Grand Union Canal in Yiewsley
Yiewsley shown within Greater London
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||WEST DRAYTON|
|UK Parliament||Uxbridge and South Ruislip|
|London Assembly||Ealing and Hillingdon|
Yiewsley is a place in the London Borough of Hillingdon. Its name derives from the Anglo-Saxon Wifeleslēah: "Wifel's woodland clearing". Yiewsley was a chapelry in the ancient parish of Hillingdon, Middlesex.
There is little recorded about Yiewsley until the late 18th century, when the Grand Junction Canal was cut. A branch of the canal known as Otter Dock was cut between Yiewsley and West Drayton in the years 1876-1879 in order to service Yiewsley's brickworks. Brick-making and agriculture were the main industries in Yiewsley during the late 18th and 19th centuries, and the expansion of the brickworks resulted in a large growth in population. Five million bricks moulded and fired in the Hillingdon Brickfields every year were transported by canal to a yard near South Wharf Basin, Paddington. The last brick-field closed in 1935 following strikes and the Great Depression, and around this time Otter Dock was filled in.
The arrival of the Great Western Railway and the building of West Drayton railway station in 1838 resulted in new houses being built and a sharp increase in both population and trade. A branch line to Uxbridge was completed in 1856. This ran until closed as part of the Beeching plan in 1964 (although passenger services had been discontinued in 1962).
The area has some important local neighbourhood groups.
The Yiewsley and West Drayton Town Centre Action Group co-ordinates local interests to make the area vibrant and attractive. The group's work can be found at the UB7.org website at http://www.ub7.org.
West Drayton is also home to an arts centre, which is located near to the Green. The arts centre, Southlands, is keen to attract new members and has its own website at http://www.southlandsarts.co.uk.
The area also has its own history society.
- Ronnie Wood, guitarist in rock bands the Rolling Stones and The Faces, grew up in Yiewsley, attending St Stephen's Primary School and St Matthew's Church of England Secondary School
- Special effects man Wally Gentleman (1926–2001), whose credits include 2001: A Space Odyssey and Universe, was born in Yiewsley