Harmondsworth: Protestant nonconformity

Pages 19-20

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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By 1669 the Society of Friends held meetings in a private room at Longford. In 1673 the meeting bought a plot of land, and a meeting-house was built in 1676. (fn. 5) In that year there were said to be 48 nonconformists in Harmondsworth parish, although the sect or sects to which they belonged are not stated. (fn. 6) The earlier 18th century saw a decline in the Quaker congregation, but during the later half of the century numbers increased as Quaker families settled in Uxbridge and Staines. The 19th century, however, saw a steady decline, and the Longford meeting was amalgamated with Westminster in 1864. In its early days the meeting appointed its own overseers of the poor, but between 1690 and 1717 a few Quakers were supported by the parish. (fn. 7) In 1778 there were said to be Anabaptists in the parish, with a meetinghouse at Longford, (fn. 8) but these may have been Quakers. The meeting-house is mentioned in 1792 and 1793, (fn. 9) and in 1839 the meeting owned a cottage and garden in Longford. (fn. 10)

In 1810 there were about 98 dissenters in Harmondsworth parish, the majority described as Anabaptists and the rest as Independents. Their numbers were said to be decreasing steadily. (fn. 11) In 1820 a house in Longford was registered for worship by the Independents, (fn. 12) but in 1835 there were said to be no chapels of any sort in the parish. (fn. 13) The Baptists built the Zoar Baptist Chapel in Longford in 1859. (fn. 14) It consisted of a small annexe to a private house, the name of the chapel being later altered to Zion Chapel. (fn. 15) The chapel fell into disuse in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (fn. 16) and, although the building was still standing in 1960, it was not used for religious purposes.

There were Baptists in Harmondsworth village itself in 1833, by which time they had established a Sunday school attended by 54 boys. (fn. 17) By 1846 Harlington Baptist Chapel had a branch at Harmondsworth, which probably consisted of a Sunday school, and before 1855 there was a chapel in the village under the control of the Harlington chapel. The Harmondsworth chapel had belonged to John Hunt, who sold it to Harlington in 1855 on leaving for Australia. (fn. 18) This chapel, probably in a private house, evidently declined, and in 1880 a mission room was built (fn. 19) and registered for non-denominational worship. (fn. 20) The building was enlarged in 1884, (fn. 21) still as an unsectarian mission room. Its registration was cancelled in 1891. (fn. 22) The Harmondsworth Baptist Chapel was formed in 1896; (fn. 23) at first it may have occupied the mission building, before a new site was found on the corner of Moor Lane and Hatch Lane. (fn. 24) In 1936 the Baptists registered an old chapel at the back of Blacksmith's Row, (fn. 25) but in 1959 the chapel on the corner of Moor Lane and Hatch Lane was the only Baptist meeting-house in Harmondsworth. (fn. 26)

There are traces of nonconformity in Sipson by 1708, when dissenters met in William Wild's house. (fn. 27) In 1886 the Y.M.C.A. registered a mission room in Sipson, (fn. 28) and in 1887 a packing shed belonging to Thomas Wild was registered for the use both of the Y.M.C.A. and the Salvation Army. (fn. 29) Both registrations were cancelled in 1896. A Salvation Army hall, registered from 1891 to 1901, (fn. 30) stood at the corner of Sipson Lane and Sipson Road. (fn. 31) The building, of yellow and red brick, was erected in 1891 and enlarged in 1900. (fn. 32) In 1907 Sipson Baptist Chapel was formed; (fn. 33) this most probably occupied the same corner site as the Salvation Army hall. (fn. 34)

In Heathrow nonconformity appeared with the Primitive Methodists in 1870, and by July 1871 a chapel had been built and registered. (fn. 35) Its site is not certain, as in 1888 it was said to be some distance away from Heathrow, where the Methodists had erected a new chapel which was more convenient. (fn. 36) Late-19th-century maps show a disused Methodist chapel in Cain's Lane. (fn. 37) The only registration of a Primitive Methodist chapel in Heathrow was in 1890, and this registration was cancelled six years later. (fn. 38) A Salvation Army barracks at Heathrow was registered between 1899 and 1903, (fn. 39) and in the early 20th century there was a mission room, also in Cain's Lane opposite the old Methodist chapel. (fn. 40) This was said to have been erected for the Sipson Baptists in 1901. (fn. 41) All of these buildings were destroyed during the construction of Heathrow Airport.


  • 5. W. Beck and T. F. Ball, London Friends' Meetings (1869), 283-93.
  • 6. William Salt Libr., Stafford, Salt MS. 33, p. 40.
  • 7. Beck and Ball, London Meetings, 283-93.
  • 8. Guildhall MS. 9558.
  • 9. M.R.O., Acc. 446/EF. 32.
  • 10. Par. Survey (1839) penes Yiewsley and West Drayton U.D.C.
  • 11. Guildhall MS. 9558. The assessment may be subjective.
  • 12. Guildhall MS. 9580/5.
  • 13. Rep. Com. Eccl. Rev. [67], p. 650, H.C. (1835), xxii.
  • 14. Date on building.
  • 15. Inscription on building, where ZION has been cut over ZOAR.
  • 16. Kelly's Dirs. Mdx. (1886-1910).
  • 17. Educ. Enq. Abstract, H.C. 62, p. 564 (1835), xlii.
  • 18. Ex inf. deacon of Harlington Baptist chapel.
  • 19. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1882).
  • 20. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 24959.
  • 21. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1886).
  • 22. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 28590.
  • 23. Ibid. 36026.
  • 24. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1898). The description of the Baptist chapel is identical with the earlier one of the mission room. On the other hand, the map shows the mission room on Hatch Lane, and the later Baptist church on the corner: O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. xix. 3 (1895-6 and 1932-5 edns.).
  • 25. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 56584.
  • 26. Baptist Handbk. (1959).
  • 27. Mdx. Cnty. Recs. Sess. Bks. 1689-1709, 328.
  • 28. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 29333.
  • 29. Ibid. 30074.
  • 30. Ibid. 32947.
  • 31. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. xix. 4 (1896 edn.).
  • 32. Dates on building.
  • 33. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 42574.
  • 34. Ibid. 38154.
  • 35. Char. Com. files. No registration has, however, been found in the Worship Reg.
  • 36. Char. Com. files.
  • 37. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. xix. 8 (1895 edn.).
  • 38. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 32092.
  • 39. Ibid. 37012.
  • 40. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. xix. 8 (1914 edn.).
  • 41. Kelly's Dirs. Mdx. (1910, 1914).