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Famous residents of Stanmore Middlesex

Stanmore is home to a huge number of people who are renown the world over, many notable personalities and inspirational people were born, have lived in or continue to live in Stanmore, there are some instantly recognisable names while others are simply notable locals.

From Royalty and Mp's to Singers, Actors, sportsmen, Industrialists and entertainers. Celebrities such as Billy Idol, Roger Moore, Charlotte Rampling OBE, Barbara Windsor and Michael Portillo.

Keep reading this list for more of Stanmore's remarkable sons and daughters as we take a look at some of them below.

Queen Adelaide Amelia Louise (1792 - 1849)


Adelaide was the wife of King William IV of the United Kingdom. She lived at Bentley Priory from 1848 until her death there.

Queen Adelaide's last public appearance was to lay the foundation stone of the church of St John the Evangelist, Great Stanmore. She donated the font when the church was completed after her death, the east window of St John's is dedicated to her memory.

Adelaide is probably best remembered for the city in South Australia that is named after her and still bears her name.

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Hugh Dowding

Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding, was commander of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain He lived with his sister Hilda in a Victorian house called Montrose on Stanmore’s Gordon Avenue. Each morning he would walk to his office at nearby Bentley Priory. For a man almost on the verge of retirement, and by some seen as too old for the job he put together an unparalleled defence network that is credited in winning the battle of Britain.

Hugh brought together the technology of the day, radar, telephone and spotters under the umbrella of the Dowding system, its end result was the plotters in the filter room giving Fighter Command a good virtual picture of what was happening in the skies above Britain.

Winston Churchill noted, " All the ascendancy of the Hurricanes and Spitfires would have been fruitless but for the system known as the Dowding System. It is the pivotal role of the filter room within the system which allowed commanders at all levels to manage the battle from a common picture of the air. "

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Charles Drury Edward Fortnum

of the Fortnum & Masons grocery dynasty bought 'Hill House' on Stanmore Hill in 1852 with his wife Fanny Matilda Keats. He was a distinguished art collector and a Trustee of the British Museum.

During their travels they gathered a large collection of ceramics, bronzes and other objects most of which he donated to the Ashmolean museum in Oxford. The collection was so large they had to build a separate wing to house them, now called the Fortnum Gallery.

They lived on Stanmore Hill for over forty years and when Fanny died in 1890, Charles dedicated a window at St. John's Church in Stanmore in her memory depicting St. Matthew and St. Mark.

After he died in 1899 the remainder of his collections were given to the British Museum.

Abu Qatada

Muslim hate preacher, Abu Qatada lived in Uppingham Avenue, Stanmore and was held there on a 22 hour home curfew until his deportation to Jordan on 7 July 2013.

Edward Adrian Wilson

Polar Explorer Edward Adrian Wilson , Edward Wilson was an English physician, explorer, natural historian, painter and ornithologist. He lived for some time on Stanmore Hill and died with Captain Scott during the race for the South Pole.

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Fay Compton CBE

Actress Fay Compton CBE lived In Green Lane Stanmore. Although probably best known for her stage appearances, Fay also appeared in more than forty films between 1914 and 1970.

Linda Hayden

English film and television actress was born 19 January 1953 in Stanmore. She is best known for her roles in 1970s British horror films and sex comedies.

Patricia Medina

Actress Patricia Medina, second wife of Joseph Cotten, grew up and spent her early years at her parents large house in Stanmore, before moving across the pond to Hollywood.

Roger Moore

Actor Roger Moore, famous for his role as James Bond and in The Saint, lived at 58 Gordon Avenue Stanmore.

Charlotte Rampling OBE

The actress Charlotte Rampling OBE, lived with her parents in a thatched cottage called Westwood, 24 Uxbridge Road. Her father was Lieutenant Colonel Godfrey Lionel Rampling, an athlete and army officer who competed in the 1932 Summer Olympics. He also took part in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin winning a gold for Great Britain. In retirement he maintained his sporting interests by becoming secretary of Stanmore Golf Club, He spent his final years at a nursing home in Bushey, where he died aged 100.

