EDGWARE, a parish in the hundred of Gore, county Middlesex, 8 miles N.W. of London. It is situated on the St. Alban's road, about 3 miles N.W. of the railway station at Harrow, and includes Little Stanmore, Edgware Brys, and part of Elstree.
The Roman Watling Street, leading to the ancient city of Verulam, passes over a bridge near the entrance to the village, which consists of one principal street, of which the W. side is in the parish of Little Stanmore, or Whitchurch. By the Saxons it was called Eggeswere, and after the Conquest was possessed by the Longspees and Lacys. The religious order of St. John of Jerusalem had an establishment here, with a refectory for the refreshment of monks on their way from Westminster to St. Alban's. In the Augmentation Office is preserved an inventory of the goods, plate, &c. of the monastery and church of Edgware at the time of the dissolution of religious houses. In the early part of the 18th century, James Duke of Chandos, at an expense of £250,000, erected the magnificent palace of Canons. The walls of this edifice were 12 feet in thickness at the base, and 9 feet thick in the upper part. The pillars of the hall, and the steps of the grand staircase were of polished marble; and the locks and hinges of the doors were silver. The chapel was richly embellished with paintings of the Italian school. After the death of the duke this noble mansion was taken down, and sold piecemeal: the columns were removed to Wanstead House, of which they formed the portico; and the marble staircase was put up in the Earl of Chesterfield's residence, in May-fair. A market was formerly held here; and it is a petty sessions town, and a polling place for the county elections. The land is chiefly meadow and pasture. In the vicinity are many modern villas, with well-planted grounds. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of London, value £493. The church is a modern structure, rebuilt in 1845 on the site of the old one, and is dedicated to St. Margaret. There are also two other churches in the parish, St. John's and St. Lawrence's. The parochial charities produce about £130 per annum, the principal of which is for Day's and Atkinson's almshouses. The Independents have a chapel. There are endowed and National schools for both sexes. A fair is held on the first Wednesday in August, and races take place in the same month.
[Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland" (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
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