Another in the occasional series on “Far-Flung Lost London” …
Headstone was first recorded in 1348 as Hegeton, from the Old English for a farmstead enclosed by a hedge.
The moated manor house now known as Headstone Manor was originally built, probably by the Ramsey family, at least as long ago as 1310-15 (recent dendrochronological analyses yielding dates in this range). In 1344, it began to be used as a country residence by the Archbishops of Canterbury, who had owned the land on which it stood since at least 825. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII in the sixteenth century, it was acquired by the North family (who also came to own the London Charterhouse at the same time), and substantially rebuilt and extended. It remained in private ownership until the twentieth century, undergoing extensive remodelling in the eighteenth, when a brick facade was added to the earlier timber frame. It was acquired by the local authority in 1925, and opened to the public as the Harrow Museum and Heritage Centre in 1986. It has recently reopened after an extensive renovation programme begun in 2004. Archaeological excavations undertaken as an adjunct to the recent renovation have uncovered the remains of the kitchen of the original Medieval manor house – interestingly, external to the main part of the building.
Nearby are the Great Barn and Granary.