Cranford: Nonconformity

Page 186

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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Recusants in Cranford were prosecuted in the 1590's, but at the most only three people were involved. (fn. 1) In the mid-17th century three recusants were named, (fn. 2) but only one was prosecuted, (fn. 3) and by the beginning of the 18th century there were no Roman Catholics or reputed Catholics known to be in the village. (fn. 4)

During the 18th century Protestant nonconformity began to develop with the appearance of the Baptists, of whom there were said to be many in 1778, but by 1790 they were said to be decreasing. (fn. 5) In the 1830's the Independents were found in Cranford, and they had houses licensed for worship both in 1830 (fn. 6) and 1832. (fn. 7) There are no later references to them in the village.

The 18th-century Baptists probably attended the chapel in Harlington, which by 1837 had established a Sunday school in Cranford. (fn. 8) The Baptist church which grew out of this was formed in 1865 and the building in the High Street was completed in 1866. (fn. 9) Strictly speaking the chapel was in the parish of Heston, being on the east side of the High Street, but it is always known as Cranford chapel. It had accommodation for 150 people (fn. 10) which was later increased to 250. (fn. 11) In 1877 it was registered for celebrating marriages. (fn. 12) In 1937 the church was sold to the Air Ministry for the proposed extension to Heston airport, and was rented by the Air Ministry to the congregation while the present church in Firs Drive was being erected. (fn. 13) This building was opened in 1939. (fn. 14) In 1958 the High Street chapel was still standing derelict. The present chapel seats 300 people and had a membership of 100 in 1958. (fn. 15)

The Brethren registered a mission-room in Cranford in 1882. They had given it up by 1896. (fn. 16)

In 1959 a spiritualist church was meeting in a building in the Bath Road.


  • 1. Mdx. Cty. Recs. i. 217-20.
  • 2. B.M. Add. MS. 38856, f. 58.
  • 3. Mdx. Cty. Recs. iii. 144.
  • 4. Guildhall MS. 9800.
  • 5. Ibid. 9558.
  • 6. Ibid. 9580/6.
  • 7. Ibid. 9580/7.
  • 8. Ex inf. Mr. W. Chipperfield, a deacon of Harlington Baptist ch. See p. 273.
  • 9. Date on building.
  • 10. A. C. Marshall, 'Cameos of Cranford', Heston Ratepayers' Assoc. Mag. (1936): copy in Hounslow Libr.
  • 11. Baptist Handbk. (1932).
  • 12. Lond. Gaz. 1877, p. 2625.
  • 13. Ex inf. Mr. L. W. Johnston, Church Secretary.
  • 14. Ex inf. Mr. L. W. Johnston.
  • 15. Baptist Handbk. (1958).
  • 16. Gen. Reg. Off., Worship Reg. no. 25978.