Ruislip: Introduction

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


Diane K Bolton. H P F King. Gillian Wyld. D C Yaxley, 'Ruislip: Introduction', 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, (London, 1971), pp. 127-134. British History Online [accessed 19 June 2024].

Diane K Bolton. H P F King. Gillian Wyld. D C Yaxley. "Ruislip: Introduction", in 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, (London, 1971) 127-134. British History Online, accessed June 19, 2024,

Bolton, Diane K. King, H P F. Wyld, Gillian. Yaxley, D C. "Ruislip: Introduction", 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, (London, 1971). 127-134. British History Online. Web. 19 June 2024,


The ancient parish of Ruislip (fn. 1) lay in the extreme north-west of Middlesex about 4 miles west of Harrow and 14 miles from London. The later urban district of Ruislip-Northwood was substantially coextensive with the ancient parish, and contained 6,583 a. (fn. 2) Both had the shape of an irregular quadrangle lying along a north-west south-east axis and measuring approximately 5 miles from north to south with a maximum breadth of 2½ miles. The northern and eastern parish boundaries followed the boundaries of Hertfordshire and Gore hundred respectively. The other two sides were bounded by Northolt parish in the south and Ickenham and Harefield to the west. Ruislip formed part of Uxbridge R.D. until 1904 when Ruislip-Northwood U.D. was constituted. An unsuccessful petition for incorporation as a municipal borough was lodged in 1953. (fn. 3) In 1965 Ruislip-Northwood U.D. was merged with the urban districts of Hayes and Harlington and Yiewsley and West Drayton and the municipal borough of Uxbridge to form the new London Borough of Hillingdon. (fn. 4)

The subsoil of the parish is predominantly London Clay with deposits of Reading Sand and Clay. Minor gravel deposits occur in the extreme north-east and north-west and to the west around Ducks Hill. A narrow alluvium deposit follows the course of the Pinn stream which roughly bisects the parish from west to east. (fn. 5) North of this stream the ground rises gradually. Haste Hill, north-east of the 'lido', and a ridge to the north called the Hogsback rise to over 300 ft. and form part of the north-facing escarpment overlooking the River Colne in Hertfordshire. The high ground is broken by a north-south valley in which lies an artificially constructed lake of some 50 a. This originally served as a compensating reservoir for the Grand Junction Canal, to which it was connected by a feeder, and came into operation in 1816. (fn. 6) The reservoir and the surrounding land, amounting in all to nearly 100 a., were purchased from the British Transport Commission in 1951 by the urban district council (fn. 7) which has since developed it as a lido. Eleven acres of low-lying ground at the north end of the lake were constituted a nature reserve in 1959.

East and west of the 'lido' are extensive areas of woodland. In 1086 there was sufficient woodland to support 1,500 pigs, and there was also a park for wild beasts (parcus ferarum). (fn. 8) At this time, and much later, what is now Park Wood probably extended southward at least as far as the Pinn. In 1565 Ruislip Common Wood, which seems to have included Copse Wood and much of what later became part of Ruislip Common to the east, contained 860 a. Of this area only 341 a. were still wooded in 1721, the rest having become open common. (fn. 9) During the 17th and 18th centuries the total area of Copse and Park woods was usually given as between 500 and 550 a. (fn. 10) In 1865 Park Wood covered an area stretching from just north of the Pinn to Haste Hill, and was bounded by the reservoir and Bury Street to the west and Frog Lane (Fore Street) in the east. Copse Wood then stretched from the reservoir to Northwood and was bounded by Ducks Hill Road to the west. Further woodland almost covered the area between Ducks Hill Road and the Harefield boundary. (fn. 11) Copse Wood covered 335 a. and Park Wood 408 a. in 1750; (fn. 12) in 1953 their total area was 396 a. (fn. 13) At this date Mad Bess Wood, between Ducks Hill Road and Harefield parish, covered 186 a.

