Harrow, including Pinner
Protestant nonconformity


Victoria County History



T F T Baker, J S Cockburn, R B Pugh (Editors), Diane K Bolton, H P F King, Gillian Wyld, D C Yaxley

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'Harrow, including Pinner : Protestant nonconformity', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4: Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood with Southall, Hillingdon with Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow with Pinner (1971), pp. 261-264. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=22475 Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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William Rolls, the ejected minister of Pinner, was licensed as an Independent minister there in 1672, (fn. 41) the congregation meeting in the houses of Richard Stanborough, John Finch, John Winchester, and William Edlin. By 1684 there was an assistant, John Heywood, who described Rolls as 'a very faithful, laborious, ancient minister, whose strength is decayed'. (fn. 42) About 1691 the minister was Thomas Goodwin, author of several theological and devotional works, who also kept an academy for dissenting preachers. (fn. 43) A meeting-house was licensed in 1700 (fn. 44) and a wastehold property was acquired in 1711. (fn. 45) The small meeting-house of the Pinner Independent congregation seems to have closed soon after 1795. (fn. 46) Quakers obtained a certificate for worship in Pinner in 1700, (fn. 47) and there were probably a few Baptists and Methodists there a hundred years later. (fn. 48) Meeting-houses were registered at Roxeth in 1809 and 1812 and at Harrow in 1810. (fn. 49) The first two belonged to Baptists; the denomination of the last is uncertain. (fn. 50)

A Wesleyan chapel was erected in 1810 on the eastern side of Lower Road, Roxeth, near the cricket ground, and accommodated 218 people. In March 1851 an attendance of 190 at the afternoon and 116 at the evening service was said to be low because of bad weather. (fn. 51) The chapel, which was registered in 1856, (fn. 52) was replaced in 1905 by a red brick Gothic building, with accommodation for 650, in Bessborough Road. (fn. 53) The Wesleyans of Pinner, who worshipped in a cottage in Chapel Lane from the beginning of the 19th century, (fn. 54) built a brick chapel for 154 people in 1844. In 1851 there were 76 at the afternoon and 89 at the evening service. (fn. 55) A new building intended to serve as a school and chapel was erected in Love Lane in 1918, enlarged in 1926, and replaced by the present church at the junction of Love Lane and Avenue Road in 1937. (fn. 56)

A chapel to seat 160 people was erected in Byron Hill Road, Harrow-on-the-Hill, by the Particular Baptists in 1811 or 1812. In 1851 the average attendance at the three Sunday services was 80, 41, and 50. (fn. 57) In 1906 a chapel seating 750 was built in College Road and its predecessor was closed down. (fn. 58) Baptist activity in Alperton dates from 1824, and in 1828 a small chapel to seat 100 was erected in Ealing Road near the site later occupied by Alperton station. In 1851 the chapel was used by both Baptists and Independents, the congregation varying from 20 to 50 adults and from 10 to 25 Sunday school children. (fn. 59) New buildings, erected north of this chapel and on the other side of Ealing Road, were registered for worship in 1891. The church, a plain brick building, was rebuilt in 1937. (fn. 60) At Harrow Weald a room seating 50 people was opened by Particular Baptists in 1846. In 1851, 19 people attended the morning and 25 the evening service. (fn. 61) The congregation, which still existed in 1882, (fn. 62) later probably merged with the Baptists of Wealdstone.

