These days, when residents of Pinner want to pick up groceries, they simply pop to Sainsbury’s or M&S but things were a little different in years gone by.
From Early Beginnings
Dating back to 1231, Pinner was originally known as Pinnora, having been named after the River Pinn with the word ‘or’, meaning hill, being added. In its infancy, Pinner was home to yeoman farmers and smallholders whose land surrounded St. John the Baptist Church which became independent of Harrow’s St. Mary’s in 1766 and appointed its first vicar, William Hind, in 1868.
From 1336, Pinner residents enjoyed the annual Pinner Fair which, like many county fairs of its time, focused on allowing farmers to trade and sell livestock and hire staff for the season ahead. The Pinner Fair is still held every year but these days the much anticipated event is a purely recreational endeavor featuring music, dance and other forms of entertainment, including children’s activities.
An abundance of farmland in Pinner meant that a number of different farms were able to flourish including those producing honey, nuts, pigs, hens, cows and deer – the latter of which were reared in Pinner Park with between 97 and 120 deer recorded on the land in 1443.
By the 15th century, most of the trees in Pinner Park Farm had been harvested for wood and coal and the land was rented out to local farmers by the Archbishop of Canterbury whereby it was largely used as pasture space for livestock. More change was to come in the 16th century when the land was used to grow wheat, beans, peas and hay.
By the 18th century, the majority of farmland in Pinner had become meadow land (65%), however, during the second world war, the land was once again used to grow cereals to fuel Britain’s war efforts
With wartime behind us, Pinner’s farmland was focused on dairy farming and, by 1967, Pinner’s whole 230 acres was dedicated to the rearing of 240 Friesan cows which produced milk for residents in the surrounding areas.
In 2022, Pinner Park Farm is designated as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and is popular with nature lovers – particularly bird watchers who visit the site in order to spot a number of species of birds including jackdaws, magpies and carrion crows.
If you enjoyed this article, read more about the history of Harrow.