There are tales from Harrow’s past lurking on every corner. Stephanie Wareham has compiled a list to impress your friends next time you’re wandering around the town.
Crossing the finish line... Ever wondered who the Sir Roger Bannister Playing Fields were named after? Well, back in 1954 the Harrow-born athlete was the first person to run a four- minute mile, completing the race in 3.59.4 seconds.
You’ve got mail... Next time you post a letter, remember the pillar box was introduced to Britain by author Anthony Trollope, who went to Harrow School and later worked as a Royal Mail surveyor.
Pawsitively unbearable? Grim’s Dyke, in Harrow Weald, was once home to hundreds of wild animals. W.S. Gilbert, a poet and playwright, lived in the house - and he kept bees, cattle, horses, pigs, fowl, monkeys, lemurs and even a lynx.
Gruesome... Thomas Port, a guard on a London to Birmingham train, slipped between the carriages during a routine ticket check. As he fell under the train, both his legs were severed and he died some three hours later. His body lies in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church, in Harrow-on-the-Hill.
Score! Remember how tough playing squash was during school PE lessons? In 1830, students playing racquets at Harrow School realised when the balls were punctured, it was much more challenging for players to hit. The first four squash courts were built in the school in 1864 and it has been considered its own sport ever since.
Ghost stories... If you ever find yourself wandering around St Mary’s Church, remember you might be stepping on the unmarked grave of Lord Byron’s daughter Allegra, who died in 1822. It’s one of London’s oldest medieval churches.
Money money money... Harrow has the largest population of millionaires.