From the mid 19th century Methodists have been the largest denomination. The congregations in Pinner and Roxeth were followed by others in Wembley, Harrow, Harrow Weald, Wealdstone, and Sudbury. A Wesleyan preaching-house was opened in Wembley in 1883 (fn. 63) and replaced by a chapel in Water Lane in 1895; the chapel was closed in 1912. (fn. 64) There was a mission room in Harrow Weald from 1889 to 1935 (fn. 65) and a chapel in Station Road, Wealdstone, from 1892 (fn. 66) to 1904, when it was replaced by the present chapel in Locket Road. (fn. 67) Primitive Methodist chapels were opened in Welldon Crescent, Greenhill, in 1904 (fn. 68) and in High Street, Wealdstone, in 1918. (fn. 69) In the 1860s Sir William Perkin had started an inter-denominational church for his German workers in a disused barn. In 1875 this was replaced at his own expense by a hall in Harrow Road, (fn. 70) which in 1913 his widow sold to the Methodists, with whom Perkin had had a particularly close connexion. The building was registered by them in 1924 and replaced by a church on the same site in 1933. The congregation grew with the development of Sudbury and the church was extended in 1939 and 1964. (fn. 71) Several Methodist churches were founded in the 1920s. In Park Lane, Wembley, a Wesleyan church was in use from 1925 to 1961, (fn. 72) and the Mabel Comben Memorial Hall from 1929 to 1961. (fn. 73) A Primitive Methodist church, opened in Ealing Road, Wembley, in 1927, survived in 1967. (fn. 74) A Wesleyan church was opened to serve the new Kenton estate in 1929 and replaced by another church and a hall on the same site in 1937. (fn. 75) Wesleyans in North Harrow and Headstone met in a private house in Southfield Park until a hall was built in Pinner Road in 1927. It was extended in the 1930s and a church was built next to it in 1957. (fn. 76) Relatively few churches have been founded since 1930. One was opened at the corner of Walton and Carlyon Avenues in South Harrow in 1937 and was rebuilt in 1957. (fn. 77) In Wembley, Methodist churches were opened in East Lane in 1938, (fn. 78) in Park Lane, Monks Park, in 1950, (fn. 79) and in Park Lane in 1962, although the last replaced the church which had closed in 1961. (fn. 80) The Calvinistic Methodists opened a hall in London Road in 1950 and replaced it by the Wembley Welsh Church on the same site five years later. (fn. 81) In the extreme south Methodists met in the community hall in Alperton before opening the misleadingly named Perivale Church in May Gardens in 1960; the premises were extended in 1965. (fn. 82) In the north Methodists opened a church in Cannon Lane, Pinner, in 1956 (fn. 83) and met in the Anglican church of All Saints, Harrow Weald, in 1967. (fn. 84)

It was not until 1859 that the Baptists in Pinner leased land in Chapel Lane, then called West End, where an iron chapel to hold 70 people was erected east of the Methodist chapel. The property was sold in 1875, and in 1885-6 a new chapel was erected in Marsh Road on a site leased from the Metropolitan Railway Co. The congregation moved to a 'handsome building' in the Gothic style in Paines Lane in 1910, when it broadened its membership and was re-registered as the United Free Church, Pinner. (fn. 85) Baptists met in various rooms in Wealdstone from 1875 and built a corrugated iron hall on land purchased in the High Street c. 1900. A permanent church to seat 500 was erected in 1905 and new halls were added in 1930. (fn. 86) The Baptists, unlike most denominations, had no chapel in Wembley, but in 1911 a chapel in Harrow Road, Sudbury, was called the Sudbury and Wembley Baptist Church. This was replaced in 1924. (fn. 87) Many Baptist congregations have been founded since the 1920s. A church in Northolt Road, Roxeth, was opened in 1927 and rebuilt in 1935. (fn. 88) Baptists established in Kenton in 1932 hired the Co-operative Society Hall, Kenton Road, and met in private houses until a hall was erected in Streatfield Road in 1933; the congregation, then called Belmont Free Church, was accepted by the national Baptist Union, which appointed a minister and registered the hall for worship in 1934. A year later a 'tin hut', which seated 300, was re-erected next to the existing church hall. The hut was replaced in 1939 by a brick building, registered as Kenton Free Church, and a new hall was added in 1965. (fn. 89) On the eastern borders Lindsay Park Baptist Church grew out of a Sunday school, held in 1943 in a builder's hut in Chantry Close by the minister of Kingsbury Free Church. A private house was used from 1945 until the dedication of the church in the Mall, Kenton, in 1949. A deaconess was in charge until a minister was appointed in 1958. An extension was planned in 1965. (fn. 90) Baptists from the newly developed Rayners Lane area met in a dance studio before a building was erected for worship in 1934 at the junction of Vicarage Way and Imperial Drive. Halls were added in 1953 and 1965. (fn. 91) In 1948 the Rayners Lane Baptist Church started a Sunday school in Roxeth, adding a Sunday evening service in 1957. In 1959 this became the Roxeth Green Free Church and in 1962 the present building was erected on the corner of Coles Crescent and Welbeck Road, on a site previously owned by the church. Although originally sponsored by the Baptists, Roxeth Green Free Church is an independent, non-denominational community. (fn. 92) A small Baptist chapel in Rowlands Avenue was erected in 1936 to serve Hatch End. (fn. 93)

Other nonconformist bodies were less prominent. The Harrow or Silver Street Congregational Church originated by migrants from Hampstead who worshipped in a private room in Harrow View in 1900. In 1903 services were held at the Gayton Rooms in Station Road. In 1911 a temporary steel building was erected in Hindes Road, Greenhill, with proceeds from the sale of the Falcon Square (City) Congregational Church. A permanent church was opened in 1929. (fn. 94) Wembley Park Congregational Church in East Lane, first registered in 1930, was rebuilt in 1934. (fn. 95) Harrow Welsh Congregational Church, a grey brick building, was built in Lower Road, Harrow, in 1949. (fn. 96)

