Acton: Manors and other estates

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 7, Acton, Chiswick, Ealing and Brentford, West Twyford, Willesden. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1982.

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Diane K Bolton. Patricia E C Croot. M A Hicks, 'Acton: Manors and other estates', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 7, Acton, Chiswick, Ealing and Brentford, West Twyford, Willesden, (London, 1982), pp. 16-23. British History Online [accessed 17 June 2024].

Diane K Bolton. Patricia E C Croot. M A Hicks. "Acton: Manors and other estates", in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 7, Acton, Chiswick, Ealing and Brentford, West Twyford, Willesden, (London, 1982) 16-23. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024,

Bolton, Diane K. Croot, Patricia E C. Hicks, M A. "Acton: Manors and other estates", A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 7, Acton, Chiswick, Ealing and Brentford, West Twyford, Willesden, (London, 1982). 16-23. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024,


The manor of ACTON was a division of the bishop of London's manor of Fulham, which he acquired between 704 and 709. (fn. 1) Acton was not described in Domesday and did not have a separate court until the 16th century, although views of frankpledge were taken separately for it and other members of Fulham from 1383. (fn. 2) The bishop held the manor until the 19th century except during the Interregnum, when Francis Allen held courts from 1651 to 1653. (fn. 3)

The bishop had no demesne in Acton, or so little that it was accounted for under Fulham or Ealing, (fn. 4) but held the wastes and commons, with liberty of fishing and hunting. In 1735 all the fishponds on the wastes of Ealing and Acton, with fishing and hunting, were leased to Thomas Langthorne of St. James's, Westminster, for 21 years, (fn. 5) and in 1738 he was appointed keeper of the game. (fn. 6) The premises consisted chiefly of Acton ponds, near the western boundary of the parish north of Uxbridge Road. They were leased to Samuel Wegg in 1777 and again in 1798. (fn. 7) By 1821 the lessee was his daughter Elizabeth and in 1842 her chief legatee Charles Gray Round, (fn. 8) in whose family they remained. In 1884 the homage of Acton confirmed the sale, made in 1877, of the freehold of the ponds to the trustees of James Round, receiving payments from his executors and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in compensation for copyholders' rights. (fn. 9) In 1903 the Round family sold the site of the ponds to the council, which laid out Twyford Crescent and gardens on it. (fn. 10)

Some parcels of waste had been granted to individual tenants for front gardens in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1881 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, as successors to the bishop, conveyed their rights in the wastes of Friars Place green, the Steyne, East Acton Lane, and Acton Green common to Acton local board. (fn. 11) Enfranchisement of individual holdings began in 1846 and mostly took place after inclosure in 1859. (fn. 12)

The five-hide tenement held by Fulchered of the manor of Fulham, by knight service, in 1086 was probably the tenement in Acton later listed as ½ knight's fee. (fn. 13) It was held in the mid 12th century by Alulf, whose son William recovered 1 hide between 1154 and 1189 from Simon Halvedieval, husband of Alulf's daughter Sabelina. In 1189-90 William pledged his estate to the king, and later it was described as 4½ hides and rent, held from Ellis of Chicheworth. By 1211 William's widow and son Peter held the land. (fn. 14) Peter granted 50 a. in la Pulle to the bishop of London in fee c. 1222, on condition that the bishop paid his debts, and in 1230 granted to Osbert of Northbrook 150 a. held from him by rent and foreign services. Three houses were held by tenants, while Peter was left with 2½ hides and 13 a. in demesne. About 1230 Peter granted to Geoffrey de Lucy, dean of St. Paul's, his mansion house in Acton and 128 a., and later also granted land near Bollo bridge meadow and 20 a. of woodland. In 1239 the dean transferred the estate to the chapter of ST. PAUL'S, to be used for successive deans at a rent of £5 to support a chantry, and the estate was thereupon leased back to him for life. (fn. 15) It was augmented by the bishop's 50 a. and three houses on the north side of Uxbridge Road, given by Geoffrey FitzWalter, who held them from Peter FitzAlulf. In 1314 the chapter was granted exemption from purveyance (fn. 16) and in 1316 it was granted free warren in all its demesne lands of Acton. (fn. 17) The estate was occasionally called a manor.

