but could design in the modern idiom very competently as he demonstrated at Kerry Avenue.

KINGSFIELD ROAD (1865)

Kingsfield Road developed in a different way to the rest of the conservation area. Terraced development occurred between 1865 and 1895 because land was owned and developed in linear blocks. For example in 1895 a group of five terraced cottages were built for Mrs H. H. Farmborough. The Kingsfield Road development was then, and remains today, the highest density development for the conservation area. The Kingsfield Arms Public House forms the landmark of this group situated on the corner of Bessborough Road and Kingsfield Road. It was originally owned by the Royal Brewery Company and dates from 1867 to serve the developing terraced and surrounding development. Records indicate however that this also followed the siting of a previous, older “ale house”.

Kingsfield Road is dominated by the view of the spire of St. Mary’s (the landmark building of Harrow).

LITTLE COMMON

Little Common comprises high quality, often historic architecture. The name relates to a remnant of greenery that was separated from the main part of Stanmore Common in 1637, as one acre of land on the Common was enclosed to be ‘made fit for the use of bowling and so kept’. The Bowling Green is where the playing fields are now.

In the core area by the Common (originally manorial wasteland ie common land), cottages developed in a piecemeal fashion in the 17th century. The remnants of these within later remodelled houses probably form the nucleus of today’s settlement. But large listed houses set within extensive grounds, their boundaries frequently marked by high walls, are a fundamental characteristic of the area.

These developed in the 18th and 19th centuries e.g. Stanmore Hall and Springbok House and remain today albeit subdivided or their use changed. These helped to shape the character of the area further as smaller scale houses developed as accommodation for servants working at these large houses.

Additional development within the area relates to the former brewery (Clutterbucks) which brought an industrial element and the need for small workers’ houses. Growing traffic along Stanmore Hill once this became a main route between London and the Midlands also increased the number of smaller scale houses.

LONDON ROAD, ROXETH

Records indicate that the wider Harrow on the Hill area in the 8th century AD belonged to the Saxon Kings of Mercia and it is probable that continuous settlement dates from this time. The area was attractive for early settlement due to its well water, good drainage and military advantages due to the height of the land. Development in the area was largely limited, dispersed and piecemeal up until Victorian times creating a rural aspect. The urban morphology map from Issac Messeder 1759 illustrates this, and annotates key examples of developments at this time that have influenced the present layout. It is clear that the main spine route of London Road and Sudbury Hill and the offshoot of Roxeth Hill had been laid out by this date.

MOSS CLOSE (1950s)

Backland development detracts from the original medieval plan. Moss Close, which extends between 79 and 81 Moss Lane, was developed to form a 1950s group of dwellings.

MOSS LANE (1432)

The Moss Lane Conservation Area comprises a pleasing blend, and fine examples of Edwardian and 1930s residential architecture reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Red brick, clay tiles and partial rendering are the dominant materials and particularly notable design features include projecting bays, decorative ridge tiles and brick dentil courses. The properties are built along the medieval lanes of Moss Lane and Paines Lane that still retain their secluded and spacious character due to the retention of dense and extensive public and private greenery, which provides an almost semi-rural character to the area.

Moss Lane, named by 1432, led northwards from the medieval hamlet of East End to the east-west route now called Uxbridge Road, and to Woodhall Farm beyond it.

It also linked to the hamlet of Nower Hill to the south. It did not curve to join Paines Lane until the beginning of the 19th century. The name ‘Moss Lane’ was probably also of personal origin, probably corrupted in the 14th century from Morris. Both Moss Lane and Paines Lane are crossed by the River Pinn which accounts for their dip halfway along.

The majority of the conservation area properties date to the turn of the 20th century. Notably the artist and illustrator William Heath Robinson, who was a household name at the time, lived in one of these properties between 1913 and 1918, and as such this property is marked with a blue plaque.

MOUNT PARK AVENUE

More residential development had taken place by 1895, both on the subdivided plots of larger houses, and around new roads such as Mount Park Avenue and South
Hill Avenue. This helped change the area from the rural aspect to the ribbon development along the main road.

MOUNT PARK ROAD

The Mount Park Estate Conservation Area comprises the main thoroughfare of Mount Park Road, which branches in both western and southern directions, ending in a cul-de-sac at its western most point whilst winding down to meet South Hill Avenue at its southern most point.

From this fork, the road climbs northwards where it meets Mount Park Avenue, and where a T-junction is formed.

The Metropolitan Railway linked North London with Harrow in 1880, at which time, the land of the southern slopes of Harrow on the Hill was almost purely in agricultural use. The extension of the railway however brought change to the area. Not only did there become a significant ease of travel but the railway line also sparked newfound interest in London’s surrounding villages and countryside.

The area became particularly sought after as its hilltop location was considered both cleaner and healthier. The Harrow area thus became desirable to city dwellers, and the transition from fields to housing began.

The Mount Park Estate Conservation Area is very similar to that of neighbouring South Hill Avenue Conservation Area. The historical commonalities result from similar development over a similar timeframe, on areas of land that once formed part of the same estate – Mount Estate.

Mount Estate, comprised ‘Mount Farm’, ‘Prings Farm’ and ‘The Park’. The areas of land were sold in stages at auction during the latter half of the 19th century. The first plots were sold in 1858, then in 1879 and then again in 1898. The sale particulars, of the 22nd May 1885, promote the land as, “offering choice sites for the erection of a superior class of residence…[thus] occupying one of the finest positions in the county of Middlesex, commanding exquisite panoramic views extending into eight counties and charmingly studded with finely-rown Chestnuts, Oak, Elm and Pine”.

The area we know today with a variety of high quality architecture, dating from shortly after the last auction of 1885.

NELSON ROAD, HARROW ON THE HILL

The Lord Nelson could be found on Nelson Road on the site of nos. 16a and b.

NOWER HILL

Church Lane, which leads away from Pinner High Street, and Nower Hill. These roads, along with Moss Lane, meet at a junction to form a triangular green about 300m south-east of Pinner Parish Church.

There are many fine examples of residential houses dating from the 16th century to the first half of the 20th century. It was built up along ancient rural lanes long associated with the medieval village of Pinner. The focal point is a small triangular green with its distinctive granite drinking fountain, constructed as a memorial to William Tooke for his restoration works to Pinner Parish Church. Tookes Green takes its name from him.

The residential area of Tookes Green originated as Nower, a small hamlet of Pinner, mentioned in 1315, which dictated the layout of the area today. Its three main holdings were grouped around the green, which was formed by the junction of the roads linking it to other places; Church Lane linked it to the centre of Pinner, Moss Lane to the hamlet of East End, and Nower Hill with the road to Harrow and the common fields.

There is also The Chase which is a looped offshoot of Nower Hill, and the straight route of Cecil Park which runs west to east south of the railway line, as well as Marsh Road which curves to join either end of Cecil Park.

OLD CHURCH LANE

Old Church Lane contains an unusual mix of very old and important buildings and 1930s development in an “Old-World” style which attempts, successfully, to mimic more historic buildings around it. Although there has been some more recent development and the area is close to the hustle and bustle of Stanmore district centre, the area still retains its picturesque charm, which is quite different in character to the rest of Stanmore. The very old buildings that are integral to the area include its grade II* listed red brick Old Stanmore Church, Church Road with numerous surrounding grade II* listed monuments in the Churchyard, and the adjacent grade II* listed stone Church of St. John the Evangelist, Uxbridge Road.

In 1890 the railway line was extended from Wealdstone to Stanmore. This extension and a terminus in Old Church Lane was paid for by Frederick Gordon, who owned Bentley Priory and had converted it to a hotel. He was keen to bring in visitors. The station and line had closed by 1964 as they were not profitable. The station was converted into a private house and the station yard was built upon. The lower portion of the station building still exists although much altered.

