Mar 15 2012

Kelly’s Directory of Middlesex, 1914

old_booksAlso from the Historical Directories project is the Kelly’s Directory series, and this article is the introduction to the Harrow chapter of the 1914 edition.  As noted earlier, the Historical Directories project contains a wealth of information from the past, and it’s well worth a read.

HARROW-ON-THE-HILL is a town and parish with a station 1.5 miles north-east on the London and North Western railway, another half a mile in the same direction on the Metropolitan Extension railway and a third on the Metropolitan District railway. It is in the Harrow division of the county, Gore hundred, Edgware petty sessional division, Hendon union, Watford county court districts, and in the rural deanery of Willesden, archdeaconry of Middlesex and diocese of London and within the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police.

From the hill, which is 400 feet high, Windsor Castle, the high grounds of Kent, including Knockholt Beeches, stretching away to Rochester; Leith Hill Tower in Surrey; the Langdon Hills in Essex, and the Obelisk in Ashridge Park, Hertfordshire, may be seen.

The parish, as originally constituted, comprised several hamlets, some of which have since been severed from it for ecclesiastical purposes and declared civil parishes.

The town, which derives its chief importance from the existence of the celebrated school, was formerly governed by a Local Board, formed about 1850, but, under the provisions of the “Local Government Act, 1891” (56 and 57 c. 73), it is now controlled by an Urban District Council; the district was extended in 1895 to include those parts of Roxeth and Greenhill not in the former urban area. By Local Government Board Order No. 33,999, which came into operation 30th September, 1895, and by another Order of the Board No. 44,414, parts of the Urban District and civil parish of Harrow-on-the-Hill wore transform.’ to the Urban District and civil parish of Weald-stone, and parts of Wealdstone to Harrow-on-the-Hill.

The town is lighted with gas from the works of the Harrow and Stanmore Gas Company and supplied with water from Bushey by the Colne Valley Water Company.

The church of St Mary which stands on the summit of the hill and forms a most conspicuous object for many miles round, is a large and spacious cruciform edifice of stone and flint, consisting of chancel with chapel, clerestoried nave of five bays, transepts, north and south porches, and an embattled western tower with lofty spire containing 8 hells the present church was erected at the beginning of the 14th century, but portions of the original structure, built by Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the reign of William the Conqueror, and consecrated by Anselm in the reign of William Rufus, still remain: these consist of a doorway and window on the west face of the tower, of the ordinary Norman character, but much defaced by time and modern innovations and two small Norman windows in the upper stage of the tower: the chancel is Decorated, the nave Early English and the aisles Perpendicular : new vestries were added in 1909.

On the north side of the nave is a brass to John Lyon, of Preston in this parish, founder of the school, ob. Oct. 1592: and there is another brass with effigy and inscription to Sir John Flambard kt. temp. Edward III. and two more with mutilated effigies to John Byrkhed, priest, ob. 1465; and Simon Marchford, rector, ob. 1412: in the south transept is a brass to George Aynesworth, oh. 1488, his three wives, Agnes, Isabella and Joan, and 14 children; and on the wall of the south aisle hang two framed brasses, slightly mutilated, one bearing an inscription to Dorothy (Bellamy), wife of Antony Frankysbe, ob. 20 Aug. 1574, one son and four daughters, and the other bearing 10 English verses to the same; both are palimpsest, the former having been cut, out of a Flemish brass, c. 1370, showing part of a canopy, two figures and some words of a marginal inscription; the verse-plate is also cut out of another Flemish brass, c. 1360, and exhibits part of the head, neck and shoulders of a lady in a rich dress and mantle, and her head resting on a cushion supported by angels; in the margin is a small figure of St. Paul, a shield of arms and the numeral xv : there are monuments to Dr. Robert Sumner, head master of Harrow school, U. 1771; to Sir Samuel Garth kt. MD physician-general to the army, d. 18 Jan. 1834: Dr. George Butler, head master 1785-1805, d. 9 Jan. 1834; and Dr. George Butler, head master 1805-29, and subsequently dean of Peterborough, d. 1853: in the vestry room is a framed certificate of the death of Queen Adelaide, who died at Bentley Priory in the parish of Great Stanmore., 2 Dec. 1819.

At the entrance to the churchyard is a handsome lych gate of oak, given in memory of the Rev. John William Cunningham M.A. for 50 years vicar of Harrow, d. 30 Sept 1861 : the font, of Purbeck marble, is coeval with the date of the original church; it, formerly stood in a garden close by, whither it had been removed front the church and there permitted to remain for more than 43 years, but in 1846 it was restored and replaced and it now forms one of the most interesting features in the church : the handsome reredos, designed by the late Sir Gilbert Scott R.A. was erected to the memory of Mr. Thomas Hewlett, U. 10 Sept. 1872: a memorial window was placed in the south aisle by the officers of H.M.S. “Ariadne” to Lieut. W. A. Jukes RN. who was drowned with several others, March 8, 1872, in the attempt to save the life of a seaman; there are others to Mr. Marillier for 50 years an assistant, master of Harrow School, d. 1876; to Mr. Benjamin Botch JP; the Rev. J. W. Cunningham and his family, and seven clerestory windows, presented by an anonymous donor and commemorating incidents in the history of the church.

