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Hounslow High Street.1.JPG
High Street
Hounslow is located in Greater London
Location within Greater London
Population66,292 (Hounslow Heath, Hounslow Central, Hounslow South, Hounslow West and Cranford wards 2011)
OS grid referenceTQ140760
• Charing Cross10.7 mi (17.2 km) ENE
London borough
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtTW3–TW6
Dialling code020
EU ParliamentLondon
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°28′00″N 0°22′30″W / 51.4668°N 0.375°W / 51.4668; -0.375Coordinates: 51°28′00″N 0°22′30″W / 51.4668°N 0.375°W / 51.4668; -0.375

Hounslow (/ˈhnzl/) is large suburban town, and the principal town of the London Borough of Hounslow in Greater London, England. Hounslow is identified as a major metropolitan centre in the London Plan. It comprised the smaller areas of Hounslow West, Heston and Cranford, which includes London Heathrow Airport; North Hyde, Norwood Green, Harlington, Hatton and Whitton (north). It is about 10.7 miles (17.2 km) west-southwest of Charing Cross, 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Southall, 2 miles (3.2 km) north-west of Twickenham, and 6.5 miles (10.5 km) north-east of Staines-upon-Thames.

Historically part of Middlesex, since 1965 Hounslow has been part of the London Borough of Hounslow, with parts in the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Richmond upon Thames, and Ealing. Prior to this, Hounslow was part of the Municipal Borough of Heston and Isleworth, from 1835 until 1965. Whitton was part of the Municipal Borough of Twickenham, while Cranford was part of the Hayes and Harlington Urban District and Feltham Urban District. Additionally, Norwood Green was part of the Municipal Borough of Southall.

Hounslow has a large shopping centre, called the Treaty Centre, which adjoins its high street and many restaurants, cafés and small businesses, many of which are associated with product assembly, marketing, telecommunications and Heathrow Airport. It is connected to Central London by South Western Railway's Hounslow Loop Line and Hounslow station, and by the London Underground's Piccadilly line through three stations - Hounslow West, Hounslow Central and Hounslow East. According to the 2011 census, the borough has a population of 254,000.[1]


The name Hounslow is spelt in old records as 'Hundeslow' and similar, pointing to Anglo-Saxon Hundes hlāw, meaning "the dog's mound" or "the mound of a man named or nicknamed Hound".


Positioned on the Bath Road (where it forks to the Staines Road at the Bell Inn), Hounslow was centred around Holy Trinity Priory founded in 1211.[2] The priory developed what had been a small village into a town with regular markets and other facilities for travellers heading to and from London. Although the priory was dissolved in 1539 the town remained an important staging post on the Bath Road. The adjacent Hounslow Heath that had been used as a military encampment by both Oliver Cromwell and James II developed a reputation as the haunt of highwaymen and footpads. Nearby important landowners included those of Osterley House, Syon House, Hanworth Park House and Worton Hall.

In 1756 Sir Thomas Morris, a distant relative of Bernard Matthews, established the base of his chicken farming empire. As a rich philanthropist who started from humble beginnings, he used his wealth to establish a school for the under privileged children of the town, believing every child had the right to education.

The building of the Great Western Railway line from London to Bristol from 1838 reduced long-distance travel along the Bath Road. By 1842 the local paper was reporting that the 'formerly flourishing village', which used to stable 2,000 horses, was suffering a 'general depreciation of property'.[3] The Hounslow Loop Line was constructed in 1850, prompting new development.

One of the earliest surviving houses in the town is The Lawn, in front of the Civic Centre with its public tennis courts, in brown brick[4] with three double-hung sash windows set back in reveals with flat arches, roof with parapet and porch of fluted doric columns, pilasters, entablature and semi-circular traceried fanlight.[5]

The construction of the Great West Road (a revival of an earlier name for the Bath Road as a by-pass for it around the north of Brentford, Isleworth and Hounslow centres) in the 1920s attracted the building of the factories and headquarters of large companies. The factories were a great local source of employment until a decline in the 1970s, attracting workers from a wide area and leading to a great deal of housing development. In the next two decades offices largely replaced factories on the Great West Road and further expansion in hotel and housing stock has taken place, an example being the Blenheim Centre, an image of which is in the gallery section below.

Shopping facilities[edit]

Hounslow Town Centre is a busy predominantly retail centre, with a small number of commercial offices and civic buildings. There is a large shopping centre called the Treaty Shopping Centre,[6] containing Debenhams, JD, Next, H&M and many large branches of chain stores found in British high streets. It includes a food court along with over 50 shops. There is a large ASDA superstore located within the Blenheim Centre complex along with B&M, a Barnado's charity shop, a local health centre, a gym run by The Gym Group and Jungle V.I.P (a children's indoor play area).

A new retail area, the High Street Quarter, will be located near Hounslow High Street and is set to contain a 27-storey residential tower along with many shops, restaurants, and a ten-screen Cineworld cinema multiplex.[7][8]


Hounslow is an economic hub within the west of the capital city, with it having a large shopping centre which adjoins its high street and many restaurants, cafés and small businesses,[9] many of which are associated with product assembly, marketing, telecommunications and Heathrow Airport, which has many businesses and public sector jobs in and around it to which the local population commute. The settlement is also partially employed in the Commuter Belt with access between 45 and 60 minutes from most of Central London.

DHL Air UK has its head office in the Orbital Park in Hounslow.[10]


[[File:Qantas b747 over houses arp.jpg|thumb|A Qantas Boeing 747-400 on approach to Heathrow Airport 27L runway.Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). It is situated a fair distance from the town centre and is used far less than the Underground stations.

Bus services[edit]

[[File:Hounslow Bus Garage 02-02-09.jpg|thumb|left|London United buses confined to Hounslow bus station during the 2009 snowfall]] Hounslow bus garage, with an adjoining bus station close to the High Street. In 1962, as a result of the final stage of the London trolleybus programme of conversion to motor bus operation when Isleworth garage was closed, the staff from that depot (coded IH) were transferred to Hounslow. The property is owned by the RATP Group, which took it over with the purchase of London United from Transdev. In addition to its frequent and regular daytime services throughout the surrounding areas Hounslow figures on the N9 night service from Heathrow Airport to Central London.

Hounslow Heath Aerodrome was a grass airfield and was operational from 1910 to 1920. It was in the London borough of Hounslow, and in 1919 was the location from which the first scheduled daily international commercial air services took place.[11][12]

Hounslow Heath and other parks[edit]

Hounslow Heath is a large public open space and local nature reserve to the west of Hounslow, a London borough. It now covers about 200 acres (80 ha) and is only the residue of the historic Hounslow Heath that once covered over 4,000 acres (1,600 ha).[13]

The Heath has major historical importance: routes from London to the west and southwest of Britain used to pass through it. Staines Road, the northern boundary of the present Heath, was the Roman Road, Trinobantes. There are several historic references to Roman camps on or close to the Heath. Continuous recorded history dates back to Norman times, where it gave its name to the former hamlet of Heathrow. Hounslow Heath was also known for the extremely high numbers of highway robberies and highwaymen in the area,[14] who mostly focused on targeting the wealthy and noble.[15]

Hounslow has a very high immigration rate. According to the 2011 Census, more than 50% of Hounslow residents are born outside of the UK.


A printed programme dated 7 July 1935 suggests that there may have been motor cycle speedway racing at a venue in Dockwell Lane branded as Hounslow Speedway. The best information suggests that more than one meeting was staged in conjunction with the Hounslow Motor Cycle and Car Club. The Irish Guards GAA club are based in Hounslow.

Notable people[edit]

Demography and housing[edit]

2011 Census Homes
Ward Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes Shared between households[18]
Hounslow Central 257 1,455 930 2,687 3 52
Hounslow Heath 285 1,522 1,128 1,886 7 87
Hounslow South 223 2,155 967 588 0 11
Hounslow West 248 1,526 799 1,344 5 23
2011 Census Households
Ward Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares[18]
Hounslow Central 15,169 5,384 19 19 174
Hounslow Heath 14,727 4,915 17 27 279
Hounslow South 11,408 3,944 33 42 179
Hounslow West 12,658 3,945 23 24 162


Hounslow is twinned with the following settlements around the world:

The London Borough of Hounslow also has a sister district agreement with Leningradsky District in Krasnodar Krai, Russia.[19]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ali, Sorriya. "Census 2011". www.hounslow.gov.uk. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  2. ^ Daniel Lysons, 'Heston', The Environs of London: volume 3: County of Middlesex (1795:22–45): accessed 6 August 2010.
  3. ^ Quoted in Acworth, WM 'The Railways in 1843' in Morgan, B (1963) Railway Lover's Companion, Eyre & Spottiswoode, P90
  4. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1079602)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 June 2012. The similar example of 44–50 Bath Road: also in brown brick and as is sometimes seen, has been painted.
  5. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1080312)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 June 2012. The Lawn
  6. ^ www.now-media.co.uk, Now Media,. "Treaty Centre - Hounslow". Treaty Centre, Hounslow. Retrieved 6 May 2018.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  7. ^ Patel, Salina (2 February 2018). "Hounslow High Street Quarter development takes major step forward". getwestlondon. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  8. ^ "High Street Quarter, Hounslow". hounslowhighstreetquarter.com. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  9. ^ Restaurants guide Squaremeal.co.uk Retrieved 2013-12-24
  10. ^ "Online Shipping." DHL Air UK. Retrieved on 23 April 2014. "DHL International (UK) Limited Registered Office: Orbital Park, 178-188 Great South West Road, Hounslow, Middlesex TW4 6JS"
  11. ^ Cumber, Robert (6 April 2016). "How Hounslow's forgotten airports helped win the world wars". getwestlondon. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Hounslow - Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust UK". www.abct.org.uk. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Hounslow Heath - Hidden London". hidden-london.com. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Hounslow Heath - Highwaymen and Highway Robbery". www.stand-and-deliver.org.uk. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  15. ^ "When Hounslow Was The Most Dangerous Place In Britain". Londonist. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Not one more night: Singer Phil Collins announces his retirement". London: Dailymail.co.uk. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  17. ^ Turnbull, Simon (12 August 2012). "Magical Mo Farah races into land of legends during London 2012". Independent.co.uk. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  18. ^ a b Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density 2011 census Office for National Statistics
  19. ^ a b c d Cumber, Robert (17 December 2010). "Council to revive links with Palestinian town". Hounslow, Heston & Whitton Chronicle. Archived from the original on 23 December 2010.

Further reading[edit]

  • James Thorne (1876), "Hounslow", Handbook to the Environs of London, London: John Murray

External links[edit]