ORLEY FARM ROAD

The subsequent development of Orley Farm Road and Hill Close are historically important, as both roads were laid out based on the ‘Garden Suburb’ ideal, as
promoted by Sir Raymond Unwin, who was one of the most important figures in town planning and housing standards at the turn of the 20th century.

The South Hill Estates Company was formed around Unwin’s ideas in 1910. It is today owned by Orley Farm School Trust Ltd, the directors of which are synonymous with those of the school’s Board of Governors. The original founders were local residents and land-owners including Arthur and Samuel Gardner, David Pitcairn, Mr Lascelles and prominent local architect, Samuel Pointon Taylor. Seeing that it was impossible to stem the tide of building they combined to seek to control it, so that development might be a combination of urban form and rural beauty. In response, Pointon-Taylor drew up a grand plan for the area in consultation with Unwin.

Following this, the Estates Company published a booklet to advertise the scheme and to set out principles for housing design. The booklet illustrated the overall master plan for the proposed development. The housing guidelines set out everything from materials and design, to foundations and drainage, as well as minimum room sizes. As it turned out the full scheme was never implemented due to the impending war years.

PAINES LANE (1536)

Pinner was part of the Manor of Harrow, which was in the possession of the Archbishops of Canterbury from the early 9th century. The land was farmed throughout the Medieval period for a mixture of woodland, common pasture, and later for arable produce. Historical references to Pinner begin in the 13th century, when it is likely to have been only a small hamlet. Pinner was central to the wider area and as such was granted its own weekly market in 1336, and grew steadily throughout the Medieval period, with the parish church being re-built in the 14th century.

Paines Lane, named by 1536, led away northwards from the parish church, which remains as a landmark for the area today. The name ‘Paines Lane’ is likely to have been derived from a landowner.

PARK VIEW ROAD

Park View Road is a unique aspect of the Pinner Hill estate’s plan form because it does not deviate and is a very linear route. Potter Heights Close is also unique as it forms backland development running from Potter Heights Hill.

PETERBOROUGH ROAD (1879?)

The northern section of Peterborough Road was opened as a public highway in 1879. The sale of the western part of the Northwick Estate in 1889 meant land was divided into plots fronting this road and development took place along the lower sections. So, 18 plots of building land were up for auction by Humbert, Son & Flint in 1889.

This led to the development of the group of detached properties designed by Arnold Mitchell and commissioned by Adolf Hildesheim.

PINNER

Pinner was farmed throughout the Medieval period for a mixture of woodland, common pasture, and later, arable fields. Historical references to Pinner begin in the 13th century, when it is likely to have been a small hamlet. It was granted its own weekly market in 1336, less than a century after this had happened in Harrow, in 1261. The village grew throughout the Medieval period with the parish church being re-built in the 14th century.

PINNER HIGH STREET

The High Street was the chief of the scattered hamlets and farmsteads which made up the medieval settlement of Pinner. The market granted in 1336 may account for the widening of the High Street near the church by highlighting the point where produce may once have been sold. Agriculture was the chief source of income until the 19th century, and Church Farm and the two slaughterhouses can be considered significant remnants of this agricultural past within the conservation area.

The High Street became more developed in the later 15th and 16th centuries.

The opening of two railway stations, the London and North Eastern Railway Station at Hatch End in 1842, and the Metropolitan Railway Station behind the High Street in 1885, gradually changed Pinner from rural village to London suburb.

Agriculture had ceased to be the main occupation well before 1885 however, and the growing popularity of leisure pursuits is also likely to have attracted London gentry to the area.

PINNERWOOD PARK ESTATE

The following roads are within the conservation area:
Albury Drive (in part), Altham Road (in part), Bede Close, Broadmead Close, Evelyn Drive
(in part), Felden Close, Grimsdyke Road (in part), Hallam Gardens (in part), Latimer Gardens
(in part), Linkway (in part), Marsworth Avenue (in part), Old South Close, Pinner Hill Road
(in part), Uxbridge Road (in part), Woodhall Drive (in part), Woodhall Gate (in part)

A combination of social, historical and architectural interest makes Pinnerwood Park Estate an important area to Harrow. The continuity of building type and materials in an interesting street layout is central to the area’s character. As well as this, the good open and enclosed spaces, alongside a streetscape furnished with trees and grass verges, complements the architecture and gives way to a high quality of area, in line with the garden suburb ideal.

The land on which the estate was built was formerly part of Woodhall Farm. It gains its name from nearby Pinnerwood Farm though. Records show that in 1914, these
both belonged to Arthur Helsham Jones.

The initial design layout for the site, as we know it, was produced by Martin T. E Jackson for the Artizans, Labourers and General Dwellings Company Ltd, and granted planning permission by Hendon Rural District Council on 6 October 1932.

The Artizans, Labourers and General Dwellings Company was formed in 1867 by William Austin. At the time its aim was to provide good housing and living conditions
for the working classes at a reasonable rent; although later housing was provided for the middle classes as well. A number of estates were built by the Company in London, notably Shaftesbury Park Estate, Queens Park Estate, Leigham Court in Streatham and the Noel Park Estate. All of the London estates have now been designated as conservation areas and vary in architectural style.

Drawings indicate that around 2,500 houses were planned for the original scheme at a density of 8 houses to the acre. These were to be arranged as a series of closes, and initial proposals included 20 named roads with a central shopping area and church. However, the intervention of the Second World War prevented the scheme’s full realisation, so that only 435 or so houses were eventually built, with 427 Artagen houses.

The houses were designed with the garden suburb ideal in mind, which sought to combine the lush environs of the countryside with the accessibility of the town.

The estate brochure of 1935 shows 15 different house designs ranging from 3 bed semi-detached to 4 bed detached houses, advertised at rents from £55 to £85 per annum.

In 1979 the company (which by this time was known as Artagen Properties) sold what remained of their interest in the estate. The sale brochure describes this as
comprising 109 detached and semi-detached houses, together with 10 parcels of land, 7 vacant garages, 5 freehold ground rents and the estate office. The majority
of the estate’s houses today are in private ownership.

POTTER STREET HILL/PINNER HILL

The present Potter Street Hill and Pinner Hill were in existence by the early 16th century, the former leading into Hertfordshire, the latter crossing the common and going through the woods. At that time the area north of Park View, some 44 acres, was called Spinnells, the name of which survived until 1821. The first house on the estate was built in the 1620s or 1630s by Sir Christopher Clitherow, Lord Mayor in 1635.

The Pinner Hill Estate remained as one lot until the death of Samuel Lammus Dore in 1919, which was an important stage in the development of the present character of the conservation area. Subsequent to his death, the estate was sold to F. W. Griggs for suburban development, and also the creation of a 137 acre golf course.

After centuries of expansion the estate was now divided up. The well wooded slopes, with fine specimens of oak, ash, elm, copper beech, scotch firs and silver birch lent
themselves well to a golf course, which was planned by J. H. Taylor, a well known golfing professional of the time.

Griggs formed the company Country Garden Estates Ltd to develop the rest of the estate for housing, selling it off in plots of differing sizes of at least half an acre and a minimum frontage of 70 feet and gardens up to 400 feet in length . It was select and gated. Many of the houses were architect designed.

‘Sans Souci’ was one such property built in 1936. It has historic significance deriving from Joachim Von Ribbentrop, the notorious German ambassador to the Court of St. James in the 1930s up until the outbreak of the Second World War, for whom it was built. When Von Ribbentrop returned to Germany in 1938, the house then passed to Hermann Goering’s sister and after her internment on the Isle of Man it was subsequently used as an RAF officers mess.