English Presbyterians were established in Wembley in 1899 and a hall in Ealing Road was registered for worship in 1902. St. Andrew's Church was built in 1904, to seat 450 people, and enlarged in 1907. (fn. 97) Harrow Presbyterian Church was founded in Station Road, Greenhill, in 1902; services were held in a hall until Trinity Presbyterian Church, built by W. Gilbert Scott in the Gothic style, was opened in 1906. There were two mission rooms at Marlborough Hill from 1938 until 1941. (fn. 98) Kenton Presbyterian Church was registered for worship in 1931 and St. John's in Woodcock Hill was built in 1934. (fn. 99) All of these belonged to the Presbyterian Church of England. A Welsh Presbyterian congregation, established in Wembley in 1925, opened a hall in 1927. (fn. 1)

Quakers met in various places in Harrow from 1905 until they erected their own meeting-house in Rayners Lane, Pinner, in 1935. (fn. 2) A few Quakers also began meeting in Wembley in 1942. (fn. 3) Salvation Army barracks were opened in 1886 in Alperton, (fn. 4) in 1887 on Roxeth Hill, Harrow, (fn. 5) in Wealdstone, (fn. 6) and in High Street, Pinner. (fn. 7) Both the Alperton and Pinner groups had collapsed by 1896. (fn. 8) The Harrow corps met in a tent and then in a barn until a building on Roxeth or London Hill was obtained in 1906; a new hall was built next to it in 1959. (fn. 9) The Wealdstone group, an offshoot from Harrow, met in several places before buying a former Baptist chapel in Palmerston Road, which was registered for worship by the Salvation Army in 1921. A hall was acquired nearby for young people in 1927 but in 1965 it was too small. (fn. 10) A Salvation Army hall was registered in 1938 in London Road, Wembley, where a new hall was opened in 1957. (fn. 11) Halls were registered by the Brethren in Love Lane, Pinner, from 1887 to 1917 and in High Street, Alperton, from 1897 to 1954. (fn. 12) Belmont Hall in Pinner Road, Harrow, was registered by them in 1911 (fn. 13) and a hall in north Pinner, later called Pinner Hill or Pinner Green Chapel, in 1929. (fn. 14) Another hall was opened in Parkside Way, south Pinner, in 1932. (fn. 15) In Wembley, Plymouth or Christian Brethren met in an iron building in Alperton before a hall was opened in Ealing Road in 1924. This was registered for worship in 1930 (fn. 16) and another, Uxendon Hall, was opened in Elmstead Avenue in 1938. (fn. 17) An evangelistic mission in 1934 led to the foundations of Elmfield Hall, Imperial Drive, North Harrow in 1934 (fn. 18) and Glebe Hall, Loretto Gardens, Kenton, in 1935. (fn. 19) Headstone Hall in Headstone Road, registered in 1932 but active mainly after 1948, (fn. 20) and Oak Hall on the Cedars L.C.C. estate, Headstone, registered in 1951 (fn. 21) by the Headstone Christian Fellowship, are also meetinghouses which have no formal ties with any denomination but follow the practice of the Christian Brethren. (fn. 22)

After the First World War spiritualist meetings were held in various halls in Harrow and in 1936 the Harrow Spiritualist Church, accommodating 180 people, was opened in Vaughan Road. (fn. 23) Home circles in the Wembley area developed in 1929 into the Wembley Spiritualists' Society. Rooms were hired until the Wembley Spiritualists' National Church was constructed in 1957 in St. John's Road. (fn. 24) In 1940 a Spiritualist church, meeting in a private house in Rayners Lane, was registered in Pinner (fn. 25) and a Christian Spiritualist church, St. Michael's, was registered in Northolt Road, Roxeth, and, later in that year, in Kenton Road, Kenton. (fn. 26) Another Christian Spiritualist church, founded in 1948, met initially in Cecil Park, Pinner, and, from 1949, in Bridge Street. (fn. 27) The Evangelicals met in a wooden building in Wealdstone from 1921 until a brick building was opened in Mason's Avenue in 1928. (fn. 28) A second church was opened in Charlton Road, Kenton, in 1959. (fn. 29) Jehovah's Witnesses were established in 1936 in Harrow, using hired rooms until a Kingdom Hall was erected in Peel Road, Wealdstone, in 1939. (fn. 30) A Kingdom Hall was opened in Oakington Manor Drive, Wembley, (fn. 31) in 1956 and a separate community was founded at Pinner in 1958. (fn. 32) The Assemblies of God opened the South Harrow Pentecostal Assembly in Northolt Road, Roxeth, in 1938 and re-registered it as the Full Gospel Church in South Hill Avenue in 1959. (fn. 33) They also registered rooms in 1941 in Wembley, first in Neeld Parade and then in Wembley Hill Road, but this registration was cancelled in 1954. (fn. 34) The one Seventh Day Adventist church grew out of services held in the Majestic Ballroom and other halls in Wembley in 1940; a house in Barham Close was bought and registered in 1941. (fn. 35) Christian Scientists first met in Oddfellows Hall, Maxwell Lane, Pinner in 1920. A Sunday school and reading room were erected in Elm Park Road in 1926 and the community was recognized as a branch of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in 1929. The church was built and registered in 1937. (fn. 36) A Harrow branch was formed in 1953 and met in the Labour Hall, Railway Approach. (fn. 37)