North and south of Mad Bess Wood the narrow area between Ducks Hill Road and the parish boundary is almost wholly pasture land. South of the Pinn is a low ridge rising to 200 ft at Windmill Hill and Kingsend, and then sloping gradually to the Yeading Brook which runs parallel to the Pinn roughly mid-way between Eastcote Road and the Northolt boundary. South of this stream the land is uniformly flat and was, until the 20th century, devoted wholly to agriculture. (fn. 14)

From at least the 14th century until the topography of the parish was blurred by 20th-century development, there were three distinct areas of settlement. The villages of Ruislip and Eastcote developed on sites just south of the Pinn in the west and east of the parish respectively. The hamlet of Northwood grew up along the north side of the Rickmansworth-Pinner road which passes across the north-east of the parish. Apart from this road and internal networks in areas of scattered settlement to the east and west, there were only three ancient roads of any importance. Ducks Hill Road probably followed the course of the modern road from its junction with the Rickmansworth road in the northwest corner of the parish. It then ran south through Ruislip village as Bury Street and continued through the open fields as Down Barns Road (now West End Road) to West End in Northolt. (fn. 15) Eastcote Road, running south of the Pinn, connected Ruislip village with Eastcote, and Joel Street ran north from Eastcote to join the Pinner road near the eastern boundary. Field End Road, running south from Eastcote Road near the eastern boundary, probably originated as an access road to the Eastcote open fields. On Rocque's map of 1754 it appears to mark the western boundary of East Field. (fn. 16)

Long Bridge at Eastcote, which probably carried Eastcote Road across the Pinn, was out of repair as early as 1355. Liability for repairs was vested in the inhabitants of Ruislip village. (fn. 17) By 1611 the bridge, responsibility for which had been transferred to the lord of the manor, was again ruinous. (fn. 18) A brick and timber structure, maintained at the expense of King's College, Cambridge, as lords of the manor, was in existence by 1758. The college was also responsible for the upkeep of Cannons' Bridge and Parson's Bridge in Bury Street and a wooden bridge at White Butts on the road to Northolt. The responsibility for Clack Bridge across the Pinn at the west end of Clack Lane near the western boundary was divided equally between the college and the lord of Southcote manor. (fn. 19) All these were cart bridges, the parish being responsible for repairs to numerous foot bridges. (fn. 20)

This broad pattern of settlement and communications remained virtually intact until the coming of the railway at the end of the 19th century and the laying down of access roads to housing estates at the beginning of the 20th. The divisions within the parish are perpetuated in the modern districts of Ruislip, Eastcote, and Northwood. These, with the addition of the later developed areas of Northwood Hills and South Ruislip, comprised the modern urban district.

The origins and early history of settlement in the parish are uncertain. No reliably documented finds of pre-Roman date have been made within its boundaries, (fn. 21) and the theories of Roman settlement are largely unsubstantiated. (fn. 22) Further conjecture has centred upon the exact nature and extent of the park for wild beasts mentioned at Domesday. (fn. 23) This most probably covered much of the heavilywooded area north of the Pinn. Its boundaries may possibly be inferred from otherwise inexplicable deviations in two of the oldest roads in the parish. Bury Street, running north from Ruislip village, curves west towards the Harefield border before regaining its general northerly direction; Eastcote Road, running parallel to and south of the Pinn, makes a wide sweep southward between Ruislip and Eastcote. Before 20th-century widening traces of a bank are said to have been visible along the north side of Eastcote Road. (fn. 24) The construction of the original closure cannot be reliably dated. (fn. 25) The park was stocked with deer in 1270, (fn. 26) and seems still to have been in existence in 1436 when the boundary palings were repaired. (fn. 27) A suggestion that further earthworks enclosed the village and some 90 a. around it (fn. 28) appears to be unfounded, although the remains of an unidentified earthwork are visible in the south of Park Wood. Ruislip village itself probably developed from an early settlement south of a crossing place on the Pinn. (fn. 29) There was a manorial grange at Northwood in 1248, (fn. 30) which may have occupied the site of the later Grange. (fn. 31) Northwood, however, separated from the rest of the parish by a belt of woodland, was slow to develop. Eastcote appears as a hamlet by 1323. (fn. 32)

RUISLIP PARISH Before the final inclosure in 1814

By 1565 settlement had assumed the approximate pattern which it presented when the first detailed maps of the parish were made in the mid 19th century. (fn. 33) Ruislip village centred upon the church, which was in existence by the end of the 12th century, (fn. 34) and the Manor Farm occupying the site of an earlier manor-house (fn. 35) at the junction of Bury Street and Eastcote Road. South and north of the road junction scattered settlement lay along Bury Street, and was concentrated near Cannons' Bridge. Between Bury Street and Harefield parish lay Southcote Farm, near the site of Southcote manor-house. (fn. 36) A network of minor roads and trackways linked further farms and cottages along Clack Lane, near the western boundary, with Field End and Kingsend to the south-west of Ruislip village. The approximate geographical centre of Eastcote was the junction of Field End Road and Eastcote Road, but settlement followed no definable pattern. Houses and farms lay along both sides of the Pinn following a network of paths and minor roads, chief of which were Joel Street, Wiltshire Lane, Field End Road, and Cheney Street.

