Spot­light on Harrow

New flats and good-size houses bring first timers and fam­i­lies to this ur­ban vil­lage with a fa­mous school at its heart, only 15 min­utes from cen­tral Lon­don, says

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - Property Searching -

PERCHED high on a hill­top, the lit­tle vil­lage of Harrow on the Hill is a world away from the bus­tle of the rest of Harrow, with its busy town cen­tre and streets of Metroland Thir­ties semis.

This pic­turesque north-west Lon­don vil­lage, with nar­row, wind­ing high street, pe­riod ar­chi­tec­ture and pretty cot­tages, is home to Harrow School, one of the world’s most fa­mous board­ing schools, where prime min­is­ters Peel, Palmer­ston, Bald­win and Churchill were all ed­u­cated, and where more re­cently the ac­tor Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch and Love Ac­tu­ally writer-di­rec­tor Richard Cur­tis were pupils.

Wan­der­ing through the vil­lage, tourists pass Vic­to­rian Gothic school build­ings, a chapel with man­i­cured lawns and school out­fit­ters. It is hard to tell where the school ends and or­di­nary life be­gins. The vil­lage owes its ex­is­tence to an El­iz­a­bethan farmer and the ar­rival of the Metropoli­tan Rail­way in in­spir­ing head­mas­ters such as Charles Vaughan, head from 1845-1859, and his suc­ces­sor Henry Mon­tagu But­ler, who pro­moted their school as a ri­val to Eton. The Old School, the school chapel, The Vaughan Li­brary and the Speech Room were all built in Vic­to­rian Gothic style dur­ing this pe­riod. They gave Harrow on the Hill its quaint and charm­ing char­ac­ter and the two head­mas­ters are com­mem­o­rated in three streets of Vic­to­rian ter­race houses in West Harrow: But­ler Road, But­ler Av­enue and Vaughan Road.

Harrow is 13 miles north-west of cen­tral Lon­don, with Stan­more to the north; Hen­don to the east; Wem­b­ley to the south and Ruis­lip to the west.

Es­tate agent Hari Pa­tel, from the Harrow branch of Hunters, says the town is vi­brant and ben­e­fits from be­ing on the Lon­don Un­der­ground Metropoli­tan line, with a mix­ture of fam­ily homes and new-build flats that are at­tract­ing first-time buy­ers.

Claim to fame: out­side pri­vate Harrow School in Harrow on the Hill High Street. Founded in 1572, the school has many fa­mous alumni

Fast links: es­cape to a Lon­don vil­lage that’s well con­nected

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