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Stanmore Country Park Harrow

Stanmore Country Park

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Stanmore Country Park was part of the estate of Warren House, an C18th mansion with landscaped grounds as well as land in agricultural use. In 1937 the land was acquired for public open space by Harrow Council and Middlesex County Council and later owned by the GLC. It transferred to LB Harrow in 1976 and was designated a country park. It is managed as a nature reserve. It is possible that the ancient city of Sulloniacae was once situated within the Warren House Estate grounds.
Previous / Other name: Warren House Estate
Site location: Entrances off Dennis Lane and Kerry Avenue, Stanmore
Postcode: HA7 4NL
Type of site: Public Open Land 
Date(s): 1937
Listed structures: LBII: Springbok House
Borough: Harrow
Site ownership: LB Harrow
Site management: Environmental Services, Parks Services; Voluntary wardens, Harrow Nature Conservation Forum
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities: car park
Public transport: Tube: Stanmore (Jubilee). Bus: 142, 340, H12
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:

Warren House originated as a Georgian house, but was later extended, the old shell remaining within the newer structure. Flanked by fine woodland, the house commanded a good position on the top of the hill with views over London. During the C19th it was for many years the home of the Keyser family, among whom Charles Keyser was Chairman of the Colne Valley Water Company, established in 1873 to serve the district. His sister Miss Agnes Keyser was a friend of Queen Alexandra and other members of the royal family. In 1890 Warren House became the country residence of banker and philanthropist Henry Bischoffsheim and his wife Clarissa, one of the daughters of the Court Jeweller of Vienna. Mrs Bischoffsheim was known to Queen Victoria and held a prominent position in social circles, entertaining in their London house and at Stanmore, where King Edward was among their visitors. When Henry Bischoffsheim died in 1908 the estate had a gross value of over £1.6 million. Mrs Bischoffsheim continued to live at Warren House until her death in 1922. She had been keenly interested in the garden, cultivating orchids, carnations, shrubs and other plants. She was advised by Michael Gleeson, a horticulturalist and also an agriculturist, and the estate farm had a fine herd of Jersey cattle.

On Mrs Bischoffsheim's death the house was inherited by her grandson, Sir John Fitzgerald, son of her daughter Amelia and Captain Sir Maurice Fitzgerald. Sir John was himself interested in agriculture, although the Jersey herd was disposed of and he developed a herd of Kerry Cattle, a breed of which he was a judge. He was also member of the Middlesex Agriculture Council and of the Agricultural Education Committee, as well as prominent in local affairs.

In 1937 c.110 acres of the estate land was purchased by Harrow Council and Middlesex County Council as public open space. In 1951 Warren House, together with 11 acres of land, was sold by Sir John to the National Corporation for the Care of Old People and, renamed Springbok House, it was later transferred to the Hendon group of hospitals in 1964. It is now an Islamic Centre.

Stanmore Country Park is open countryside and woodland, with numerous footpaths, stiles and trail posts. Until the mid-C20th part of the area was grazed open fields, of which Six Acre Field, Spring Field, John Hallís Field and Forty Acre Field remain as grassland, with the remainder largely secondary woodland. The presence of wild service trees, mature hornbeam and other trees in certain areas indicate that this was ancient woodland. The area was used for gravel digging in the C18th and C19th and fish ponds were constructed along the eastern border. The parkland of the Warren House estate was gradually overtaken by secondary woodland by the end of the C19th but at one time formed part of the vista for the Duke of Chandos from Canons (q.v). Forty Acres Pit in the north-east corner of the country park is an old pond or reservoir that may have formed part of the system supplying water to Canons. Pear Wood, which was also within the former estate but is not accessible to the public, contains part of Grim's Dyke (q.v.).

Sources consulted:

Teresa Farino, Charlotte Pagendam, Sue Swales, Mathew Frith 'Nature Conservation in Harrow' Ecology Handbook 13, London Ecology Unit 1989; Harrow Nature Conservation Forum website; Walter W Druett 'The Stanmores and Harrow Weald Through the Ages' (The Hillingdon Press, 1938); Victoria County History 'Great Stanmore: Public services', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5: Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham (1976), pp104-105.
Grid ref: TQ174928
Size in hectares: 31.56
On EH National Register : No
EH grade :
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
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: Kerry Avenue abuts Country Park to south
Tree Preservation Order: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: Yes - Metropolitan Importance
Green Belt: Yes
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: Yes - Area of Special Character
Other LA designation:

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