Harmondsworth shown within Greater London
|Population||1,478 – 2011 census|
|OS grid reference|
|– Charing Cross||15 mi (24 km) E by NE|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||WEST DRAYTON|
|UK Parliament||Hayes and Harlington|
|London Assembly||Ealing and Hillingdon|
Harmondsworth is a village in the London Borough of Hillingdon with a short border to the south onto London Heathrow Airport. The village has no railway stations; however, it adjoins the M4 motorway and is bisected by its predecessor, the Bath Road. Harmondsworth is an ancient parish which once included the large hamlets of Heathrow, Longford and Sipson. Longford and Sipson have modern signposts and facilities as separate villages, remaining to a degree interdependent such as for schooling. Its great barn and its church are well-repaired medieval buildings in the village. The largest proportion of land in commercial use is related to air transport and hospitality. The village includes public parkland with footpaths and butts onto the River Colne and further land in its regional park to the west, within Colnbrook.
The west of the village has two major airline headquarters (international and local) and two immigration detention centres, including one for a maximum of 620 men without either adequate proof of right of entry to, or to remain in, the United Kingdom. Many international visitors stay within the bounds of Harmondsworth each year, in hotels branded as 'Heathrow' as the hamlet of Heathrow and the farm of Perry Oaks in the parish were absorbed by the airport and the term is applied to all hotels accessed from Bath Road in the borough.
The village made headlines on 25th October 2016 as it was announced by HM Government that Heathrow Airport would now get a third runway. According to current expansion plans, around half of the existing village will have to be demolished to make way for the runway. The other half, including the parish church, will be only metres from the perimeter of the airport.
HARMONDSWORTH (Virgin Mary), a parish, in the union of Staines...Middlesex, 2½ miles (E. by N.) from Colnbrook; containing 1330 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, with that of West Drayton united, net income, £530; patron, H. De Burgh, Esq...The church has a Norman door, and a tower with angular turrets, On Hounslow heath, in the parish, is a square intrenchment, each side measuring 100 yards, supposed to have been the work of Caesar in his war with Cassivelaunus. A Topographical Dictionary of England— S. Lewis, 1848
Harmondsworth as an ancient parish of 3,480 acres (14.1 km2) (rather than today's surviving village nucleus) changed from agrarian and a few, isolated London suburban homes to mostly industrial gradually in 1929 with the opening of the Colnbrook by-pass which by-passed diminutive Longford to the north. Harmondsworth civil parish from its 1880s creation until its 1964 abolition contained the same areas as its religious counterpart. Industrial development began in 1930 with the opening of the Road Research Laboratory on this road. In the same year the Fairey Aviation Co. opened an airfield, the Great West Aerodrome, south-west of Heathrow. This formed the nucleus of the later airport, and the Fairey hangar was eventually incorporated into Heathrow Airport as a fire station. By the late 1930s some residential building had taken place, although almost entirely in the northern half of the parish. Small estates were built off Hatch Lane around Candover Close and Zealand Avenue and further building took place along Sipson Road, around Blunts Avenue, and along the north side of the Bath Road at Sipson Green. Longford remained virtually untouched. A brick-works was established by the corner of Cain's Lane and Heathrow Road and the area of former heathland was extensively worked for gravel, sand, and grit. In the 1930s Middlesex County Council opened a large sewage pumping station to the west of Perry Oaks, which was converted to Heathrow Terminal 5 in the early 21st century. The Great South West Road touched the south-east corner of the parish but played no part in its development. Although many of the orchards survived, their numbers had been greatly reduced and it seems probable that much of the former fruit-growing area was being used for market gardening. In 1944 Harmondsworth and Sipson retained their agricultural character despite some suburban housing. It was then suggested that further expansion in the Yiewsley and West Drayton area should be curtailed, as the land was primarily in demand for agriculture, which was greatly adhered to until 1971.
In 1944, however, the modern pattern of Harmondsworth began to emerge with the transfer of the Fairey airfield to the Royal Air Force and its subsequent development by the Air Ministry as Heathrow R.A.F. station. This entailed the complete demolition of Heathrow and Perry Oaks hamlets, and widespread draining of the old flooded gravel pits. Many of the small buildings along the south side of the Bath Road that were still standing in 1960 were erected by the R.A.F.
Although not a post town, in printed form Harmondsworth is frequently seen in fiction books. From 1937 the offices and warehouses of Penguin Books were here until its gradual closure in the 1990s. In this period its books published in the country bore the publication location, "Harmondsworth, Middlesex,".
The historic parish church of Harmondsworth is the church of St Mary, of which parts date from the 12th century. There is an opinion that Heathrow Airport is legally responsible for maintaining this church's chancel, because the airport now owns land (formerly in Heathrow village) which in 1819 at the enclosing of the commons had been assigned in lieu of tithes used to maintain the chancel.
The other notable historic building in Harmondsworth is the Grade I-listed Harmondsworth Great Barn, Britain's largest tithe barn. Built in 1425–27 on land bought by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, in 1391, to endow Winchester College, it is the largest extant timber-framed building in England and was described by the English poet John Betjeman as the "Cathedral of Middlesex". As of January 2012 the barn is owned by English Heritage. A similar barn, built 1451–53, but shorter (with eight bays as opposed to the Harmondsworth barn's 12), and also once owned by Winchester College, is at Old Burghclere, Hampshire.
- 1894: Rural districts brought in. Harmondsworth civil parish, created in the 1870s was put in Staines Rural District.
- 1930: Harmondsworth civil parish was transferred to Yiewsley and West Drayton Urban District
- 1949: Harmondsworth civil parish was merged with Yiewsley and West Drayton.
- 1965: Middlesex county was abolished. Yiewsley and West Drayton was transferred to the London Borough of Hillingdon, in Greater London.
- Harmondsworth forms a minority of the Heathrow Villages ward (2008-date), which elects three councillors to Hillingdon London Borough Council and had a population of 12,199 in 2011.
United Kingdom government
The Harlington, Harmondsworth and Cranford Cottage Hospital was established in 1884 and opened in 1885. It was halfway between Harmondsworth and Cranford on the Sipson Road, about four furlongs west of Harlington.
Harmondsworth Primary School is in Harmondsworth.
The area is served by various buses and by West Drayton railway station centred 2 miles (3.2 km) north, across the M4 motorway. The Bath Road (A4) is the predecessor to this route and passes through the village with junctions in the neighbouring villages leading to the M4 motorway.
The area comprises well-populated and scarcely populated areas but which have differing constitutions as to the buildings in which people live and stay: hotels, homes and the two immigration control institutions (in the east and north census output areas). Thus the population fluctuates to a greater or lesser extent, dependent on land use.
|Part||Population on date of census||Area in km²|
|Centre and east||354||0.124|
|South: includes 25% of Heathrow Airport||464||0.422|
|name||type||built||occupant||demolished?||use of house or site now|
|Harmondsworth Great Barn||tithe barn||early 15th century||no|
|Manor Farm||farmhouse||early 19th century||no||farm until the early 1970s, then offices|
||across part of Iver
|West Drayton||West Drayton|
|Stanwell Moor||across Heathrow Airport
|across Heathrow Airport
- Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 31 October 2014
- Sherwood 1999, p.15
- Samuel Lewis (editor) (1848). "Harlow - Harraton". A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Imperial Gazetteer 1870-72 John Marius Wilson Extract featured at Vision of Britain, University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 2014-11-23
- T F T Baker, J S Cockburn, R B Pugh (Editors), Diane K Bolton, H P F King, Gillian Wyld, D C Yaxley (1971). "Harmondsworth: Introduction". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Penguin First Editions :: Early First Edition Penguin Books :: penguinfirsteditions.com". Penguinfirsteditions.com. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
- "Harmondsworth: Church | British History Online". British-history.ac.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
- Historic England. "Grade I (202847)". Images of England.
- "Chancel Repair Liability: Is Heathrow Airport responsible for a Chancel?". Retrieved 21 June 2016.
- Nails are only used on the sides.
- "History of Harmondsworth Barn". English Heritage. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
- "Harmondsworth". village.vossnet.co.uk. Archived from the original on 24 February 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
- "Medieval Harmondsworth Barn bought by English Heritage". BBC News. 30 January 2012.
- "Harmondsworth CP/AP Middlesex through time – Administrative history of Parish-level Unit: hierarchies, boundaries". A Vision of Britain through Time. * University of Portsmouth & others. 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
- "Heathrow Villages ward". London Borough of Hillingdon. 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
- "Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre." UK Visas and Immigration. Retrieved on 13 February 2010.
- "Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre." UK Border Agency. Retrieved on 13 February 2010.
- "Contact Information." British Airways. Retrieved on 18 May 2009.
- "Our locations." British Airways. Retrieved on 18 September 2009.
- "Impressum" (Archive). American Airlines China. Retrieved on 24 April 2014. "American Airlines, Inc. Orient House (HAA3), Po Box 365, Waterside, Harmondsworth, UB7 0GB United Kingdom"
- "Pubs in Harmondsworth : Pubs Galore". Retrieved 21 June 2016.
- "Harmondsworth Primary School." London Borough of Hillingdon. Retrieved on 27 June 2010.
- Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Output areas E00012181,12184,12185+12188 Retrieved 31 October 2014
- Sherwood, Philip. (2009) Heathrow: 2000 Years of History. The History Press ISBN 978-0-7509-5086-2
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