Cranford shown within Greater London
|Area||2.72 km2 (1.05 sq mi)|
|Population||12,330 (Cranford wards 2011)|
|- Density||4,533 /km2 (11,740 /sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||TW4, TW5|
|London Assembly||South West|
Cranford is a suburban ward formed from a medieval parish of the same name in the London Borough of Hounslow 12 1⁄2 miles (20 km) west of Charing Cross and on the eastern perimeter of London Heathrow Airport.
History and topography
Cranford remains on the eastern side of the River Crane. Its name came from Anglo-Saxon cran-ford = "ford frequented by herons or cranes" and it covered an almost north-south rectangle lengthwise of 737 acres (2.98 km2).
Before the Norman Conquest, the village was a small Saxon settlement in both senses completely surrounded by Hounslow Heath in Elthorne Hundred. The Domesday Book of 1086 records the manor of Cranford being given to a Norman baron, William Fitz Ansulf. By the 13th century, the main area of Cranford Park and House, the High Street and Bath Road had been given to the Knights Templar as Cranforde St John. The rest, Cranford le Mote, included the manor house and stretched in a narrow taper to the north of the present M4.
The manors were reunited after the Dissolution of the Monasteries and were bought by Sir Thomas Berkeley's widow Elizabeth in 1618. These stayed in the Berkeley family until the house and Cranford Park were sold to Hayes and Harlington Urban District Council in 1932, before being sold again to Middlesex County Council in 1935. The Park was then leased back to Hayes and Harlington Urban District Council who jointly administered it with Heston and Isleworth Borough Council, to whom Cranford had been transferred in 1934. For the history of the south of the present ward this was part of Hounslow Heath within Heston parish.
The parish is drained by its one large stream that flows gently southwards past it and waters its relatively flat gravel subsoil, the surface being hardy loam. There was a ford to the north of the church on Watersplash Lane, but the main crossing was where the bridge replaced it of the Bath Road. The river was widened, probably in the 18th century, on either side of the Church Road to form two ornamental lakes. By 1820 there were at least four large ponds, three of which lay in the village on the edge of the common on the Southall Road. The fourth lay immediately east of the moat. By 1958 these had all been drained.
St Dunstan's Church, in the park adjacent to the stable block, dates from the 15th century. There was a priest at Cranford in 1086, when he held 1 virgate of land, so the Victoria County History based on datable churches states there was presumably a church. The benefice remains a rectory, the advowson (right to name the rector) was for over a century held by two religious orders, the Knights Templars and the Hospitallers; no secular church tithe exchange has taken place in return for church upkeep, termed an appropriation by an improprietor which leads to a vicar. The tower and the nave survived a fire in 1710, and the repairs were paid for by Elizabeth, Dowager Countess of Berkeley in 1716. The oldest bell in the church was cast in 1338 and is said to have chimed on every occasion of national importance since. One of Cranford's more "colourful" former residents was the MP and writer George Charles Grantley Fitzhardinge Berkeley, known for his violent behaviour.
Cranford also has one of only two remaining "lock-ups" in the Metropolitan Police area, which was built in 1838 to hold drunks and vagrants overnight, before finding use as a mortuary for the parish council. as in the throes of the industrial revolution dubbed "the prettiest village in Middlesex" and is in the north-west of the borough,
The Berkeley family also gave their name to Berkeley Parade, where there are now many shops, largely convenience or regular services, which were built on the common land open fields on the south of the Bath Road in the 1930s. These still-existing "château-type" buildings with their little slated turrets were described as "ingenious architectural fun" in the journal Architectural Review in 1939.
The Cranford Agreement
The middle of the locality's position which is directly below the flight path of the northern runway of Heathrow Airport led to a ministerially approved undertaking by the airport operator: the Cranford Agreement given on 31 July 1952 at a meeting of the Cranford Residents' and District Amenities Association. The agreement stated that, as far as possible, the northern runway would not be used for landings or take-offs to the east. This meant that houses under the flight path would not have to suffer the noise from landings, and more especially, louder take-offs.
An Air Transport white paper of December 2003 proposed that, since a new runway at Heathrow could not come into operation before some time in the period 2015–2020, consideration should be given to the scope for using the two existing runways more; for example, through mixed-mode operations, and various trials have taken place of this in the 2010s decade, for most operational hours compliant with the agreement.
The Anglican parish of Cranford St Dunstan with Holy Angels, has two churches, (for the parish church of St Dunstan's in Cranford Park: see above. The second, Holy Angels is an Anglican church consistently providing a High Church (Anglo-Catholic) tradition of services. The current building, opened in 1970, is the third one to have been built in Cranford. The first, an iron mission hut, was built by Fr Maurice Child in 1935. It burnt down in 1941 and was replaced a year later by a converted Rodney hut. This second building burnt down in 1965. The current building was opened by Mary Lalle Foley-Berkeley, 17th Baroness Berkeley and Ronald, Bishop of Kensington, on 26 September 1970.  The ashes of the comedian and actor Tony Hancock were laid to rest in the church in 1968.
The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady and St Christopher is at 32 High Street, Cranford. 
Nearby stations include:
- Elizabeth Carey (1576–1635) patron of the arts, with links to Thomas Nashe and Ben Jonson, bought the estate of Cranford in 1618 and is buried beneath the oldest church and in the main part of the church she is depicted in an effigy made of white marble.
- Legendary comedian Tony Hancock's ashes are scattered at St Dunstan's Church in Cranford Park; a memorial plaque marks the location
- Charles Scarborough (1615–1694), royal physician and mathematician, is buried at Cranford; there is a monument to him in the parish church erected by his widow
- Session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan (whose credits include records with Dusty Springfield, The Walker Brothers and Serge Gainsbourg's 1970s classic Histoire de Melody Nelson) attended Woodfield Secondary School in Cranford
- Tony, Lord Berkeley and Lord Gueterbock (also his surnames) (Lab), rail and infrastructure master engineer, sold the last family land in the ward and nominated 'of Cranford, London' to be his territorial designation of his life peerage.
Demography and housing
|Ward||Detached||Semi-detached||Terraced||Flats and apartments||Caravans/temporary/mobile homes/houseboats||Shared between households|
|Ward||Population||Households||% Owned outright||% Owned with a loan||hectares|
- Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density 2011 census Office for National Statistics
- Susan Reynolds (Editor) (1962). "Cranford: Introduction". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
- Susan Reynolds (Editor) (1962). "Map of the 14 to 16 parishes in Elthorne 1066 to the 19th century". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
- Susan Reynolds (Editor) (1962). "Cranford: Churches". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
- "The Parish of Cranford: St Dunstan with Holy Angels".
- "Welcome to Our Lady and St Christopher". Diocese of Westminster.