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Mud and Hidden Treasure – A brief history of Honeypot Lane

If you’re in the habit of strolling along Harrow’s Honeypot Lane, you’ll know that, in 2022, this 6013-metre street is an eclectic mix of small businesses and new and old homes – but that wasn’t always the case. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the humble beginnings of this well-known part of Harrow.

Mud and Mayhem

It’s hard to imagine in 2022, Honeypot Lane was once a ‘one cart track’ – so named as it only offered enough room for one horse and cart to pass at any given time. In fact, if a cart driver had the bad luck to be driving along Honeypot Lane at the same time as another, one of the drivers would have to open a gate and maneuver into a nearby field to allow the other driver to pass.

It is said that Honeypot Lane began life as a stopping place on the route between Brockley Hill, Dover and Holyhead and, rumour has it that those seeking respite on Honeypot Lane included armies, labourers and druids. Unfortunately, Honeypot Lane was also utilised by robbers who would lie in wait in order to relieve travellers of their cash and belongings.

Mud and Hidden Treasure - A brief history of Honeypot Lane Harrow Online

Due to the nature of the visitors to Honeypot Lane, there are those who are convinced that, lurking beneath the modern buildings and road may be lost treasure left behind by wealthy travellers or robbers making a hasty retreat.

What’s in a name?

While the name Honeypot Lane may sound quaint, there is actually a slightly murkier reason for this moniker. Until the early 1930s, Honeypot Lane was really no more than marshland which would turn to sticky mud during wet weather. For this reason, locals would say that walking along the lane was like walking through a vat of honey.

In its early days, the only residential properties on or around Honeypot Lane were four cottages known as Marsh Cottages – and, in fact, these buildings are still evident near the site of the Green Man Pub. Other than these cottages, the area offered an isolation hospital for patients suffering from contagious diseases.

Mud and Hidden Treasure - A brief history of Honeypot Lane Harrow Online
Honeypot Lane, Credit: Geograph

A buzzing part of Harrow

Modern civilisation came to Honeypot Lane in the 1930s when a public house known locally as The Hog And Donkey was established, followed by more housing and factories which provided work to local residents.

Mud and Hidden Treasure - A brief history of Honeypot Lane Harrow Online

These days, Honeypot Lane is a hive of activity with many homes and small and large businesses, eagle-eyed visitors can still catch a glimpse of the original Honeypot Lane in the form of the Edgware Brook which is still evident on the junction of Whitchure Lane and Honeypot Lane.