Norwood, including Southall: Churches

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, 'Norwood, including Southall: Churches', 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. 50-52. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

Diane K Bolton. H P F King. Gillian Wyld. D C Yaxley. "Norwood, including Southall: Churches", 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) 50-52. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

Bolton, Diane K. King, H P F. Wyld, Gillian. Yaxley, D C. "Norwood, including Southall: Churches", 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). 50-52. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,


Until 1859 Norwood was ecclesiastically dependent on Hayes, (fn. 1) to which in the early 18th century it was said to form a chapel of ease. (fn. 2) Although there had been a chapel in Norwood since the 12th century, (fn. 3) the first mention of a priest in the precinct of Norwood is of Simon, the chaplain of Southall, in 1394. (fn. 4) In 1489 the advowson of the church of Hayes and the chapel of Norwood was vested in the farmer of the Archbishop of Canterbury's manor of Hayes. (fn. 5)

In 1520 the position of the Norwood chaplain was clarified in the ordination of Hayes vicarage by Archbishop Warham. The Vicar of Hayes was to be paid an annual stipend of £20 which was considered sufficient to maintain him and to supply the chaplain of Norwood, for which he was made responsible. (fn. 6) The appointment of chaplains may have remained in the hands of individual vicars of Hayes for some time, but it seems more likely that the patrons of the vicarage appointed them. Before 1656 Thomas Jennings, the farmer of Hayes rectory, had presented the resident 'preaching minister' of Norwood. (fn. 7) As early as 1656 there was a petition for Norwood to be made a parish in its own right, as it was distinct 'in all duties' from Hayes, and in 1775 Norwood curacy was endowed out of Queen Anne's Bounty, thus becoming a perpetual curacy. (fn. 8) In 1770 the advowson was declared, with that of Hayes, to be annexed to the lordship of Hayes. (fn. 9) In the early 19th century the incumbent, who was described as the curate, undertook all the duties himself. (fn. 10) The first new parish to be created in the precinct of Norwood was that of St. John, Southall Green, in 1850. (fn. 11) Nine years later Norwood precinct was created a parish separate from that of Hayes. (fn. 12) In 1860 Nathaniel Tertius Lawrence and John Hambrough of Hayes possessed the advowson of Norwood, and by 1866 the living was both held by and was in the gift of the Revd. Henry Worsley. (fn. 13) In the same year, 1866, the benefice of Norwood was elevated to a rectory. (fn. 14) Worsley ceded the advowson in 1871, when it passed to John Robinson McClean, (fn. 15) who presented Donald Stuart McClean. (fn. 16) The advowson was held in 1880 by Maria Sophia McClean (fn. 17) and in 1890 by A. Henderson, (fn. 18) from whom it passed to the rector, James Leonard Macdonald. (fn. 19) In 1953 the patron was G. T. O'Neill, of Southend (Essex), (fn. 20) whose trustees owned the advowson in 1960. (fn. 21)

In 1656 there was only one minister, who received a stipend from Thomas Jennings, the patron, out of the tithes of the precinct. At this date the tithes were worth about £200 a year. (fn. 22) In 1770 the tithes, with barns, a rickyard, and a cart house, were worth only £210. (fn. 23) The tithes were extinguished by the inclosure award of 1814, when over 276 a. in Norwood were allotted in lieu of tithe to the Rector of Hayes. (fn. 24) The Curate of Norwood received just over 7 a. as glebe, nearly 17 a. in lieu of his former £40 stipend, and almost 9 a. as a gratuity to augment his living. (fn. 25) In 1815 an attempt to augment the curacy by a private Bill failed for lack of support (fn. 26) and in 1821 the glebe was still about 34 a. (fn. 27) The living had been augmented by £200 from Queen Anne's Bounty by 1831, and it had also had £210 from private benefactions. (fn. 28) In the later 19th century brickearth under the glebe was profitably extracted. (fn. 29) In 1961 the glebe consisted mainly of shops and houses in King Street, Southall, and some houses in Rectory and Westerham roads. (fn. 30)

