Feltham, Middlesex News & Views

History of Hanworth

Hanworth is an urban and suburban London district on its south-west edge that is contiguous with Feltham, its post town and with Hampton. Historically in Middlesex, it now forms part of the London Borough of Hounslow. The name is thought to come from the Anglo Saxon words “haen/han” and “worth”, meaning “small homestead”

During Edward the Confessor’s time, Hanworth was a sparsely populated manor and parish held by Ulf, a huscarlof the King. Huscarls were the bodyguards of Scandinavian Kings and were often the only professional soldiers in the Kingdom. The majority of huscarls in the kingdom were killed at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, and William the Conqueror granted Hanworth to Robert under Roger de Montgomery, the Earl of Arundel and Shrewsbury. After his death, his second son held the land until his death in the Mowbray conspiracy of 1098, after which it passed to his eldest son, Robert de Bellesme, who also rebelled against the Crown in 1102 with the result that the lands were confiscated.

Towards the end of the 14th century, the manor was occupied by Sir Nicholas Brembre, who was Mayor of London in 1377 and 1378. Sir Nicholas was hanged at Tyburn in 1387, having been accused of treason.

In 1512 Hanworth came to the Crown, and Henry VIII, who enjoyed hunting on the heath surrounding the village, gave the manor to Anne Boleyn for life. After her execution, the manor returned to the King who held it until his death in 1547 but passing to Katherine Parr, who lived in the house with her stepdaughter Princess Elizabeth. When the princess became Queen, she stayed at Hanworth Manor several times, often hunting on the heath.

In 1784 General Sir William Roy, the military draughtsman, supervised the Principal Triangulation of Great Britain project. That measured a base line from King's Arbour, across Hounslow Heath passing through Hanworth Park, to Hampton Poor House. This measurement, which earned the General the Copley medal of the Royal Society, was the origin of all subsequent surveys of the United Kingdom, and still forms the basis of the Ordnance Survey maps today.

In 1797 the manor house was destroyed by fire, leaving only the stable block, which survives today as flats, and the coach house, which was converted into homes. Tudor House was built in 1875 as a replacement for the house that was built in the manor ruins, and is today used as flats.

By the end of the 19th century, William Whiteley, of Whiteleys in Bayswater, had bought 200 acres (0.81 km2) of farmland that had previously been Butts and Glebe farms. Renamed Hanworth Farms, these supplied all the produce for the store’s food hall having been transported daily by horse and cart. Following Whiteley's murder by his illegitimate son in 1907, his legitimate sons sold the farm to a jam manufacturer who operated there until selling the land for new homes in 1933.


Hanworth Park

The Ambassador to Charles I, negotiating the secret treaty of 1631 with Spain, who had good knowledge of the country, was raised to the peerage as Baron Cottington of Hanworth, referring to his Hanworth Park estate, receiving the honour 'at Greenwich in a very solemn manner.' As the Civil War drew near he declared himself an active Royalist, and after hostilities had broken out he joined the king at Oxford. He was excepted by Parliament from 'indemnity and composition', and spent the remainder of his life abroad, dying in Spain in 1652. His estates were assigned in 1649 to John Bradshaw who had earlier insisted on Charles's execution and were recovered at the English Restoration by his nephew and heir Charles Cottington who sold it in 1670 to Sir Thomas Chamber. Chamber died in 1692 and was succeeded by his son Thomas. Thomas Chamber left two daughters and co-heiresses, and Hanworth passed, through agreement on marriage of the elder, to Vere Beauclerk, who was created Baron Vere, of Hanworth in 1750. The manor was inherited by his son and heir, Aubrey, in 1781, who succeeded his cousin as Duke of St. Albans six years later but who sold it shortly after 1802 to James Ramsey Cuthbert. Frederick John Cuthbert was lord of the manor in 1816 from whom it passed to Henry Perkins. After the death of his heir Algernon Perkins it passed to a firm of solicitors, and the main home was acquired in the early part of the next century by Court of Appeal judge turned politician Ernest Murray Pollock, 1st Viscount Hanworth.


Saint George's Church

Hanworth's main parish church is dedicated to Saint George. There has been a church on the site, in Castle Way, since at least the fourteenth century; the church was first mentioned in 1293. The first known rector was Adam de Brome, founder of Oriel College, Oxford, in 1309.

According to Daniel Lysons, vicar in 1800, the church was made of flint and stone, with a low wooden turret. As the church's living was in the hands of the lord of the manor, only the name of the rector was mentioned.

