An expansive and expensive suburb running into open
countryside west of Brockley Hill and east of Harrow Weald. The name was first recorded in Domesday Book as Stanmere, a stony
pool. It was later known as Great Stanmore, to distinguish it from the separate settlement of Little Stanmore, which lay to
the south-east. In the Middle Ages the village is thought to have clustered around the manor house and church, which stood
near the present-day junction of Wolverton Road with Old Church Lane. An Augustinian priory was founded a mile and a half
to the north-west, probably in the early 13th century.
Elsewhere, the surroundings were mostly empty heathland,
later known as Stanmore Common. Perhaps because of the Black Death, the old village was abandoned and a new settlement grew
up to the north, on the Uxbridge road, where the Church of St John the Evangelist was consecrated in 1632 by Archbishop Laud.
Beginning with Stanmore Park in the 1720s, several very grand houses were either newly built or greatly enlarged from existing
Bentley Priory was built in the 1766 on the site of
the Augustinian priory, and remodelled in the 1790s by Sir John Soane for the eccentric James Hamilton, later the Marquess
of Abercorn. Public houses were licensed in various locations across the parish, including the Abercorn Arms in 1803. The
village itself remained little changed until the 1820s, when substantial villas began to cluster around the church and manor
house. Meanwhile, the rebuilding of mansions continued, notably Stanmore Hall in the late 1840s, when a new St John’s
Church was built in the same churchyard as its namesake. In the 1880s Frederick Gordon converted Bentley Priory into a grand
but not very successful hotel, and established a railway company that built a line to Stanmore. More villas followed and Stanmore
Golf Club was founded in 1893.
In 1925 the Air Ministry bought Bentley Priory and
it became the Royal Air Force’s Fighter Command Headquarters during World War II. Modern suburban development began
after the construction of the Metropolitan Railway (later the Bakerloo and now the Jubilee Line) in 1932.