It is not known when a house first became attached to the living; none was mentioned in the parliamentary survey of 1656. (fn. 31) Between 1657 and 1720 various people paid poor-rate on 'the parsonage' which at that time stood in Northcott. (fn. 32) A farmhouse which was bought in the mid 18th century (fn. 33) seems to have been the 'vicarage' which stood in 1814 on the site of the present rectory in Tentelow Lane. (fn. 34) In 1902 this was described as an 'interesting building in Tudor style, and nicely covered with ivy'. (fn. 35) The rectory, as it became, was destroyed by enemy action during the Second World War and, for lack of money, was not rebuilt until 1950-1. A 4-acre meadow at the rear of the house had been acquired earlier in order to prevent building behind the rectory. (fn. 36)

All that is known of the incumbents or religious life of the parish is that in the 1950s the patron was asked to appoint a 'Prayer Book Catholic' to the living in order to continue the traditions of the parish. (fn. 37)

The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN stands in Tentelow Lane at the corner of Norwood Green, and consists of a chancel, nave, north aisle, north transept, and south-west tower. The exterior owes its appearance almost entirely to 19th-century alterations and additions. The earliest parts of the building are the semicircular west arch and both responds of the north arcade; these date from the 12th century. In the south walls of both nave and chancel are single lancet windows of the 13th century, much restored, and the nave also contains two 14th-century windows. The church is said to have been reconstructed in 1439; (fn. 38) the chancel arch, the nave roof of crown-post construction, the south doorway, and several of the windows date from the 15th century, as do the font and a few original timbers in the restored south porch. There was formerly a wooden bell turret above the west end of the nave of which some of the supporting timbers survive. (fn. 39) A gallery installed by Francis Awsiter in 1612 (fn. 40) still existed in 1863, (fn. 41) and a new pulpit was erected in 1638 by Christopher Merrick, the uncle of Francis Merrick. (fn. 42) The church was restored in 1824, (fn. 43) and in 1849 the north arcade is said to have been removed, the roof being propped on iron posts. (fn. 44) The arcade piers were probably rebuilt with their present 'Norman' capitals. It may have been at this time that a wider north aisle was built and the shallow north transept added. The church was again restored in 1864. At this or a subsequent restoration the south and east walls were faced externally with flint-work panels and red brick dressings. In 1896 the wooden belfry and spire were removed and the present south-west tower, also faced with flint and brick, was built. (fn. 45) The church and churchyard were closed for burials in 1883. (fn. 46) Another restoration was debated in 1950 when the tower required repointing and new floors were needed throughout. (fn. 47)

In the north-east corner of the chancel is a recessed and canopied tomb of the earlier 16th century, carved with intricate late medieval ornament; it is ascribed to Edward Cheeseman (temp. Henry VII) and his son Robert, with the date 1556, and perhaps served as an Easter sepulchre. (fn. 48) A brass (dated 1614) to Francis Awsiter on the south wall of the chancel and one to Matthew Hunsley (dated 1618) on the north wall both include figures. The handsome tomb of John Merrick (d. 1749) incorporates a full-size figure on a sarcophagus and supported by an urn. Four hatchments in the nave are said to come from the old gallery. (fn. 49) The registers, which are complete, date from 1654 and there are 6 bells. The pews have been removed and replaced by chairs. In 1961 the sacrament was being reserved in the Lady Chapel in the north aisle and the stations of the cross had been hung on the walls of the nave.