The remodelling of the east end of the parish church disclosed a very interesting series of Early English lancet windows, which formed the original lighting of the south side of the chancel, and five of these have been restored : in the churchyard is a tombstone to Archdeacon Thackeray, head master of the school 1746-60, and grandfather of the novelist : south-west of the church is an altar tomb, erected to one Peachey, and now enclosed with protecting ironwork, on which Byron used to sit when a schoolboy here, and which he mentions in his poems and correspondence: at the east end of it is now a marble tablet inscribed with verses by the poet relating to this spot, the view from which is particularly fine and include:. Windsor Castle, the Crystal Palace, Leith Hill and the Kent and Essex hills : there are sittings for 800 persons. The register of baptisms dates from 1582; marriages and burials, 1558. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £736, with 187 acres of glebe, in the gift of the trustees of the late Lady Northwick, and held since 1897 by the Rev. Frederick Wayland Joyce MA of Keble College, Oxford, prebendary of St.Paul’s, and rural dean of Harrow. Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham (1530-61), was vicar here 1511-22, and was succeeded by William Bolton, last prior of St. Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield, London. In connection with the church is a mission room in West street, erected in 1886 at a cost of £1,400 (including site), and seating 120 persons. There is also a church hall erected in 1909.

The ecclesiastical parish of St. Peter was formed from the civil parish of Harrow by an Order in Council, dated June 17th, 1913; the church in Sumner road, erected in 1913 at a cost of £10,500, is a building of Kentish rag stone, and consists of chancel, nave of five hays, side chapel, vestries and an apsidal baptistery; there are 800 sittings. The ‘register dates from 1913. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £200 without residence, in the gift of the Bishop of London, and held since 1913 by the Rev. Bertram Fitzgerald Simpson MA of University College, Durham, and BA, BD of London University.

The Catholic Church, Roxborough Park, dedicated to Our Lady and St. Thomas of Canterbury, and opened in 1894, is a building of flint with Bath stone dressings, in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, and lady chapel; it affords 250 sittings. St. Dominic’s Convent, The Mount, Harrow, contains a community of nuns who devote their time to the education of the young. The Convent of the Visitation is on Sudbury Hill. There is a Baptist chapel, built in 1908, with 750 sitting; a Wesleyan chapel, built in 1905, at a cost of £8,000, seating 650, and a Primitive Methodist chapel. The Cemetery in Pinner road, Greenhill, was formed in 1888, at a cost of about £1,800, and comprises an area of 48 acres: it contains one mortuary chapel, and is under the control of a Burial Board of nine members.

The Public Hall, erected in 1874, by a Limited Liability Company, will hold upwards of 400 persons. The Assembly Rooms, in High street, will hold about 500 persons.

The Urban District Council Offices and Fire Engine Station, at the south end of High street, were originally erected in 1889, but in 1914 they were rebuilt at a cost of £6,000.

The London County and Westminster Bank Limited has branches in High street and Station road, Greenhill.

The Liberal Club is in West Street.

The Harrow Fire Brigade, which is under the jurisdiction of the Urban District Council, comprises 18 members, with a motor fire engine, manual, and 3 fire escapes; the station is attached to the offices of the District Council.

The “Harrow Gazette,” established in 1855, is published every Friday at the office in High street.

There are a few local charities for the benefit of the poor.

The Urban District Isolation Hospital was erected in 1895 and enlarged in 1906, at a cost of £5,300, and will hold 35 patients.

The Cottage Hospital for the poor of Harrow, Roxeth hill, was erected in 1907, and is supported by voluntary contributions.

The manor formerly belonged to the church of Canterbury and is referred to in connection with it long prior to the Conquest, for we find that in the year 825, Wulfred, Archbishop of Canterbury, purchased “Herges” for the purpose of restoring it to the convent from which it. had been taken by Kenulf, King of Mercia; the archbishop did not re-grant it direct to the convent, but gave it to his relative, Warbedus, upon condition that he willed it to the monastery, and it is in the will of this latter that the name has been perpetuated. In the reign of Edward the Confessor it is referred to as in the occupation of the Earl Lewin, at a rental of £60 yearly.

In the reign of Henry VIII. Archbishop Cranmer exchanged it with the king for other farads, and in 1546 all the manors within the parish, together with Harrow town, were granted to Sir Edmund Dudley, afterwards Lord North. The estates continued in this family until the year 1630, when the manors of Harrow and Sudbury and the advowson of the church were alienated by Dudley North to Edmund Philips and George and Rowland Pitts; they subsequently passed to the Rushout family, a member whereof, Sir John Rushout, was created a baron in 1797, by the title of Lord Northwick; the trustees of the late Lady Northwick own the manor. An ancient manor house here was occasionally the residence of the Arch-bishops of Canterbury; and the famous Archbishop Thomas A Becket resided here during his banishment from court.

The parish contains 2,025 acres, chiefly pasture, and 3 of water; rateable value, £148,t79; the population in 1901 was 10,220 of the parish and Urban district. The population in 1911 was 17,074. The population attached to the parish church in 1911 was 7165.

Sexton and Church Keeper, Frederick Oram, 25 Crown Street.

Preston is a hamlet attached to ‘Wembley ecclesiastical parish, which see.

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