By 1976 some 80 plus houses had been built on Pinner Hill, all within substantial grounds. The only major undeveloped sites were a wooded plot on Potter Street Hill (now Potter Heights) and a similar larger plot on the corner of Hillside Road and Potter Street Hill (now the site of Meadow View, Tresanton and La Corbiere).

Since the 1970s the estate has continued to develop, either with new houses on the subdivision of larger plots, or through the redevelopment and extension of existing properties. The laying and introduction of new driveways have been common changes.

RAYNERS LANE

Rayner’s Lane is an area of classic Metroland that developed around a Tube Station. It forms the centrepiece of a large 1930s residential development with fine groups of buildings in the Modernist and Art Deco style surrounded by a distinctive group of shops and flats in the house style of the developer.

Until the building of the Metropolitan Railway Station in 1906 this was a rural area with a single farmstead, Rayners Lane Farm, to the north of the station at the junction of Rayners Lane and Farm Avenue. Rayners Lane itself is an ancient roadway which has linked Pinner and Roxeth since medieval times.

Despite the building of the station, the area initially remained completely undeveloped.

However between 1929 and 1938 Rayners Lane was transformed into a modern suburb complete with all the latest amenities. This development was principally at the instigation of two companies, Metropolitan Railway Country Estates and T F Nash and Company. Metropolitan Railway Country Estates, a subsidiary of the Metropolitan Railway Company established to develop the land alongside the railway lines, built the more prestigious Harrow Garden Suburb to the north of the railway line. T F Nash occupied most of the land to the south of the station and concentrated on the mass production of cheaper housing. Nash employed up to 1000 workers on the project and temporary narrow gauge railway was laid to speed construction. Nash excelled in publicising and marketing the estate. By 1933 a temporary triumphal arch was erected at the north end of Alexandra Avenue as part of a major promotion. A garage providing courtesy cars to enable prospective buyers to view plots was also provided.

This was a clever trick that disguised quite how far these houses were from the station. The initial phases of construction concentrated on the building of the terraced and semi-detached houses that form the bulk of the suburb and the smaller parades of shops around Village Way East and the lower part of Alexandra Avenue. The majority of these properties were completed by 1935. The buildings in the conservation area belong to a later phase of construction, between 1935 and 1938; blocks of flats lining the southern part of Alexandra Avenue were also constructed at this time.

The most striking buildings in the conservation area are the London Underground Station, the former ACE cinema (now the Zoroastrian Centre) and the shops at 468-472 Alexandra Avenue. Each building has a very individual character and represents fine examples of the ‘International’ and ‘Art Deco’ strands of inter-war modernist architecture.

The former ACE Cinema, designed in 1936 by F E Bromige represents the best in Art Deco design with a bold triple bowed frontage with a very wide central projection within which rise full height concave and convex steel framed windows. A stylised elephant’s trunk with a curved ‘head’ projecting above the bowed parapet rises upwards from the entrance canopy.

ROXBOROUGH PARK

The history of the site can be traced to the medieval period and the present layout and buildings can be directly traced from the late 19th century.

By 1865 much of the land fell within the Roxborough Estate and formed part of ‘Roxborough Farm’.

By this stage, as the 1864 urban morphology map illustrates, the broader layout had been established since Lowlands Road, Bessborough Road and Roxborough Park are present. However, at this stage Roxborough Park was little more than a track and had not yet been named

The sale of the Roxborough Estate in 1887, meant the development of Roxborough Park and Bessborough Road. Home Counties Land and Investment Co. Ltd bought and later sold 29 freehold building plots with frontages to these roads in April, 1887. So, by 1895 the ribbon like plan form along this road was established with the growth of detached or semi-detached residential development.

It is clear that the period 1896 to 1914 accounts for the majority of development.

ROXETH HILL (1817)

Enclosure of common fields along the bottom end of Middle Road, Lower Road and Roxeth Hill took place and was complete by 1817. This meant land was divided into small plots and a number of cottages were formally laid out in a linear pattern along the bottom end of Middle Road, Lower Road and Roxeth Hill.

This formed a centre, known as Roxeth Corner to the wider area of Roxeth (now South Harrow).

Indeed, Roxeth Hill was first formally named in the Harrow Enclosure Award of 1817 as Roxeth Green Road. It acquired its present name by 1889.

SOUTH HILL AVENUE

(Great photo in CA guide)

Mount Estate was sold off in stages at auction during the latter half of the 19th century. The first plots were sold in 1858, then in 1879 and then again in 1898. Several of these were subsequently developed into housing; the properties from which time now front Mount Park Road and South Hill Avenue. The sale particulars, of the 20th June 1879, promote the land as being within close proximity to the forthcoming railway, and advertise the land as, “…possessing grand panoramic views…and comprising several plots…all affording magnificent sites for residences”.

The majority of the area’s development took place over a 50-year period from when South Hill Avenue was laid out, in c1871.

SOUTH VIEW ROAD

The plan form of Pinner Hill Estate is otherwise characterised by gently curved roads that form a rough grid pattern. This is because they were laid out to retain the most longstanding roads of Pinner Hill and Potter Street Hill, to act as subsidiaries linking these together, and to enable the incorporation of the remaining land by running east to west. Pinner Hill is notable as the principal route into the estate and for its linkage of two of the earliest properties, Pinner Golf Club and the buildings of Pinner Hill Farm. Potter Street Hill provides the western boundary of the conservation area.

South View Road provides the area with a particularly distinct aspect to its plan form due to its erratic zig-zag route. This sinuous character of the area is important as it shows the estate was planned to reflect its informal routes, and in the same way the plot sizes and building floor plans reflect the speculative nature of development. The differing architectural styles and building sizes add interest and character to the area, in the same way as the area’s sloping topography elevates Pinner Hill, enhancing the privacy of the estate and allowing for views out over Pinner and beyond. The positioning of the estate, combined with gently sloping roads creates a strong sense of place, which the dense boundary planting and canopy of woodland trees only serve to enhance.

STANGATE GARDENS, HILL CLOSE, SPRING LAKE, OLD FORGE CLOSE, KENNETS CLOSE, FALLOWFIELD (1930s)

From the 1930s development increased dramatically. Pynnacles burnt down and so 10 acres was released for development. On Stanmore Hill, Stangate Gardens, Hill Close and Spring Lake and Halsbury Close extended as cul-de-sacs, whilst on the east, Old Forge Close, Kennets Close and Fallowfield developed. The 1935 Ordnance Survey shows four new houses on the field between Woodside and Clodiagh.

STANMORE

The name Stanmore, means ‘stony mere’ or pool, and is first mentioned in 793 when the King of Mercia, Offa, granted lands including those in Stanmore, to the Abbey of St Albans. Entries in the Doomsday survey refer to manors called Stanmere, owned by Robert Count of Mortain (William the Conqeror’s half brother and landowner) and Stanmera owned by Roger de Rames.

The Count of Mortain’s lands later became Great Stanmore whilst Stanmera became Little Stanmore.

After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536, the manors of Stanmore reverted to the Crown and were sold off the enterprising landowners – Jeffery Chamber took out leases on areas of Great Stanmore.

Originally Stanmore was sub-divided into two manors; Great and Little Stanmore. Great Stanmore had at its heart Stanmore Old Church (now in the Old Church Lane CA) and houses
clustered near the bottom of Dennis Lane as well as Green Lane and Stanmore Hill, areas now within the Stanmore Hill CA. There was another cluster of houses further up the hill by the Common.