Peter still held the rest of the tenement, and owed ½ knight's service to the bishop in 1242-3. (fn. 18) In 1256 William son of Peter granted a carucate in Acton to Thomas Tayland and his wife Edith, who were to pay William 5 marks a year for life. (fn. 19) In 1285 they granted a house and 2 carucates in Acton to William the seneschal of Evesham for rent. (fn. 20) Thomas Tayland still owed the ½ knight's service at Acton c. 1307 and presumably held the bulk of Alulf's tenement, which William the seneschal inherited with other property of Edith.

In 1312 William the seneschal granted to Adam de Herewinton a house, 1½ carucate of arable, 40 a. of meadow, 15 a. of wood, and a rent of pepper, held by Robert of Prestbury for life. (fn. 21) In 1316 Roger, son of William de Brok, heir of Philip of Cowley, transferred to Adam his rights in a carucate in Acton and Fulham to Adam, (fn. 22) which possibly derived from William son of Peter's grant of 1256. In 1318 Adam was the bishop's tenant by knight service for Tayland's tenement. He had also acquired houses and land in Acton in 1309 from John de Paris and Agnes his wife, (fn. 23) who had received a house and land from John, son of Isabel of Chicheworth, in 1304. (fn. 24)

Adam granted to the prior of ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S, Smithfield, in 1327 a house, land, and rents in Acton, held of the bishop of London as ¼ knight's fee, to support a chantry. (fn. 25) The estate presumably included most of the lands held by William the seneschal and Thomas Tayland. From 1353 the prior and convent owed the ½ knight's service in Acton. (fn. 26) St. Bartholomew's acquired much more land in Acton with a grant in 1349 by Edmund of Grimsby (fn. 27) and another in 1373 by John Chisnall, clerk, and others. (fn. 28)

The Crown secured St. Bartholomew's lands at the Dissolution, when the Acton estate was described as a manor of itself, the bishop's interest being overlooked. (fn. 29) In 1544 the Crown also acquired the chapter's estate, as part of a forced exchange. (fn. 30) The two parts of the five-hide tenement were then reunited when John, Lord Russell (d. 1555), later earl of Bedford, was granted both in fee. (fn. 31) His son Francis, earl of Bedford (d. 1585), vested Acton manor in feoffees in 1574, when a description of it as containing 6,900 a., besides rents in Acton and Willesden, apparently referred to the whole of the bishop's manor rather than to the Russells' estate. (fn. 32) It passed to Anne Russell (d. 1639), daughter of Francis's second son and wife of Henry Somerset, later earl of Worcester (d. 1646). The Acton estate in 1645 consisted of 798 a., settled on the earl's second son Sir John Somerset, (fn. 33) but it was sequestrated and in 1646 was given to Richard Hill and William Pennoyer, merchants of London. (fn. 34) In 1653 Pennoyer and his wife Martha sold the 'manor' and 2 houses, 284 a. of arable, 50 a. of meadow, and 78 a. of pasture in Acton, to his brother Samuel and others, (fn. 35) who divided it. (fn. 36) By will proved 1654 Samuel Pennoyer left his share to his wife Rose and then to the Drapers' Company of London for family uses, (fn. 37) but the whole estate was restored to Worcester's heirs in 1660. (fn. 38)

The Acton estate formed part of the jointure for Anne, wife of Henry Somerset, Sir John's eldest son, in 1663. (fn. 39) Their only son having died childless, (fn. 40) the 'manor' in 1712 provided a jointure for Frances, wife of Charles Somerset, the eldest son of Henry's youngest brother. (fn. 41) By 1724 it had passed to Henry Somerset (d. 1727), probably the son of Charles and Frances, who settled it on his brother John (d. c. 1730), (fn. 42) whose widow Dorothy in 1732 relinquished her dower in return for an annuity. (fn. 43)

