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Harefield (Virgin Mary)

HAREFIELD (Virgin Mary), a parish, in the union of Uxbridge, hundred of Elthorne, county of Middlesex, 4¼ miles (N.) from Uxbridge; containing 1516 inhabitants. This parish, which is bounded on the west by the river Colne, and intersected by the Grand Junction canal, comprises 4534 acres. The soil is dry and rocky in some parts, in others a rich loam alternated with chalk; the surface, with the exception of a considerable tract of moorland, is hilly, and the scenery pleasingly diversified. The works belonging to the Royal Copper-Mines Company are situated in a hamlet here, which, from that circumstance, has its name. Harefield Park is a handsome mansion,' in an ample and richly-wooded demesne, ornamented with a small lake, and comprehending much beautiful scenery. The living is a donative, in the patronage of C. N. Newdegate, Esq., whose family have long appointed their own commissary; net income, £64; impropriator, Sir G. Cooke. The church contains several memorials of the ancient family of Newdegate, and a splendid monument to the memory of Alice, Countess of Derby, who, about 1637, founded and endowed almshouses for six widows. The Knights Hospitallers had a commandery at Harefield, a cell to that of Clerkenwell; the chapel is still standing, and is in the early English style.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.