The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868
GREAT STANMORE, a parish in the hundred of Gore, county Middlesex, 13 miles N.W. of St. Paul's, London, and 1½ mile from Edgware. It is situated on the road to Watford, 2½ miles from the line of the London and North-Western railway, and includes the district of Stanmore Marsh.
Half a mile to the E. of Stanmore Hall lies Brockley Hill, the site of the Roman station Sulloniacæ. At the time of the Domesday survey the manor was held by the Earl of Moreton; in the 13th century it passed to St. Alban's Abbey, and subsequently to the priory of St. Bartholomew, Smithfield. At a later date it belonged to Sir Peter Gambo, a Spaniard, the Lake, Brydges, and Drummond families, and is at present vested in J. Kelk, Esq., M.P., the possessor of the estate and mansion of Bentley Priory, situated on the southern slope of the hill: for rather more than a year it was the residence of the late Queen Adelaide, who died there on the 2nd December, 1849. It was to Stanmore that George IV., then Prince Regent, went in great pomp to meet Louis XVIII., then on his way from his retreat at Hartwell to ascend the French throne, after the occupation of Paris by the Allies. The village which extends for nearly a mile, is built on the slope of the hill, commanding a prospect over the vale of the Thames to the S., with the Surrey hills in the back-ground, and towards the N. the vale of Herts. It was lighted with gas in 1859, and contains a population of 1,450. The neighbourhood has many seats and mansions: Stanmore Park, once the seat of Lord Castlereagh, with Stanmore Hall, the Warren House, and the Grove. From the great elevation of the common the ground floors of the houses are said to be on a level with the upper line of the tower of Harrow Church. Forbes, author of "Oriental Memoirs," was a resident in the village; and Dr. Parr, at one period of his life, kept a small school at Stanmore Hill. The living, which is a rectory in the diocese of London, value £440, was once held by Archbishop Boyle. The old church, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, was built by Sir John Wolstanholme in 1632, under the direction of Archbishop Laud. The fabric, now an ivy-covered ruin, once contained monuments to the founder, his father, and his sons, to Mr. Dalton, and other worthies. The remains of Daniel Draper, the husband of Sterne's Eliza, and of Raphael West, son of B. West, President of the Royal Academy, lie in this churchyard. The new church was built in 1850, at a cost of £5,000, after designs by H. Clutton, is 105½ feet long, in the Pointed style, with a tower 76 feet high, and an E. window of stained glass to the memory of the late Queen Adelaide. The parochial charities produce about £10 per annum. There are National schools for children of both sexes, and an infant school. In 1835 French and Spanish coins, in value about £4,000, were discovered by some workmen in a field belonging to the rector. They were claimed by three different parties,-the crown, the lord of the manor, and the rector. Whilst the dispute was settling the villagers were not idle, but with pick and spade laid bare the treasure, and helped themselves to the last pieces. The estate which was given to the Earl of Moreton by the Conqueror, his half brother, was wrested from a succeeding earl by Henry I.
[Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland" (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
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