Hanwell: Manor

Pages 224-225

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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According to a charter forged about 1100, (fn. 1) 8 manse at HANWELL were granted to Westminster Abbey by Archbishop Dunstan in the 10th century. Dunstan was alleged to have purchased the land from a royal official named Aelfwine who had come to him in Rome for financial help. He allowed Aelfwine to remain at Hanwell for his lifetime, and then handed the land over to the abbey. (fn. 2) Hanwell was reckoned as an independent manor in Domesday Book, (fn. 3) but after this, apparently before the 13th century, (fn. 4) it became absorbed in the neighbouring manor of Greenford, which also belonged to Westminster. (fn. 5) The first court rolls, which survive from the early 16th century, show that Hanwell was then a subsidiary hamlet of Greenford; from the middle of the century the manor was generally called 'Greenford and Hanwell', and lands in Hanwell were described indifferently as held of Greenford manor or Hanwell manor. (fn. 6) By the late 18th century, though the courts were still held together, the two manors seem to have been regarded as separate entities. (fn. 7) Most of the extensive copyhold land in Hanwell seems to have been enfranchised during the 19th century and the manorial courts were discontinued about 1900. (fn. 8)

New Brentford is not mentioned in Domesday Book and seems, under the name of Boston ('Bordwattestun'), (fn. 9) to have belonged to the abbey in 1157, (fn. 10) so that it is likely to have been included in Hanwell at the time when Westminster Abbey acquired the manor. Westminster continued to have some rights in New Brentford until the monastery was suppressed, (fn. 11) but by the later 12th century a separate estate had appeared in the town, which later became known as the manor of Boston. (fn. 12) The boundary between Hanwell and Boston manors probably became established at the same time. Apart from this, the boundaries of Hanwell manor, or of the part of Greenford manor in Hanwell, seem to have coincided with those of the parish.

The leases of the demesnes of Greenford manor which were made from the late 15th century onwards included a certain amount of land in Hanwell, (fn. 13) though there seems to be no truth in the suggestion of Sir Montagu Sharpe (fn. 14) that Hanwell Park, which was in fact copyhold, (fn. 15) was ever the residence of the lessees of the manor. The manor passed in the 16th century to the Bishop of London and in 1649 his lessee was estimated to hold 95 acres in the parish. (fn. 16) When the manorial estates were divided into two unequal parts in the 18th century, the Hanwell lands all formed part of the larger share. At the inclosure of 1816, the bishop and his lessee were allotted 26 acres for open-field land and common rights, and also held about 75 acres of old inclosed land. Most of this (48 a.) seems to be identical with the former demesne woodland of Covent Park and lay in the detached part of Hanwell parish near Twyford. The bishop was also allotted 5 acres in respect of his rights over the waste as lord of the manor. (fn. 17) Most of these lands, like the manorial estates in Greenford to which they were attached, were sold by the Church Commissioners after the Second World War.

There is no record of any manor-house at Hanwell, and it seems likely that any manorial buildings which there may have been fell into disuse or passed into other hands after the manor was joined to Greenford.

Golden Manor, Manor Court Road, and Manor House School are all modern names. None of them has any connexion with an ancient manor. Drayton Manor Grammar School takes its name from a manor in the adjoining parish of Ealing, though it stands on the site of Hanwell Park, not on land belonging to Drayton manor.


  • 1. See Crawford Charters, ed. Napier and Stevenson, 89.
  • 2. Cart. Sax. ed. Birch, iii, pp. 262-7; Westm. Domesday, f. 77b.
  • 3. Dom. Bk. (Rec. Com.), i, f. 128b.
  • 4. B.M. Add. Ch. 8139; cf., for 1293, Westm. Domesday, ff. 130b-131.
  • 5. For Greenford, see p. 206.
  • 6. e.g. Eccl. 1/210/2.
  • 7. Ch. Com. rec. 171663, 171690, 171740 (ct. bks.); for the courts, see p. 215.
  • 8. Burton, Hanwell in olden times, 12; Sharpe, Bygone Hanwell, 54; for enfranchisements, see ct. bks. in Ch. Com. recs.
  • 9. Cf. Westm. Domesday, f. 131.
  • 10. Ibid. f. 3b.
  • 11. J.I. 1/544, m. 51d, 52d; Rot. Parl. ii. 403; Valor Eccl. i. 412.
  • 12. Westm. Domesday, f. 131; Pipe R. 1194 (P.R.S. N.S. iv), 182.
  • 13. For the descent of the manor and the leases, see pp. 209-10.
  • 14. Bygone Hanwell, 71.
  • 15. See p. 225.
  • 16. M.R.O., Acc 249/1255 (assessment of Hanwell par. 1649).
  • 17. M.R.O., Hanwell Incl. Award.