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Hounslow is the principal town in the London Borough of Hounslowmarker. It is a suburban development situated 10.6 miles (17 km) west south-west of Charing Crossmarker. It forms a post town in the TW postcode areamarker.

Metropolitan centre

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

Etymology

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.

History

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. 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, Heathrowmarker provides jobs, both on airport and in related industries to many local people.

The town grew up along both sides of the Great Western Road from Londonmarker 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 Runnymedemarker, the Barons held a tournament at Hounslow. 1227 saw the disafforesting of the Warren of Stainesmarker, 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, Windsormarker and Hampton Courtmarker. 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 Tyburnmarker 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 Bristolmarker, 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 Milemarker” 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 pedestrianize 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.

Transport

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

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. In addition to its frequent and regular daytime services throughout the surrounding areas Hounslow figures on the N9 night service from Heathrowmarker to Central Londonmarker.

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.

Nearest places



Gallery

File:Hounslow Railway Station.jpg|Hounslow Railway StationFile:Old post office, Hounslow 2.jpg|Old post officeFile:Blenheim centre Hounslow.jpg|Blenheim centreFile:Holy Trinity Church Hounslow.JPG|Holy Trinity ChurchFile:Abbey and Bradford and Bingley.JPG|BanksFile:Trees in Autumn 1.jpg|Jersey GardensFile:Hounslow East tube station 2.jpg|Hounslow East tube stationFile:Treaty centre Hounslow.jpg|Rear of the Treaty centre

References

  1. Royal Mail, Address Management Guide, (204)


External links




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