The church of St. John the Divine in Watford Road, Wembley, was registered for worship by the Catholic Apostolic Church in 1963, (fn. 38) Cedar Hall in Station Grove, Wembley, was registered by the Church of God in 1962, (fn. 39) and Barnhill Lodge in Barnhill Road, Wembley, by the Church of Christ in 1964 and 1967. (fn. 40) A hall in Mason's Avenue, Wealdstone, was registered from 1932 until 1934 by the Brotherhood Movement. (fn. 41) The New Chapel in Pinner was registered in 1859 for Protestant dissenters using the new burial ground in Paines Lane. (fn. 42) In 1887 the Iron Room, Alperton (fn. 43) and a mission room in Peel Road, East Lane, Wembley (fn. 44) were registered for undenominational worship; both registrations were cancelled in 1954, as was that of a mission hall in High Street, Wealdstone, dating from 1899. (fn. 45) Meeting-places of unknown denomination are the Marlborough Mission on Marlborough Hill, Wealdstone, registered from 1942 until 1959, (fn. 46) a room at 128-30 Hindes Road, Harrow, registered in 1952, (fn. 47) another in Elm Park Road, Pinner, registered in 1962, (fn. 48) and another at the junction of Carlton Avenue East and Forty Avenue, Wembley, registered in 1965. (fn. 49)


