Harlow New Town was built after World War II to ease overcrowding in London. It was one of several developments, including Basildon, Stevenage, and Hemel Hempstead.
Lewis Silkin, Minister Town & Country Planning in the first post-war Labour Government issued a designation order on 25 March 1947 for a completely new planned community to house approximately 60,000 people to the west of an existing Essex village called Harlow.
The master plan for the new town was drawn up by Sir Frederick Gibberd and incorporated the market town of Harlow, now a neighbourhood known as Old Harlow, and the villages of Great Parndon, Latton, Tye Green, Potter Street, Churchgate Street, Little Parndon, and Netteswell.
The town was split into neighbourhoods, each self supporting with their own shopping precincts, community facilities and pub. Harlow has one of the most extensive cycle track networks in the country, connecting all areas of the town to the town centre and industrial areas. The cycle network is composed mainly of the original pre-new town roads.
Harlow had the first first pedestrian precinct in Britain and the first residential tower block - The Lawn - built in 1951 which is now a Grade II listed building.
It was at Nortel, Harlow that Charles K. Kao developed optical fibre data transmission.
Original manufacturing in The Pinnacles took the form of a biscuit factory owned and run as a Co-Operative. It provided employment to the town for over 50 years, before closing in 2002.
As the Titanic sank the orchestra played 'Nearer My God to Thee', written by the poet Sarah Flower Adams of Harlow.Next Page: Historic Boards