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Hanwell is a town situated in the London Borough of Ealing in west London, between Ealing and Southall. The motto of Hanwell Urban District Council was Nec Aspera Terrent ( Difficulties be Damned )[1]




The earliest surviving reference is AD 959 when it is recorded as Hanewelle in pledge, when Alfwyn (a Saxon) pawned his land for money to go on a pilgrimage.[1] The origin of the name is uncertain; various suggestions have been put forward.

Near to the old Rectory and close to Hanwell spring is a large stone of about a ton in weight. In Anglo-Saxon the word Han denoted a boundary stone. This juxtaposition of these two natural features could have given rise to the name Han-well which dates back to before the Domesday Book.

The original borders of the parish stretched from the bend of the River Brent at Greenford and followed the river down to the River Thames. Its geography, before the draining of the marshes, formed a natural boundary between the different tribes of the south east of England. This gives some support to the suggestion that Han came from the Saxon han for cockerel. If so, the name is derived from Han-cr d-welle. Han-cr d or cock-crow meant the border between night and day, and is neither one nor the other. So Hanwell would mean well upon the boundary. For more see: River Brent: Hydronymy.

The only other Hanwell in Britain is a small parish in Oxfordshire on the boundary with Warwickshire.[1]

Short history of the inns and public houses

The Uxbridge Road (then known as the Oxford Road) was turnpiked between Uxbridge and Tyburn in 1714. The revenue from tolls enabled an all-weather metaled road surface of compacted gravel to be laid down.

This constant movement of people along the road, brought about the establishment of coaching inns along the road as it crossed the River Brent and passed through the parish of Hanwell. In these inns, travellers could stable their horses, place their carts or goods in safe storage and secure board and lodgings for themselves overnight.

The first inn on crossing the River Brent is "The Viaduct" which is on the north side. Named after the Wharncliffe Viaduct, its original name was the "Coach and Horses". At the back of the pub, some of the original stable building can be seen, dating to about 1730.[2] Early in the 20th century, The Viaduct received a new fa ence fa ade which Nikolaus Pevsner succinctly described as "a jolly tiled Edwardian pub".[3] Unfortunately, today the profusion of street furniture detracts somewhat from the original impact that these rich mid-browns and mid-cream glazed tiles gave the building.

Next was the "Duke of Wellington" which lay approximately 400m closer to London on the southern side of the road, roughly opposite the old Hanwell Police Station. However, this had been demolished by the 1920s and was not rebuilt.

Further east still and back across on the north side of the Uxbridge Road at the junction of Hanwell Broadway is the "Duke of York"This became an important staging point for stagecoaches on their way between Oxford and London. Established in the 18th century, it has been subsequently rebuilt in the Tudorbethan style.

The next pub occupies the site of what was probably the very first inn to be established on the Oxford Road as it ran through Hanwell; it is known today as the "Kings Arms". It lies on the south side of the road. It was original called the "Spencer Arms"after Edward Spencer, who was Lord of the Manor of Boston during the Civil War. In the 18th century, the Manor Courts hearings were transferred here from Greenford, then later transferred to the Viaduct Inn.[4] However, the present building dates back to 1930 when it was rebuilt by brewers Mann, Crossman & Paulin in the Arts & Crafts style. Though unexciting on the outside, its interior is still today, a fine example of this type of architecture, and CAMRA has placed it in its National Inventory of Pub Interiors of Outstanding Historic Interest. The lower half of the exterior walls is decorated with green fa ence with brick-sized faces. These tiles extend to cover the stallriser of the shop to the immediate right. This is because, originally, this shop was built to serve as the Off-licence premises.