Almost the whole of the parish south of Eastcote Road was covered by the open fields. When these were inclosed under the 1804 Act they contained about 2,200 a. (fn. 37) The principal fields were Church Field, south of Ruislip church, Great Windmill Field, south-east of Ruislip village, Marlpit Field, which contained 175 a. in the mid 17th century, (fn. 38) to the east of the present West End Road, Bourne (Bone) Field to the south, and Roxbourne Field in the extreme south-west corner of the parish. These lay in the Westcote division of the parish. In the Eastcote division were eastward extensions of Great Windmill Field and Marlpit Field known respectively as Little Windmill Field and Steen (Stone) Field. Well (Cognorth) Field and East Field lay south of Eastcote village. Field boundaries appear to have fluctuated and other field names-Prior's Field, Alderston Field, Tybber Field, Hill Field, Whitingrove Field-are mentioned in connexion with smaller areas or without any exact geographical location. (fn. 39) A dispute in 1519 about inclosure in Bourne and Windmill fields indicates that the names of the principal fields and the tenants' rights in them were established at least as early as the beginning of the 14th century. (fn. 40) The former open-field area remained unpopulated, except for two or three farmhouses, until the construction of Northolt aerodrome and the development of estates at South Ruislip after 1914. (fn. 41) In 1962 there was still grassland south of the Yeading Brook and along the Northolt boundary.

Northwood, separated from the main areas of development by Park and Copse woods and Ruislip Common, which in 1754 extended almost across the whole parish and covered most of the area now known as Northwood Hills, retains much of its autonomous character. A few cottages at Northwood are mentioned in the 1565 survey. Two hundred years later the shape of the hamlet, composed of a few farms and dwellings scattered along the Rickmansworth road, had altered little except for the addition of Holy Trinity church. (fn. 42)

An unusual number of timber-framed buildings, dating from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, has survived in the parish. More than fifty were listed in a survey published in 1937 (fn. 43) and many of these, adapted to modern use, are still in existence. Several are grouped near the church in the old village of Ruislip. Nos. 1-3 and 5-7 High Street are two irregular blocks flanking the west entrance to the churchyard; the former contains work of c. 1500, but both have been much altered on their street frontages. An adjacent range of similar date, nos. 9-15 High Street, has a long east front towards the churchyard with a jettied upper story of exposed closestudded timbering and a moulded bressummer. This building, together with no. 7, was acquired in 1931 by the newly formed Ruislip Village Trust. (fn. 44) In 1964 a thorough restoration was carried out by the Trust, the street front being reconstructed and the interior adapted for use as professional offices. (fn. 45) The group round the churchyard is completed by the range of former almshouses in Eastcote Road. (fn. 46) On the opposite side of High Street the Old Swan Inn and adjacent houses have been much altered but are of 16th- and 17th-century construction. A pair of farm cottages at the junction of High Street and Bury Street are also timber-framed but were faced with red brick in the earlier 19th century and are now used as shops. The Manor Farm, a house of 16th-century origin, (fn. 47) was given to the people of Ruislip by King's College in 1937 together with the farm buildings. Two well-preserved weatherboarded barns stand to the west of the house; the smaller was extensively restored after 1937 and opened as a branch library. (fn. 48) Several old buildings survive among modern houses in the Bury Street area. They include a 16th-century farm-house to the north of Cannons' Bridge and Little Manor Farm, the latter incorporating the remains of a medieval hall. (fn. 49) The Old House near the south end of Bury Street was refronted c. 1700 and has a coved eaves cornice and a pedimented doorway. On the east side of the street are Woodman's Farm and the Plough Inn. The 'Plough', which has a medieval core, has been much extended; it was licensed in 1746, as was the 'Old Swan' in High Street. (fn. 50) There was a tavern at Ruislip in 1636, (fn. 51) demolished by 1865, and the 'Black Horse' and the 'Bells' are mentioned in 1732 and 1741 respectively. (fn. 52) Other inns licensed at least as early as this date were the 'Sun', the 'Red Lion', the 'White Hart', and the 'Leather Bottle'. (fn. 53) The 'Black Pots' stood just north of the present 'Six Bells' on the west side of Bury Street. It was still in existence at the 1804 inclosure, (fn. 54) but had been demolished by 1865. (fn. 55)

