Pinner is a suburb in the London Borough of Harrow in Greater London, England, north-west of Charing Cross. The area was in the county of Middlesex until 1965, when it was absorbed by the London Government Act 1963 into Greater London.


Pinner was originally a hamlet, first recorded in 1231 as Pinnora, although the already archaic -ora (meaning 'hill') suggests its origins lie no later than c.900. The oldest part of the village lies around the fourteenth-century parish church of St John the Baptist, at the junction of the present-day Paines Lane, High Street and Church Lane. The earliest surviving private dwelling, East End Farm Cottage, dates from the late fifteenth-century.

Pinner has had an annual street fair since 1336, when it was granted by Royal Charter by Edward III; it remains popular today, being the last of its kind in Middlesex, and featured in Sir John Betjeman's BBC TV documentary Metro-land (1973). The village expanded rapidly between 1923 and 1939, when a series of garden estates – encouraged by the Metropolitan Railway – grew around its historic core, and at this time assumed much of its present-day suburban character.


Pinner has three tiers of government: Harrow Council and the London Assembly ("local"), the United Kingdom parliament ("national"), and the European Parliament ("Europe").

Harrow Council has been governed since 2006 by the Conservatives, led by David Ashton. The mayor – a ceremonial post which rotates annually – is John Nickolay (Conservative). Pinner is represented by two wards, Pinner and Pinner South, each of which currently returns three Conservative councillors.

Pinner forms the north-west corner of the Brent and Harrow constituency in the London Assembly, which has been represented since 2008 by Navin Shah (Labour), and the Harrow West constituency in the United Kingdom parliament, represented since 1995 by Gareth Thomas (Labour). Following a Boundary Commission review, it will form part of a new parliamentary constituency, Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, at the next general election.

Pinner lies within the London European Parliament constituency, which elects nine MEPs by proportional representation – currently three Conservative, three Labour, one Liberal Democrat, one Green and one UKIP member.


Pinner is served by London Underground's Metropolitan Line, and by four London Buses bus routes: 183 (towards Golders Green), H11 (towards Harrow and Mount Vernon Hospital), H12 (towards South Harrow and Stanmore), and H13 (towards Ruislip Lido and St Vincent's Hospital).

Notable people

A number of notable literary figures have an association with Pinner. The poet laureate Henry James Pye retired to East End House at the end of his career in 1811, the novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote Eugene Aram at Pinner Wood House in 1832, and Samuel and Isabella Beeton lived on the Woodridings estate between 1856 and 1862, during which Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management was published. The novelist Ivy Compton-Burnett was born in the village in 1884, and the playwright W. S. Gilbert, although he did not live in Pinner, was a magistrate there from 1893 onwards. Twentieth-century figures include the cartoonist William Heath Robinson, who lived in Moss Lane between 1913 and 1918, and now has a museum dedicated to him at West House in Pinner Memorial Park, and the current children's laureate Michael Rosen, who was born in Pinner in 1946, and lived there until 1962.

Figures in the world of entertainment associated with Pinner include the musicians Sir Elton John and Simon LeBon, who both grew up there and attended the local County Grammar School before moving away, actor David Suchet and comedian Ronnie Barker, both one-time owners of 17th-century Elmdene in Church Lane, actress Jane March, who grew up there before moving to the United States, actress Molly Weir, who lived there until her death in 2004, and broadcaster Bob Holness, who still lives there. The Monster Raving Loony Party leader Screaming Lord Sutch, who lived in nearby South Harrow, is buried in Pinner New Cemetery.

Other notable figures include Horatia Nelson, the illegitimate daughter of Lord Nelson and Lady Emma Hamilton, who lived there from 1860 until her death in 1881, the astronomer Sir Patrick Moore, born there in 1923, the documentary film-maker Jo Durden-Smith, born there in 1941, and the Iraq hostage Norman Kember, a long-time resident of the town.


The BBC sitcom One Foot In The Grave, although filmed elsewhere, was set in Pinner, as was the sitcom May to December, which filmed its exterior shots in the High Street.



  • Patricia A. Clarke, A History of Pinner, Phillimore, 2004 ISBN 1-86077-287-0

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