Heston and Isleworth: Markets and fairs

Page 112

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 1231 Richard of Cornwall was granted the right to hold a Thursday market and a two-day fair in Whit week at his manor of Isleworth. (fn. 1) The profits of this market do not seem to be accounted for in the manorial accounts which begin in the late 13th century, nor were a market and fair later conveyed with the manor. (fn. 2)

Hounslow Friary received the grant of a market and fair in 1296. The market was to be held on Tuesdays and the fair for eight days at Trinity Sunday. (fn. 3) The fair was still held in the 16th century, but the market had been given up. (fn. 4) In 1686 John Shales, commissary-general of provisions for the army, was granted the right to hold a market in Hounslow on every day while the military camp was there, and on Thursdays for ever. (fn. 5) A year later he received another grant, this time of a fair to be held on 1-12 May; the first two days were to be principally for the selling of horses, the next two for cattle, and the rest for all goods. (fn. 6) The Thursday market was still held in 1798 when it was said to have a considerable show of fat cattle, (fn. 7) but it was discontinued early in the 19th century. (fn. 8) In 1849 it was said to have belonged to the lord of the manor. (fn. 9) The fair's history is more obscure, since there were two fairs in the late 18th century. One of these was held at Michaelmas and the other, which was chiefly for horses and cattle, at Trinity. (fn. 10) The first of these thus corresponded in date with neither of the fairs previously granted and the second had the date of the 1296 fair and the purpose of the 1687 one. At the inclosure of 1818 the owner of Hounslow manor received allotments of an acre each on the edges of the heath in Heston and Isleworth in respect of his right to hold a fair. The Isleworth allotment was at the south end of Fair Street and that in Heston was on the Staines Road a little west of the present Hospital Road. (fn. 11) The Trinity fair was held in a small way in 1849, (fn. 12) but both it and that at Michaelmas seem to have been discontinued after 1888. (fn. 13)

John Shales owned a market-house in Hounslow in 1692. (fn. 14) In 1818 the market-house stood in Fair Street, and belonged to one Sarah Brown. (fn. 15) It consisted of a gable-ended roof supported on fluted columns of a composite order; the royal arms were displayed on the gable end. (fn. 16) The building had disappeared by 1840. (fn. 17)

There were pleasure fairs at Isleworth in July and at Heston in May during the 19th century. (fn. 18) The Isleworth fair still survived, in spite of efforts to stop it, in 1909, and was rumoured to be held under charter. (fn. 19)


  • 1. Close R. 1227-31, 556.
  • 2. See accts. listed on p. 115, n. 60, and conveyances sited on pp. 103-4.
  • 3. Cal. Chart R. 1257-1300, 463.
  • 4. Valor Eccl. i. 402; B.M. Harl. MS. 607, f. 122; Norden (Speculum Brit. pt. 1) does not mention the market.
  • 5. C 66/3282, no. 2; for the camp, see p. 95.
  • 6. C 66/3280, no. 8.
  • 7. Middleton, View of Agric. of Mdx. 408-9.
  • 8. Pigot, Lond. and Prov. Dir. (1833), 921; cf. Lewis, Topog. Dict. Eng. (1831).
  • 9. Syon Ho., MS. K. ii. 5.
  • 10. Lewis, Topog. Dict. Eng. (1831).
  • 11. M.R.O., Heston and Isleworth Incl. Awards.
  • 12. Syon Ho., MS. K. ii. 5; cf. Census, 1841.
  • 13. 1st Rep. Com. on Markets and Tolls [C. 5550], p. 184, H.C. (1888), liii.
  • 14. Hounslow Libr., Isleworth Vestry Order and Rate Bk. 1654-1712, rate for 1692.
  • 15. M.R.O., Isleworth Incl. Award.
  • 16. See plate facing p. 112.
  • 17. M.R.O., Isleworth Tithe Award.
  • 18. Lewis, Topog. Dict. Eng. (1831); Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1890).
  • 19. Mdx. Chron. 9 Jan. 1909, jubilee supplement.