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Harrow Park (Harrow School) * Harrow
   
Summary: * on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens

Flambards or Flamberts was probably built in the C14th and by 1664 was the largest house in the village of Harrow on the Hill. The estate was purchased in 1767 by Francis Herne for whom Capability Brown designed a landscape park, later known as Harrow Park. From 1805-23 the estate was the home of John Rushout, 2nd Baron Northwick who also improved the grounds. A governor of Harrow School, he allowed the boys to use the grounds for recreation. In 1831 part of the estate including a newly built house and Harrow Park was purchased by Revd Phelps, a master at Harrow, for use by the school. The freehold was taken over by the Harrow Park Trust in 1885 and the park was developed for school uses. It was later largely converted as a golf course with a small part as a nature reserve. Mature oaks and a lake on the golf course appear to date from Brown's landscaping, and there are yews, deodars and Wellingtonia near the house.
Previous / Other name: Flambards or Flamberts; Harrow Villa; The Park
Site location: 15 High Street, Harrow on the Hill
Postcode: HA1 > Google Map
Type of site: Institutional Grounds; Garden Feature Remnants
Date(s): 1768-71
Designer(s): Capability Brown
Listed structures: LBII: The Park
Borough: Harrow
Site ownership: Harrow School
Site management: Harrow School
Open to public? Partially
Opening times: private, but public footpath provides some access
Special conditions:
Facilities: Some of Harrow School sports facilities are open to hire/membership by clubs, organisations or individuals. Golf Club and Angling Club fishing on Park Lake (both members only)
Events:
Public transport: Tube: Harrow on the Hill then bus.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2012
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.harrowschool.org.uk

Fuller information:

Site on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens, for Register Entry see https://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

Flambards or Flamberts was an old mansion at the south of the village of Harrow on the Hill, the area then largely in agricultural use. The name derives from Sir John Flambard who settled in Harrow after the Norman Conquest. The present house named Flambards at No.11 High Street is not the C14th house but was built when part of the estate was developed by Harrow School. The original house survived in part until the early C19th.

Francis Herne purchased the Flambards estate in 1767 and in 1768 engaged Lancelot 'Capability' Brown (1716-83) to design the park, and architect Henry Holland (1745-1806) to improve the house. Brown worked extensively on the landscape from 1768-70 and according to records was paid £600 in 1768 and £2020 in 1770, partly for the building work by Holland. There are remnants of Brown's work on what is now Harrow School golf course. After Francis Herne died in 1776 his sister Mary initially inherited the estate and in 1787 it passed to Richard Page, the stepson of another of Herne's sisters, Anne. In c.1795/7 Page built a more substantial house to the north of the old house, set on the highest point of his property, and designed for him by architect John Nash (1752-1835). This house was later called Harrow Villa, then Harrow Park, and finally by the late C19th was given its current name, The Park. It was formerly approached from the east by a long drive from Sudbury Hill. When Page died in 1805 the unfinished house and c.35 hectares of land were purchased by George Fleming of Hillingdon for speculative purposes, who in 1807 sold it to John Rushout, 2nd Baron Northwick (d.1859), a major landowner in the area. Northwick actually lived here from 1805 and employed architect John Shaw to finish the house in 1806-7. He had employed the landscape gardener William Emes (1729/30-1803) at his house Northwick Park in Gloucestershire and he appears to have undertaken works to the grounds of his new property in Harrow, Daniel Lyson remarking upon improvements to the pleasure grounds at Harrow in 1810.

Lord Northwick was a governor of Harrow School and allowed the pupils to use the grounds of his house for recreation. The school had been founded as a Free Grammar School by local yeoman farmer John Lyon by a charter from Queen Elizabeth I in 1572. It became influential, its pupils the sons of the wealthy and by the C19th had grown substantially to dominate the village. It is largely due to the school that open spaces to the south of the hill have survived today. In 1823 Lord Northwick moved away and Harrow Villa and 23 hectares of his estate were put up for sale, which in 1824 was purchased by Archibald Campbell on behalf of Major General Alexander Mcgregor. However before the sale was completed Mcgregor had employed Decimus Burton to build a pair of Gothic Villas 'on an angle of the park', now Nos.1-17 London Road.

Gothic Villas was purchased by Revd W W Phelps, a Master at Harrow School, for a boarding house, and he then purchased the main house, walled garden, a cottage and part of the park for use by the school. The freehold of the house and grounds were later taken over by the Harrow Park Trust in 1885, and the park was developed for use by the school. The house was extended from the 1820s onwards, particularly after it was acquired for Harrow School, and an additional storey was added in c.1906. The gardens around The Park date from the late C19th, consisting of a grassed terrace from the east front with fine views, and a later rose garden, with tennis courts below.

The golf course was laid out in Harrow Park in the C20th, its 9-hole course created by Donald Steel in 1978 used by members of Harrow School Golf Club. A woodland area of c.3.5hectares with a small pond was created as a nature reserve, through which there is a public footpath due west of the lake that is thought to be an ancient track. This woodland may have originated as a clump of trees dating from the earlier landscaping. The 2-hectare serpentine Park Lake is shown in maps from 1803 and was formed by building a large dam, and in the 1820s is shown with woodland and shrubberies bordering the east side, the perimeter drive following the lake's west bank. Among tree and shrub species bordering the lake are those typical of Brown's planting for pleasure grounds. Harrow School Angling Club was founded in 1988 and uses the lake for fishing.

There are remnants of the park's C18th brick wall to the south-west of Harrow Park, a roadway built on the line of the old perimeter drive. Houses to the south-west of the park were demolished in the 1970s when a covered reservoir was constructed. To the north and east of the park are school buildings and playing fields. A gothic folly that was built in the grounds of The Park, located on the north-west boundary wall off Harrow Park roadway, remains among the trees, now ruinous.

Sources consulted:

EH Register: Daniel Lyson 'The Environs of London' (1810); William Keane 'The Beauties of Middlesex' (1850); W W Druett, 'Harrow through the Ages' (1956); Victoria County History, Middlesex 4 (1971); Dorothy Stroud, 'Capability Brown' (1975), p225; A W Ball 'Paintings, Prints and Drawings of Harrow on the Hill 1562-1899' (1980); Debois Landscape Survey Group, 'Flambards' (1975, Report commissioned by EH as part of a survey of parks on the outskirts of London); Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed); J Harris, 'The Artist and the Country House' (1979)
Grid ref: TQ154867
Size in hectares: c.15
   
On EH National Register : Yes
EH grade: Grade II
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
No
 
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
On Local List:
In Conservation Area: Yes
Conservation Area name: Harrow Park/Harrow on the Hill Village
Tree Preservation Order: Yes (on private land)
Nature Conservation Area: Yes - Borough Importance I
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: Yes
Special Policy Area: Yes - Area of Special Character
Other LA designation:
   

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