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Hounslow, Middlesex

Historical Description

Hounslow, a town, a chapelry, and a quondam heath in Middlesex. The town is in the parishes of Heston and Isles-worth, stands on the edge of the quondam heath, on a loop line of the L. & S.W.R., about 1½ mile from the Thames, 3½ miles W by N from Richmond, and 10 WSW from Hyde Park corner in London, and is within the jurisdiction of the metropolitan police. It has a station on the L. & S.W.R., and one in the town on the Hounslow Metropolitan Company's line from Mill Hill, worked by the Metropolitan District railway, and a head post office. It was known at Domesday as Hondeslawe; it became the seat of a priory in the 13th century; it acquired importance from being situated on the great line of thoroughfare from London to the west of England; and in 1650 it was officially reported to contain then 120 houses, mostly inns and ale-houses dependent upon travellers. It continued to flourish in connection with the thoroughfare till the era of railways, when it sank for a time into much depression; but it afterwards rose to new prosperity, underwent much improvement, and now presents a pleasing appearance, with modern shops and good houses. It possesses advantages which render it a favourable residence for gentlemen connected with the metropolis; had formerly a weekly market, and still has fairs on Trinity Monday and the Monday after Michaelmas. It is supplied with water from the works of the Grand Junction Company at Brentford. The town is included in the Heston and Islesworth Local Board District. Among the public buildings are a town-hall, erected in 1857 and enlarged in 1889, an Oddfellows' hall erected in 1880, a dispensary and cottage hospital built in 1881, a workmen's club and institute opened in 1882, and a Constitutional club opened in 1889. The town publishes a weekly newspaper, established in 1858. Early in the 13th century a priory of Mathurines or friars of the Holy Trinity was founded here, the members of which were devoted to the redemption of captives. The church of the priory became after the dissolution the church of the chapelry, and the present church is believed to stand on part of the site of the original building. The present church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is a modern reconstruction in the Italian style, was enlarged by the addition of a chancel in 1856, consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with porch and bell-turret, is adorned with twelve cupolas or spires, and contains a handsome font, a mural monument of a knight, and a monument to W. Bulstrode, an ambassador of the tune of Charles II. The population of the ecclesiastical district of the Holy Trinity is 4324. TAe living is a vicarage in the diocese of London; gross yearly value, .6294 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of London. St Paul's ecclesiastical parish (population, 3195) was formed out of the parish of Heston in 1871. The church, erected in 1873-74, is a building in the Early English style. The living is a vicarage in the gift of the Bishop of London; tithe rent charge, £100 and £200, granted by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, with residence. St Stephen's (population, 5344) is an ecclesiastical district formed in 1877 from the parishes of Islesworth and Heston. The church, erected in 1875-76, is a building of brick and stone in the Early English style. The living is a vicarage in the gift of the Bishop of London; gross yearly value,, £380 with residence. There are also a mission church, two Baptist, a Roman Catholic, Congregational, Primitive Methodist, and Wesleyan chapels, a meeting-place of the Plymouth Brethren, and two mission halls. Robert de Hounslow, who died in 1340, Roan, auditor to Queen Elizabeth, and Henry EIsynge, clerk to the House of Commons in the time of Charles L, were natives.

The heath extended westward from the town, comprised between 4200 and 6500 acres, was at one" time notorious for highway robberies, and celebrated for races, but has been enclosed, and is now beautified with plantations and witk numerous handsome residences. It retains traces of ancient encampments, and it had in particular a camp of Csesar, near the Roman way to Staines. A conference was held on it in 1217 between the deputies of Henry III. and the Dauphin, an encampment of Gloucester was on it in 1267 against Henry III., an encampment of Charles I. in 1642, before the Battle of Brentford, encampments of Essex in 1642 and 1647, encampments of James II. in 1686 and 1688, an encampment of Marlborough in 1740, and reviews were held on it by George III. A portable wooden chapel of James II. stood on it in connection with his encampments, and after the Revolution was removed by Dr Tenison to Conduit Street. General Boy's base line of 27, 404 feet for the trigonometrical survey was laid down on it in 1784. Large cavalry barracks for the London district, an exercising ground of about 300 acres for reviewing troops, and militia. quarters are now on it. Extensive gunpowder mills stand beyond the barracks, 2 miles WSW of the town, bear commonly the name of Hounslow Mills, but are within Twickenham parish, and are notable for an explosion in 1835, which was felt for many miles around, and for another in 1850, which was heard at distances of from 40 to 60 miles.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyMiddlesex 
Civil parishIsleworth 
Poor Law unionBrentford 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Hounslow from the following:

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Middlesex is online.


Online maps of Hounslow are available from a number of sites:

CountyGreater London
Postal districtTW3
Post TownHounslow