Little 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. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.

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'Little Stanmore: Public services', in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham, (London, 1976) pp. 121-122. British History Online [accessed 29 February 2024]


The fire engines at Great Stanmore were presumably used in Little Stanmore, where the vestry did not decide to buy an engine and other equipment until 1883. Nothing had been done by 1887 but thereafter sums were regularly voted for a fire brigade. (fn. 1) An engine house stood behind the Chandos Arms in 1896. (fn. 2) Subscriptions for a new pump, which would be used jointly with Edgware, were suggested in 1843; (fn. 3) perhaps it was the hand pump near Edgware churchyard, where people from both parishes queued for their sole supply thirty years later, when a service was proposed by the Colne Valley Water Co. (fn. 4) In 1858 much 'low fever' was reported near the bridge over Dean's brook, at the southern end of the village; presumably the cause was bad drainage, although the newly formed nuisance removal committee declared itself mystified. (fn. 5) By 1896 the parish was served by the Edgware and Little Stanmore sewage farm, in north-east Kingsbury, which was superseded under the sewerage scheme of 1933. As at Great Stanmore, gas was first supplied by John Chapman of Harrow c. 1860 and electricity under an Act of 1906. (fn. 6)

By 1853 the police commissioners had acquired the site of the present police station, on the south side of Whitchurch Lane near its junction with Edgware Road. (fn. 7) The station, immediately east of the National school, had been built by 1865. (fn. 8)

A hospital for children recovering from infectious diseases was founded in 1882 by Miss Mary Wardell, who converted her house, Sulloniacae, near the junction of Wood Lane with Brockley Hill. The building became a military convalescent home in 1915 and was bought by the Shaftesbury Society at the end of the First World War on the death of Miss Wardell, who had retained a smaller house to the west. The Royal National Orthopaedic hospital bought the property in 1920 as a country branch, together with 4 a. of garden, after undertaking to provide convalescent treatment in accordance with a trust set up by Miss Wardell. Rapid expansion followed the admission of the first patient in 1922, the number of beds being doubled to 100 in 1923. Purchases added 30 a. running westward along Wood Lane as far as Moor House in 1923, a further 70 a. in 1927, and Brockley Hill House with its grounds in 1935. Wings were added to the 19thcentury hospital and new wards were built, raising the accommodation to 275 beds in 1929. A block, later called the Zachary Merton wards, was opened in 1936 to the north-west, near the obelisk, and a training college and workshops (replacing the Wrights Lane Home for Crippled Boys, in Kensington) were opened near by in 1937; after the final disbanding of the college in 1948 its buildings were enlarged for the nursing staff and part of the workshops was leased to the Institute of Orthopaedics. In 1972 the hospital's grounds covered some 115 a., including land leased to the institute. There were 305 beds and a total staff of 800, of whom about 100 were the institute's employees. At that date the Wardell hospital building, of yellow-brown brick, was still in use, while Brockley Hill House, previously a home for student nurses, was being converted into flats for married staff. (fn. 9)

In 1970 much of the north of the parish was open space, since the Warren House estate stretched over the border from Great Stanmore, to adjoin the grounds of the Royal National Orthopaedic hospital. Near the centre of the parish Harrow U.D.C. limited building by buying the 49 a. of Canons Park extension, south of the mansion occupied by the North London Collegiate school, early in 1936 and the 7 a. of Lake Grove recreation ground, north of the park's lake, a few months later; part of the extension was opened as the King George V memorial garden in 1937. Farther south the Chandos recreation ground, between Edgware brook and Camrose Avenue, covered 27 a. (fn. 10)


  • 1. Vestry min. bk.
  • 2. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. VI. 13 (1897 edn.).
  • 3. Vestry min. bk.
  • 4. Druett, Stanmores and Harrow Weald, 251.
  • 5. Vestry min. bk.
  • 6. See p. 105.
  • 7. Nat. Soc. files (plan of sch.).
  • 8. O.S. Maps 6", Mdx. VI. SW. (1865 edn.).
  • 9. Ex inf. the sec.
  • 10. Boro. of Harrow, Facts & Figures (1963-4).