The Fox built 1848
The Fox
built 1848
Gradually, retail stores and shops started to fill the gaps between these inns to take advantage of the passing trade brought by this important route into and out of the city. During the Victorian period, the village to the north of the Uxbridge Road began to slowly expand to the south of the road. Toward the southern end of Green Lane (the old toll-free drovers route into the city) is "The Fox" public house. The Fox has been named West Middlesex Pub of the Year in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2011.[5][6] Built in 1848 it is a largely unspoilt and original mid-Victorian pub. It has received a 'local listing' from Ealing Council as a building of local interest. It is constructed out of local golden yellow brick with more expensive red bricks used for detailing on corners and chimneys. Rich brown glazed tiles are used for the ground floor exterior walls with coloured stained glass in the fan lights. The upper story has Mock Tudor detailing, including dentils on the two outward-facing gables. Most of the interior is also original, although the dividing walls between bars and off-licence sales have been taken out to create one large bar area. The present day eating area retains its original wooden wall panelling. On the east of the building itself is a very sheltered beer garden, so food and drink can be enjoyed inside or out. The Fox was the meeting place for the local fox hunt until the 1920s. The hunt would set off across Hanwell Heath, much of which still existed at that time. Today however, it is more usual to stand at the bar in the early evening and watch foxes strolling by quite unfazed by the punters supping their pints of real ale at the tables and benches out front.[7][8][9]


St Bernard's Gate House (Grade II)
St Bernard's Gate House
(Grade II)
Lying to the west of the River Brent and so actually in the precinct of Norwood Green, the Middlesex County Lunatic Asylum was commonly referred to as the Hanwell Asylum because it was closer to the centre of Hanwell than either Norwood or Southall. The asylum was opened in 1831 to house pauper lunatics. In 1937 it was renamed St Bernard's Hospital by which it is still known today. Built on some of its former grounds to the east is Ealing Hospital. Most of the original asylum still remains, with over half having been turned into flats and the rest remaining as a psychiatric hospital. The most interesting parts are the chapel and an entrance arch, visible from the Uxbridge Road. Within the grounds of Hanwell Asylum, on the west side of the main block, was a small isolation hospital.

The hospital was remarkable as one of its physicians, John Conolly, 1794 1866, was progressive in the treatment of patients and avoided the use of restraints. A memorial garden dedicated to him is at the junction of Station Road with Connolly Road. The hospital did have a museum housed in its chapel, but this collection has now been broken up and relocated. It included many items ranging from patient registers, reports and a large assortment of medical equipment, including a padded cell, consisting of a wooden framework with padded door, walls and floor, but no ceiling.

Within the boundary of Hanwell proper, there were three more asylums. These were all private. The first one recorded, was "Popes House", which admitted its first patient (it is thought) in 1804.

Later, "Elm Grove House" in Church Road was turned into an asylum by Susan Wood. Her husband was the brother of Mrs Ellis, the wife of William Ellis, the first superintendent of Hanwell Asylum.[10] The East India Company took over Elm Grove in 1870 and renamed it the "Royal India Asylum". It closed in 1892.[11]

Another local asylum was "Lawn House", the home and privately-run asylum of Dr John Conolly, which he opened after retiring as superintendent of Hanwell Asylum. After his death in 1866, it was taken over by his son-in-law Henry Maudsley who ran it until 1874.

Down Green Lane and on the west side was the old "Hanwell Cottage Hospital", which was named "The Queen Victoria and War Memorial Hospital". This was built in 1900 and paid for by public subscription and run on voluntary contributions until the creation of the NHS in 1948. In 1979 it was replaced by "Ealing District General Hospital", on the other side of the River Brent. The southern Portland stone and brick pier of the cottage hospital's entrance, bearing the inscription HANWELL was preserved as a permanent reminder of Hanwell's first hospital. The two original Edwardian street lamps outside the entrance were also preserved, but then mysteriously disappeared, causing enquiries to be made.