Charlotte started her stage career at Stanmore’s Bernays institute, for it was here when Charlotte was just 14 that she made her stage debut. Appearing with her older sister Sarah, singing French chansons. ”We went down a treat”, she remembers. ”I had this incredible sensation, I thought, I know where I'm going. This is where I have to be. This is what I have to do. I've found my way”. After one such performance the sisters were talent-scouted and offered a nightclub audition in the West End. Her father, however, thought otherwise. When the prospect arose of his two girls taking their little show to London, he said, ”over my dead body ”.

Years later Charlotte would say ”we were too young, although, of course, it was heart-breaking for us, we thought we were going to be cabaret stars. But to this day I have never forgotten that unsettling, thrilling feeling of being on stage in front of a live audience. ”

Cyril Shaps

Actor Cyril Shaps lived in Stanmore. Cyril had a movie career spanning over 40 years but is probably best remembered for playing Doctor Bechmann in the 1977 James Bond classic The Spy Who Loved Me.

Barbara Windsor.

Actress Barbara Windsor and her first husband businessman and club owner Ronnie Knight, lived in a spacious property in Aylmer Drive near the top of Stanmore Hill

Clive Anderson

Barrister, comedy writer and television presenter Clive Anderson was born and brought up in Stanmore. He attended Stanburn school and was also school friends with another local Stanmore lad Michael Portillo

Franklin Engelmann

Franklin Engelmann. Franklin lived in Elm Park and was a radio personality popular in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly as the host of 'sDown Your Way's, 'sAsk me another's and Gardeners's Question Time. He was also the original host of the BBC Radio programme 'sPick of the Pops's.

Anthony Horowitz

Novelist and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz, was born in Stanmore on 5 April 1956. Anthony has scripted many TV programmes although he is probably most famous for works such as Foyles war, Midsummer Murders and the Alec Rider children's spy thrillers.

Matt Lucas

Performer and comedian Matt Lucas was born in Stanmore on 5 March 1974. He attended Aylward First & Middle School. Matt is a comedian, screenwriter, actor and singer, best known for his work with David Walliams in the television show Little Britain, as well as for his portrayals of the scorekeeping baby George Dawes in the comedy panel game Shooting Stars.

George Frideric Handel

George Frideric Handel. Handel was a German born Baroque composer, who in 1717 became house composer at Cannons in Little Stanmore. It was during his time in Stanmore that he composed some of his most performed work, such as 'Acis and Galatea', and it is said it was here during a thunderstorm he sheltered from the rain in an old smithy and listening to the hammer of local blacksmith William Powell fall on the anvil gave Handel the idea for the movement which he named 'The Harmonious Blacksmith'. The organ on which he played is still sited at St. Lawrence church in Little Stanmore.

Edwin 'Ted' Astley

Edwin 'Ted' Astley. Ted was a prolific and inventive British composer who lived on Stanmore Hill. He is known for television action-adventure theme music, most notably the theme to The Saint, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and Danger Man. His youngest daughter Virginia Astley also lived in Stanmore and was a well known singer-songwriter during the 1980's and 1990's. His eldest daughter Karen Astley married Pete Townshend of The Who.

Samuel Gabriel 'Sam' Costa

Dance-band singer, radio comedian and DJ on Radio Luxembourg and Radio 2 Samuel Gabriel 'Sam' Costa lived on the Uxbridge Road in a house opposite The chase from the 1960's.

Darren Foreman

Performer and musician Darren Foreman whose stage name is Beardyman grew up in Stanmore, as did his brother, musical comedian Jay Foreman.

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert Commonly known as W.S Gilbert. One half of the the Victorian-era theatrical partnership Gilbert & Sullivan. William was a playwright, dramatist, author, illustrator and poet. He drowned in a lake at his garden in Harrow Weald and his ashes are buried at the church of St. John the Evangelist, Stanmore.

