The New Town of Harlow


The story of Harlow New Town officially begins on 25 March 1947. On that date, Lewis Silkin, Minister of Town and Country Planning in the first postwar Labour Government, issued a designation order for a completely new planned community to house some 60,000 people to the west of an existing Essex village called Harlow.

The designation order made Harlow possible. It identified the town's location, set a target population and, together with the Act under which it was made - the New Towns Act, 1946 - broadly determined what kind of town Harlow should be and how it should be developed.

Harlow lies about 25 miles to the north-east of London. In 1947, it was a rural area with a scattered population of about 4,500. By 1980, it was a prosperous town, housing about 80,000 people and providing work, shopping and entertainment for a large surrounding area. It is also, perhaps, one of the greenest of the new towns - a million or so trees and shrubs were planted.

The town was built by Harlow Development Corporation to the Master Plan of Sir Frederick Gibberd - the only architect-planner to serve a new town from designation to dissolution.

(to be continued)


Picture Galleries
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Harlow Gallery 1 Harlow Gallery 2 Harlow Gallery 3

Harlow Gallery 1

Harlow Gallery 2 Harlow Gallery 3
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All pictures Andrew Cromar 2004-2007. Click here to contact me