Under a Chancery decree of 1735 the estate was sold on behalf of John Somerset's sisters in 1736 to Christopher Lethieullier of Belmont (Hants). Consisting of 802 a. in Acton and Willesden, (fn. 44) it passed to his widow Sarah and son Benjamin by 1738. (fn. 45) Benjamin Lethieullier's Acton estate passed in 1797 to Sir Henry Fetherstonhaugh, Bt. (d. 1846), the son of his sister Sarah. (fn. 46) Although various sales had been made by Letheuillier, the estate c. 1799 still totalled 750 a. and covered nearly all the parish north and west of the footpath to Harlesden, Horn Lane, and Stamford brook's western branch, as far as Turnham field. (fn. 47) In 1800 Fetherstonhaugh began the piecemeal sale of the estate. (fn. 48)

The 'manor place' of St. Bartholomew's recorded in 1528 (fn. 49) may, as has been suggested, have been on the moated site of Friars Place Farm, discussed below. The mansion granted by Peter FitzAlulf to the dean is less likely to have been Berrymead Priory, as local tradition has it, than either Acton Farm (later Springfield Farm) in Horn Lane or a house on the moated site west of Friars Place Farm, abandoned in or after the 15th century. (fn. 50)

Benjamin Lethieullier in 1795 sold 36 a. between Bollo brook and Gunnersbury Lane to John Winter, (fn. 51) who in 1802 owned the recently built HEATHFIELD LODGE, near Bollo bridge, and East Lodge (fn. 52) and West Lodge. (fn. 53) Heathfield Lodge was sold in 1843 on Winter's death to Baron Lionel de Rothschild, (fn. 54) and the land around it, with East Lodge, was also added to the Rothschilds' Gunnersbury Park estate. (fn. 55) West Lodge, owned in 1844 by George Aveling, the occupier in 1851, (fn. 56) survived in 1980, a twostoreyed brick building of c. 1800 with a slate roof, as the headquarters of the Acton Housing Association.

The Willan family bought Acton or SPRINGFIELD farm, with 145 a. north of Uxbridge Road, c. 1801. (fn. 57) After Thomas Willan's death the house and most of the land were sold in 1828 (fn. 58) to the rector William Antrobus and his sons William Thomas and Edmund, who in 1842 jointly owned c. 90 a. with the farm and another house called Springfield, near Steyne mills. (fn. 59) After W. T. Antrobus's death c. 1877 the estate was sold for building. The farmhouse, at the corner of Horn Lane and Creswick Road, was in 1799 a two-storeyed brick house recently added to an older one. (fn. 60) Springfield faced the new Rosemont Road in 1908 (fn. 61) but by the late 1930s had made way for flats called Rosemont Court. (fn. 62)

Richard White in 1809 bought 52 a. of the Lethieullier estate, in the middle of which he built MILL HILL or Acton Hill House. His widow Mary had succeeded by 1851 and in 1859 sold the estate to Walter Elliott Whittingham and the British Land Co.; (fn. 63) most of the land was sold for building, the house with its grounds being sold in 1860. It remained a private residence until Walter Willett, the London builder and originator of daylight saving, laid out a private housing estate there in or before 1885. (fn. 64) Most of the house was pulled down, but the east wing, refronted, remained in 1980 as no. 11 Avenue Crescent.

