Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Ordnance survey map of CHURCH OF ST GEORGE
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Greater London Authority
Harrow (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 14437 88980




Parish church, 1910-11 by JS Alder.

MATERIALS: Red brick with limestone bands and dressings; tiled roof.

PLAN: Church is aligned north-south; all directions that follow are liturgical. Aisled nave of five bays, with western narthex and eastern two aisle bays projecting as twin-gabled transepts. Two-bay chancel with Lady Chapel to south and organ loft and vestry complex to north.

EXTERIOR: Late Decorated Gothic style. Windows with flowing tracery: east window of five lights with cinquefoil above; transept windows of four lights; aisle windows of two lights; clerestorey windows are of two lights in chancel and single light in nave. East end has angle buttresses terminating in gabled niches. Stepped buttresses to aisles. Gabled south doorway flanked by diagonal buttresses, with traceried overlight and doors with elaborate strapwork hinges. Red sandstone foundation plaque beneath east window. 1961 west end is in a simpler, Tudor-Gothic style: kneelered west gable with window below of three mullioned lights with cusped heads; four-centred west doorway sits within a glazed grid of panel tracery.

INTERIORS: Lofty interior of pale limestone and rendered brick. Nave arcades of five bays, the westernmost bay (added in 1961) being of half the width of the others: two-centred arches with multiple mouldings, resting on four-shafted piers of quatrefoil section with plain bell capitals. Chancel arch is of similar design, as is the two-bay arcade separating chancel from south chapel. Organ case projects through large arched opening to north of chancel with two smaller arches below. Close-boarded wagon roofs to nave and chancel with arch braces resting on slender vaulting shafts; these spring from corbels in nave but rise from ground level in chancel. Transverse arches in eastern aisle bays support gabled roofs of transepts. Cinquefoil-headed niches with nodding ogee gables flanking east window. The nave floor of terrazzo with herringbone blocks in pewed areas; choir and sanctuary floors are of white marble and grey-green granite laid in squares. Clergy and choir vestries to north containing fireplaces with simple Arts and Crafts surrounds.

FIXTURES AND FITTINGS: Rich scheme of fittings, of which only the principal items are mentioned here. Original fittings, including seating, high altar and font, are in a late Gothic manner matching that of the church; later additions by Martin Travers and others employ a mid-C17 classicising style. All are of oak except the stone font. Nave pews with shaped ends. Choir and clergy stalls with simple fleur-de-lys finials and open traceried frontals. Eastward-facing high altar with blind-traceried front. Font with carved octagonal stone bowl resting on eight engaged marble shafts; two-tier canopied cover made in 2004 to a 1948 design by Travers' assistant John Crawford. Organ of 1915 by Frederick Rothwell, in oak case with bowed central section and four flanking bays with traceried heads. Octagonal pulpit of 1942 by Martin Travers: wine-glass stem with scrolled brackets, tester board above with a soffit design representing the Holy Spirit. Reredos of 1949 designed by John Crawford and made by Faith Craft: a triptych with painted reliefs representing the Annunciation and the arrival of the Magi. Screens enclosing Lady Chapel also by Crawford and Faith Craft: solid panels below and slender uprights and arcading above. Later fittings by Francis Stephens and other designers associated with Faith Craft. Lady Chapel reredos of 1940 by Traves, brought from St Stephen's Battersea; Arts and Crafts-style altar below from St Alban's Acton Green.

STAINED GLASS: Original windows of translucent tinted glass: abstract knot designs in aisles, emblems of saints and the Passion in nave and chancel clerestorey. Lady Chapel east window of 1921 by William Aikman, depicting the Holy Women at the Sepulchre. Window in north aisle of 1934 by Maile and Son, representing Faith, Hope and Christ as Love. Great east window of 1937 by Travers, showing Christ in Majesty. Two quatrefoil windows at west end of nave, of o1964 by E Liddell Armitage, representing the Ascension and the descent of the Holy Dove. Good Shepherd window in south aisle is of 1965 by Alfred Fisher, with additional glass installed in 2002.

HISTORY: Headstone remained a rural Middlesex hamlet until the early C20, when population increases resulting from the suburban growth of Harrow led to the area's designation as a Church of England Mission District. A temporary iron chapel was built on Pinner View in 1907, and in 1909 the architect JS Alder was appointed to design a permanent church, which was built in 1910-11 by the firm of J Bentley & Son. In 1928-9 a church hall was built on the opposite side of Pinner View to designs by the architect and draughtsman Cyril Farey. The west end of the church's nave was left unfinished, and was eventually completed in 1961 to a reduced design by Arthur Betts, including a narthex and meeting rooms but omitting Alder's projected south-west tower.

John Samuel Alder (1847-1919) was the son of a West Midlands builder, and trained first with his father's firm and later with GC Haddon in Great Malvern and Frederick Preedy in London. After studying at the Architectural Association he set up in independent practice at Old Broad Street in the City around 1887, before going into partnership with John Turrill in 1898. Best known as a church architect, his works include two other Grade II designated churches nearby, St John the Baptist in central Harrow (1904-5) and St Michael's in Wembley (1908). He was made FRIBA in 1916.

SOURCES: Cherry, B and Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England - London 3: North West (1991), 260. Keeble, S, 'Adorning St George's, Headstone, Harrow', Church Building 87, May/June 2004, 10-12; 'St George's, Headstone, Harrow part II', Church Building 88, July/August 2004, 32-34. National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS), report on St George's Church (forthcoming).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: St George's Church, Pinner View, Harrow, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Architectural quality: a harmonious and restrained design of the late Gothic Revival period. * Fixtures and fittings: a good mid-C20 ensemble by Martin Travers and various designers associated with Faith Craft.

Listing NGR: TQ1444288992


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: London 3 North West, (1991), 260


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 05 Sep 1999
Reference: IOE01/00836/10
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr S. Charles. Source Historic England Archive
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