Places of interest and recreation

The local parish church

St Mary, Hanwell
St Mary, Hanwell
St. Mary's Church is the original ancient parish church. The present church structure was built in 1841. As such, it stands as one of George Gilbert Scott's very early churches, executed in the style of Gothic Revival, and consists of masoned white limestone and gault brickwork, with flint-rubble and mortar panels. Scott himself later condemned his work of this period as "a mass of horrors". However, the famous painter William Frederick Yeames, who at one time was its churchwarden, is thought to have done the wall paintings in the chancel.[12]

Perhaps the most famous rector was Dr. George H. Glasse; he has a memorial place in his memory in St. Mary's Churchyard (Grade II). Still surviving is the home he had built for him nearby in 1809. It is executed in the style of cottage orn and named The Hermitage (Grade II). Nikolaus Pevsner described it thus: "a peach of an early c19 Gothic thatched cottage with two pointed windows, a quatrefoil, and an ogee arched door, all on a minute scale. Inside, an octagonal hall and reception room".[3]

In latter years another well-known rector was Fred Secombe (brother of Harry Secombe). Since leaving and moving back to Wales, he has become a prolific author.

The Hermitage built 1809 (Grade II)
The Hermitage
built 1809 (Grade II)

No archaeological evidence has been found so far, to show that any church existed here earlier than shown in written records. However, due to its commanding topographical position, which enables the distinctive broach spire to be seen from many miles away, it has been suggested that this may have been a pagan place of worship long before Christianity reached this part of the world. There is however, no evidence to support this theory. An early supporter of this hypothesis was Sir Montagu Sharpe KC DL, a local historian and a member of the Society of Antiquaries.[13] (In nearby Northolt, the parish church, which is also on high ground, has had much evidence found around it of past occupation by the beaker people.)

St Thomas the Apostle

St Thomas the Apostle was designed by architect Edward Maufe in preparation for his work on Guildford Cathedral and includes a sculpture by Eric Gill.[14]

St Mellitus Church

St Mellitus, Hanwell
St Mellitus, Hanwell
Until the early years of the 20th century all of Hanwell had been one parish, St Mary's. The inadequacy of one church to serve a growing population is indicated by the rebuilding of St Mary's church in 1842 to cater for the increased number of church goers and then by the building in 1877 of St Mark's as an additional church serving the south of the parish. By the turn of the century this was no longer sufficient and it was decided to create an additional parish, St Mellitus, the first in the Anglican Communion to bear that name.

The church building is an imposing Gothic style building of the Edwardian period situated on a busy cross roads in the heart of Hanwell. It was designed by the office of Sir Arthur Blomfield in 1909, built by Messrs J Dorey & Co of Brentford and consecrated by the Bishop of London, Rt Rev Arthur Winnington-Ingram in March 1910. It is a landmark building with a distinctive gable end housing three recently restored bells.

The parish was formed in 1908 and lay between the railway and Elthorne Park, thus including St Mark's as a chapel of ease. While St Mark's would continue in this fashion as a subsidiary church for the parish, it was clear that a new, bigger parish church was needed and so Sir Arthur Blomfield was commissioned to design it. With a capacity of 800 people it was designated St Mellitus, the name probably derived from the legend, propagated by Sir Montagu Sharpe, the Middlesex historian, that Mellitus, Bishop of the East Saxons, was instrumental in the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons of Hanwell. Funds for the new church were raised from the sale of Holy Trinity in Gough Square in the city of London.

In 1980, with the retirement of the then vicar of St Mark's, the two parishes were merged, now known as St Mellitus with St Mark's.

The Wharncliffe Viaduct

The Wharncliffe Viaduct
The Wharncliffe Viaduct
Carrying the Great Western Railway across the River Brent, the Wharncliffe Viaduct was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Hanwell Flight of Locks

Windmill and Lock
Windmill and Lock
The Hanwell flight of six locks raises the Grand Union Canal by just over and has been designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument by English Heritage.[15] At the top of the flight of locks towards Norwood Green is the Three Bridges designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It is still often referred to locally as simply Windmill Bridge and is very close to the spot where the eponymous windmill once stood; attracting the attention of a local Brentford artist named Joseph Mallard William Turner. These are actually within the boundary of Southall but are named after the local village of Hanwell, which is much closer than either of the villages of Norwood or Southall.

The Central London District School/Hanwell Community Centre

The Central London District School at Hanwell was built between 1856 and 1861 by a group of central London poor law unions to house and educate pauper children away from the workhouse; the original site at Norwood having proved to be too small and unsuitable for extension. By far its most famous resident was Charlie Chaplin who was at the school from June 1896 until January 1898.

The school was closed in 1933 but parts of it remain standing, and it is in use as the Hanwell Community Centre. The Community Centre was used as a location in the film Billy Elliot. It has been declared a Grade II listed building by English Heritage[16] but its future is uncertain.

Brent Lodge Park and Animal Centre

Peacock at the Brent Lodge Park Animal Centre
Peacock at the Brent Lodge Park Animal Centre
This park was acquired by Ealing Borough Council as a recreation ground in 1931 from Sir Montagu Sharpe (1856 1942), who had lived in Brent Lodge since 1884. The lodge itself, by then dilapidated, was demolished. The original stable block remains and is Grade II listed. For many years the park served as a 9 hole golf course requiring no more than a small driver and a putt which could be hired together with a ball from a kiosk. Small boys would supplement their pocket money by retrieving lost balls from the river.[17]

Another attraction was a large wired enclosure, within which unwanted pet rabbits (and tortoises, guinea pigs etc.,) were given a new home. This inevitably led to it getting the nickname 'Bunny Park', which is still how some locals refer to it today. Later, the animal collection became more exotic as it began to receive and house imported animals that remained unclaimed after their period of compulsory quarantine had expired. Better enclosures were built and it has now become a small zoo and is a recognized member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA).[18]

The park has a modern and well-equipped children's playground. Clearly visible on Google Earth are the 2,000 yew trees which have been planted to create the Millennium Maze. The entrance to the park is at the south-west side of St Mary's Church at the end of Church Road.

The park also has a coffee shop and a children's play area [19]

Brent River Park and Brent Valley Golf Club

The Lodge Park is part of the larger Brent River Park which follows the river from Perivale down to Hanwell.[20] In this river valley, there is also the Brent Valley Golf Club

Hanwell Clock Tower

The art deco clock tower on Hanwell Broadway was unveiled on 7 May 1937 in celebration of the coronation of King George VI. The mayor at the time, Frederick Woodward, said "I consider Hanwell one of the finest gateways to the city of London, and I cannot think of a more fitting place for the clock".[21]

Elthorne Park

Elthorne Park is one of the larger parks in the area, of fairly level ground, which includes a children's playground, a bandstand and a Sarsen stone which is displayed at the entrance.


There are three burial grounds in Hanwell. The one at the parish church of St Mary is full. The remaining two are for the deceased residents of other boroughs.

For the local people today, the London Borough of Ealing offers interments in Hortus Cemetery, Southall and Greenford Park Cemetery, Greenford.[22]

St. Mary's church graveyard

The graveyard of St. Mary's is the oldest burial ground. To the east side of the church yard is a large square stone monument to the Glasses family which English Heritage has given it a Grade II listing. Whilst it might have been grand in its day, today it could be easily overlooked and is in a poor state of disrepair.

It had become badly overgrown but recently much vegetation has been cut back to provide a quite place of peace and solitude.

Westminster City Council Cemetery, Hanwell

Built on the former common land of South Field, Westminster City Cemetery, Hanwell is an extramural cemetery run by Westminster City Council.[23]

In 1987 Shirley Porter's controlled Westminster City Council controversially sold to land developers for 15p.[24] It possesses some fine mausoleums and family vaults. [23]

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Cemetery, Hanwell

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Cemetery

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Cemetery, Hanwell is an extramural Victorian cemetery run by Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.[25] It is situated on the north side of the Uxbridge Road on the former common land of East Field. On the grounds stands a disused chapel. The chapel, gatehouse and entrance arch were designed by Thomas Allom and executed in Kentish ragstone. There are many Victorian and Edwardian graves here.

Ancient Saxon burials

Middlesex as a whole, has a dearth of early Saxon archaeology. However, the nearby place names of Ealing, Yeading and Harrow are of the early Saxon period, even though there are no surviving records of their presence in the Brent valley and its tributaries at this time.

