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Coordinates: 51°28′00″N 0°21′03″W / 51.4668°N 0.3507°W / 51.4668; -0.3507

Hounslow is located in Greater London

 Hounslow shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ145755
    - Charing Cross 10.6 mi (17.1 km)  ENE
London borough Hounslow
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HOUNSLOW
Postcode district TW3, TW4
Dialling code 020 8 754
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Brentford & Isleworth
London Assembly South West
List of places: UK • England • London

Hounslow is the principal town in the London Borough of Hounslow. It is a suburban development situated 10.6 miles (17 km) west south-west of Charing Cross. It forms a post town in the TW postcode area.[1]


Metropolitan centre

The centre of Hounslow is formed around the pedestrianised former High Street and a shopping centre known as the Treaty Centre, which includes multiple stores with a mix of shops, cafés, the central library, and borough council offices. The town centre is undergoing a two-stage major re-development, with the second stage yet to be implemented.


The origin of the name Hounslow is uncertain. It may derive from the Anglo-Saxon “Honeslaw” meaning an area of land suitable for hunting, or from a name or description for a mound or hill associated with the pagan Hundi, of Anglo-Saxon times.


Hounslow High Street

From the early 13th century, when Hounslow began to develop, to the present day, one of the main sources of its economic survival has been transport and its allied industries. In the Middle Ages foot and horse traffic travelling between London and the West Country brought weary travellers to rest in the village. Between the 17th and 19th centuries it was the stagecoach services that brought prosperity to the growing town. Today the direct and indirect activities of Heathrow Airport generate jobs and industry for many local people and businesses.

The town grew up along both sides of the Great Western Road from London to the West Country and in 1211 the Order of the Holy Trinity built a priory at the western end of the High Street, on the site of the present church. These friars used one third of their tithes to pay for the release of hostages captured during the crusades. Edward I granted the Holy Trinity a charter allowing them to hold a weekly market and an annual fair where they levied duties on good sold. The priory was dissolved during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539, despite Henry VIII having entered the order of the priory when he was the Prince of Wales.

Materials from the priory were used to build Hounslow Manor house with the chapel, which survived the demolition of the other buildings, being used as a private chapel for the occupiers of the Manor house.

When the Barons and King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215 at Runnymede, the Barons held a tournament at Hounslow. 1227 saw the disafforesting of the Warren of Staines, a great wood, which allowed the Hounslow Heath to expand. The heath was a popular hunting ground for Kings and Queens through the ages, including Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and William III.

Armies also made use of the heath, owing to its proximity to London, Windsor and Hampton Court. Oliver Cromwell placed an army on the heath at the end of the Civil War in 1647, and James II camped his army there and held military exercises and mock battles, hoping to intimidate the population of London but without success. A permanent barracks for armies that camped on the heath was built in 1793 as part of the preparations for resisting a possible invasion by the French, and by 1884 had its own railway station. This was eventually demolished and another was built a short distance away and named Hounslow West Station in 1925. The suburb that then developed in the surrounding area adopted the station’s name.

Hounslow Heath is most notorious for the highwaymen and footpads (who did not have horses) that troubled the travellers on the road to and from London during the 17th and 18th centuries. The heath was so notorious that gibbets, or gallows, were set up along the roadside as a warning. Famous victims of the highwaymen included Lord North in 1774, William Pitt the Younger’s Secretary, and Lord Berkeley, who shot and killed his assailant. The highwayman Claude Duval famously danced with one of his lady victims but his ten-year criminal career ended when he was hanged at Tyburn in 1670. James MacLaine, the "Gentleman Highwayman" worked in partnership with William Plunkett. He robbed Lord Eglington in 1750 but was caught selling stolen goods before being hanged in front of a large crowd. The trade was not exclusive to men as the example of Mary Frith, who dared rob the Parliamentary General, Sir Thomas Fairfax, shows.

The prosperity of the town declined sharply when the Great Western Railway was built between London and Bristol, offering a much more comfortable and safe journey. The town began to flourish once more when the Great West Road was built to bypass the town in the 1920s and the factories that lined the road brought jobs and prosperity. As the old industries along the “Golden Mile” began to decline in the 1970s, they were replaced by offices, with many international companies setting up there, attracted by the proximity of London and the area's transport links. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, major construction work and redevelopment was conducted in Hounslow to pedestrianise the High Street and build the Treaty Centre. The old Library, one of the few elegant buildings in the town, was demolished during this period.


For a 15 year period Air France had its UK and Ireland office in Hounslow. In 2006 the UK and Ireland office was moved to Hatton Cross.[2]


London buses confined to Hounslow bus station during the 2009 snowfall.

The area is served by the Piccadilly Line of the London Underground at Hounslow Central tube station, Hounslow West tube station and Hounslow East tube station. South West Trains also provide National Rail services from Hounslow railway station. Hounslow abuts the perimeter of London Heathrow Airport, which is itself located in the London Borough of Hillingdon. To the north of Hounslow is the Great West Road.

There is a large bus garage, with adjoining bus station, located at the junction of London Road and Kingsley Road. The property is owned by the Transdev London group and operated through their company London United Busways Ltd, previously owned by London Transport. 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.

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.


The Heathland School is an 11-18 Co-educational Community Comprehensive School. As an academic comprehensive school, The Heathland School provides a broad general education for girls and boys in an environment of high achievement.

Notable people from Hounslow

Nearest places



  1. ^ Royal Mail, Address Management Guide, (204)
  2. ^ "AIR FRANCE and KLM celebrate official inauguration of new office in London." Air France. 6 July 2006. Retrieved on 13 February 2010.

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HOUNSLOW, a town in the Brentford parliamentary division of Middlesex, England, 121 m. W. by S. of St Paul's Cathedral, London, on the District and London & South Western railways. Pop. (1901) 11,377. It has grown into an extensive residential suburb of London. Its situation at the junction of two great roads from the west of England made it an important coaching station, and some Soo coaches formerly passed through it daily. A priory of friars of the Holy Trinity was founded at Hounslow in 1296, and existed till the dissolution of the monasteries. The priory chapel was used as a church till 1830, after which its place was taken by the existing church of the Holy Trinity (1835). Hounslow Heath, west of the town, had, according to the survey of 1546, an area of 4293 acres. It was the site of Roman and British camps, and in the wars of the 17th century was the scene of several important military rendezvous. It was a favourite resort of highwaymen, whose bodies were exposed on gibbets along the road. In 1784 the base-line of the first trigonometrical survey in England was laid down on the heath. In 1793 large cavalry barracks were erected upon it, and it is also the site of extensive powder mills. It began to be enclosed towards the end of the reign of George III. In Osterley Park, N.E. of Hounslow, Sir Thomas Gresham built a mansion in 1577, and this was rebuilt with great magnificence by Francis and Robert Child c. 1770. Hounslow is divided between the parishes of Heston and Isleworth. Pop. of urban district of Heston and Isleworth (1901) 30,863.

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