|Harrow Weald Park||Harrow|
This site is a vestige of the C19th landscape park of Harrow Weald Park, a property built in 1805, prior to which it formed part of Harrow Weald Common. The house was subsequently demolished by the local council and homes for the elderly were built. Today much of the remaining site is largely built over with high quality housing, although ornamental woodland, a lake known as Squirrels Lake and notable specimen trees survive, with fine mature trees found along Brookshill Road.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/01/2012
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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.
Attorney William Windale purchased c.27 acres of Harrow Weald Common from the Harrow Enclosure Commissioners in 1805 where he built Harrow Weald Park, a 2-storey house, and also created gardens out of the former commonland. The Middlesex Deeds Registry in 1818 enumerated the works he carried out, which included 'enclosing with park palings, and adding shrubbery, cottage, lodge, stabling, gardener's house, cartsheds, barn or small farmyard, well stocked and enclosed by brick walls, fully clothed with fruit trees, gravel walks, and other accommodations'. In 1822 he exchanged land with the Revd. J W Cunningham, vicar of Harrow. Harrow Weald Park later became the home of Henry Crockford, who had made a fortune through his gambling club in St James Street, retiring to Harrow Weald in 1840, although he died 4 years later.
A later owner, Alexander Sim, appropriately a wealthy timber merchant, was responsible for much tree planting in the grounds. Sim purchased the estate in 1870, adding wings to the house, which he transformed to resemble a Venetian palace. He constructed a large lake below the house, with a curious boathouse that according to Walter Druett, writing in 1938, resembled an Indian temple. The trees he planted are listed in detail by Druett, which he collected 'from many lands - Scotch and Corsican pines, cypresses, Lebanon and Mount Atlas cedars, a locust acacia, and also planted additional elms, oaks, Norway spruce, chestnuts, graceful beeches, and Irish yews, and a weeping willow from a sprig plucked from Napoleon's grave at St. Helena. Other notable trees include a Californian redwood, an arbutus or strawberry tree of unusual size and one of the largest sea-buckthornes in the country.' In addition there was 'a wonderful collection' of smaller trees and shrubs. Alexander Sim was also one of the founders of the Colne Valley Water Company, which provided the first water supply to the Stanmore area. When Sim died in 1885 he was buried in All Saints' Churchyard Extension (q.v.), which he had given to the parish in 1884.
The next owner of Harrow Weald Park was an American millionaire called Hughes but after he left the property was empty until it was purchased by Allen Walker, a lecturer, who intended it for educational use. Part of the former estate land was sold and built over with housing. From 1932-38 the house and part of the grounds to the main road were purchased by the British Israel World Federation and used as a college until 1938, when it was then once more on the market. Druett remarked that 'the lake is also for sale and it is a pity that the price asked by the vendors prevents its purchase by Harrow Council as a permanent beauty spot and bird sanctuary'. The lake remains today, although not publicly accessible.
At the corner of Uxbridge Road and Brookshill, north of Harrow Weald Park Drive, are C19th gate piers, while at the far end of West Drive is a half-timbered late C19th lodge. The former mid C19th stables, now converted as private housing, are at the far end of West Drive and Lakeland Close, and Pinner Lodge also dating from the late C19th is located on Uxbridge Road. There is a view of the lake and open land but otherwise the site is now private.
The sheltered housing scheme, which is run by LB Harrow, retains the name Harrow Weald Park and provides one-bedroom and studio flats arranged around a large communal garden.
Walter W Druett, 'The Stanmores and Harrow Weald Through the Ages' (Hillingdon Press, 1938)