In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Harrow like this:
HARROW, a small town and a sub-district in Hendon district, Middlesex. The town is in Harrow-on-the-Hill parish; stands near the London and Northwestern railway, 1½ mile N of the Paddington canal, and 11 ½ miles WNW of St. Paul's, London; and has a station on the railway with telegraph, and a post office‡ under London, NW. It was known at Domesday as Herges, -afterwards as Hareways; and it is supposed to occupy the site of a Roman military station. It stands on a hill fully 200 feet high, surrounded by an extensive plain; and commands a magnificent panoramic view over parts of thirteen counties. ...
It formerly was a market town, and still has a fair on the first Monday of Aug.; it publishes a monthly newspaper; and it contains a good inn, a church, a Wesleyan chapel, a famous grammar school, and national schools. The church was built about the 14th century; retains portions of a previous church, of Norman character, built by Archbishop Lanfranc; has a western embattled tower, with lofty spire; was recently repaired and beautified, at a cost of £7, 000; and contains a Norman font of Purbeck marble, and many interesting brasses and monuments. The grammar school was founded in 1571, by John Lyon, a yeoman of the parish; has a very small income from endowment, with four exhibitions and two scholarships at the universities; is free to all boys who are natives of the parish, and also receives "Foreigners;" is conducted on the same system as Eton; and has now an attendance of about 500 scholars. Archery was originally a part of the school training, but ceased to be so in 1771. The original building, erected about three years after the founder's death, still exists, and is a Tudor structure, of red brick, with stone dressings; several commodious residences, for the undermaster and the pupils, in a Tudor style to comport with the original building, are of recent erection; and a memorial library, in honour of the distinguished headmaster, Dr. Vaughan, and after designs by Mr. Scott, was erected in 1863. Queen Victoria visited the school in 1848. The present Archbishop of Canterbury was master; and the antiquary Baxter, Sir W. Jones, Sheridan, Dr. Parr, the traveller Bruce, Sir Robert Peel, the Marquis of Hastings, Lord Byron, Lord Palmerston, Lord Dalhousie, Archbishop Trench, and Lord Normanby were scholars. The pop. of the town, in 1861, was less than 2, 000.The sub-district contains the parishes of Harrow-on-the-Hill and Pinner. Acres, 13, 590. Pop., 7, 374. Houses, 1, 390.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Harrow has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Harrow. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Harrow and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Harrow in Middlesex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 24th February 2017
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