A chapel of ease to Norwood church, dedicated to ST. JOHN, was built and endowed in 1838 at Southall Green by Henry Dobbs, owner of the vitriol factory, (fn. 50) and consecrated in 1841. (fn. 51) The parish of St. John, formed out of Norwood in 1850, (fn. 52) was extended in 1880. (fn. 53) The benefice, described in 1866 as a perpetual curacy, (fn. 54) received various charitable endowments during the late 19th century. (fn. 55) In 1874 the vicarage, as it was now called, was worth £120 a year. (fn. 56) In 1960 the patronage was held by the Church Patronage Society. (fn. 57) A vicarage-house which stood opposite the church in the 1860s (fn. 58) was still there in 1903. (fn. 59) The church, built of brown brick in the Gothic style in 1838, stood facing the west side of King Street and consisted of a chancel, nave, north and south aisles, and a small spire, later removed. (fn. 60) It was flanked on the north side by the St. John's parochial schools, (fn. 61) and in 1961 was being used as a hall for meetings and general parish purposes. The present church of St. John, on the south side of Church Avenue, was built by C. G. Miller in 1910 in the Perpendicular style. The exterior is of red brick with stone facings, and there is a single, small bell turret at the east end of the roof. It consists of a chancel, nave, north and south aisles, and an east chapel in the north aisle. A colonnade of 6 Gothic arches separates the nave from the aisles and there are 6 clerestory windows above. A tablet in the chancel commemorates the founder, John Henry Dobbs (d. 1843). (fn. 62) In 1939 a mission hall in Western Road was attached to the church. (fn. 63)

In 1874 the London Diocesan Home Mission were said to have 'recently' erected an iron church in Uxbridge Road. (fn. 64) This is probably the earliest mention of HOLY TRINITY, Uxbridge Road, which in 1881 stood on a site leased from the Earl of Jersey. One of the wardens was William Welch Deloitte, (fn. 65) who is commemorated by a tablet in the church as one of its founders. In 1960 the advowson was held by the Church Patronage Society. (fn. 66) The present church in Uxbridge Road was built by J. Lee in 1890 of brick, with white stone facings. It consists of a chancel, nave, north and south aisles, south transept, and apsidal baptistery. (fn. 67) The interior is of red and yellow brick, the aisles being divided from the nave by an arcade of five arches. There are five 3-light clerestory windows, and the chancel is separated from the nave by a carved wooden rood screen. The living was constituted a perpetual curacy in 1891, and the registers date from the same time. (fn. 68) A mission was founded by the church between 1928 and 1930 at Mount Pleasant. (fn. 69)

The church of ST. GEORGE, Lancaster Road, was built by A. Blomfield in 1906. (fn. 70) It is said to have been financed by the sale of the site of the church of St. George, Botolph Lane (City of London). (fn. 71) The 17th-century oak pulpit and the organ case of 1753 by R. Bridge are both from this Billingsgate church. (fn. 72) In 1960 the patron was alternately the Crown and the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's. (fn. 73) The exterior is of red brick with yellow brick and stone dressings. It consists of a chancel, nave, north and south aisles, a south-east chapel, and a small shingled turret at the west end. The church was altered in 1951. The interior is of red brick with arcades of five bays separating the aisles from the nave. A rood hangs in the chancel arch and the stations of the cross are hung in the aisles. There are six 2-light clerestory windows and six small aisle windows. (fn. 74)

Part of a wooden hut in Allenby Road erected out of the London Diocesan Fund in 1935 was set aside as a temporary church accommodating 250 people. The conventional district was known as that of Holy Redeemer, Greenford, and was staffed by a curate from Holy Cross church, Greenford. The parish of Christ the Redeemer, Southall, was formed in 1964 out of parts of the parishes of Greenford and Holy Trinity, Southall, and a detached part of Northolt parish. A permanent church of CHRIST THE REDEEMER, replacing the hut, then came into use. (fn. 75) In 1965 the Bishop of London was patron of the living. (fn. 76)


