Northolt: Nonconformity

Page 121

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4, Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood With Southall, Hillingdon With Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow With Pinner. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1971.

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In 1599 Andrra or Andrea Gifford, wife of William Gifford, was indicted at Quarter Sessions for not attending the parish church. (fn. 1) Apart from this isolated case there is little evidence of opposition to the Established Church in Northolt until the 19th century. There were said to be no papists or reputed papists in 1706, one dissenter in 1766, and no papists or dissenters in 1770. (fn. 2) Plans for a Roman Catholic church to be built in Mandeville Road were approved by the local authority in 1963, (fn. 3) and the building, dedicated to St. Bernard, was consecrated in 1965. (fn. 4)

A house in Northolt was registered as a Baptist meeting-place in 1817, and one at West End for the use of Wesleyans in 1834. (fn. 5) The exact locations and subsequent history of both these meeting-houses are unknown.

In and shortly after 1869 Charles H. Harcourt, a member of the West Ealing Baptist Church, established a chain of six undenominational village missions in the remoter parts of Northolt and Greenford. These were served and supported by Baptists and Methodists in Ealing. (fn. 6) In 1869 Harcourt founded two missions: in Oldfield Lane, Greenford, and in Ealing Road (now Kensington Road), Northolt. (fn. 7) The Northolt mission continued to meet in these premises until 1944 when the building was burnt down. Since that date the congregation has met in a private house in Eastmead Avenue, Greenford. (fn. 8)

Shortly after 1869 three further missions were established in Ruislip Road, West End, Yeading Lane, and Hayes Road. After Harcourt's death (c. 1901), a new hall, known as the Harcourt Memorial, was built on the Ruislip Road site, but after 1929 nothing further is known of these three missions. (fn. 9)

There is no further evidence of nonconformist activity in Northolt until 1933 when a Methodist chapel was erected on a site in Church Road. (fn. 10) A Congregational fellowship, under a student pastor, met in the Downe Manor school from 1955 to 1958, when a permanent church was built in Tithe Barn Way. (fn. 11) A Baptist chapel in Eastcote Lane was registered for worship in 1958. (fn. 12)


  • 1. Mdx. Cnty. Recs. i. 254.
  • 2. Guildhall MSS. 9800, 9558, 9557.
  • 3. Ex inf. Ealing Bor. Council.
  • 4. Souvenir booklet penes the parish priest.
  • 5. Gen. Reg. Off., Dissenters' Places of Wship. 1689- 1852: Dioc. of Lond. certs. of 1 July 1817, 22 May 1834.
  • 6. Section based on inf. supplied by Messrs. C. H. Keene and A. Platt. It should be read in conjunction with V.C.H. Mdx. iii. 218-19.
  • 7. For the later history of the Greenford Mission see V.C.H. Mdx. iii. 218, sub. nom. 'Gospel Assembly'.
  • 8. Northolt Village Mission Min. Bk. 1929-63, penes Mrs. Robinson.
  • 9. Ibid.
  • 10. Ex inf. the minister.
  • 11. Ex inf. the church secretary.
  • 12. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 66918.