The only substantial old house in Northwood is Northwood Grange at the junction of Green Lane and Rickmansworth Road; it may occupy the site of a manorial grange mentioned in 1248. (fn. 56) The present building incorporates a 15th-century block with a crown-post roof, a cross-wing of the same date, and a long range of c. 1600. In 1934 the house was purchased and the lower portion dedicated for the use of parochial organizations. (fn. 57) After the war the building was acquired by the council which has converted the upper story into flats. The lower story is still used for cultural and similar meetings. (fn. 58)

At Eastcote there are many 16th- and 17thcentury timber-framed buildings scattered among modern residential development. They occur mostly in the area north of the River Pinn and in Field End Road. The former include Cuckoo Hill Farm and Mistletoe Farm in Cuckoo Hill, St. Catherine's Farm in Catlins Lane, the Woodman Inn in Joel Street, and Fore Street Farm in Fore Street. Old Cheyney Cottage in Wiltshire Lane (dated 1663) was demolished c. 1960 but Ivy Farm opposite, which retained medieval roof timbers, was still standing in 1968. The Grange in Eastcote High Road is an extensive house of 16th-century origin with 18thcentury and later additions; towards the road it has a walled forecourt, a 17th-century cottage, and a weather-boarded barn. Near it is a timber-framed house called Ramin with an overhanging gable-end and a 16th-century barn. Eastcote House, standing at the junction of Eastcote High Road and Field End Road, was originally a building of the late 16th or early 17th century, refaced and extended in the 18th century. It was the seat of the Hawtrey family, who settled at Eastcote in the 16th century and were lessees of Ruislip manor from 1669 until the 19th century. (fn. 59) The house and grounds were purchased by the Middlesex County Council in 1937 and leased to the local authority. (fn. 60) For some years they were used for garden parties and other social gatherings, but public use ceased in 1962 and the house was demolished in 1964. In Field End Road are Park Farm, Field End Farm, and Eastcote Cottage; the two latter were partly faced with brick in the mid 19th century. Part of a large timber-framed barn in the garden of the Retreat has been converted into a cottage. A nearby house called the Barns, which may have been of medieval origin, was demolished in 1967. Eastcote, unlike Ruislip village, shows signs of residential occupation in the 18th and earlier 19th centuries. The most imposing house was Hayden Hall standing in its own grounds to the east of Joel Street. It was owned by the Franklin family during the 18th century; (fn. 61) by 1962 it had been leased to the Middlesex County Council for civil defence purposes. In 1968 it was unoccupied and rapidly becoming derelict. The oldest part of the house is the central block which is a rebuilding of c. 1700. (fn. 62) This rectangular red-brick structure, of two stories and seven bays, has closely set windows, a dentil cornice, and a steeply pitched hipped roof; the central doorway on the south front is surmounted by a scrolled pediment. Flanking the original building are two large Victorian wings. The Old Shooting Box in Eastcote High Road and Southill Farm in Southill Lane are both 18th-century houses with symmetrical red-brick fronts. The mid 19th century is represented by several pairs of smaller residential houses in Field End Road, formerly known as Eastcote Villas. (fn. 63)

Between the 16th and the 19th centuries the topography of the parish altered little. By 1754 Ruislip Common had encroached on Park and Copse woods in the north and covered the whole of the central area now known as Northwood Hills. A few dwellings had been built along Bury Street and at Kingsend and Field End to the south and west of Ruislip village. (fn. 64) Some 350 a. in the manor of St. Catherine's (fn. 65) were inclosed under the first Middlesex Inclosure Act in 1769. All the land affected lay west of Ducks Hill Road. It included West Wood (now Mad Bess Wood) which was common ground. (fn. 66) A further 3,000 a. of the parish were inclosed in 1804. Openfield land lying between Eastcote Road and the Northolt boundary made up the bulk of this, but further areas of common land to the north-east of Park and Copse woods were also included. (fn. 67) Thirtynine acres of the Common were purchased from the inclosure commissioners in 1805 by the Grand Junction Canal Co. To this was added a similar area of Park Wood purchased from King's College in 1807. Damming works began a few years later, and the reservoir so formed came into operation in 1816. Some cottages standing between Park Wood and the present Reservoir Road were inundated. (fn. 68) Beyond this, inclosure had little effect on the topography of the parish. Eastcote was described as a 'deeply retired and rural' hamlet in 1816, (fn. 69) and Ruislip as 'most romantically situated' in 1826. (fn. 70) About 1825, however, the Rickmansworth road was turnpiked just north of its junction with Joel Street, (fn. 71) and in 1887 the Metropolitan Railway was extended from Pinner to Rickmansworth across the north-east corner of the parish. A station on this line was opened at Northwood, and remained the only station in the parish until that opened in 1904 at Ruislip on the Harrow and Uxbridge Railway Co.'s line between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Uxbridge. Electrification followed in 1905, and the Uxbridge line was incorporated in the Metropolitan Railway system in the same year. Halts on this line were opened at Eastcote in 1906 and Ruislip Manor in 1912. The District Railway opened a through passenger service to the West End and City along this line in 1910. From 1933 Piccadilly line trains ran along the same route, and the two lines operated together for a short time. After the Second World War this service was provided by the Piccadilly line only. Northwood Hills Station on the Metropolitan line, which had been electrified in 1925, was opened in 1933. By the following year three stations on the Great Western Railway's Birmingham line-West Ruislip (1906), South Ruislip (1932), and Ruislip Gardens (1934)-were serving the south of the parish. Following the extension of the Central line from Greenford to West Ruislip in 1948 these three stations were rebuilt and the local steam train service adjusted. (fn. 72) A short section of Western Avenue, the London- Oxford arterial road opened in 1934, (fn. 73) was driven across the extreme south-west corner of the parish.