  • 1. For the ecclesiastical hist. of Hayes see p. 33.
  • 2. Newcourt, Repertorium, i. 640.
  • 3. For the architectural hist. see below.
  • 4. M.R.O., Acc. 401/1, m. 29.
  • 5. Lambeth Palace, MS. E.D. 1218.
  • 6. Newcourt, Repertorium, i. 639.
  • 7. Home Cnties. Mag. iii. 32-33.
  • 8. C. Hodgson, Queen Anne's Bounty, 387.
  • 9. M.R.O., Acc. 264/123.
  • 10. Trans. Southall Local Hist. Soc. ii. 29.
  • 11. For St. John, Southall Green, see below.
  • 12. Index to Lond. Gaz. 1830-83, p. 1272; Census, 1861.
  • 13. Hennessy, Novum Repertorium, 354; Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1866).
  • 14. Lond. Gaz. 20 Nov. 1866.
  • 15. Hennessy, Novum Repertorium, 354.
  • 16. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1874).
  • 17. Hennessy, Novum Repertorium, 354.
  • 18. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1890).
  • 19. Clergy List (1892).
  • 20. Par. Recs., P.C.C. Min. Bk. 1938-53.
  • 21. Crockford (1959-60).
  • 22. Home Cnties. Mag. iii. 32-33.
  • 23. M.R.O., Acc. 264/123.
  • 24. M.R.O., Hayes Incl. Award.
  • 25. Ibid.
  • 26. L.J. i. 332a, 384b; see above, p. 34.
  • 27. Southall Bor. Libr., Norwood Valuation (1821).
  • 28. Lewis, Topog. Dict. (1831), iii. 427.
  • 29. Char. Com. files.
  • 30. Ex inf. the rector.
  • 31. Home Cnties. Mag. iii. 32-33.
  • 32. Southall Bor. Libr., Norwood Poor-rate Assessment and Disbursement Bks. 1653-1720. For Northcott see p. 40.
  • 33. Trans. Southall Local Hist. Soc. ii. 14.
  • 34. M.R.O., Hayes Incl. Map.
  • 35. Home Cnties. Mag. iv. 312.
  • 36. Ex inf. the rector; Par. Recs., P.C.C. Min. Bk. 1938-53.
  • 37. P.C.C. Min. Bk. 1938-53.
  • 38. Hist. Mon. Com. Mdx. 98.
  • 39. T.L.M.A.S. xiv. 308; xviii(2), no. 145; Hist. Mon. Com. Mdx. 98-99. See plate facing p. 104.
  • 40. Plaque in church.
  • 41. Par. Recs., Sch. Trustees' Min. Bk. 1829-1909.
  • 42. Southall Bor. Libr., Churchwardens' Acct. Bk. 1676- 1744.
  • 43. T.L.M.A.S. xviii(2), no. 145.
  • 44. J. Sperling, Ch. Walks in Mdx. (1849), 55-56.
  • 45. T.L.M.A.S. xviii(2), no. 145; plaque on tower.
  • 46. Lond. Gaz. 13 Nov. 1883.
  • 47. Par. Recs., P.C.C. Min. Bk. 1938-53.
  • 48. Sperling, Ch. Walks. 55-56.
  • 49. T.L.M.A.S. xviii(2), no. 145.
  • 50. Kirwan, Southall, 36.
  • 51. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1845).
  • 52. Index to Lond. Gaz. 1830-83, pp. 1272, 1579; Census, 1851.
  • 53. Lond. Gaz. 17 Sept. 1880.
  • 54. Ibid. 3 July 1866.
  • 55. Char. Com. files.
  • 56. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1874).
  • 57. Crockford (1959-60).
  • 58. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. xv. 14 (1865 edn.).
  • 59. M.R.O., Acc. 405/5.
  • 60. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1874).
  • 61. For the schools see p. 54.
  • 62. T.L.M.A.S. xviii(2), no. 148.
  • 63. Southall Official Guide (1939), 26.
  • 64. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1874).
  • 65. M.R.O., Acc. 405/2.
  • 66. Crockford (1959-60).
  • 67. T.L.M.A.S. xviii(2), no. 146.
  • 68. Hennessy, Novum Repertorium, 355.
  • 69. Southall-Norwood and Hayes Official Guide (1928), 15; (1930), 12.
  • 70. T.L.M.A.S. xviii(2), no. 147.
  • 71. Southall-Norwood and Hayes Official Guide (1924), 12.
  • 72. T.L.M.A.S. xviii(2), no. 147.
  • 73. Crockford (1959-60).
  • 74. T.L.M.A.S. xviii (2), no. 147.
  • 75. Ex inf. the vicar.
  • 76. Lond. Dioc. Bk. (1965).