Peter Van Hooke

Drummer Peter Van Hooke who played in groups like 'Mike + The Mechanics' and also drummed for Van Morrison's band, was raised in Stanmore.

Billy Idol

Billy Idol, born William Michael Albert Broad. Shot to fame as front man from the punk group Generation X and later as a solo artist, was born in Stanmore.

Laurie Johnson


Laurie Johnson MBE. Laurie is an English film and television composer, who scored the music for Dr Strangelove, This Is Your Life, Animal Magic, Whicker’s World, No Hiding Place, The Avengers, The New Avengers and The Professionals. He lived and worked in the Grade II listed Priory House on Clamp Hill from the 1960's until 2014

George Michael

George Michael, (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou) lived in Stanmore with his family before making the big break. His father owned a Greek restaurant in Station Road, Edgware. George would perform as a singer and as a DJ in many of the venues locally around Bushey and Stanmore.

Marco Pirroni

Marco Pirroni, born Marco Francesco Andrea Pirroni on 27 April 1959, is a legendary guitarist, songwriter and record producer. He has worked and performed with Adam Ant, Sinéad O'Connor, Siouxsie and the Banshees and many others from the late 1970's to the present day. Marco lived in and still runs his company from Stanmore.

Alvin Stardust

70's Glam Rocker Alvin Stardust (Born Bernard William Jewry) Bought a detached house and lived on The Uxbridge Road, Stanmore.

Clement Attlee

Clement Attlee United Kingdom Labour Party Prime Minister in the first post-war government, lived with his family in a large villa ''Heywood'', on Stanmore's London Road.

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George Hamilton-Gordon

George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen. was a British politician, diplomat and landowner who served as Prime Minister from December 1852 until February 1855. Gordon was raised in Stanmore and was later buried there after his death on 14 December 1860.

Robert Hollond

Robert and his wife lived in Stanmore Hall from 1847. He was a balloonist and MP. His wife Ellen Hollond founded London's first creche.

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Michael Portillo

Conservative M.P. Brought up in Bush Grove Stanmore and attended Stanburn School. Michael is an avid rail enthusiast and as an intro to his book “Great British Railway Journeys“ he fondly recalls the Old Stanmore branch line and writes:

There was a tank engine-hauled service from Belmont to Harrow and Wealdstone, close to where I grew up. My eldest brother, Charles, would take me on the 'Belmont Rattler', and I remember the panting engine, the smoke and my excitement. “.

Sir John David Rees

Sir John David Rees was a colonial administrator in British India mostly in the south of India where he was Under-Secretary in the Madras Government. Later in life he served two terms as Member of Parliament in the UK from 1906 as the Liberal MP for Montgomery constituency, and from 1912 as the Unionist MP for Nottingham East. John lived with his Wife Mary and son Richard in a house called Aylwards on Stanmore Hill. After his death His son Sir Richard successively owned the house which stood where Aylmer Drive stands today.

Labour MP Keith Vaz

Disgraced abour MP Keith Vaz who has been a member of Parliament for Leicester East since the 1987 election, currently lives in Stanmore. Keith holds the record for being the longest-serving Asian MP and has been the Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee since July 2007.

Dave Bassett

Football coach and former football player Dave Bassett, was born in Stanmore. In his career he has managed Wimbledon, Watford, Sheffield United, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest, Barnsley, Leicester City and Southampton.

Kenny Jackett

Watford and Wales football player Kenny Jackett, lived in Woodcroft Avenue Stanmore during his time playing at Watford FC. After his playing career ended he move into management. Managing Watford, QPR, Swansea City, Millwall and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Theo Walcott

Footballer Theo Walcott, Arsenal and England player, was born in Stanmore in 1989. His family still live there.