Improved railway communications opened up the parish for residential building. In the last decade of the 19th century large houses in their own grounds began to appear near the new station in Green Lane and in newly formed roads to the north of it. Between Green Lane and Rickmansworth Road several streets had been laid out and partly built with smaller houses and continuous terraces. (fn. 74) By 1900 King's College had realized the potential value of the manorial estates. Purchases and the taking up of leases between 1901 and 1905 consolidated their estate with a view to future building development. A new road to the west of High Street, giving improved access to Kings End Fields adjoining Ruislip Station, was completed in 1907. The first houses were built in the same year, and the college formed a company, the Ruislip Building Co., to manage further developments. An agreement with a private company, Garden Estates Ltd., replaced this arrangement in 1910, (fn. 75) and houses were advertised at freehold prices ranging from £700 to £800. (fn. 76) Most of these appear to have been small detached residences on narrow frontages. In 1911 a town planning competition was organized jointly by the college and the local authority. Plans by A. and J. Soutar (fn. 77) were adopted as the basis for the future development of some 6,000 a. of the parish, and finally approved by the local government board in 1914. A new company, Ruislip Manor Ltd., took over the organization of development from Garden Estates in 1911. (fn. 78) Further roads, including those across the corner of Copse Wood between Rickmansworth Road and Ducks Hill Road, and Manor Way and Park Way north of Ruislip Manor Station, were laid down in 1912-13. Building sites on an estate between Park Wood and the Pinn were available by 1928, and until the Second World War sales of land for building purposes brought the college a steady income. (fn. 79)

Further residential development followed the erection of R.A.F. establishments serving Northolt airfield, which had been established in 1915 on a site in Ruislip parish west of West End Road between the Yeading Brook and the Northolt boundary. During the First World War the airfield served as a training and defensive base. After improvement and extension westward into Ickenham parish, it became an important Fighter Command operational base in 1939. During the later stages of the war the base was further extended, and entered service as London's war-time airport in 1943. From 1945 the airport was devoted completely to civil aviation. After 1952, as operations were gradually transferred to the new London Airport at Heathrow, it ceased to be the country's major terminal. In 1954 Northolt officially ceased to be a civil airport and the base reverted to the R.A.F. (fn. 80)

Despite rapid developments in the south of the parish and the encroachment of housing estates into the south of Park Wood and the north of Copse Wood, the area north of the Pinn retained much of its rural character. Nearly 100 a. between Copse and Park woods and the Rickmansworth road were leased by King's College to the Northwood Golf Club in 1899. (fn. 81) The Gravel Pits, an area of 14 a. adjoining the golf course to the north-west in the angle of Ducks Hill and Rickmansworth roads, was scheduled by the urban district council in 1905 for preservation as an open space. Between 1905 and 1953 the council acquired a further 660 a. for open spaces, including the area laid down in 1929 (fn. 82) as Haste Hill Golf Course (1927), King's College Fields between Park Avenue and the Pinn (1938), Poors Field between Copse Wood and Ruislip Lido (1939), and Breakspear Road (1949). (fn. 83) Permanent preservation of the Manor Farm site and Park and Copse woods was assured by their transference to the Middlesex County Council and the urban district council in 1932 and 1936 respectively. (fn. 84) Open spaces in the parish totalled nearly 1,500 a. in 1953. (fn. 85) Much of this has been developed by the local authority as sports and recreation grounds. Ruislip Golf Course is laid out over the old Clack Lane to the north of West Ruislip Station. Facilities for most sports are provided at the Cavendish Recreation Ground and the adjoining Bessingby Fields south of Eastcote Station, and an athletics track was laid down in 1953 in King's College Fields. Similar facilities for Northwood and Northwood Hills are provided by the Northwood Recreation Ground in Chestnut Avenue. The Ministry of Health Sports Ground is situated south of Eastcote Station, and the Air Ministry owns another private sports ground, used by local R.A.F. units, in Shenley Avenue south of Ruislip Station. (fn. 86)

The open nature of the district attracted several hospitals to the parish. Mount Vernon Hospital, a branch of the North London Consumption Hospital founded in 1860, was built between 1902 and 1904 on a site south of the Rickmansworth road, in the extreme north-west corner of the parish. Initially the hospital had 130 beds and was confined to the treatment of tuberculosis patients. It was constituted a general hospital in 1929, and has since specialized in plastic surgery and cancer treatments. In 1962 the hospital had approximately 550 beds. (fn. 87) The first cobalt unit for the treatment of deep-seated cancer to be installed in this country was given to the hospital by a Canadian organization and has been operating since 1954. (fn. 88) St. Vincent's Orthopaedic Hospital, which had been established at Clapham in 1910 under the care of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, took over a private house in Wiltshire Lane at the north end of Park Wood in 1912. At this date the hospital comprised 100 beds housed in wooden huts. These have been rebuilt in brick, and in 1962 there were 164 beds for orthopaedic cases of all types. (fn. 89) The Northwood, Pinner and District Hospital in Pinner Road, Northwood, was originally housed in a small hutlike building erected in 1919 as a war memorial. A more substantial building was erected in 1925, and extended in 1930. The hospital now provides beds for 36 patients, and houses physiotherapy and X-ray departments. (fn. 90)

After 1930 the pace of development accelerated. In that year a second town planning scheme covered those parts of the urban district not included in the 1914 plan. (fn. 91) Private building accounted for a majority of the new houses between the two wars, but since 1945 more than 2,000 dwellings have been erected by the council. Among the chief areas of post-war building were Northwood Hills, Wiltshire Lane, Woodlands Avenue, and Pine Gardens in Eastcote, and the Dean estate at South Ruislip. (fn. 92) About one-half of the council's post-war houses are situated in South Ruislip. The only industries in the parish (fn. 93) are also sited in this district on small industrial areas provided for by the 1914 planning scheme. The original industrial estate has been reduced in size and now covers 65 a. south of Victoria Road. Of this, 30 a. are now occupied by the United States 3rd Air Division Headquarters. (fn. 94) These installations, established on their present site between 1949 and 1951, include a hospital and social and recreational facilities. (fn. 95) South Ruislip lacks the residential character preserved in the earlierdeveloped districts north of the Piccadilly line. It has no shopping centre to compare with High Street, Ruislip, Field End Road, Eastcote, and Northwood Hills, and almost no pre-20th-century buildings. (fn. 96) Many of the houses are compact, semi-detached dwellings of the standardized type built in the 1930s. Much of Ruislip and Eastcote, now joined by houses built along Eastcote Road, is devoted to spacious residential properties in quiet, tree-lined roads. Riverside walks have been preserved along both banks of the Pinn. The rural nature of Northwood, with extensive views over the rest of the parish, has attracted much high-class property, particularly in and around Copse Wood Way, along Green Lane and at the northern end of Ducks Hill Road.

The Domesday Survey mentions 53 people at Ruislip. (fn. 97) A mid-13th-century custumal lists more than 120 tenants. (fn. 98) For a muster of c. 1335 Ruislip was expected to contribute about 60 footmen, or approximately 1/20 of the total county force. (fn. 99) A series of early-15th-century rentals lists between 105 and 130 tenants of the manor. (fn. 100) In 1547 there were 480 communicants in the parish; (fn. 101) 254 adult male parishioners took the protestation oath in 1642, (fn. 102) and there were 210 occupied houses in 1664. (fn. 103) There were said to be about 150 houses in Ruislip village in 1778, (fn. 104) and the number of inhabitants in the parish was little more than 1,000 in 1790. (fn. 105) The total population had reached only 1,413 by 1841, when there were 136 occupied houses in Ruislip village, 99 in Eastcote, and 41 in Northwood. Between 1891 and 1901 the number of houses in the parish, which had remained fairly constant throughout the 19th century, increased from 383 to 703, while the population rose from 1,836 to 3,566. Continued residential development almost doubled the number of inhabitants over the following decade, and further increases accompanied the establishment and extension of Northolt airfield. Between 1921 and 1931 the population rose from 9,112 to 16,042; by 1951 it had risen to 68,288 and by 1961 to 72,791. (fn. 106)

Among well-known residents mention may be made of Dr. Adam Clarke (1762-1832), an eminent Methodist theologian, who lived intermittently at Hayden Hall from 1805 until his death. He was three times president of the Wesleyan body, and published a number of theological works, the most important of which was an eight-volume scriptural commentary. (fn. 107) In 1961 Peter and Helen Kroger were each sentenced to twenty years imprisonment for operating a spy ring dealing in Britain's naval secrets from a house in South Ruislip. (fn. 108)


  • 1. The article was written in 1962. Any references to a later time are dated.
  • 2. Census, 1951. Two acres were transferred to Ickenham in 1934: ex inf. Ruislip-Northwood U.D.C.
  • 3. Borough Status Petition (1953) penes Ruislip-Northwood U.D.C.
  • 4. London Govt. Act, 1963, c. 33.
  • 5. Geol. Survey Map, sheet 255 (drift).
  • 6. L. E. Morris, 'Notes on the History of Ruislip Reservoir', Jnl. Ruislip and District Nat. Hist. Soc. (1960).
  • 7. Ruislip-Northwood U.D.C., Terrier 278.
  • 8. V.C.H. Mdx. i. 126.
  • 9. King's College, Cambridge, Muniments, R. 36. Until c. 1750 all assessments are complicated by the use in the parish of a customary acre of 18 ft. to the pole. See letter from John Doharty in 1750: King's Coll., Q. 42/34.
  • 10. King's Coll., R. 36, R. 38a; B.M. Add. MS. 9368.
  • 11. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. ix. 4, 8 (1865 edn.).
  • 12. King's Coll., Survey 34.
  • 13. Petition (1953).
  • 14. See p. 139.
  • 15. And see n. 22.
  • 16. The earliest maps showing the parish's roads are J. Rocque, Map of Mdx. (1754); Map of the 1806 Inclosure: M.R.O., F. 4, F. 5; O.S. Maps 1/2,500, Mdx. ix, x (1865 edn.).
  • 17. Public Works in Medieval Law, ii (Selden Soc. xl), 28.
  • 18. M.R.O., Acc. 249/4335.
  • 19. See p. 137.
  • 20. King's Coll., Q. 42/37; cf. Rep. of Cttee. of Magistrates on Public Bridges in Mdx. (1826).
  • 21. C. E. Vulliamy, Archaeology of Mdx. and Lond.
  • 22. These are contained in Sir M. Sharpe, Mdx. in British, Roman and Saxon Times, passim, and have been reproduced in various forms by later writers. Excavations in 1963 on the conjectural line of a Roman road running from Rickmansworth through Ruislip parish along the course of Ducks Hill Road and Bury Street established the existence of a section in Rickmansworth parish: E. V. Parrott, 'A Possible Roman Road Through Ruislip', Jnl. Ruislip and District Nat. Hist. Soc. (1963).
  • 23. H. Braun, 'Earliest Ruislip', T.L.M.A.S. vii. 99-123; Hist. Mon. Com. Mdx. 108.
  • 24. Local information.
  • 25. For a Roman dating see Sharpe, op. cit.
  • 26. Cal. Close, 1268-72, 232.
  • 27. S.C. 6/917/26.
  • 28. Sir M. Sharpe, Antiquities of Mdx. 111.
  • 29. P. N. Mdx. (E.P.N.S.), 47.
  • 30. B.M. Add. MS. 24316.
  • 31. See below.
  • 32. Cat. Anct. D. iv. 555.
  • 33. Except where otherwise stated, the following paragraph is based on a survey of the manor made in 1565: King's Coll., R. 36; Rocque, Map. of Mdx.; 1806 Incl. Map: M.R.O., F. 4, F. 5; O.S. Maps 1/2,500, Mdx. ix, x (1865 edn.).
  • 34. See p. 142.
  • 35. See p. 135.
  • 36. See p. 137.
  • 37. M.R.O., F. 4.
  • 38. King's Coll., R. 36.