The original church included stained glass windows of the coats of arms of the Crosby family, who owned the manor in 1471; the Killigrew family, who owned the manor in the latter part of the sixteenth century; and the Royal arms of 1625, incorporating the royal cypher JR. The latter window was moved to the rectory after the church's reconstruction in 1808, before moving to its present site in the V&A in 1975. Monarchs and their consorts who are known to have worshipped here are King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Catherine Parr and Queen Elizabeth I

Baron Cottington of Hanworth took a further interest in Saint George's church. He had his son Charles baptised here on 21 July 1628 in the presence of King Charles I, the Duke of Buckingham and Mary Feilding, wife of the Marquess of Hamilton. Cottington also gave the church a silver chalice and paten, which are still used today.

In 1807, it was decided that the entire church should be dismantled and rebuilt. The building of the new church was done by James Wyatt, a notable architect of the time. Wyatt only just lived to see it completed in 1812, as he was killed in a carriage accident the following year. His family are buried in the churchyard, but Wyatt himself lies in Westminster Abbey.

Saint George's assumed its current form in 1865, when a local architect, Algernon Perkins, volunteered to redesign the church at his own expense. The spire, added at about this time, was designed by S S Teulon.

The lychgate, which forms the main entrance to the church, was built in 1882. It is said to be a copy of the one in Beddington, South London, and was done in memory of the mother-in-law of John Lyndhurst Winslow, rector at the time.

Two of the owners of Hanworth Manor, Thomas Chamber and Aubrey Vere, are buried in the church. The former has a memorial tablet, which is now in the north transept, while the latter has a gravestone on the church floor.

All Saints Church

In 1935, Hanworth had a growing population, owing to the presence of a jam factory belonging to Whiteley's. It was decided that a chapel of ease should be set up. It was founded by Bertram Pollock, Bishop of Norwich, and the Rector of Saint George's. Bishop Pollock had been born at Woodlawn, a house in Hanworth, near Hampton Road West, and part of it was used as the chapel.

After the Second World War, in 1947, it was originally decided that a Nissen hut should be used to house the chapel. However, when the architect Nugent Cachemaille-Day was approached, he decided that a proper church should be built, and a site on the opposite side of Hampton Road West was chosen.

The Parish of All Saints was split off from Saint George's in 1950, and the foundation stone of the new church was laid on 14 July 1951 by the Bishop of Guildford, Henry Montgomery Campbell, in the presence of Lord Latham, Lord-Lieutenant of Middlesex. The church was finally consecrated on 28 September 1957 by Campbell, who by then was Bishop of London.

Hanworth Aerodrome

Hanworth Aerodrome was a grass airfield, operational 1917-1919 and 1929-1947. It was in Hanworth Park; that includes the grounds of Hanworth Park House, an 1802 rebuild of Hanworth Palace. In the 1930s, named London Air Park, it was best known as a centre for private flying, society events, the aircraft manufacturer General Aircraft Limited (GAL) 1934-1949, and the visit by the Graf Zeppelin airship in 1932. Amelia Earhart flew to Hanworth after landing in Ireland at the end of her 1932 crossing of the Atlantic; Walter Sickert recorded Miss Earhart's Arrival in a painting now owned by the Tate Gallery. There is a public house nearby named "The Airman" in recognition of its close proximity to the aerodrome. Feltham District Council purchased the park in 1956. Feltham Swimming Baths was built on parkland beside the Uxbridge Road in 1965, later refurbished and renamed Feltham Airparcs Leisure Centre. That public sports facility was renamed in 2010 as Hanworth Air Park Leisure Centre & Library.


The construction of an elevated M3 feeder road (now part of the A316) in the 1970s cut Hanworth in two; in preparation for this, the library was relocated to Mount Corner, so-named for being opposite the Hanworth Park House icehouse mound. Forge Lane Infants and Junior School was built on the south side of the new road, and the war memorial was relocated.

Sport and leisure

Hanworth has a Non-League football club Hanworth Villa F.C. who play at Rectory Meadow and play in county level leagues.

Hanworth Air Park is the home of Feltham Rugby Football Club, founded 1947.

Staines Rugby Football Club The Reeves play home games and train at a rugby ground in Snakey Lane.

Notable people

  • Henry Killigrew (1613-1700), playwright and chaplain to James, Duke of York (the future king), was born in Hanworth.
  • Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford (1539-1621) was in 1563 removed to Hanworth from the Tower of London, where he had been imprisoned on account of his marriage with Lady Catherine Grey.
  • The Viscounts Hanworth, particularly the 1st Viscount, a former Court of Appeal judge, who established his family seat at Hanworth Park until his estate parted with it as liable to considerable inheritance tax.

information extracted and adapted from Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia