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The entry in the Norman Domesday Book reads: Herlaua: St Edmunds Abbey before and after 1066; Geoffrey from Count Eustace; Thorgils from Eudo the Steward; Richard from Ranulf, brother of Ilger. The mill is now a 300-year-old listed building and restaurant.The original village, mentioned in the Domesday Book, developed as a typical rural community around what is now known as Old Harlow, with many of its buildings still standing.The town centre, and many of its neighbourhood shopping facilities have undergone major redevelopment, along with many of the town's original buildings.Subsequently, many of the original town buildings, including most of its health centres, the Staple Tye shopping centre and many industrial units have been rebuilt.
Old Harlow is a village-size suburb founded by the early medieval age and most of its high street buildings are early Victorian and residential, mostly protected by one of the Conservation Areas in the district.
New Towns were designated following the New Towns Act of 1946, with the master plan for Harlow drawn up in 1947 by Sir Frederick Gibberd.
The town was planned from the outset and was designed to respect the existing landscape.
An organised field walk in the late 1990s by Bartlett (Unpublished) indicates that most of the area, some 80 hectares, produced worked flint from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age with a smattering of Mesolithic.
This indicates organised industry existed from 5000 BC to 2000 BC.