Hayes: Local government

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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Diane K Bolton. H P F King. Gillian Wyld. D C Yaxley, 'Hayes: Local government', 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. 31-33. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol4/pp31-33 [accessed 22 June 2024].

Diane K Bolton. H P F King. Gillian Wyld. D C Yaxley. "Hayes: Local government", 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) 31-33. British History Online, accessed June 22, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol4/pp31-33.

Bolton, Diane K. King, H P F. Wyld, Gillian. Yaxley, D C. "Hayes: Local government", 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). 31-33. British History Online. Web. 22 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol4/pp31-33.


Hayes belonged to the Archbishop of Canterbury's bailiwick or liberty of Harrow. (fn. 1) A court was held at Hayes, as well as at Harrow, in 1242, (fn. 2) and in 1270 the pleas and perquisites were worth 102s. (fn. 3) Under the North family there were a reeve and a beadle, who rendered separate accounts (fn. 4) and who were elected in the Hayes manor court. (fn. 5) The court rolls exist from 1381 to 1778 and the court books from 1728 to 1930. (fn. 6)

The manor court normally held a view of frankpledge every Easter, and 3 or 4 courts baron in between; the bailiff usually held the court on behalf of the archbishop. (fn. 7) In 1383 the lord of Yeading manor commuted his suit of court at Hayes, (fn. 8) and in 1386 ale-tasters for both Hayes and Southall are mentioned. (fn. 9) In 1402 the court elected four constables, one of whom was for Southall, and beadles for Hayes, Botwell, and Southall. (fn. 10) By the 16th century the number of officials elected by the court was apparently increasing, and in 1572 two constables and two headboroughs were elected for Hayes, and one of each for Norwood. (fn. 11) According to Lysons Norwood manor held courts certainly from 1481, (fn. 12) but the appointment of the Norwood officials by the Hayes court indicates the subservience of Norwood manor to that of Hayes. By 1610 two constables and two ale-tasters were elected for Hayes, together with an under-constable or headborough for each of the 5 hamlets of Yeading, Hayes End, Wood End, Botwell, and Cotman's Town; Norwood and Southall had a constable and aletaster each, and shared 3 under-constables. (fn. 13) Throughout its existence the court was primarily concerned with making economic regulations. There was perhaps a court house as early as 1270, when the doors of the court are mentioned, (fn. 14) but there is no further evidence of such a building until c. 1640, when a building called the Court House was in private occupation. (fn. 15) By the 19th century one court baron was held in the spring every year, the last being in 1864, (fn. 16) and court dinners were held at the 'Adam and Eve'. (fn. 17) After 1864 only purely formal business was transacted.

The vestry is not mentioned until the early 19th century, although it was presumably in existence long before this. In 1531 the parish clerk was dismissable by the churchwardens, who were themselves probably answerable to the vestry, and in the same year a man gave 10s. towards repairing the highways. (fn. 18) During the 17th century Norwood probably developed an independent jurisdiction. (fn. 19) In the early 19th century the vestry met occasionally in the church and then in the workhouse, usually about 4 times a year, with an average attendance of 5-8 people. The meetings were almost solely for administering the poor law, electing overseers, and occasionally for levying a church rate. Under the Sturges Bourne Act the vestry was converted into a select vestry of 20 members including the vicar and 4 officials. The average attendance rose during the 1830s and 1840s to between 15 and 18. During 1839 meetings were held at the 'Adam and Eve', but in 1841 were moved to the National School. In 1839 the vestry elected 8 officers, consisting of 2 each of guardians of the poor, overseers of the poor, highway surveyors, and assessors and collectors of taxes. In 1839, on the vicar's refusal to do so, they also appointed a vicar's warden and a year later they refused for a time to appoint a churchwarden at all, because a warden might be imprisoned for not going to church. (fn. 20)

During the early 19th century the principal occupation of the vestry was the administration of the poor laws. Between 1783 and 1785 the average amount spent annually on the poor was over £298, the rates being over £300, (fn. 21) and by 1803 they had doubled to £661. (fn. 22) In the early part of the century the poor were said to be farmed out, but this practice was later discontinued. (fn. 23) By 1803 the parish had acquired a workhouse, and in 1814 this and its garden, together occupying over 2 a., stood on the south side of Botwell Lane, (fn. 24) near Printinghouse Lane (earlier Workhouse Lane). (fn. 25) The workhouse usually had about 24 inmates, the old men working in the garden and women in the house. (fn. 26) The vestry owned a room in the poorhouse and bought an oak chest in which to keep their documents there. (fn. 27) Hayes was included in the Uxbridge Poor Law Union of 1836 and the poor transferred to the union workhouse in Hillingdon. (fn. 28) By 1864 the Hayes workhouse was occupied as a private cottage. (fn. 29)