41 Cal. S.P. Dom. 1672, pp. 677, 680.
42 Calamy Revised, ed. Matthews, 416.
43 B.M. Add. MS. 24484, f. 372; A. Gordon, Freedom after Ejection, 72; D.N.B.
44 Guildhall MS. 9579.
45 M.R.O., Acc. 76/1109.
46 Stephen Crisp (d. 1729) was a minister: Dr. Williams's Libr., MS. 34.4. Cf. ibid. MS. 34.5; Lysons, Environs of Lond. ii. 586.
47 Gen. Reg. Off., Dissenters' Places of Wship. 1689- 1852: Dioc. of Lond. cert. of 1700.
48 Ware, Pinner, 103-4, 139.
49 Guildhall MSS. 9580/3, /4. The meeting-houses were probably not built as chapels.
50 Gen. Reg. Off., Dissenters' Places of Wship. 1689- 1852: Dioc. of Lond. certs. of 7 Jan. 1809, 2 May 1812, and 20 Nov. 1810.
51 Ret. of churches, chapels . . . H.C. 401, p. 172 (1882), 1; H.O. 129/135/1/1/6; M.R.O., Acc. 76/1784; O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. x. 11 (1865 edn.).
52 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 7265.
53 Ibid. 40890; Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1906).
54 Ware, Pinner, 139.
55 Ret. of churches, chapels . . . H.C. 401, p. 172 (1882), 1; Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 13512; H.O. 129/135/1/1/7.
56 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 47063, 57388; Ware, Pinner, 139.
57 Ret. of churches, chapels . . . H.C. 401, p. 172 (1882), 1; Rep. of Royal Com. on non-parochial regs. . . . 1838 [148], p. 436, H.C. (1837-8), xxviii; Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 16534; H.O. 129/135/1/1/8.
58 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 43296; Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1917).
59 H.O. 129/135/1/1/9; ex inf. secretary of church (1965).
60 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 32716, 57685.
61 H.O. 129/135/1/1/10.
62 Ret. of churches, chapels . . . H.C. 401, p. 172 (1882), 1; Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 9583. The registration was cancelled in 1954 but it had probably lapsed long before.
63 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 27237.
64 Ibid. 34927.
65 Ibid. 31618.
66 Ibid. 33258.
67 Ibid. 40750.
68 Ibid. 40600. The small brick chapel was still there in 1966.
69 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 47316. Registration cancelled after the Methodist church union in 1935.
70 Probably the New Hall, Sudbury, registered for worship in 1887, whose registration was cancelled in 1924; Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 29956.
71 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 49318, 54843, 55564.
72 Ibid. 49737.
73 Ibid. 51701.
74 Ibid. 51056.
75 Ibid. 51837, 57601-2. The chapel in Kenton Road was still there in 1966.
76 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 50990, 66038; Ware, Pinner, 139; ex inf. secretary of North Harrow Methodist Church (1965).
77 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 57358, 66087.
78 Ibid. 58169. Replacing two Nissen huts used since 1920: ex inf. senior steward, North Wembley Methodist Church (1967).
79 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 62816. The church has been extended since 1964: ex inf. the minister of Park Lane Methodist Church (1967).
80 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 68821; ex inf. the minister.
81 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 62709, 64832.
82 Ibid. 67989; ex inf. the minister of Park Lane Methodist Church (1967).
83 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 65781, 70280.
84 Ex inf. minister of Wealdstone circuit (1967).
85 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 31600, 44232; Ware, Pinner, 103-4.
86 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 28722, 39374, 41446, 53094; Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1906).
87 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 44687, 49464.
88 Ibid. 50624, 51498, 56425.
89 Ibid. 55431, 57129; Kenton Free Church, Opening & Dedication of the New Hall (pamphlet, 1965).
90 Baptist Times, 11 Apr. 1957; ex inf. the treasurer (1965).
91 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 56418; Ware, Pinner, 181; ex inf. the minister (1965).
92 Ex inf. editor of Roxeth Green Free Church Magazine (1967); Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 68656, 69069.
93 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 56684, 57009; ex inf. the secretary (1965).
94 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 41395, 45053, 52537; Story of Silver Street Congregational Church (pamphlet).
95 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 52720, 53765, 56105, 61479. The registration was cancelled and renewed several times.
96 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 62455.
97 Ibid. 38810, 40790; Kelly's Dirs. Mdx. (1906, 1917); Wemb. Hist. Soc., Acc. 555.
98 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 39788, 42177, 58190.
99 Ibid. 52894, 55542.
1 Ex inf. Dr. R. Tudor Edwards (1966).
2 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 55931; ex inf. the clerk (1965).
3 Ex inf. Jane Hobbs (1965).
4 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 29788.
5 Ibid. 29828.
6 Ibid. 30036.
7 Ibid. 30487.
8 Ibid. 29788, 30487.
9 Ibid. 38546, 42424, 67615, 67658; ex inf. corps secretary (1965).
10 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 32046, 38547, 40308, 48088, 50834; ex inf. Brig. W. Wilson (1965).
11 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 58042, 66257.
12 Ibid. 30244, 55889.
13 Ibid. 44849.
14 Ibid. 52117.
15 Ibid. 53771.
16 Ibid. 52868; ex inf. Mr. F. W. Little.
17 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 58091.
18 Ibid. 55449.
19 Ibid. 59915.
20 Ibid. 53772; ex inf. Mr. E. W. Crabb of Glebe Hall (1967).
21 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 63160.
22 Ex inf. Mr. E. W. Crabb (1967).
23 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 56459; ex inf. the secretary (1965).
24 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 63373, 66728; ex inf. the president (1966).
25 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 59263, 59680; ex inf. the president (1965).
26 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 59419, 59476, 59594. Cancelled in 1954.
27 Ex inf. the president (1965).
28 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 48732, 51411; ex inf. the secretary (1965).
29 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 67154.
30 Ibid. 59074; ex inf. Mr. D. L. Bates (1965).
31 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 65906.
32 Ex inf. Mr. D. L. Bates (1965).
33 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 58224, 67081.
34 Ibid. 59709, 59910.
35 Ibid. 59750, 66302; ex inf. the minister (1965).
36 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 51521, 57291; ex inf. the clerk (1965).
37 Char. Com. Reg. 236189.
38 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 68946.
39 Ibid. 68624.
40 Ibid. 69869, 70840.
41 Ibid. 54182.
42 Ibid. 9037: Ret. of churches, chapels . . . H.C. 401, p. 172 (1882), 1; Ware, Pinner, 47-48.
43 Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 29955.
44 Ibid. 29957.
45 Ibid. 37354.
46 Ibid. 60023.
47 Ibid. 63439.
48 Ibid. 68741.
49 Ibid. 69999.