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Hounslow High Street.1.JPG
High Street
Hounslow is located in Greater London
Hounslow shown within Greater London
Area 7.94 km2 (3.07 sq mi)
Population 66,292 (Hounslow Heath, Hounslow Central, Hounslow South, Hounslow West and Cranford wards 2011)
• Density 8,349/km2 (21,620/sq mi)
OS grid reference TQ1475
• Charing Cross 10.6 mi (17.1 km) ENE
Civil parish
  • n/a
London borough
  • Spelthorne
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HOUNSLOW
Postcode district TW3–TW6
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
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 a large commercial town and district in west London, England, 11.1 miles (17.9 km) southwest of Charing Cross. It is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Hounslow. It is identified as a major metropolitan centre in the London Plan.

The town incorporates the villages and districts of Hounslow West, Heston and Cranford, which includes London Heathrow Airport; North Hyde, Norwood Green, Harlington, Hatton and Whitton (north).

Historically part of Middlesex, since 1965 Hounslow has been part of the London Borough of Hounslow, with parts in the London Borough's of Hillingdon, Richmond-upon-Thames and Eaing. All in Greater London. 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 which adjoins its high street and a large number of restaurants, cafés and small businesses, many of which are associated with product assembly, marketing, telecommunications and London Heathrow Airport. It is connected to Central London by rail and tube. The population at the 2011 census was 66,292 .


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.[1] 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'.[2] 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[3] 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.[4]

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 "The Treaty Shopping Centre" containing Debenhams and large branches of chain stores found in many 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 local health centre, the gym and Jungle V.I.P (a children's indoor play area).

The new Hounslow High Street Quarter boasts a 27-storey residential tower along with famous shops such as Prezzo, Pizza Express, Five guys, TGI Fridays and many others. It also includes a 10 screen multiplex Cineworld cinema.


Hounslow is an economic hub within the west of the capital city; it has a large shopping centre which adjoins its high street and a large number of restaurants, cafés and small businesses,[5] many of which are associated with product assembly, marketing, telecommunications and London Heathrow Airport, which has a large number of 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.[6]


A Qantas Boeing 747-400 on approach to London Heathrow 27L runway.[7]

Major Roads[edit]

There are three major roads in Hounslow. The east-west roads the A4 'Great West Road' and the 'Bath Road' that connects Hounslow to Central London and Slough, and the A30 'Great South West Road' that connects it to Staines-upon-Thames, which meet at Henlys Roundabout in Hounslow West. There is also the north-south road the A312 'The Causeway' and 'The Parkway' which connects Hounslow to Hampton in the south and Harrow to the north.

Additionally, A and B roads in Hounslow include the A314 'Hanworth Road' that starts in Hounslow and finishes is Hanworth, Feltham. The historic A315 'London Road', 'Hounslow High Street', 'Hanworth Road', 'Grove Road' and 'Staines Road'; which starts in Central London down to Bedfont, Feltham. In doing this is connects Hounslow to towns and districts such as Kensington, Hammersmith, Chiswick, Brentford and Isleworth.

East-west roads[edit]

The A4 Great West Road joins with the A3006 Bath Road (from the A315) before Henlys Roundabout which is in Hounslow West from which a WNW route passes London Heathrow Airport, terminals 1 to 3 and terminal 5 as the Bath Road and a WSW route, the A30, passes terminal 4, bypasses Staines and reaches the M25; the remainder is a mostly-minor route to Land's End, Cornwall.

The M4 motorway is 2& mi north; its nearest junction, J3, being northwest along the A312.

The A315 is the historic WSW road out of London on which Hounslow's High Street is placed. To the east, it bisects Isleworth, Brentford and Chiswick. To the west it bisects North Feltham and Bedfont before joining the A30.

North-south roads[edit]

The north-south A312, The Parkway, to the west of Hounslow leads south to Hampton or north to Harrow passing Waggoners' Roundabout (WNW of Henlys Roundabout in Hounslow West), Hayes, Yeading and Northolt.

Three minor roads converge on Heston from the A315 in parts of Hounslow, the A3063, A3005 and B363. The single road re-divides just north in Norwood Green into a northwest road to Southall (the A3005) and into the A4127 that passes by Hanwell, briefly using the A4020 west before bypassing Dormers Wells, passing Greenford to reach Sudbury, the town immediately to the west of Wembley and North Wembley.

For longer journeys north, the M4, A4 or A30 then M25 provides the best routes. For longer journeys south, Hanworth Road leads to the A316 that becomes the M3 motorway.

Trains and Underground[edit]

Hounslow Central Underground station

London Underground stations in the town are (from towards central London to Heathrow); Hounslow East, Hounslow Central, Hounslow West, Hatton Cross, Heathrow Terminals 1,2 and 3, Heathrow Terminal 4 and Heathrow Terminal 5. The stations are all on the Piccadilly Line. There have been calls to reintroduce the District Line services to connect Hounslow with much of South and North East London.

Hounslow railway station, operated by South West Trains is on the railway line to London Waterloo station, or westwards to Reading, Weybridge or to Windsor. The railway line also offers services on the Hounslow Loop Line, opened 1850, further around the loop to Twickenham and Richmond.[8] It is situated a fair distance from the town centre and is used far less than the tube stations.

Bus services[edit]

London buses confined to Hounslow bus station during the 2009 snowfall

There is a large bus garage (coded AV), with adjoining bus station next 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 Depot was closed, the staff from that depot (coded IH) were transferred to Hounslow Garage. 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 to Central London.

Hounslow Heath Aerodrome was a grass airfield, operational 1914–1920. 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.

Staying in Hounslow[edit]

Owing to its proximity to Heathrow and the ease of access into Central London, central Hounslow has developed a number of new hotels – some converted from former office buildings. A greater number of large hotels exist by Heathrow, on the A4 Bath Road; these are mentioned in London Heathrow Airport/Harlington.

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), the residue of the historic Hounslow Heath that covered over 4,000 acres (1,600 ha).

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. It gave its name to the former hamlet of Heathrow.

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 Houslow.

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[11]
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[11]
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.[12]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Daniel Lysons, 'Heston', The Environs of London: volume 3: County of Middlesex (1795:22–45): accessed 6 August 2010.
  2. ^ Quoted in Acworth, WM 'The Railways in 1843' in Morgan, B (1963) Railway Lover's Companion, Eyre & Spottiswoode, P90
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1080312)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 June 2012.  The Lawn
  5. ^ Restaurants guide Squaremeal.co.uk Retrieved 2013-12-24
  6. ^ "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"
  7. ^ "Myrtle Avenue, Hounslow". Google Maps. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  8. ^ Grid square map Ordnance survey website
  9. ^ "Not one more night: Singer Phil Collins announces his retirement". London: Dailymail.co.uk. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  10. ^ Turnbull, Simon (12 August 2012). "Magical Mo Farah races into land of legends during London 2012". Independent.co.uk. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density 2011 census Office for National Statistics
  12. ^ a b c d Cumber, Robert (17 December 2010). "Council to revive links with Palestinian town". Hounslow, Heston & Whitton Chronicle. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

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

External links[edit]