|Harefield Village Green||Hillingdon|
Harefield existed as an early settlement and its village green is one of 11 registered commons and former village greens in Hillingdon. The land was part of the Manor of Harefield, which remained in the ownership of the Newdigate family from C16th-C20th. Following the Enclosures Act of 1813, the 4-acre site was provided for the recreation of the inhabitants of the village. Harefield Village Green is largely open grass with perimeter trees and a pond on the south-east corner, near which is the War Memorial. In the north corner is the Harefield 2000 Memorial showing a hare within a globe that depicts the British Isles and Australia, with which Harefield has strong links.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2009
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Harefield existed as an early settlement and its village green is one of 11 registered commons and former village greens in Hillingdon. The name derived from 'Herefelle' in Anglo Saxon probably meaning open land or field used by an army. The land was part of the Manor of Harefield, which remained in the ownership of the Newdigate family from the C16th to the C20th. Despite development from the end of the C18th the area remains relatively rural. Prior to the Enclosures Act of 1813, the commonland reached the village. John Trumper, land surveyor and Enclosure Commissioner, was appointed to deal with the enclosure of the common land, heath and moors in the Parish of Harefield. James Trumper, probably his son and also a surveyor, was employed to make a plan for the parish. Although the Act made no provision for grazing of cattle by former commoners, Mr Trumper allocated this 4-acre site as a place of recreation for the inhabitants, which is sometimes referred to as Harefield Common. It has been used for numerous events since then and has a children's playground. Harefield Village Green today is largely open grass with perimeter trees and some new tree planting along the eastern edge, with a pond on the south-east corner. In the early C20th trees were planted along the Rickmansworth Road boundary. In the 1990s bollards were erected around the green to prevent access for cars and travellers. By 1951 a diagonal path that formerly crossed the green had disappeared. Near the pond is the War Memorial obelisk and the King's Arms dating from C17th and extended in the C18th.
In the north corner is the Harefield 2000 Memorial showing a hare within a globe that identifies the UK and Australia, and was designed by sculptor Lucy Kinsella. It was unveiled by Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub of Harefield Hospital nearby. Its plaque gives history of the village, the use of the hare being a pun on the name of the parish 'in the best heraldic tradition . . . The hare within the globe thus represents the village as the focus of the lives of those that live in it with the world-famous Harefield Hospital at its 'heart'.' The strong connection between Harefield and Australia is also represented, which arose from the establishment of the Australian military hospital at Harefield Park for soldiers wounded in WWI and the ANZAC cemetery in St Mary's Churchyard (q.v.).
A comprehensive tree survey was undertaken in 2006 and the following species were listed: oak and English oak, horse chestnut, common ash, Scots pine, sycamore, common and small-leaved lime, Norway and field maple, Italian alder, weeping, scarlet and osier willow, dawn redwood and sweet gum. The pond had for many years tended to dry up in the summer but now has a permanent water supply supplied by Three Valleys Water, who part-funded the work. Harefield Green has won a Green Flag Award each year since 2005.
Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England, London 3: North West (Penguin, 1999 ed); Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); on-site plaque; LB Hillingdon, 'Harefield Village Green Management Plan 2005-2009'; 'Harefield Village Green Management Plan 2010-2014'.