Places of Interest nearby
Number of texts: 2
Continue down past ‘Obadiah Slope’ and cross back over the road to the top of West Street…
You can divert across the road to view the fountain where Harrow inhabitants drew their water.
Walk down West Street …
Many of the buildings on your right used to be shops - and this was one of the most popular shopping streets in Harrow on the Hill.
Number 15 West Street, the ‘Hatmaker’s Shop’, and number 13, ‘Sugarloaf’, are fine examples of old premises converted to modern houses.
As you continue down West Street to the junction with Crown Street you will pass the Old Poor House on your right.
In the nineteenth century, when this area was still farmland, seasonal work was often all that the poor could find during the warmer months. In the winter some poorer agricultural workers and their families were forced to accept ‘poor relief’ from the parish. It is likely that the pauper funeral that so moved Lord Shaftesbury as a Harrow schoolboy started from this place.
Across from the Old Poor House stands the Castle public house - one of the few remaining in the area today. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries there were many pubs in Harrow to supply the poor with alcoholic oblivion.
Today the Castle serves a fine range of beers in a pleasant atmosphere. It seems to have avoided the perils of the ‘themed’ pubs and is worth a visit for refreshment.
West Street runs down from the summit of Harrow Hill, where the famous school is situated, to the Lower Road. It has lost most of its shops and pubs but the Castle pub remains and is relatively unchanged. The houses on both sides of the street are almost unchanged from Victorian/Edwardian times and particularly so once you pass the pathway entrance to Church Fields and the road opens out.
This was the point where carts could turn round and a handsome red-brick church building stands on the right, now used as a factory. Further down on the right are a series of handsome red-brick Edwardian 3 bedroom semi-detached villas including number 75. This house has the old Pye Cottage at the bottom of the garden, although that building is almost entirely concealed by a magnificent yew tree. These villas date from about 1910 and were once connected directly to the Powerhouse Studios behind where electricity was first generated for the area.