Gordon Avenue, HA7

Place Name

There are two potential contenders after whom this road may be named. The first is Frederick Gordon of Gordon Hotels who in 1882 bought Bentley Priory as a business venture and opened the house as a private residential hotel on June 6, 1885. According to local historian Ronald S Brown in Harrow Highways Volume 1, he also owned the Grand, the Metropole and First Avenue. Gordon is said to have taken a great interest in the district and was responsible for building Stanmore Golf Course. “It was also due to his enterprise in 1890 that the railway line was extended from Wealdstone to Stanmore. Gordon bore the cost and although it started as a private venture, it was absorbed by the London and North Western Railway in 1899. One of the stipulations was that no trains should be run on Sundays and this was faithfully adhered to until 1935 when the restriction was lifted.  The passenger service to Stanmore was closed in 1952 but Harrow Council has decided to preserve part of the old station building. The track was finally taken up in 1964.” However, Bentley Priory was not a financial success and upon Gordon’s death it changed hands and was opened as a high class ladies’ school, but in 1926 it was taken over by the RAF. The second is the notorious Lord George Gordon who sparked the anti-Popery riots that were named after him in 1780. Some of the mob that persecuted innocent Catholics, took refuge in Harrow Weald where they were eventually captured and jailed or executed at Newgate. Brown explains: “When some old cottages were demolished near ‘the Duck’ before the last war, old muskets and evil looking knives were discovered in the chimneys; they are thought to have been some of the weapons possessed by Lord George Gordon’s mob.”


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