Sir Walter Winterbottom

The first fulltime manager of the England men's football team and still the longest holder of that post. He was married to his wife Ann in St John's church and lived for many years in Holland Walk. One of his three children went to Stanburn School.

William Knox D'Arcy

William Knox D'Arcy was an oil and gold prospector and one of the principal founders of the oil and petrochemical industry in Persia, which is present day Iran. In 1889, he and his family moved to Stanmore, he bought and lived in Stanmore Hall. In April 1909 D'Arcy was made a director of the newly founded Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) which would later become British Petroleum.

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Andrew Drummond

Andrew Drummond bought Stanmore Park in 1729. He was a Scottish goldsmith and formed his own bank 'Drummond Bank' in Charring Cross. He lived in Stanmore for 40 years and died there aged 81. His bank was taken over by the Royal Bank of Scotland in 1924, but still has a branch in Charring Cross.

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Sir Arthur du Cros.

In 1896 Sir Arthur du Cros, founder of the Dunlop Rubber Company bought the house and surrounding grounds of Canons, and commissioned Charles Mallows to design his gardens, which were considered to be amongst the greatest of the Edwardian era. Mallows also designed the present front of the Old House. After the First World War, Du Cros put the house on the market and it was eventually bought by the North London Collegiate School in 1929 for the sum of £17,500.

Frederick Gordon

Frederick Gordon, chairman of “The Gordon Hotels Company limited”and “The Frederick Hotels Company Limited”, built the Stanmore Railway, Started Stanmore Golf Course and turned Bentley Priory into a hotel before making it his family home. Lived in, and is buried in Stanmore.

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Charles and Agnes Keyser

Charles and his sister Agnes lived in Warren House in Wood Lanel during the 1800's. Every morning a member of the household would walk over the road to the nearby spring ponds and draw water which would be used for cooking, cleaning, bathing and drinking. This was normal practice for the time and it wasn’t until the terrible Typhoid and Cholera epidemics which swept London in the 1860's that anything changed.

Charles had an idea to purify the water we use and pipe it directly to people's houses. In 1873 he formed “The Colne valley Water Company” and became its first Chairman. His idea was to take pure water from its gathering grounds in the Chilterns and pump it through clay pipes under the streets into people's homes.

The Colne valley Water Company brought fresh water supplies to Stanmore for the very first time. It was largely due to the effort and drive of people like Charles Keyser that eventually led to the clean drinking water that we all take for granted today.

Sir Frederick Handley Page CBE

Sir Frederick Handley Page CBE Lived in Limes House, Wood Lane, Stanmore. Frederick was a pioneer in the aircraft industry and in 1909 founded Handley Page, Ltd, the first British aircraft manufacturing corporation. Handley Page Limited was best known for its large aircraft such as The Handley Page Victor B.2 a long-range medium bomber, The Handley Page H.P.42 airliner, and the Halifax bomber. He is also known for his invention of the 'leading edge slot,' a slot cut into the leading edge of a wing to improve the stall characteristics of the aircraft.

Sir Geoffrey de Havilland CBE

Captain Sir Geoffrey de Havilland CBE, OM, CBE, AFC, RDI, FRAeS, (27 July 1882 – 21 May 1965) was a British aviation pioneer and aircraft engineer. In 1920 Geoffrey formed the de Havilland Aircraft Company at Stag Lane Aerodrome, Edgware, where he and his company designed and built a large number of aircraft, including 'The Vampire', 'The Gipsy', 'The Goblin' and 'The Moth' but it was the 'de Havilland Mosquito' which has been considered the most versatile warplane ever built.

Geoffrey lived with his family in the 'White House' on Stanmore's London Road

Stanmore's famous Sons & Daughters

Sport, Politics, Music and commerce – these are just a few of the areas where people from Stanmore have achieved fame, both locally nationally and in many cases internationally.

But as well as the famous let us not forget there are countless others who should be added here, for the impact they've had on a local level, each one adding to the rich tapestry of our area and all helping to put the 'Great' in Great Stanmore 

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