Harrow Museum buildings
Headstone Manor is surrounded by the only surviving filled moat in Middlesex. The moat is contemporary in date to the oldest part of the building, and was constructed as a status symbol to reflect the wealth of the manor's owner.
The land on which Headstone Manor stands is recorded to have belonged to Wulfred, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 825AD. The construction of Headstone Manor began in c.1310, as revealed by the tree-ring dating of the building's oldest timbers. John Stratford, Archbishop of Canterbury, purchased even more land around the site in 1344 and used the site as his main residence in Middlesex. Headstone Manor remained in the ownership of the Archbishops of Canterbury until 1546, when it was surrendered to Henry VIII. Soon after, Henry VIII sold it to one of his court favourites, and it remained in private ownership for almost four centuries.
The numerous owners of Headstone Manor made dramatic extensions and changes to the building, such as adding extra wings and changing the appearance of the interior and exterior of the house. Examples of this include the panelling of the great hall in 1631, and the addition of a fashionable brick façade in the 1770s which gives Headstone Manor the appearance it has today.
Over time, Headstone Manor fell into a state of disrepair, and much of its surrounding land was sold off. In 1925 Hendon Rural District Council bought the site. It then passed into the control of the London Borough of Harrow after local government reorganisation. After years of increasing dilapidation, the decision was made to turn the site into the home of Harrow Museum, which officially opened in 1986. The first stage of restoration at Headstone Manor began in the autumn of 2004, focussing on the oldest parts of the building.
Headstone Manor is now open for tours every weekend in the summer, providing the public with the chance to view this beautiful and significant historic house, including its recent restoration work.