The head tenement in Great Stanmore was called Pynnacles. The importance of this name to the area is evident as it is still seen in and around Stanmore Hill CA today. The earliest references to the Pynnacles building suggest it was near the corner of Church Road and Stanmore Hill. The main house was later moved towards the Green Lane and Church Road junction and was a long building with a classical façade destroyed by fire in 1930. The remodelled former 19th century lodge to Pynnacles House is contained within the CA, as a positive building within Cherchefelle Mews, built in the late 1980s. The name Pynnacles also applied to land further up the Hill, mainly in the wedge between Green Lane and Stanmore Hill. Indeed today there is a ‘Pinnacle Place’;1-5 Pinnacle Place are listed buildings on Green Lane.

STANMORE HALL

The large estates in Little Common, such as Stanmore Hall, Hill House and Springbok House have had an important part in shaping the landscape. James Brydges owned or built the
Warren House, the Dower House and the Bowling Green House. In 1780 James Forbes purchased
part of the estates of the second Duke of Chandos, which included Warren House, Cloisters Wood
and the Dower House. After passing through various hands, the Dower House was demolished
in about 1850 and the new owner, Matthew John Rhodes set about building what is now the most visually dominant building in Little Common, Stanmore Hall, in its place.

Built in 1843 by John Macduff Derick and extended in 1890 by Brightwell Binyon with important internal work by William Morris and Co, Stanmore Hall is a splendid gothic creation set in extensive grounds, and now subdivided into luxury apartments.

STANMORE HILL

In 1696 the Manor of Stanmore, which had been held by the Lake family, was passed to James Brydges, Duke of Chandos, through his marriage to Mary Lake. Brydges built himself a mansion at Canons. In 1718 he created a new road to the north of Canons which made Stanmore Hill into a main road. Those travelling from Watford now descended Stanmore Hill before joining the Uxbridge or London Roads. After this re-routing of traffic, settlement increased on Stanmore Hill and around Little Common.

From the 18th century, Stanmore Hill became a major through-route as shown by the establishment of public houses and hotels, such as the Abercorn Arms. The Vine along Stanmore Hill was built c.1840, but an earlier public house on the site was licensed by 1751 and would have served the passing trade. A tollhouse was also erected close to the Vine but is no longer in place. It was probably one of the new tollhouses erected after several turnpike trusts around London were consolidated into the Metropolis roads in 1826.

Stanmore Hill became a main road following the creation of a new road to London by the Duke of Chandos to the north of Canons in 1718 (the current London Road). Those travelling from Watford descended Stanmore Hill before joining the London Road. After this re-routing, settlement developed along Stanmore Hill, Uxbridge Road and around Little Common.

Stanmore Hill’s linear settlement developed to serve travellers along this major route; many of whom would have stopped at the Abercorn, an 18th century hotel developed for the passing travellers. The Abercorn was named after the Marquess of Abercorn who acquired the nearby Bentley Priory Estate in 1788. It served many travellers on this busy route through Watford to the Midlands, encouraging further settlement on Stanmore Hill. Highwaymen apparently stalked this route since coaches moved slowly up the hill. Given this was now a principal route to London, gentleman’s houses also developed.

Given the importance of the Stanmore Hill route to London, from its 18th century origins, a tightly-packed core developed opposite the Abercorn, towards where Stanmore Hill and Green Lane join one another. The dense development partly reflects that this occurred before enclosure.

The 1851 Census revealed many shops, including specialist shops on Stanmore Hill. This was probably partly due to the large number of gentlemen’s residences in the area, which also continued to develop along Stanmore Hill. There were 10 bakers, 16 dressmakers, 8 tailors, a watchmaker, a historical engraver and a bookseller. Later there was also a Smithy and a Post Office. The Smithy building remains, as does the post office, the latter now offices. There were also two general practitioners. Behind, in close proximity to these retail units, small-scale tightly packed cottages developed along Green Lane.

A house called Woodlands, located approximately where the petrol garage is today, is on the 1800s OS maps and was owned from 1885 by Lord Halsbury, then Lord Chancellor. At the turn of the century 73 Stanmore Hill was part of the estate of the Earl of Halsbury. Edward Wilson lodged there between 1899-1901 when studying as a doctor in Stanmore. He was offered a post as a junior surgeon and zoologist on board the Discovery for a voyage of Antarctic exploration with Captain Scott. He died during the 1912 Antarctic expedition. Cape Wilson in Antarctica is named after him. In 1898 the 18th century number 37 was acquired by Hendon Rural District Council as Council Offices with one of its rooms used as the council chamber.

STATION ROAD, EDGWARE

There were a number of narrow side roads that led off the High Street to isolated farms or properties, including Station Road (known as Church Lane until c.1930) and Whitchurch Lane.

THE SPINNEY (WHITCHURCH AVENUE)

This is the old name for the avenue in Canons Park, mentioned in the Duke’s accounts, and not to be confused with the nearby residential road of the same name. From the south front of the house this avenue is seen and it marks the road along which the Duke and Duchess proceeded to Church along a raised causeway up to a point where there used to be a gate in a wall with a path up to the door into the church tower. A semi-natural woodland strip ran parallel with the east side of the avenue. This is now called The Spinney.

TRAFALGAR TERRACE NELSON TERRACE, VICTORIA TERRACE

During the mid 19th century, Harrow School saw expansion under Dr Vaughan’s headship, which gave rise to significant school buildings such as the Chapel. The Chapel and New Schools were built during Vaughan’s headship.

The rapid growth at this time saw the layout of a number of streets including Trafalgar Terrace, Nelson Terrace and Victoria Terrace, many cottages of which
were to become occupied by school employees.

WHITCHURCH LANE

Whitchurch Lane. led along to St Lawrence Church in Little Stanmore, but little is known about this road closer to the junction with the High Street. One source describes it as “Poor Lane”; the location for some of Edgware’s less well-off families. Edgware Police Station has also occupied a site on the southern side of Whitchurch Lane since 1865, providing an important contribution to its setting, although the present day station dates from 1932.

VALENCIA ROAD (1935)

The road names that were given are important as they recall the Fitzgerald family’s Irish heritage. They were the knights of Kerry, hence Kerry Estates and Kerry Avenue. The family’s seat ‘Glanleam’ was located on Valencia Island off the coast of County Kerry, Island, hence the presence of Glanleam and Valencia Roads.

In 1934, Douglas Wood Architects commenced building in Valencia Road, the first part of the estate to be developed, completed in 1935.

WAXWELL CLOSE (1927)

Waxwell Close is a reminder of the philanthropy of a former local resident of Waxwell Lane who built the properties to provide local residents with up-to-date housing for the artisan class. The Close dates to 1927 but is evocative of those attractive uniform crescents of central London that sprang up in Georgian England. The gentle curve of the semi-detached row and the elegant and uniform design and layout provides coherence that links the properties together.

The Waxwell Close plot remained undeveloped until 1926. This land, and that upon which 68 and 98 – 118 (even) Waxwell Lane were built, was owned by William Barber towards the end of the 19th century. This was later within the ownership of T. Evans and was subdivided and sold throughout the ownership of both custodians. The Waxwell Close plot was sold to Annie Trotter in 1915 and Reginald Bridgeman, who brought about the layout and design of the Close, was her heir.

In 1927, Reginald Bridgeman is said to have built the present Waxwell Close properties in a philanthropic act in response to Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald’s appeal for a larger stock of housing of moderate rates. Bridgeman’s enthusiastic response is likely to have been linked to his strong socialist ideals, which have led to him being remembered for his unselfish work for those less fortunate than himself.

WAXWELL LANE

The area’s cluster of timber framed 16th and 17th century properties provide a rare survival of historic built fabric and mark the start of the development. Around these are small early Victorian cottages, some late Victorian/Edwardian villas with some mid 20th century bungalows and one later 20th century terrace.

