A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3, Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Teddington, Heston and Isleworth, Twickenham, Cowley, Cranford, West Drayton, Greenford, Hanwell, Harefield and Harlington. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1962.
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In 1086 one of the villeins mentioned in Domesday Book held 2 hides of land, (fn. 1) and there is later evidence of two considerable freeholds in the manor during the Middle Ages. The first of these was an estate called the Brome or Broomland which consisted of a house, 2 virgates, and 2 acres of meadow. It was held in the early 13th century by Robert of Barking, who had acquired it from Stephen de Brome. In 1254 Robert's daughter and her husband conveyed it to Westminster Abbey. The estate was described as containing 80 acres of land and one of meadow in 1293. (fn. 2) It may be identifiable with the copyhold estate held by Sir Thomas Gresham's widow in 1592, which included lands called the Broom Closes. (fn. 3) This descended with Gresham's adjoining Osterley estate to the earls of Jersey. It was said to comprise 80 acres in 1649, (fn. 4) and in 1816 consisted of 90 acres of inclosures and 21 acres of allotments. (fn. 5) The inclosed land was called Park farm and lay in a solid block around the farmhouse between Boston Road and the Brent. Parts were sold at different times during the late 19th and early 20th century and about 10½ acres now form Elthorne Park. (fn. 6)
The land which Stephen de Brome conveyed to Robert of Barking was bordered on the south by land belonging to Simon de Crokeshull, who held 2 virgates freely of Greenford manor in the early 13th century. (fn. 7) Later there were only about 43 acres to the south of Park farm within Hanwell proper, since the boundary between Hanwell and Boston manor (or New Brentford chapelry) lay nearby. These 43 acres belonged in 1816 to James Clitherow, the lord of Boston manor, (fn. 8) whose predecessor had held almost the same amount of land in Hanwell in 1649. (fn. 9) The identity of this with part of Simon de Crokeshull's land is made more probable by the fact that in 1660 the owner of Boston manor held about 60 acres of copyhold in Hanwell manor of which part was called Croxhill Grove. (fn. 10) The rest, which was named Farnell's Half-hide, cannot be traced. It is perhaps noteworthy that both of these medieval freeholds were afterwards converted to copyhold.
No villein tenements have been traced through the Middle Ages. In the 18th century a large copyhold estate belonged to Charles Gostling (d. c. 1766), who owned Hanwell Park and about 286 acres. (fn. 11) His property was accumulated from various sources: 28 acres had belonged to Henry Hodges, (fn. 12) whose house had eight hearths in 1664 and fifteen a few years later. (fn. 13) Another part, of over 100 acres, had belonged to John Wilkin, and was perhaps the same as the 108 acres held by Henry Wilkin's heirs in 1649. (fn. 14) Gostling left his property to two brothers, Henry and William Berners. (fn. 15) Henry seems to have lived at Hanwell Park until his death in 1782, (fn. 16) and the estate was afterwards broken up. (fn. 17) The house was occupied for some years about the turn of the century by Sir Archibald Macdonald, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, (fn. 18) and had passed by 1816 to Thomas Willan of Twyford Park. Willan held with it all the land east of Cuckoo Lane (c. 198 a.), which had probably belonged to Gostling, and received 36 acres of allotments at the inclosure. He also held 22 acres in the detached part of the parish adjoining his estate at Twyford. (fn. 19) This last area remained in the hands of his heirs when his Hanwell estate (287 a.) was sold after his death to one Turner in 1828. (fn. 20) Charles Turner owned and occupied the house in 1837 and John Turner sold it, with 89 acres, to Benjamin Sharpe in 1848. (fn. 21) Cuckoo farm (171 a.) was separated from the estate at this time. (fn. 22) In 1856 it became the site of the Central London District Schools and in the 1930's of a housing estate erected by the London County Council, to whom the school and land had descended. (fn. 23) Hanwell Park was enfranchised in 1880 and passed on Sharpe's death in 1883 to his son, Sir Montagu Sharpe. (fn. 24) He sold it in 1884 and its extent was thereafter diminished by building. The house was bought in 1897 by J. C. Johnstone, (fn. 25) and had been pulled down by 1913. (fn. 26)
In 1649 there were nearly a dozen estates of between 20 and 50 acres, as well as Park farm (80 a.), and the lands of the lessee of the manor (95 a.) and of the owner of Boston manor (45 a.). (fn. 27) The growth of the Hanwell Park estate absorbed some of these small properties, but at least two of them, both copyhold, were detached from the estate after Henry Berners's death in 1782. The first of these was Brent End or Brent End Farm, later Brent Lodge, which was conveyed to the rector, G. H. Glasse, in 1795 as part of an estate he acquired for himself around the church. (fn. 28) Brent Lodge had 36 acres around it in 1837. (fn. 29) It later belonged to Sir Montagu Sharpe. He lived there from 1884 until he sold it to the borough council, who demolished it in the 1930's. (fn. 30) The second estate was the house later called Hanwell Grove or the Grove, to which 29 acres were attached in 1837. It was enfranchised in 1860. (fn. 31) Most of the other small estates of the early 19th century consisted of pleasure-grounds attached to the larger houses, (fn. 32) and may have borne little relation to the 17th-century properties. The exceptions to this were the glebe (about 24 a.) and the Hobbayne's charity lands (about 25 a.), which are discussed elsewhere. (fn. 33)