In 1886 whilst excavating gravel on Hanwell Common, seven Saxon graves were discovered. They were found approximately where the Oakland School stands today. Of these burials, it is thought that at lest three were men with iron spears. Gold-plated copper alloy brooches were also found.[26] They have been dated to between the 5th and the mid 6th century and attest to the age of this Saxon settlement in Hanwell. [27]

However, when they were first uncovered, it led some historians to suppose that these were warriors slain it battle.[28] Especially since some 50 iron spears were found close by. In Victorian times they only had the written records to go on, and, as no mention of Saxon occupation in Middlesex appear for this period, it was a reasonable hypothesis to consider, even though there was no evidence for this fanciful idea that any had died in battle.[29] Archaeological evidence has since shown that Saxons were already present in small numbers along the River Thames generations earlier. Yet the colourful tale of the Battle of Bloody Croft (given as circa AD 572) circulates locally unto to this day. [30]

Bloody Croft alludes to a small former common field called Blood Croft. This used to lay between the present day golf links to the west, the Greenford Road to the east, and partly covered by the northern half of present day Grove Avenue, which itself is 1.5 km to the nor-nor west of the burial site. Since ancient times, pigs were let loose into the woods that once stood upon Cuckoo Hill, to feed upon the acorns and roots therein. This practice even gets recorded in the Domesday Book entry for Hanwell. Therefore, the name may just allude to the place, where they then got slaughtered during the Saxon lunar blood month, which falls around November. Blotmona : blot blood or a sacrifice, mona month.[31] The English Place-Name Society found in its search of the Hanwell records, an earlier name for the field which was Blood Cut Meadow. Their only comment is "possibly 'land on which veterinary phlebotomy was practised.'" [32]


Schools in Hanwell include St Mark's Primary School, Hobbayne Primary School, Mayfield Primary School, Drayton Manor High School, (which later adopted as its own the motto the Hanwell Council's motto of nec aspera terrent[1]), Elthorne Park High School and Brentside High School.

The Hanwell Carnival

The Red Barrows formation display team at the Hanwell Carnival (2010) The Hanwell Carnival was established in 1898. Held on the third Saturday of each June, it was founded to raise funds for the Cottage Hospital (now Ealing Hospital). It foundered during World War II but was then resurrected in 1961 with the help of circus showman Billy Smart, Jr.[33]

Now a popular annual event, it has grown to become the second-largest carnival in London after Notting Hill. It starts with a procession of decorated floats which travel from Hanwell Community Centre to Elthorne Park, where a show arena hosts various events which often includes dance and demonstrations put on by local groups. Local charities and organisations have stalls and a real beer tent. For further entertainment, a stage hosts live musicians and bands. On the west side of the park are children's rides. Proving very popular also is the well-attended dog show. The craft fair offers an assortment of artisan-created items. For teenagers, there is a funfair.

Beating the bounds

Also, to remind all those who do dwell in these parts, where the Parish of Hanwell's boundaries lay, they invite all-comers to go beating the bounds with them. This ancient ceremony is performed on the May Bank Holiday. As a bonus, it starts and finishes at a pub.[34][35]

Annual Easter beer festival

A small beer festival is held each Easter weekend down at the far end of Green Lane at The Fox Pub which features about two-dozen cask beers from chosen around the country.[36]

Sport and leisure

Hanwell is represented by Non-League football club Hanwell Town F.C., which plays at the Reynolds Field, in Perivale.