The name ‘Waxwell’ first appears in writing in an estate account drawn up by the Lord of the Manor in 1274. Its meaning is open to interpretation. Some theories suggest it shows an Anglo-Saxon or earlier origin to the area. For example, it may be connected to an 8th century tribe called the Wixan. It also connects to the Wax Well, just north of the present conservation area, which appears to have tapped a spring emerging near the surface where the clay meets the underlying chalk. This well was probably the last functioning well in Pinner.

WEST STREET

The Police Station on West Street was opened in 1840 and rebuilt in a different location in 1873, and a fire station (now offices) was built on the High Street in 1888 and had Council offices above.

Gas streetlamps were introduced between these dates in 1850, and in 1880 Harrow on the Hill Station was opened close to the foot of the Hill providing a fast
link between Harrow and central London. An imposing bank, the London and Home Counties Banking Co, was opened in May 1890.

The Cricketer’s Inn and The Castle (still a public house) were located on West Street.

West Street runs east to west from its junction with the High Street, down to meet Bessborough Road, altering in width and narrowing after its junction with Crown Street. Its gradient varies and becomes quite steep in places. This combination of slopes and varied built form creates delightful views in all directions, and provides a picturesque setting for St Mary’s Church.

WEST TOWERS

West Towers Conservation Area is a well preserved example of nineteen thirties ‘Metroland’. There is a special quality to the original architectural detailing in West Towers which makes it stand out. The public and private areas of greenery that were intended to soften the streetscene remain for the most part. The uniformity and regularity in the design, scale, layout and plan form of the area brings a distinct physical identity and architectural cohesiveness. As such, this is the only complete area of Metroland development to have been designated within the London Borough of Harrow.

West Towers is situated in Pinner, south of the other Pinner conservation areas.

During the 19th century the area was rural undeveloped land. By the early part of the 20th century the area was still relatively rural and consisted mainly of meadowland.

By 1911, records indicate that the area was beginning to be subdivided into plots. The site of West Towers was described in the 1914 Register
of Land Owners as building land. The name West Towers had been given by 1935 to the entrance way running parallel to East Towers, from Eastcote Road. The name
is derived from a property which was located on Eastcote Road that was demolished during the Second World War.

By 1935 properties along the north of Eastcote Road had been built, as had many along East Towers. The route of East Towers with its islands of greenery and similarly sized plot divisions, as well as having been constructed by 1935, suggests West Towers was laid out to mirror this. This shows that West Towers was a planned estate.

In 1937 permission was granted by the Harrow Urban District Council for the construction of West Towers. The application was made by Hornby Building company
and illustrated detached buildings. However, only five houses of this type were actually constructed. The number of semi-detached houses probably increased because such properties represented more profitable use of land. Importantly semi-detached, rather than terraced properties, were built to create the medium density feel that characterises Metroland development.

There is slight variety in the density of development of the area since adding a garage cost each homeowner an extra £50, and so some owners opted out.

WOODHALL DRIVE (1932)

Woodhall Drive is home to the largest variety of house designs which is likely to stem from its roots as the earliest thoroughfare in the area. It also comprises the only statutorily listed building in the conservation area, Woodhall Farmhouse.

Woodall Farmhouse is grade II listed and dates to the 16th century, although it was externally altered in the 19th century. It is two-storey and stuccoed, with three cast-iron casements with small panes and neo-Tudor drip moulds to surround. It also has an early 19th century hipped slate roof. To the left, and set back, is an early 19th century wing.

The former farmhouse is the most important buildings within the local (Pinnerwood Park) conservation area.

Next: HARROW on hill village



Survey of London: Lombard Estate

Table of contents Survey of London: Battersea
Bartlett School of Architecture/UCL
Battersea Riverside

This article appears courtesy of the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London
www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/architecture/sites/bartlett/files/50.02_battersea_bridge_to_york_road.pdf
Used with permission. © English Heritage 2013


West of the High Street, most of the land in the angle between the railway tracks and York and Lombard Roads was built up from the late 1860s as two adjoining estates of small houses, both laid out to plans by George Todd.

Though limited in extent their development was protracted and far from straightforward. The larger of the two—eight acres on the east side of Lombard Road with a few detached houses in wooded grounds and some early ribbon development along York Road, beside Battersea Chapel—was acquired in 1868, apparently at Todd’s suggestion, by one of his erstwhile business partners, the barrister James Lord. Todd devised a rectilinear grid of streets, namely Harroway, Holman, Totteridge, Urswicke and Yelverton Roads, as well as new frontages to York and Lombard Roads, retaining two of the existing dwellings (Walnut Tree Cottage and another house near by) among the planned new terraces.

A sixth street, Buckton Road, materialized only as a short stub.

Between this Lombard estate, as it was known, and the railway embankment to its north lay a narrower strip of ground acquired in 1864 by James E. A. Gwynne, an Irish civil engineer then living in St Marylebone. Here Todd made for Gwynne a single straight road (Gwynne Road) connecting Lombard Road and the High Street, with openings on its south side into four of the streets on Lord’s estate. Its route also lined up neatly in continuation of Simpson Street, on the other side of the High Street, which Todd had laid out only a few years earlier.

On the Lombard estate construction began almost immediately in 1868, and about half of the planned 240 houses were finished and occupied by 1871 when work stuttered to a halt, Lord having been forced into liquidation. He had mortgaged heavily with the Birkbeck Building Society, under whom Todd’s layout was modified for fewer houses, the remainder of which were erected in the later 1870s and 80s. Work on Gwynne’s estate, though planned at the same time as Lord’s, did not begin until about 1871 and took a decade to finish.

The drawn-out process led to a mix of fabric, with, in several streets, stock-brick parapeted rows of the 1860s standing side-by-side with red-brick splayed-bay terraces of the 1880s. Some of the early houses had been designed for the builders by Todd, at 5 per cent commission.

Occupied by the floor on short lets, they seem to have been poorly constructed, quickly falling into disrepair. Lombard Dwellings, a rare example in Battersea of privately owned working-class tenements, were built under lease from the Birkbeck in 1886–7 by William Beale. They comprised three tall blocks of two-roomed flats at the bottom end of Lombard Road (Nos 53–57), and behind them a range of two-storey dwellings (No. 59) built over stables grouped around a yard, with a first-floor stone balcony or gallery for access.

However, rents, tenants and turnover of occupants was no different here than in the flatted houses.

The area was never as solidly residential as Todd had planned.

Commerce or industry took to the sites of the older villas (demolished by the mid 1890s) and other plots originally intended for housing; and by 1901 much of the Lombard Road frontage had been lost to a new municipal electricity generating station. Only on the north side of Gwynne Road, at its eastern end, near Battersea Station, were a few more eligible double-fronted houses provided (Nos 2–20). Auction sales stressed the station’s presence, but in reality neither estate was likely to attract the City commuters that Todd may have hoped for, standing cheek by jowl with industry and railways at a time when both were tightening their grip.

By the early 1900s the area was poor, its inhabitants ‘very rough’. Most houses harboured two or three families, many sub-letting rooms to lodgers to help make ends meet. Such hardship encouraged the arrival here in the 1890s of the Caius College Mission, established in Holman Road in a purpose-built tall, Gothic, red-brick structure that symbolically reached high above the low rooftops; an associated boxing club proved popular. Bomb damage caused havoc in Gwynne Road and although housing survived into the 1960s it was severely run-down and eventually condemned, to be replaced by Battersea Council’s York Road Stage II estate. Today no pre-1945 fabric survives except for a former pub and two houses and shops of the late 1860s at 74–78 York Road, on the corner of Yelverton Road (part of James Lord’s development). Until recently the whole north side of Gwynne Road was occupied by warehousing and industrial units. A number of these units, dating from the late 1970s, have been demolished for The Regent (2012), a long mostly six-storey block of flats built by Linden Homes, part of the Galliford Try Group.

