Hanwell: Roman catholicism

Page 233

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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There are no records of any popish recusants in Hanwell, for those said to live in the parish in the early 17th century belonged to New Brentford. (fn. 1) In 1853 the Roman Catholic mission at Turnham Green began to serve a chapel dedicated to St. Augustine. This stood by St. George's Road beside Clifden Lodge (now the presbytery), and still survives as rooms used for various parish activities. (fn. 2) Later the chapel was served by a priest from the Pious Society of the Missions at Saffron Hill until the present church was opened in 1864 and a resident priest was appointed. (fn. 3) The church stands on the other side of the presbytery, in the Uxbridge Road, and is dedicated to Our Lady and St. Joseph. It is a low stone building with a timbered roof supported by thin wooden columns.

In 1861 there was a community of Sisters of Mercy attached to the chapel: (fn. 4) it had apparently gone by the time the church was opened. (fn. 5)

In 1869 Baroness Weld (d. 1871) built a convalescent home for poor Roman Catholic women in the Uxbridge road just east of the church. The building, which still stands, was designed by E. W. Pugin. (fn. 6) It was sold in 1921, to be replaced by a convalescent home at Dollis Hill in connexion with St. Andrew's Hospital there. (fn. 7)

In 1901 the Sisters of St. Joseph established a convent at Brent Lodge, Lower Boston Road: the house had formerly been an orphanage managed by a Franciscan sister. The sisters started the Roman Catholic parish school, which they still conduct, and later also for a while ran a private school in West Ealing. They moved to no. 38, Lower Boston Road, in 1903, and to a house in Golden Manor in 1907. In 1921 they purchased the former convalescent home, where they remained in 1959. (fn. 8)


  • 1. e.g. Mdx. Cty. Recs. ii, iii. passim; cf. B.M. Add. MS. 38856, f. 28; Guildhall MSS. 9558, 9800.
  • 2. Personal observation and ex inf. the priest.
  • 3. Cath. Dir. (1855, 1863-5).
  • 4. Census, 1861.
  • 5. Cath. Dir. (1865).
  • 6. Thorne, Handbook to Environs of Lond. (1876), i. 313; Char. Com. files.
  • 7. Char. Com. files.
  • 8. Ex inf. Sisters of St. Joseph.