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15 Facts You May Not Know About Harlow

Friday 21st July 2017

Living in Harlow you get to know the established facts and history such as Sir Fred Gibberd designing the New Town or the fact it was known as ‘Pram Town’ in the 1960’s because of all of the new mums seen pushing prams or leaving them parked up outside of Woolworths.

Harlow however has a long history and has produced famous sport personalities and actors, it also has notable buildings and art. Here we have collated some of our favourite facts about both the new town and old Harlow, some of which you may not have even known before.

1) ‘Nearer my God to me’ was written by the poet Sarah Flower Adams who was from Harlow. This was the last song famously played by the orchestra on the Titanic as she sank into the Atlantic after colliding with an iceberg in 1912.

2) Harlow Town Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country. It was designed by Dame Sylvia Crowe and opened in 1957. In 2016 won a much sought after Green Flag award. The park has also won a Bees Needs Award in the same year for their work in helping improve the park and encourage pollinator friendly habitats and help boost their population.

3) Snooker World Champion Shaun Murphy was born in Harlow in 1982. His dad bought him his first cue aged just 8 from a jumble sale and by aged ten he made his first century break. At the age of 13 he secured a five year £5000 sponsorship deal with the Doc Marten shoe company and at 15 he turned professional.

4) ‘The Lawn’ was Great Britain’s first residential tower block constructed in 1951 and is now a Grade II listed building. It was designed and built to give each flat a south facing balcony and in 1952 the Lawn received a Ministry of Health Housing medal.

5) The name ‘Harlow’ is said to come from the Anglo Saxon word ‘Hlaw’ meaning ‘Army Hill’

6) During an excavation in the 1970’s a roman temple and mosaic floor were discovered. Not only that, they were discovered built on top of an even earlier Iron Age burial mound.

7) Actor Rupert Grint, famous for playing Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter film franchise was born in Harlow in 1988.

8) Harlow was also the birth place for British TV favourites such as the late comedian Rik Mayall, actress Jo Joyner and broadcaster Jackie Brambles as well as footballers Carl Jenkinson, Richard Keogh and Lee Harvey (to name just a few!)

9) Parndon Mill, which we all know today as an art and crafts centre, was mentioned in the Doomsday book. The wheel which is still in position in the mill house was installed in 1904 after a fire in 1897 destroyed the mill. The wheel stopped turning in 1960 when the well respected miller Neville Smith passed away.

10) St Marys Church in Churchgate Steet is a grade II listed building and dates back to 1190.

11) Olympic cyclist Laura Trott was born in Harlow in 1992. Trott has won multiple gold medals in her career and along with her husband Jason Kenny, was awarded a CBE in April of this year. She also received an OBE in 2013.

12) Harlow was the birthplace of fibre optic data transmission; it was developed by Charles K Kao at the Standard Telecommunication Laboratories (STL).

13) Onlinegolf is one of Europe’s leading online golf stores and is based in Harlow.

14) In Roman times Harlow was the site of a small town with a sizeable stone built temple. This was around the Harlow Mill Station area.

15) Both Harlow and Harlow New Town are referred to in the song ‘Get ‘em out by Friday’. This is by the band Genesis from their 1972 album ‘Foxtrot’.

If you have any more secret facts about Harlow that we have missed, share them with us on social. Facebook: @ TheHarveyCentre Twitter: @TheHarveyCentre


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