Like Stage I south of York Road, the Stage II scheme was defined while Battersea Council was still in existence, in 1964. It covered a double block of terraces between six and seven acres in extent, bounded by Gwynne, Totteridge, Yelverton and York Roads; at its centre, Badric Road was to be obliterated.

Some compulsory powers of purchase were quickly obtained, but little progress was made until 1967, when William Ryder & Associates were appointed architects and produced sketches for 370 dwellings on the site. This figure was later reduced to 309 dwellings, disposed in one large quadrangular block (Badric Court) and one 21-storey tower to its north (Totteridge House). J. C. Bianco & Associates were again the engineers, but the experimental construction associated with Stage I was eschewed. John Laing Construction Ltd undertook the contract in 1969–71. Once these larger buildings were finished, an old people’s home with an attached day centre and a children’s home followed on east of Badric Court. The former was built from 1973 to designs by Ryders and is known as George Potter House, 130 Battersea High Street; the address of the children’s home is 32 York Road.

Badric Court is unhappily sited with respect to York Road but has a well-landcaped internal courtyard. Built of concrete crosswall construction with infill panels of pink brick, its design has an energy lacking in the point block, Totteridge House. Both make some play with abstract patterning in concrete on the ground storey.

Lombard Road is heard of in the mid seventeenth-century parish records as Sayers or Nutte Lane, and appears as Lombard Street on Rocque’s map of 1738.

On the riverside along the narrow lane were the Sugar Houses, a well-known establishment set up in the mid seventeenth century but turned over to turpentine manufacture in the late eighteenth. The Sugar Houses site apart, Lombard Street was predominantly residential until the mid nineteenth century—when it became Lombard Road—with several villas in grounds along the riverside and another, Walnut Tree Lodge, on the landside. Walnut Tree Lodge was said to have been the home of ‘West, the artist’, presumably meaning Benjamin West. If so it was a temporary or second home, as West’s residence for 45 years until his death was in Newman Street, though he also had a house in Hammersmith for a time.90 There were a few small houses too, a short terrace at the corner with York Road having been built before 1839. At the south end of Lombard Road, Sherwood Lodge was pulled down in the early 1850s. Two more of the older villas, Cave House north of Sherwood Lodge, and Battersea House just south of the railway, were demolished about 1870. Another, the Grove or Grove House, was latterly occupied by the Battersea developer George Todd.

Battersea House was the successor to a house in existence by 1547, when it was in the occupation of Richard Holte. The property was owned from the 1660s until the 1790s by the wealthy Smith family who set up the adjacent Sugar Houses. In 1682 the anti-Catholic Earl of Argyll, having escaped from Edinburgh Castle where he was under sentence of death, stayed here incognito with the help of Mrs Smith, ‘a very pious and generous gentlewoman’, and at the Smiths’ house at Brentford, before fleeing to the Netherlands. Mrs Smith also helped finance Argyll’s invasion of Scotland in support of the Duke of Monmouth in 1685.92 The old house was rebuilt or much altered to produce the imposing mansion shown in Illustration 2.26. Its aspect appears to have been Palladian towards the river but Hawksmoorian on the land side, perhaps suggesting more than one campaign of building at different dates. The ‘Hawksmoorian’ drawing was made during the occupation of James Court, secretary to the Corporation of Trinity House, owner of the house after the death in 1814 of James Bell, who succeeded the Smiths there in 1793. Bell attended the nearby Baptist chapel in York Road, the minister there, Joseph Hughes, spending Sunday afternoons as his guest at Battersea House. For many years it was the home of David Ker MP, brother-in-law of Lord Castlereagh, who also maintained a residence in Charles Street, Mayfair. Sales particulars made after Ker’s death in 1844 show the principal room to have been a drawing room of 22ft by 21ft, and mention sculptured marble chimneypieces and painted decorations on the staircase walls and ceiling. The house was subsequently occupied for many years by a QC, John Osborne. Sherwood Lodge. Considered one of the finest riverside residences near London, Sherwood Lodge had a series of more or less noteworthy occupants in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The most well-known was George IV’s mistress Maria Fitzherbert, whose favourite home it was said to be.

Extended and improved by successive owners, the villa was remarkable for a Neoclassical statue gallery, an early commission of Robert Smirke’s, built in 1807–8.

The original small house, at the corner of a plot on the north side of York Creek, was leased by Earl Spencer to Thomas Ponton for 51 years in 1779. It was not then new, dating back at least to the 1730s, and had been occupied in recent years by John Walker, of the chemical manufacturers Kingscote & Walker at York House on the other side of the creek. The chief features of the grounds were a summer house near the river’s edge and a long fish pond close to the house and screened by a hedge from the paddock which comprised the greater part of the site, then amounting to under 3¾ acres.

By 1791, when the property was put up for sale, the grounds had been extended to about five acres. The six-bedroom house was described as compact and substantially built in a style ‘of peculiar neatness’, with plateglass windows in mahogany sashes. The chief reception rooms were a dining room and a drawing room with a semi-circular bow and a chimneypiece of Sienna and white marble.

The house was bought by Henry Nantes, a City merchant from Bremen, who in 1793 married Marianne Voguell of Battersea, a German merchant’s daughter. Nantes, some of whose business was in the sugar trade, was in partnership with the merchant banker and trader Richard Muilman Trench Chiswell (formerly Richard Muilman), son of a Dutch merchant and his English wife. In 1795 Chiswell employed Henry Holland to rebuild his Essex seat Debden Hall, but it was the South London surveyor and architect Thomas Swithin who seemingly acted for Nantes in the enlargement and improvement of his Battersea residence about the same time.

Nantes and Chiswell were then at the zenith of their prosperity, but overstretched. In 1797, just before their firm collapsed with debts of more than £450,000, Chiswell committed suicide. Nantes was bankrupted. ‘Sherwood House’ was sold, and he moved to a smaller riverside house (the Pavilion) at Nine Elms, with support from his merchant uncle Daniel Nantes.

As well as enlarging the house Nantes extended the grounds to the north, where he demolished two houses in the row called the ‘Seven Houses’. (Recent residents there included James Condell and his son-in-law John Long, respectively box-keeper and musician at Covent Garden Theatre, in which Nantes was a shareholder; tangential links to Covent Garden recur in the story of Sherwood Lodge.) Nantes also embanked the foreshore, reclaiming a broad strip up to 27ft deep.

The name Sherwood probably came from the Robin Hood legend, popularized at that time by Leonard Macnally’s comic opera Sherwood Forest, and an operatic pantomime, Merry Sherwood, both staged at Covent Garden. The leafy retreat sold for 1660 guineas: cheap at the price, thought the Gentleman’s Magazine, ‘considering Mr. Christie’s fanciful description of it’. The auctioneer had drawn attention to the ‘simply elegant elevation’ reflected in the Thames, and the 40ft-long conservatory adjoining the dining-room, ‘imparting to the dwelling all the genial warmth of the oriental or occidental climates, and diffusing at pleasure through the apartments the perfumes of the most odiferous plants’. Swithin and several building tradesmen, some from Battersea, were among Nantes’ smaller creditors; they included the mason Richard Westmacott, who had probably supplied chimneypieces.

Christie’s blurb characterized the house as ‘on a most approved Plan, and finished in a distinguished stile of taste and elegance’. The main body contained, on the ground floor, a hall, off which were a library, breakfast room and small dressing room; and an eating room, leading into the conservatory with its central aviary, off which was a newly built and still unfinished drawing room. The conservatory range continued with a billiard room, pinery and fruiting house. The bowed music room on the first floor was probably the old drawing room. The grounds had been laid out with a lawn and plantations, walled kitchen garden and ferme ornée.

