Locale, geography and history
The word Weald is Old English in origin, meaning woodland. It was recorded as waldis in 1303 and welde in 1382, but the name Harrow Weald is not recorded until 1553. It was then part of the great Forest of Middlesex.
The south of the area is a suburban development with houses, schools, small shops, supermarkets and pubs (notably the Weald Stone Inn, formerly the Red Lion). The area expanded around the First World War and continued to grow quickly: the population grew from 1,517 in 1901 to 10,923 in 1931.
The Harrow Weald campus of Harrow College (previously a grammar school, then a 16+ college) and Harrow Weald Cemetery are at the northern edge of the built up area. All Saints churchyard and its extension adjoin this cemetery and their most famous interment is of Leefe Robinson, a pilot who was awarded the Victoria Cross.
Ancient woodland on high ground fills most of the northern part of Harrow Weald on the border of Greater London (and the traditional county of Middlesex) with Hertfordshire. The area is one of the highest in Greater London; the highest point in Middlesex is near the woods at 502 feet (153 m). The eastern part of the woods merges into those of Stanmore and encompasses Bentley Priory. The priory's grounds are now Bentley Priory Nature Reserve, a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest. Along the southern edge of the high ground runs the road Old Redding and a car park here gives views over parts of London. The western part of the woodland forms Harrow Weald Common, which adjoins Harrow Weald SSSI, a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest. Other smaller woods surround the Grim's Dyke Hotel, the former country house of W. S. Gilbert. Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operas are frequently performed here. The house is named after the nearby earthwork Grim's Ditch, a 3-mile long ancient monument that runs from Harrow Weald to Pinner Green. The monument remains largely mysterious but is known to have been named in the Saxon era. The ditch hints at a long history of habitation in the area and many artefacts have been found on the common to support this.
The 2011 census showed that in the Harrow Weald ward, 53% of the population was white (41% British, 6% Other, 5% Irish). The largest non-white group was Indian at 19%.
As of May 2014, the local councillors for Harrow Weald are:
- "Harrow Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- "London Borough of Harrow, Management Plan: Old Redding Complex, p. 2, 2010". Archived from the original on 14 September 2012.
- "Harrow, including Pinner : Suburban development - British History Online". www.british-history.ac.uk.
- "Harrow Weald CP through time - Census tables with data for the Parish-level Unit". www.visionofbritain.org.uk.
- "Country House Hotel Harrow & Wedding Venue - The Grim's Dyke Hotel". www.grimsdyke.com.
- Grim's Ditch
- Historic England. "Seven Balls public house (1358636)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
- Services, Good Stuff IT. "Harrow Weald - UK Census Data 2011". UK Census Data.
- Matters, Transport for London - Every Journey. "Keeping London moving" (PDF). Transport for London.