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Harlow, Essex

Historical Description

Harlow, a small town and parish in Essex. The town stands adjacent to the G.E.R., near the river Stort and the boundary with Herts, 6 miles SSW from Bishops Stortford; was once a market-town, is a seat of petty sessions, and has a head post office, a railway station, a police station, a good hotel, and a fair on 28 and 29 Nov. The parish is the centre of a good hunting district, and the Essex foxhounds have been kennelled here for about 30 years. Good fishing is also to be had in the Stort. There are large horticultural and dry glazing works. The parish contains also the hamlet of Potter Street. Acreage, 4015; population, 2643; population of the ecclesiastical parish of St Mary the Virgin, 992; of St John the Baptist, 1172; of St Mary Magdalene, 479. The manor-house, called Harlow Bury, was a seat of the abbots of Great Edmundsbury, was long in possession of the noble family of North, and afterwards held for many years by the Bamard family, is an ancient edifice recently modernized. An ancient chapel in its grounds is supposed to have been used by the monks of Bury St Edmunds, retains a fine Norman door, and has been partly demolished, partly converted into a granary. The head living of St Mary the Virgin and St Hugh, and also two other livings, St John the Baptist and St Mary Magdalene, are vicarages in the diocese of St Albans. The gross value of the chief living is £312 with residence; the gross value of the living of St John is £102 with residence; and that of St Mary £101 with residence. The parish church stands on a rising ground, is ancient, cruciform, and good, and includes two chantry chapels, dedicated to St Thomas and St Petronella, which went into disuse, ! but were restored in 1857 and 1862. St John's Church is modern and in the Early English style; St Mary's Church stands about 2 miles S of the parish church, and is modern and picturesque. There are also a church dedicated to All Saints, one Wesleyan and two Baptist chapels, an endowed school, and charities worth about £250 a year.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyEssex 
Ecclesiastical parishHarlow St. Mary 
Poor Law unionEpping 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Harlow from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Essex is available to browse.

The Essex pages from the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 is online.


Online maps of Harlow are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Essex online:

Postal districtCM20
Post TownHarlow