Nantes was succeeded by Jens Wolff, City timber merchant and Danish consul, who demolished the remaining five of the Seven Houses to further extend the grounds. He commissioned the sculpture gallery for casts he had bought in Florence and Rome. Some 75ft by 25ft, top-lit by a central dome on massive fluted pillars, it was the largest space in the house. Lysons, who described it as ‘in the most correct style of Doric Architecture’, gives the height as 30ft, presumably referring to the dome. It was still being finished when Joseph Farington dined at Sherwood Lodge in March 1808. Both he and his friend (Sir) Thomas Lawrence, a close friend of the Wolffs, name Smirke— who had only been in practice a year or two—as its architect; Wolff, said Lawrence, ‘has done the next best thing to purchasing fine marbles, in building a handsome gallery for the reception of the best casts … and tho the number is still short of being complete, there are some in his collection not I believe to be seen elsewhere in this country’.

As the room neared completion Smirke’s first major work, Covent Garden Theatre, with its sensational introduction of pure Greek Doric to London, was only months away: the old theatre burned down in September and was rebuilt in record time. Wolff’s gallery was grander than the gallery or ‘lower saloon’ Smirke provided at Covent Garden, with its eight Classical statues and relatively low, flat ceiling. The gallery is probably the vaulted hall which forms the background to Lawrence’s celebrated portrait of Mrs Wolff, begun in 1803 but not finished until 1815; on the far right is glimpsed the figure of Niobe, a cast of which (from the Uffizi Gallery) was among the works displayed, and which the Royal Academy tried to obtain when the house was sold in 1813.

As completed, the gallery had twenty-six statues, including the Apollo Belvedere, Capitoline Antinous, Dying Gaul and Medici Venus. Some at least could be rotated on their pedestals. Pride of place was given to a colossal replica of the Farnese Hercules, which occupied a niche at the end. Henry Fuseli’s biographer John Knowles recounted how the painter was taken by Lawrence to see it one evening. The Hercules alone was illuminated, by lamps concealed behind its pedestal, leaving the rest of the gallery dark. Turned to face the wall, it presented ‘a vast mass of shadow, defined only by its grand outline and the strength of the light behind it’. Moved to tears, Fuseli at last spoke: ‘No man shall persuade me, that these emotions which I now feel are not immortal’.

Sherwood Lodge was not just the meeting place for the Wolffs’ artistic friends, but used for concerts and larger entertainments too, such as a ‘grand public breakfast’ in the summer of 1811, attended by several hundred ‘personages of distinction’.106 The house is, however, poorly recorded. Two views are known. A drawing of the riverside front, made in about 1810, shows nothing of the octagon library at the riverward end of the gallery range. It shows a veranda and balcony along the riverside front, and similar balcony to the first-floor drawing-room or music room. A much later view indicates alterations and additions at attic level, and gives an impression of the wooded setting. Of the interior decor, a ceiling design, of a conventional Classical pattern, survives.

In 1812 Wolff was bankrupted in consequence of the Anglo-Danish ‘gunboat war’. Having failed to sell at auction in May 1813, the house was acquired, with the statues, by the society accoucheur Sir William Knighton, physician-in-ordinary to the Prince Regent and recently made a baronet. Like Wolff, Knighton had artistic interests and was a friend of Lawrence. Knighton was the ratepayer from 1814 until 1820, when he sold the house to Mrs Fitzherbert. Its character was more obviously suited to an extravagant grande dame than a physician, albeit one with a fashionable clientele. Lady Knighton does not refer to it in her Memoirs of her late husband, but there is ample evidence that they lived there, though not continuously. Mrs Fitzherbert was periodically in residence, and had been since 1812 or earlier, when it was still Wolff’s. Replacing her suburban retreat at Parson’s Green, Sherwood Lodge served as a second or third home for Mrs Fitzherbert, and she continued to use her Tilney Street town house and Brighton mansion.

The sale did not end Knighton’s connection with the house and Mrs Fitzherbert (whom he was later to traduce as selfish, calculating and badtempered): society news reports show her entertaining there in June and August 1822, and him leaving town for Sherwood Lodge in July. He was evidently well acquainted with her long before he became the confidant of her by then estranged ‘husband’, the King. On his own account, he met George in 1811, but not again until 1818 (despite the baronetcy and nominal appointment as physician).

The predominant style of Sherwood Lodge was classical: the hall with columns and pilasters finished in imitation of porphyry; the eating-room with pillars in imitation of verd antique.112 Wolff’s furnishings had included pier tables to match. Four pillars in verd antique carried the cloud-painted ceiling of the upstairs drawing room. The ‘tastefully Coloured’ statue gallery formed the most important element in a suite of rooms opening one to another in a ‘grand coup d’oeil’. The others were the library, top-lit by a dome, and an oblong saloon, adapted from Nantes’s new drawing room and fitted up ‘in the true Gothic Style’ with ‘ancient’ painted-glass windows, and a chimneypiece of black marble by J. C. F. Rossi, who had worked on Covent Garden Theatre. Here Wolff had ‘appropriate’ furniture upholstered in scarlet; the library, where ‘rarified’ air was vented in through a fretwork chimneypiece, he had fitted out with furniture ‘after the antique’.

Wolff may have extended Nantes’ conservatory range. In 1820 it comprised a 108ft-long ‘Conservatory and Orangery, in Compartments’ (referring to ‘succession’ rooms, held at different temperatures for forcing plants). Paved with marble and gravel, it still contained an aviary. It also had a fish pond, presumably replacing the ‘sheet of water’ with fish and a duckery mentioned in 1797. The wing continued with a banqueting or ‘tent’ room with stained-glass sliding windows, and a billiard room, top-lit by a dome and decorated with marble sculptures and bas reliefs of ‘exquisite’ workmanship; these probably included Rysbrack’s marble relief The Choice of Hercules, later acquired by the 8th Lord Beaumont for his Yorkshire house (since remodelled as Carlton Towers, where it decorates the Morning Room).

Mrs Fitzherbert carried out her own embellishments from 1820, which she could afford to do when, that year, George IV raised her annuity from £6,000 to £8,000. She insured the house that November for £3,000, renewing the policy three years later for £7,000, including £1,000 for the statues in the gallery and £1,000 for other contents.

A few months later she put the house on the market, probably on account of the marriage of her protégé Minney Seymour, who had lived there with her. Mrs Fitzherbert’s ‘exceedingly correct judgment’, said the Morning Post, ‘is finely illustrated in the extraordinary good taste that pervades this admired Mansion and Grounds’. Lord Darnley was among those who expressed an interest, among ‘lots of competitors’. Yet ‘this Elysium’ failed to sell. Back on the market in 1825, it was bought by Sir George Wombwell, Bart., for a reported £12,000.

In 1827 the property was again for sale. Wombwell himself had ‘much improved’ it—raising the insurance of the house less the statues and other contents to £6,000.

He made further unsuccessful attempts to sell. Details of Mrs Fitzherbert’s changes are lacking, but they were probably cosmetic, for the block plan of the house drawn in 1825 can be matched closely to the description of the rooms given in 1820. Much of her spending may have been on the gardens, where she held summer parties. ‘Mrs Fitzherbert’s botanical garden at Battersea already attracts the notice of the scientific’, noted the faithful Morning Post in 1821, later calling her ‘one of the most scientific botanists in the kingdom’.

