Apr 24 2011

Harrow in the 1850s

We found a very interesting article over the long Easter weekend, hosted at the Historical Directories project.  It describes the journey from London to Harrow around the 1850s.  I’m not going to post it all, but the excerpt below shows the arrival at Harrow:

The Parish of Harrow, otherwise Harrow-on-the-Hill, lies in the County of Middlesex, within the Hundred of Gore, and is bounded on the North by Watford and Bushey in Hertfordshire; on the east and south-east by Stanmore, Whitchurn, Kingsbury and Willesden; on the south by Acton and Twyford; and on the west and south-west by Ruislip, Greenford and Northall or Northolt. It contains, including the hamlet of Pinner, about 13,600 acres of arable and pasture land.

According to Mr George Thomas Clarke’s Report to the General Board of Health, 25th July, 1849, the soil of the hill is composed of the London clay containing cement stones, and resting upon the sands and gravels of the plastic clay, which are largely developed at Harrow Weald, and are exposed in the deep cutting through which the London and North-Western Railway enters Bushey. The London clay, near the centre of the hill, is about 230 feet thick, and the total depth to the chalk 275 feet.

The hamlets of Pinner, Roxeth, Sudbury, Wembley, Weald, Greenhill, Alperton, Kenton and Preston are all within the parish of Harrow.

At the censue of 1831 the population of the parish of Harrow was 3,861 comprising 719 families, and dwelling in 609 houses, besides 35 then uninhabited. In 1841 the population of the whole parish was 4,627 or which 356 were Irish Hay-makers and therefore migratory. At that time Harrow town seems to have contained 1,359 people, dwelling in 167 houses besides 21 uninhabited; Greenhill numbers 151 persons dwellig in 28 houses; Roxeth 842 persons in 153 houses besides 13 void; and Sudbury 556 persons in 96 houses besides 7 void. The population is now probably about 5000 exclusive of Pinner.

Although this place derives its chief claim to notice from the foundation of it’s celebrated Free Grammar School, it has ever been an object of interest to strangers and to all admirers or rural scenery from the peculiarity of it’s situation command such rich and varies prospects.

We’ll try and post more extracts from the Handbook over the coming weeks and/or months.


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