Heston (St. Leonard)

HESTON (St. Leonard), a parish, in the union of Brentford, hundred of Isleworth, county of Middlesex; containing 4071 inhabitants, of whom 1386 are in that portion forming part of the town and chapelry of Hounslow. The parish is situated in a fertile district, and the inhabitants are principally employed in agriculture; the soil is remarkable for the production of excellent wheat, and according to Norden and Camden, the bread for the supply of the royal table in the reign of Elizabeth, was made of wheat grown exclusively in Heston. There is a manufactory for oil of vitriol. A pleasure-fair is held in the village on the 1st of May. Within the parish is Osterley Park, once in the possession of Sir Thomas Gresham, who entertained Queen Elizabeth here; the house was rebuilt in 1760 for the Child family, and now belongs to the Earl and Countess of Jersey. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £11; net income, £654; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of London: the tithes were commuted for land in 1813. The church has been enlarged, and 400 free sittings provided: the tower is one of the finest in the county, and the west window is very splendid, and rich in details. Sir Joseph Banks, president of the Royal Society, and his lady, are buried in the church; and there is a monument to Anthony Collins, the free-thinker, and author of various works, who was a native of the parish.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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