By 1844 Sherwood Lodge was occupied by Sir Edward Hyde East, an elderly former MP and chief justice of Bengal. East’s money largely derived from sugar, specifically from old family plantations in Jamaica. His move to Battersea has been attributed to reduced circumstances caused by falling sugar prices as opposition to slavery grew. Superficially this hardly accords with the character of the house, but already the district was not quite what it had been. He died at Sherwood Lodge in 1847, ‘much beloved by the poor of Battersea’. Wombwell, who like Mrs Fitzherbert had oscillated between Sherwood Lodge and Brighton, died the year before at his Eaton Square residence. Lady Wombwell applied to obtain the freehold, perhaps as a preliminary to selling up. In 1850 house and grounds were badly damaged by flooding and soon afterwards her furniture was removed for sale. The house was demolished and the materials and fittings sold in 1853, the site thereafter becoming part of Price’s candle works.

Survey of London: Battersea Riverside

Lombard Estate Survey of London: Battersea
Bartlett School of Architecture/UCL
Battersea Park

This article appears courtesy of the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London
www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/architecture/sites/bartlett/files/50.02_battersea_bridge_to_york_road.pdf
Used with permission. © English Heritage 2013


Redevelopment for housing of the riverside sites along Lombard Road and York Roads began in the early 1980s with Broadwell Land’s seven-acre Plantation Wharf in York Road, a thicket of brick-faced, low-rise buildings and the similarly styled but multi-storey Trades Tower.

Intended as offices, the tower was still untenanted when the developers went into receivership in 1990, and in 1993 was converted to apartments by Try Homes.

In the late 1980s Groveside Court was built on the sites of several small wharves and the White Hart public house at the north end of Lombard Road, adjoining Vicarage Gardens. Designed by Lee Denham Architects for Groveside Homes, it provided 36 flats, The Chandler pub, now a restaurant, and houseboat moorings at Albion Quay in front.

Subsequent schemes, all south of the railway and outside the planning constraints of the old village area, have become increasingly large and showy.

East India Dock Road, E14

It takes it name from the former East India Docks and its route was constructed between 1806 and 1812 as a branch of the Commercial Road. The road begins in the west at Burdett Road and continues to the River Lea bridge in the east in Canning Town.

It laid within the parish of Limehouse with the western end in the former Gravel Pit Field.

The westernmost end, west of Stainsby Road and Birchfield Street was built up between 1847 and 1853 (north side) and 1850 and 1860 (south side).





Whitechapel High Street, E1

Forming part of the main road from Aldgate to Essex and known originally as Algatestreet, it was paved as early as the reign of Henry VIII, although John Stow described its shabbiness as “no small blemish on so famous a city”.

Owing to its importance as a major thoroughfare out of London, its sides were built up early and included many coaching inns and taverns. Although some remain (in name only), many of these hostelries were closed following the arrival of the railways in the 19th century.

Whitechapel High Street becomes Whitechapel Road after the intersection with Osborn Street and Whitechurch Lane. It was also the location of the Whitechapel Haymarket, first given its charter in 1708 and abolished in 1929.





Worgan Street, SE11

Spring Gardens was established here in the reign of King Charles II. Here could be found live entertainers, food and drink. It was a venue for amorous liaisons, as regular visitor Samuel Pepys noted.

In 1729, the Vauxhall Spring-Gardens was sublet to the entrepreneurial Jonathan Tyers who saw an opportunity to provide a new style of entertainment for Londoners, charging an admission fee of one shilling to discourage the pickpockets and ’ladies of the night’. This became the first and best-known of London’s pleasure gardens. Over the next 130 years Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens played host to concerts, operas, firework displays, circus acts, balloon rides and more.

In 1859, the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens were closed and the area redeveloped into housing. Catherine Street was built here and the street was renamed Worgan Street in the late 1930s.

In the 1970s, the local houses – some badly war-damaged – were demolished and redeveloped but Worgan Street survived though lined with new housing.





Wilsham Street, W11

Charles Booth’s poverty map placed the Kensington Potteries among the “criminal and irreclaimable areas”, largely on account of the overcrowded condition of its unsuitable and derelict houses.

Five short streets in the district became known as the “Special Area.”: Bangor Street, Crescent Street and three roads that have been renamed. St. Clement’s, now called Sirdar Road, St. Katherine’s Road, now Wilsham Street, and William, now Kenley Street.

In 1899 an enquiry was undertaken at the instance of the London County Council, and it was found that nearly half the babies born in this area died before they were a year old.

In 1904 there was a public-house to every twenty-five dwellings in these streets, and about twenty-three common lodging-houses provided accommodation for over seven hundred persons, at a nightly charge of fourpence or sixpence.

Greater however than the evil of these licensed lodging-houses, was that of the furnished rooms let from the evening until ten o’clock the next morning at tenpence or a shilling a night.

There was a total of fifteen hundred families in the most congested portion, at least one thousand occupied one-roomed tenements furnished or unfurnished.

When Wilsham Street was known as St. Katherine’s Road, back in the nineteenth century, a small stream ran along the north side.





Golborne Mews, W10

The Mews is part of the ‘Oxford Gardens’ Conservation Area. Designated in 1975 to include the St Quintin Estate, Oxford Gardens, Bassett Road and Cambridge Gardens, the Conservation Area contains very few listed buildings and can be split into three districts containing developments spanning from 1897 to after 1905.

Originally the stable house accommodation for the main houses on the surrounding streets, the primary purpose of the Mews properties is now residential.





Rowena Crescent, SW11

The Falcon Estate, of which Rowena Crescent is part, was laid out by Alfred Heaver in 1880.

Rowena Crescent was set back some distance from the railway when the street opened that year. The original streets on the Falcon Estate were named after British victories throughout the Empire which had taken place before the Estate was designed. Therefore we find a Candahar Road, Khyber Road and an Afghan Road named after the 1870s Afghanistan campaign alone. There had also been a skirmish in southern Africa during the decade and Rowena Crescent was assigned the name Zulu Crescent.

Local residents petitioned against the name and the more peaceable Rowena Crescent came into being soon afterwards.





Lisson Grove, NW1

Lisson Green is described as a hamlet in the Domesday book.

Originally Lisson Grove was part of the medieval manor of Lilestone which stretched north to Hampstead. Lisson Green broke away as a new manor in 1236 and had its own manor house.

’Lissing Green’ becames a recreation area for Londoners. By the 1790s, the Green was a large open space stretching down to Chapel Street and the Old Marylebone Road. Beside it on Lisson Grove, the Lissing Green/Lissom Grove village was part of a network of country lanes, on the east side of Edgware Road. At the southern end of the Green was the Yorkshire Stingo inn from whence stagecoaches set off for all parts.

Earlier, in 1771, Lisson Green was bought by James Stephens and Daniel Bullock, manufacturers of white lead. They set up the White Lead Manufactory next to the Nursery Garden, with unrecorded consequences to health. But until the late 18th century the district remained essentially rural.

In 1821 Sir Edward Baker, who gave his name to Baker Street, purchased land from Daniel Bullock and built houses on it. The result was to wipe out Lisson Green.

The arrival of the Regent’s Canal in 1810 and the railway at Marylebone in 1899 led to rapid urbanisation of Lisson Grove. As the nineteenth century wore on, the area developed into a slum – there was extreme poverty and the squalor of the homes was notorious. The area was known for drinking, crime and prostitution.

Following the First World War, Prime Minister David Lloyd George announced the ’Homes Fit for Heroes’ scheme. Lisson Grove was to benefit from the plan. In 1924, the Metropolitan Borogh of St Marylebone completed the Fisherton Street Estate of seven blocks built in red-brick neo-Georgian style grouped around courtyards. Noted for their innovation, they were some of the first social housing to include an indoor bathroom and toilet.