The vestry minutes cease between 1842 and 1864, but the vestry presumably continued to administer the parish. After 1864 it met about 6 times a year and its business was mainly to elect officers and to propose rates. (fn. 30) A parish council was formed (fn. 31) in 1894 when a chairman and 9 councillors, consisting of 'five socialists and four gentlemen', (fn. 32) were elected. The council met monthly at Dr. Triplett's school in Church Walk, their officials being a paid clerk and an unpaid treasurer. Workmen employed by the council were to have a minimum wage of 20s. a week. Finance and Watch committees were formed in 1895. (fn. 33) The council dealt with much parish business, such as allotments, a fire service, and providing a village hall, drainage, and sewage. They produced a sewage scheme in 1898 but nothing had been done before 1903. In 1902 an attempt to adopt the Lighting and Watching Act was defeated by a large majority. Widespread demands in 1903 for local control over building expansion and objections to the Hayes contributions to the Uxbridge rural district being spent outside the parish led to the formation in 1904 of Hayes U.D. (fn. 34)

The urban district council consisted of 9 members and met fortnightly at 'Fairfield'. Four salaried officers were appointed, a clerk, surveyor, inspector of nuisances, and a medical officer. Two committees, for highways, sewage, and sanitation, and for general purposes and finance, were formed, and one of their first acts was to continue the sewage scheme that had been undertaken by the parish council. (fn. 35) In 1934 Hayes U.D. became Hayes and Harlington U.D. and about an acre of Hayes civil parish was added to Southall Borough. (fn. 36) In 1958 the council consisted of 24 members, Hayes parish forming 6 of the 8 wards into which the district was divided. (fn. 37) In 1965 the urban district was incorporated in the new London Borough of Hillingdon. (fn. 38)

Urban District of Hayes and Harlington

Vert, a silver pall, its lower limb cut short, between in chief two wings joined together argent, and on each side a cog-wheel argent in front of two rays of lightning or [Granted 1950]

Barra Hall, a residence at Wood End known in 1865 as Grove Lodge, was purchased by the council in 1923 and afterwards used as the town hall. In 1948 the department of the borough engineer and surveyor moved into the Chestnuts, formerly Grove Cottage, which is situated nearby at the junction of Botwell Lane and Woodend Green Road. From 1954 until its demolition in 1960 Wood End House accommodated the departments of parks and public health, which then moved to Springfield House in Hayes End Road. (fn. 39) In 1968 the former town hall of Hayes was used as the town hall of the London Borough of Hillingdon.


  • 1. See p. 238.
  • 2. Cal. Lib. R. 1240-5, 131.
  • 3. S.C. 6/1128/1.
  • 4. M.R.O., Acc. 76/220, 221, 222a.
  • 5. M.R.O., Acc. 401/7, m. 19; /8, m. 19.
  • 6. M.R.O., Acc. 401/1-16 are court rolls; Acc. 180/6-12 are court books.
  • 7. M.R.O., Acc. 401/1-16.
  • 8. Ibid. /1, m. 5.
  • 9. M.R.O., Acc. 401/1, m. 11.
  • 10. Ibid. /2.
  • 11. S.C. 2/191/32.
  • 12. Environs of Lond. iii. 320, quoting deeds communicated by the steward.
  • 13. M.R.O., Acc. 401/8, m. 17. For Cotman's Town see p. 22.
  • 14. S.C. 6/1128/1.
  • 15. B.M. Add. MS. 38856, f. 40.
  • 16. M.R.O., Acc. 180/11.
  • 17. Ibid. /107.
  • 18. Sta. Cha 2/16/114.
  • 19. See p. 49.
  • 20. M.R.O., Acc. 659; Vestry Min. Bk. 1823-60.
  • 21. Rep. Cttee. on Rets. by Overseers, 1776, Ser. 1, ix, p. 396.
  • 22. Rets. on Expense and Maintenance of Poor, H.C. 175, pp. 294-5 (1803-4), xiii (demi-folio).
  • 23. Rep. Poor Law Com. App. B(2), H.C. 44, pp. 101 f-k (1834), xxxv-vi.
  • 24. M.R.O., Hayes Incl. Award and Map.
  • 25. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. xv. 9 (1865 and later edns.).
  • 26. Rep. Poor Law Com. App. B(2), H.C. 44, pp. 101 f-k (1834), xxxv-vi.
  • 27. M.R.O., Acc. 659.
  • 28. See p. 84.
  • 29. Hayes and Harlington U.D.C., Hayes Valuation (1864).
  • 30. Hayes and Harlington U.D.C., Par. Meeting Min. Bk. 1864-1904.
  • 31. The following paragraph, except where noted, is based on the Par. Coun. Min. Bks. 1894-1904, and the Par. Meeting Min. Bk. 1864-1904 penes Hayes and Harlington U.D.C.
  • 32. Char. Com. files.
  • 33. Ibid.
  • 34. Census, 1911.
  • 35. Hayes and Harlington U.D.C., Hayes U.D.C. Min. Bk. 1904-6.
  • 36. Census, 1931.
  • 37. Hayes and Harlington Official Guide, 25.
  • 38. London Govt. Act, 1963, c. 33.
  • 39. O.S. Maps 1/2,500, Mdx. xv. 9 (1865 and later edns.); ex inf. the Town Clerk, Hayes and Harlington U.D.C.