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Stanmore Common, including Stanmore Cricket Club Harrow

Stanmore Common, including Stanmore Cricket Club

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Stanmore Common is a remnant of the once extensive common lands in Great Stanmore that were reduced by enclosure. There were two manors, Great Stanmore and Little Stanmore, and the area was rural until the C20th. Archaeological finds indicate that there was settlement here from the Bronze Age. The common today has woodland and heathland with an area of older woodland at The Grove. Stanmore Cricket Club was established in 1853 when an area of the common was enclosed for the purpose, once the site of an C18th bowling green.
Previous / Other name:
Site location: The Common/Warren Lane
Postcode: HA7
Type of site: Public Open Land 
Listed structures:
Borough: Harrow
Site ownership: LB Harrow
Site management: Environmental Services, Parks Services
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities: car park
Public transport: Tube: Stanmore (Jubilee) then bus. Bus: 142
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/01/2012
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.;

Fuller information:

Stanmore may mean a 'stoney mere' or 'stones by the mere', perhaps referring to the nature of the ground or to ruins of the settlement of the Celtic tribe of Catuvellauni, which was reputedly in this area. There are a number of important archaeological sites on Stanmore Common including Bronze Age tumulus and a pillow mound, possibly a medieval rabbit warren. The battle between the Celts and Julius Caesar in 54 BC is commemorated by an obelisk that was erected in 1750 by William Sharpe, Secretary to the 2nd Duke of Chandos of Canons (q.v.) in a field adjoining The Grove. It is now in the grounds of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital who restored the monument and its Latin inscriptions when it purchased the site in 1931. In 793 AD the land at Stanmore was given by the King of Mercia to the Abbey of St Albans, who held it until the Norman invasion. The 'Great Stanmore Lands to Enclose Act' was passed by Parliament in 1813, leading to the loss of over 216 acres of local common land, which had already been gradually taken into private ownership over the preceding years. However, common rights remained on a stretch of Stanmore Common comprising c.120 acres, and this area was later preserved in perpetuity as public open space, held by Harrow UDC. Other remnants of the commonland include what is now the private Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Grounds and Pear Wood.

Most of Stanmore Common is now secondary woodland since the ancient woods were long ago cleared and the land grazed by livestock of the tenants of the Manor. Gravel digging also took place on the common, for example for road mending. The poor soil meant the land was not used for agriculture and it was probably heathland up until the 1880s. As its use for grazing was reduced, secondary woodland grew up. There is a small 7-hectare area of older woodland at The Grove that was within the Grove Estate and the old Grove Ponds once formed a chain from the east of the Common. The naturalist Eliza Brightwen, who lived at The Grove and wrote 'Quiet Hours of Nature' in 1904, described how 'in the course of 25 years we have exchanged our sweep of furze for clustering birch-woods'. The Common is now designated as a Statutory Local Nature Reserve, and regular workdays are organised by the Voluntary Warden.

Stanmore Cricket Club on the west side of the Common south of Warren Lane also formed part of the manorial waste and in the C18th was used as a bowling green by the Duke of Chandos. In 1853, with the agreement of the Lord of the Manor, it was enclosed for a cricket ground for the inhabitants and Stanmore Cricket Club was established, still going strong. The land was conveyed through a trust deed to 7 named people and their heirs, although the right of copyholders to graze their sheep remained, and erection of a permanent building was prohibited. In 1934 an unsuccessful attempt was made to transfer ownership to Harrow Council.

Sources consulted:

Teresa Farino, Charlotte Pagendam, Sue Swales, Mathew Frith 'Nature Conservation in Harrow' Ecology Handbook 13, London Ecology Unit 1989; Walter W Druett 'The Stanmores and Harrow Weald Through the Ages' (The Hillingdon Press, 1938)
Grid ref: TQ157940
Size in hectares: 48.84
On EH National Register : No
EH grade :
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
Yes: Common (CL50)
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
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: No
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: Yes - Metropolitan Importance
Green Belt: Yes
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation: SSSI - Stanmore and Harrow Weald Commons

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