Notable Hanwell residents past and present

  • Anna Brownell Jameson writer and feminist.
  • Al Bowlly, singer, is buried with other WW2 bombing victims in a mass grave in the City of Westminster Cemetery, Uxbridge Road, Hanwell.
  • Brian Whelan, painter, author and film maker lived in two locations in Hanwell while growing up.
Broadway by Brian Whelan
Broadway by Brian Whelan
  • Charlie Chaplin, actor, was boarded at and attended the Central London District School (Cuckoo Schools), Hanwell, from June 1896 until January 1898.
  • Daniel Hack Tuke: Distinguished mental doctor and related to the line of Tuke's which founded the York Retreat.
  • Deep Purple rock band, rehearsed for their 1970 album In Rock in the Hanwell Community Centre. Promotional photographs for the album were taken in the grounds.[37]
  • Derwent Coleridge distinguished scholar, author was rector at Hanwell.
  • Edward Augustus Bond (1815 1898) was born in Hanwell. He was a librarian and palaeographer who co-founded the Palaeographical Society.
  • John Conolly, superintendent at the Hanwell Asylum 1839-1844. He then ran a private asylum at Lawn House, Hanwell.
  • Freddie Frinton, comedian, is buried in Westminster Cemetery.
  • Fred Secombe (born 1918), one-time vicar of St. Marys church, Hanwell. Born in Swansea, he is the elder brother of the late Sir Harry Secombe. Since retiring he has become an author of seven books, in a style which has had him referred to as 'the ecclesiastical James Herriott.'
  • Jay Kay of pop band Jamiroquai is also a former resident. He attended Drayton Manor School.
  • Jimi Hendrix owned a house in Hanwell, but never lived in it.
  • Jim Marshall had a small shop in Hanwell where he started manufacturing and selling his world-famous amplifiers. In an interview for Musicians Hotline, Jim Marshall said "So many players came to my
    Jonas with his brolly
    Jonas with his brolly
    Hanwell shop, it was almost like a rock and roll labor exchange because a lot of groups were formed there".[38]
  • Jonas Hanway, writer, philanthropist and the first man to carry an umbrella in London is buried in the crypt of St Mary's Church.
  • Henry Corby, businessman and politician, born in 1806 at Hanwell, died 25 October 1881 at Belleville, Ontario, Canada.
  • Henry Maudsley (1835 1918) was a pioneering English psychiatrist. From 1866-1874 he ran John Conolly's private asylum at Lawn House, Hanwell.
  • Henry Scott TukeRA: son of Daniel, he became a famous painter. They both lived at Golden Manor.[1]
  • Peter Crouch, footballer, is a former pupil of Drayton Manor High School.
  • Steve McQueen, artist and film director, is a former pupil of Drayton Manor High School.
  • Sally Rose, Engineer
  • Philip Jackson, actor.
  • Rick Wakeman, keyboardist for the band, Yes. Although Wakeman never lived in Hanwell, he attended Drayton Manor Grammar School, on Drayton Bridge Road, leaving in 1966.
  • Rob King, after which Rob King Day is named was also born here.
  • Sir Montagu Sharpe: Lived at Brent Lodge.[39] An historian and one time president of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society. On local history he wrote the books: Bygone Hanwell; The Great Ford of the lower Thames; Middlesex in Roman and Saxon Times and Middlesex in the Domesday Book.
  • Steve Benbow (29 November 1931 17 November 2006) was a British folk guitar player, singer and music director.
  • The Magic Numbers, indie-pop band.

And When Did You Last See Your Father? by William Frederick Yeames
And When Did You Last See Your Father? by William Frederick Yeames
The Who (2007)
The Who (2007)

  • The Who rock band rehearsed in Hanwell Community Centre prior to their 1969 US Tour.
  • William Frederick Yeames RA: Famous for having painted And When Did You Last See Your Father?, the artist lived at 8, Campbell Road, where there is a blue plaque to commemorate the fact. He was also a one-time churchwarden of St Mary's church.[40]
  • Ulmus viminalis, a variety of elm tree, was first described from a specimen growing in Hanwell (in 1677).

In popular culture

"The Broadway Cafe" in There for Me

Hanwell has been the filming location for a number of films and television programmes:

  • There for Me, British feature film: From 7th-14 July 2007 the Hanwell's First Choice Cafe on the corner of Hanwell Broadway was converted into the Broadway Caf for this film. It stars Paul Bettany (born nearby, in Harlesden) and was written by his close friend Dan Fredenburgh, together with Doraly Rosen; Dan and Doraly play the lead roles. Other cast members are Olivia Williams and Rita Tushingham. It is about two people who find they have to make tough and emotionally difficult choices about their lives.[41]
  • Staggered (1994): Starred Martin Clunes as a man late for his own wedding. St Mary's was used for most of the church shots.[43]
  • Shine on Harvey Moon (1993) for ITV television: This was a period drama series set in the 1940s. The funeral sequences were also filmed at St Mary's.[43]
  • Peep Show: The Dolphin pub (series three, episode four) and the exterior and interior of St Mary's church for Sophie and Mark's wedding (series four, episode six).
  • Extras (TV series): The Dolphin pub. Internal shots twice during episode starring David Bowie (Unfortunately David was not in these shots!)
  • Carry On Constable (1960): Used many locations around Ealing, with Hanwell Library serving for the exterior shots of their Police Station. St. Mary's was also used for exterior shots.
  • Carry On Teacher (1959): The Maudlin Street School exterior scenes were shot at Drayton School, Drayton Grove, West Ealing.[44]

In literature

"So, setting about it as methodically as men might smoke out a wasps' nest, the Martians spread this strange stifling vapour over the Londonward country. The horns of the crescent slowly moved apart, until at last they formed a line from Hanwell to Coombe and Malden." from The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (1898).[45] '"And I remember that as I lifted my head to listen, my eye caught an omnibus on which was written "Hanwell".... "Believing utterly in one's self is a hysterical and superstitious belief like believing in Joanna Southcote: the man who has it has 'Hanwell' written on his face as plain as it is written on that omnibus." from Orthodoxy (book) by G. K. Chesterton (1908).[46]

Political representation

Hanwell is divided between two parliamentary constituencies: Ealing North (which covers Hanwell north of the railway line to Paddington), represented since 1997 by Labour MP Stephen Pound, and Ealing Southall (south of the railway line), represented since 2007 by Labour MP Virendra Sharma.

Hanwell is made up of two electoral wards for local council elections: Hobbayne and Elthorne, which both elect councillors to Ealing Council.

Hanwell is in the London Assembly constituency of Ealing and Hillingdon which has one assembly member: Richard Barnes (Conservative), who was re-elected in May 2008. It is also part of the London region for the European Parliament elections. The London region elects eight MPs to the European Parliament.


Trams, trolleybuses and motor buses

Tram crossing Hanwell Bridge
Tram crossing Hanwell Bridge
In 1901 the first electric trams began to run along the Uxbridge Road, causing the population of the village to expand faster than with the arrival of the trains half a century before. First however, the tram company had to strengthen Hanwell Bridge, as well as widen it on its north side. A balustrade, which survives to this day, lines each side. Another stipulation placed upon the company was that the standards to support the catenary also had to be able to double as street lampposts. The cars cost 1,000 each yet the ordinary fare from Shepherd's Bush to Uxbridge was only 8d. As the trams system utilised a single live overhead conductor only for each direction, this meant the residents of Hanwell not only had to put up with the general whine and mechanical clatter of the trams themselves but also their cast-iron shoes scraping along the running rails to provide a current return path. Should a stone get trapped between shoe and rail (and they often did) it would cause an ear-penetrating screech thus creating more annoyance.
Tram in Boston Rd, Uxbridge Rd is behind
Tram in Boston Rd, Uxbridge Rd is behind
A route from Brentford to Hanwell was introduced on 26 May 1906.[47]

A tram depot (later converted into a trolleybus depot and then into a bus garage) was located on the Uxbridge Road. It was closed down in 1993 and the land has been converted into a retail park.

Routemaster buses were built at the AEC factory in Windmill Lane and much of the fuel injection equipment and electrical systems were manufactured by CAV Ltd who had a factory in Acton Vale.[47][48] The large Routemaster tyres were moulded and cured, just to the south on the Great West Road in Brentford by the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company whose factory was opened there in 1928.[49]

Trolley buses were introduced in 1936 and ran until the early 1960s.[50]

Plans to reintroduce trams again in the form of the West London Tram scheme were suggested, but then abandoned by Transport for London in 2007 in the face of local opposition.

Transport for London: Bus services to and from Hanwell. Accessed 2007-06-05

Nearest tube stations

Nearest railway stations

Nearest places


External links

hi: nl:Hanwell (Londen)

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