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St Lawrence Whitchurch Churchyard Harrow
   
Summary: In Roman times tile-making was carried out in Stanmore and there are Roman tiles in the fabric of St Lawrence Whitchurch. The C12th church was rebuilt in 1715 by John James for the Duke of Chandos, owner of the Canons estate, although the early C16th west tower remains. It has a fine early C18th baroque interior. Handel was appointed music master at Canons in 1718 and played the church organ. The rustic lych-gate at the entrance of the churchyard was erected to the memory of Dr Findlater and there are some good chest tombs and monuments particularly near the church; the churchyard to the north is open with a few scattered trees.
Previous / Other name: Parish Church of Little Stanmore
Site location: Whitchurch Lane/St Lawrence Close
Postcode: HA8 6RB > Google Map
Type of site: Churchyard
Date(s): C12th onwards
Designer(s):
Listed structures: LBI: St Lawrence's Church
Borough: Harrow
Site ownership: Diocese of London
Site management: Church; Friends of St Lawrence
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: unrestricted. Church open Sundays 2pm - 5pm (4pm in winter)
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events: Church has opened for London Open House and OGSW
Public transport: Tube: Canons Park (Jubilee). Bus: 79, 186, 340
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2010
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.little-stanmore.org

Fuller information:

In Roman times tile-making was carried out in Stanmore, and up to 26 potters may have worked in this area; the medieval church of St Lawrence Whitchurch has Roman tiles in its fabric. In medieval times Stanmore was woodland and pasture with a number of manor houses, that of Stanmore Chenduit was mentioned in 1260-1 and that of Wimborough was referred to until 1753. The estate of Canons, or Cannons as it was previously spelt, is so-called after the Augustinian canons of the Priory of St Bartholomew in Smithfield, who owned the Manor of Stanmore in 1086 and were gifted the land in 1330. An old hedgerow between Southern Parkland and Whitchurch Avenue (the old name for an avenue in the park, mentioned in Chandos's accounts) and the Spinney woodland may be remnants of the earlier landscape.

Prior to the C20th Little Stanmore was a small hamlet centred on St Lawrence's Church at the southern approach to Canons Park (q.v.). John Brydges, Duke of Chandos and owner of Canons, had the C12th church rebuilt in 1715 by John James, although the early C16th west tower remains. Its early C18th baroque interior has altar paintings by Antonio Bellucci, and frescoed walls and ceiling vault by Louis Laguerre. The mausoleum by Gibbs was added in 1735/36. Handel was appointed music master at Canons in 1718 and played the organ in St Lawrence's. His piece 'The Harmonious Blacksmith' was apparently inspired when sheltering in the nearby forge. Friends of St Lawrence was formed 1971 to look after the church. The rustic lych-gate at the entrance of the churchyard was erected to the memory of Dr Findlater by his friends 'as a token of their appreciation and affection' and the path leads through a short avenue of yews to the church. There are some good chest tombs and monuments particularly near the church. The churchyard to the north is open with a few scattered trees and is railed from a woodland area. It can also be reached through Canons Park down one of 4 radiating avenues with the church terminating the southern end.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed), p283/4; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); London Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches data; Walter W Druett, 'The Stanmores and Harrow Weald Through the Ages' (Hillingdon Press, 1938)
Grid ref: TQ185913
Size in hectares:
   
On EH National Register : No
EH grade:
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: No
In Conservation Area: Yes
Conservation Area name: Canons Park Estate
Tree Preservation Order: No
Nature Conservation Area: Yes
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: Yes
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation:
   

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