Hidden London

Rayners Lane

Latest addition
Index of places
Clickable map
About this site
London football
London lyrics
London proverbs
London quotes
London statues
London images
Contact us


A suburban conglomeration situated west of Harrow, taking its identity from the tube station, which was in turn named after the long and winding road that runs through here on its way from South Harrow to Pinner. From medieval times smallholders used the lane when carting their grain to the mill on Pinner Green. It was originally called Bourne Lane, because it crossed several streams, including the Yeading Brook. The Rayner family, who lived here in the first half of the nineteenth century, were not illustrious property owners but working tenants of the farmer who had acquired the neighbouring land. The countryside around the wooden halt at Rayners Lane was completely transformed in the decade before the Second World War, mainly by TF Nash, Harrow’s biggest interwar housebuilder. Nash constructed narrow gauge railway sidings at High Worple to bring in materials for the project and created the shopping parade on Alexandra Avenue. The locality now has a strong Asian and Asian British presence – mostly of Indian descent. Hinduism is the main religion after Christianity.

FE Bromige’s Grosvenor (later Odeon) is one of London’s finest suburban cinema buildings. Opened in 1935, its art deco frontage features an abstract representation of an elephant’s trunk. The building is now a centre of worship for members of the Zoroastrian faith and was used as the location for Eyes Down, a recent BBC TV comedy set in a bingo hall.

click for area map (opens in a new window)
A visit to the Grosvenor at Rayners Lane was once a special occasion for north-west Londoners

Postcode areas: Harrow, HA2 and Pinner HA5
Population: 10,038
Station: Central and Piccadilly Lines (Zone 5)

Cinema Treasures website

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

Text and selected images are reproduced with the permission of Chambers but may differ from the published versions
All content 2005–2010