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Living in Harrow: area guide to homes, schools and transport
 
Stuck in a traffic jam on the A404 heading north-west out of London, you have time to reflect that the Harrow Road stretch, which starts from Maida Vale, was once an uncrowded country lane passing through open farmland and up to the little village of Harrow on the Hill.

The village was where wealthy 16th-century farmer John Lyon obtained a charter from Queen Elizabeth I to found a Free Grammar School. He turned property developer and invested in land in what is now Maida Vale, using the rents he earned to maintain the road from London up to Harrow.

Today Harrow Road passes through the built-up suburbs of Kensal Green, Harlesden, Stonebridge Park and Wembley before arriving at the playing fields of John Lyon’s school — Harrow School, among the country’s leading public schools, and one of only a handful that has held to the tradition of educating boarding pupils only. The John Lyon’s Charity, meanwhile, has donated over £50 million to educational causes in nine London boroughs since 1992.

Harrow — oddly there is a South, West and North Harrow but no East — occupies a large suburban area north-west of the capital. The jewel in the crown is Harrow on the Hill, with its pretty, winding High Street, imposing school buildings and lanes of cottages perched on the hillside.

St Mary’s Church spire is a local landmark and the churchyard is where Byron, a former Harrow School pupil, contemplated his own burial in the poem Lines Written Beneath an Elm in the Churchyard of Harrow. In the end it was his daughter, Allegra, who was buried there in an unmarked grave. Byron ended up in Nottinghamshire, his body having been turned away from Westminster Abbey.

Birth of metro-land
Harrow town centre lies to the north of Harrow on the Hill and 12 miles from central London, and in modern times the Metropolitan Tube line, rather than Harrow Road, has shaped the area.

The poet Sir John Betjeman came up with the name “Metro-Land” for the large swathes of north-west London that were developed after the arrival of the line, and in the Twenties and Thirties areas such as Harrow became commuter suburbs with streets of semi-detached and detached three- and four-bedroom houses, some influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement, others in mock Tudor or Art Deco styles.

Houses and flats for sale in Harrow
While Harrow has plenty of these Metro-Land family homes, it also boasts pockets of Victorian terraces and modern town centre flats, while on the southern slopes of the hill there are large, detached Edwardian houses on spacious plots in private roads.

Best roads: a leafy enclave south of Harrow on the Hill has a number of private roads, in particular Mount Park Road, where the most exclusive houses are found. Julian Hill, off Sudbury Hill, is another desirable address. Savills recently sold a large, double-fronted Edwardian house in Mount Park Road with nearly four and a half acres of grounds for £4.5 million.

New-build homes in Harrow
At the Kodak factory site between Headstone Drive and Harrow View, north of the town centre, Harrow is about to see the largest new development for 50 years. Kodak has formed a joint venture with property company Land Securities. The plans now being consulted on include 985 (200 affordable) new homes, 135,000 square feet of new shops, a health centre and a three-form entry primary school. The scheme is expected to produce 1,500 new jobs and deliver £10 million-worth of infrastructure improvements.

Up-and-coming areas: West Harrow is the bohemian quarter. The roads off Vaughan Road — home to the innovative Usurp art gallery and studios — have affordable Victorian terrace houses that sell for about £350,000.

Staying power: Harrow is a strong and stable family area where people like to stay long term, often making improvements and extending their houses in preference to uprooting.

Postcodes: Harrow has three — HA1 covers Harrow on the Hill and is the most desirable; HA2 covers North and South Harrow, and HA3 covers Harrow Weald, Kenton and Wealdstone.

Travel: Harrow is served by the Tube and Overground trains. From Harrow & Wealdstone, trains to Euston take 14 minutes, while trains from Harrow on the Hill take 16 minutes to Marylebone.

Harrow & Wealdstone is on the Bakerloo London Underground line with trains to Oxford Circus taking 37 minutes. North Harrow, Harrow on the Hill and West Harrow stations are on the Metropolitan line, with the trip from Harrow on the Hill to Baker Street taking 21 minutes, and a scheduled 33 minutes to Moorgate. South Harrow and Sudbury Hill are on the Piccadilly line with trains from South Harrow taking 40 minutes to Piccadilly Circus.

All of the stations except for Sudbury Hill are in Zone 5 and an annual travelcard to Zone 1 costs £2,136. Sudbury Hill is in Zone 4 and an annual travelcard to Zone 1 costs £1,800.

 


 

 

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Living in Harrow: area guide to homes, schools and transport
 


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