FRIARS PLACE farm, with 227 a., was acquired by the Wood family of Ealing by 1811. (fn. 65) James Wood owned it between 1818 and 1827 (fn. 66) and Edward Wood in 1842, when his holdings in the parish totalled 373½ a. (fn. 67) The land was gradually sold off from the early 20th century: in 1911 the U.D.C. bought 22½ a. from Col. Charles Boileau Wood, including the moated site west of Friars Place Farm, for a recreation ground, and in 1920 it bought 18 a. to the south for housing. (fn. 68) The moated farmhouse at no. 367 Horn Lane, thought to have belonged to St. Bartholomew's, was known as Friars Place Farm from 1664 (fn. 69) and later also as Hamilton House, Narroway's Farm, or Snell's Farm. The last house, built or improved in 1818, was of two storeys in yellow brick, with a fluted door surround and an elaborate cast-iron balcony. At the rear two older cottages faced a paved courtyard. Joseph Narroway ran a home of rest there for 200 horses in 1901 and was succeeded by Francis Cave Snell. In the 1920s the land was laid out for 100 grass and hard tennis courts. In 1929 Col. Wood sold the house as a vicarage for St. Gabriel's church. The moat was filled and the house later became a private dwelling, but in 1975 it was badly damaged by fire and by 1980 it had been demolished. (fn. 70)

What was called FOSTERS manor in the 16th century may have comprised lands north of East Acton village known as Fosters in 1683. It was evidently distinct from the copyhold tenement called Fosters. (fn. 71) In 1517 Richard Copcot and his wife Grace sold c. 200 a. in Willesden, Harlesden, and Acton to Thomas Roberts and William Wass, (fn. 72) possibly including Fosters manor in Acton which Michael Roberts (d. 1544) devised to his brother John. (fn. 73) In 1632 Francis Roberts died holding Fosters of the bishop's manor of Fulham by fealty and rent. (fn. 74) His grandson Sir William Roberts, Bt. (d. 1662), owned 100 a. in Acton by 1646, (fn. 75) and in 1663 his widow Eleanor sold a comparable estate to John Attlee. (fn. 76) A Mr. Attlee owned land and leases in Acton in 1693, (fn. 77) but by 1713 Fosters had passed from John Marsh to his son Thomas and comprised 75 a. west of Old Oak common and Old Oak Lane. (fn. 78) By 1842 it belonged to the King Church family, (fn. 79) from which it was compulsorily purchased for council housing in 1919, having been used as a golf course. (fn. 80)

The FROWYKS' large holding is traceable to 1303, when John de la Wodetone of Acton settled on Richard de la Wodetone a house, 74 a. of land, 4 a. of meadow, 40 a. of pasture, and rent in Acton and Chiswick. (fn. 81) In 1357 Bartholomew of Wodetone seems to have been in possession (fn. 82) and between 1374 and 1380 his son William made several conveyances of land in Acton to John Holmes. In 1382 William made over his remaining lands in Acton, Ealing, and Harlesden to John Knolte, fishmonger of London, and Thomas Wodetone his brother and heir. (fn. 83) By 1462 all or part of Holmes's lands had passed to the Frowyk family. Henry Frowyk, alderman of London (d. c. 1460) (fn. 84) and his son Thomas bought various estates in 1446 and 1458 in Acton, Ealing, and Willesden. (fn. 85) Land once of John Scorier and formerly of John Holmes may have formed part of them. (fn. 86)

Thomas Frowyk, knighted in 1478, (fn. 87) bought more property in Acton in 1484. (fn. 88) At his death in 1485 he held 6 houses, 70 a. of land, 10 a. of meadow, 20 a. of pasture, and 6 a. of wood in Acton and Willesden, all of the bishop of London. (fn. 89) His elder son Henry, knighted in 1501, (fn. 90) died in 1505 leaving sons Thomas and Henry (d. 1520), childless, and daughters Elizabeth wife of Sir John Spelman and Margaret wife of Sir Michael Fisher. (fn. 91) Sir Thomas's younger son, Sir Thomas (d. 1506), Chief Justice of Common Pleas, (fn. 92) held some of the property (fn. 93) and was succeeded by his daughter Frideswide, first wife of Sir Thomas Cheyney, K.G. (d. 1559). (fn. 94) Frideswide's grandson Thomas Parrott, (fn. 95) the Spelmans' sons Henry and Erasmus, (fn. 96) and the Fishers' granddaughter Agnes, wife of Oliver St. John, Lord St. John, each held portions. (fn. 97) Most of the Frowyks' land seems to have passed to two families, the Vincents of Harlesden and the Garraways or Garways.