  • 39. e.g. Rocque, Map of Mdx.; King's Coll., R. 36. For the area of some of these in 1565 see J. S. Cockburn, 'An Elizabethan Survey of Ruislip', Jnl. Ruislip and District Nat. Hist. Soc. (1963).
  • 40. M.R.O., Acc. 249/39.
  • 41. See p. 132.
  • 42. See p. 144.
  • 43. Hist. Mon. Com. Mdx. 108.
  • 44. See p. 140.
  • 45. Date given by occupier.
  • 46. See p. 147.
  • 47. See p. 135.
  • 48. Programme of the opening in Ruislip libr.
  • 49. See p. 136.
  • 50. M.R.O., L.V. 6/84.
  • 51. Mdx. and Herts. N. & Q. iv. 79.
  • 52. M.R.O., Acc. 249/1574.
  • 53. M.R.O., L.V. 6/84.
  • 54. M.R.O., Acc. 261/1.
  • 55. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. x. 5 (1865 edn.).
  • 56. B.M. Add. MS. 24316.
  • 57. Mdx. Advertiser, 12 Oct. 1934.
  • 58. Ex inf. Ruislip-Northwood U.D.C.
  • 59. See p. 135.
  • 60. Ex inf. Ruislip-Northwood U.D.C.
  • 61. For fuller descriptions of these and other old houses in the parish see Pevsner, Mdx. 44-45, 134-6; Hist. Mon. Com. Mdx. 108-10.
  • 62. There was a house on the site in the early 17th cent.: B.M. Add. MS. 9367; L. E. Morris, 'Eastcote', Bull. Mdx. Local Hist. Council, v. 8.
  • 63. O.S. Map 6", Mdx. x. NW. (1865 edn.).
  • 64. Rocque, Map of Mdx.
  • 65. See p. 135.
  • 66. St. Catherine's Inclosure Act: copy penes RuislipNorthwood U.D.C.
  • 67. M.R.O., F. 4, F. 5.
  • 68. Morris, 'History of Ruislip Reservoir'.
  • 69. Brewer, Beauties of Eng. and Wales, x(5), 577.
  • 70. Pigot, Lond. Dir. (1826).
  • 71. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. x. 1 (1865 edn.); Par. Recs., Vestry Mins. 1825.
  • 72. This section is based on information supplied by the London Transport Executive.
  • 73. The Times, 15 Dec. 1934.
  • 74. O.S. Map 6", Mdx. v. SW. (1899 edn.); x. NW. (1897 edn.).
  • 75. King's Coll., Memoranda Bk. i.
  • 76. Brochure of Associated Garden Estates penes Ruislip libr.
  • 77. M.R.O., Acc. 364/40.
  • 78. King's Coll., Memoranda Bk. ii.
  • 79. Ibid. ii, iii.
  • 80. Section based on P. Brooks, 'The Northolt Story' B.E.A. Mag. nos. 71-73.
  • 81. King's Coll., Memoranda Bk. i.
  • 82. Mdx. and Bucks. Advertiser, 2 Aug. 1929.
  • 83. Petition (1953).
  • 84. Ibid.; King's Coll., Memoranda Bk. iii; Programme of the opening of Park Wood penes Ruislip libr.
  • 85. Petition (1953).
  • 86. Ibid.; Ruislip-Northwood U.D. Official Guide (1959).
  • 87. Ex inf. the Hospital Secretary.
  • 88. Mdx. Advertiser, 12 Oct. 1955.
  • 89. Ex inf. the Hospital Secretary; the hospital's Annual Report (1960) classifies the patients treated.
  • 90. Ex inf. the Administrative Officer.
  • 91. Plan penes Ruislip-Northwood U.D.C.
  • 92. Ex inf. Ruislip-Northwood U.D.C., revising figures given in Petition (1953).
  • 93. See p. 139.
  • 94. Ex inf. Ruislip-Northwood U.D.C.
  • 95. Ex inf. the Command Historian.
  • 96. Hist. Mon. Com. Mdx. 109.
  • 97. V.C.H. Mdx. i. 126.
  • 98. B.M. Add. MS. 24316. Parts of the MS. are decayed.
  • 99. M.R.O., F. 37/1.
  • 100. King's Coll., R. 39, 40, 41, 44.
  • 101. E 301/34/180.
  • 102. Hse. of Lords, Mdx. Protestation Rets.
  • 103. M.R.O., H.T. 6.
  • 104. Guildhall MS. 9557.
  • 105. Ibid. 9558.
  • 106. Census, 1841-1961.
  • 107. D.N.B.
  • 108. The Times, 23 Mar. 1961.