Humphrey Vincent of Willesden (d. c. 1555) bought lands in Acton and left two sons William and Robert. (fn. 98) William was one of the principal free tenants in Acton in 1574 (fn. 99) and left his free land to his son William by will dated 1579. (fn. 100)

William's son and heir Gervase was one of three Vincents holding land freely in Acton in 1618, (fn. 101) and he later sold some of it. (fn. 102) Another William Vincent had land in 1618, and at his death in 1632 held Kingswood farm, 151 a. formerly Sir Thomas Frowyk's. (fn. 103) A third William Vincent had 150 a. in Acton in 1649. (fn. 104) In 1666 John Vincent of Harlesden green and others sold 139 a. in Acton and land in Willesden to William Rolleston (d. 1672). Notwithstanding an intention to use the lands to endow a charity at Rolleston (Staffs.), William's nieces Mary Mower and Elizabeth Jacob were in possession in 1708, (fn. 105) and in 1757 their heirs sold 128 a. to Robert Tubbs of St. James's, Westminster, horse dealer. (fn. 106) Tubbs bought Friars Place in 1765 (fn. 107) and died in 1782, having conveyed the estate to his son Robert, who lived at Friars Place until his death in 1810. (fn. 108) A third Robert Tubbs owned 141 a. in 1842, but Friars Place then belonged to Thomas Street. (fn. 109) In 1850 the house was described as a beautiful villa with a balustraded terrace looking south over pleasure grounds. (fn. 110) Building began around it in 1886, and it had decayed before its demolition in 1902. (fn. 111) A sausage factory was built on the site in 1919. (fn. 112)

John Garraway or Garway, gentleman, who bought 176 a. in Acton in 1569, (fn. 113) was probably John Garraway of Buckhurst (Suss.), lessee of the parsonage and tithes. (fn. 114) He already held land in Acton through his wife Sibyl, widow of John Lane (d. c. 1550), (fn. 115) and carried out ditching in 1552 and 1554. (fn. 116) In 1616 his son Paul leased to John Collins of Acton his freehold farm called Scoriers, formerly Frowyk's, which included at least 60 a., and a cottage in the Steyne, and another 9 a. (fn. 117) Paul's eldest son Philip, who had freeholds in Acton and Ealing in 1624, (fn. 118) died seised of Scoriers c. 1625. (fn. 119) It passed to his brother John, who was apparently in possession in 1631. (fn. 120) A Capt. Garraway held 90 a. in 1646 and land valued at £95 in 1653. (fn. 121) In 1655 John Garraway sold a house, later called Bank House, and land near the Steyne to the Speaker Francis Rous (1579-1659). (fn. 122)

Most of the Garraways' estate was alienated in fragments, (fn. 123) Scoriers passing before 1800 to Nathan Carrington or his heir, (fn. 124) and the Garraways recorded as holding land in 1693 and 1780 (fn. 125) may have inherited it from another branch of the family. (fn. 126)

BANK HOUSE was apparently acquired in 1663 by Richard Ogden from Francis Rous, son and heir of the Speaker's son and heir John, (fn. 127) and conveyed by Ogden in 1708 to Jane Thynne. (fn. 128) The property passed to Richard Allington Pye, son of Jane's daughter, Barbara Pershouse; in 1769 Pye sold the house to Sarah Ladds of Acton, (fn. 129) who rebuilt it further back from the road and was succeeded in 1771 by her niece Elizabeth Lehook (d. 1799), wife of Samuel Wegg. The house passed to Elizabeth's daughters, who ultimately inherited the estates bought by their father, but was sold in 1837; (fn. 130) it was later used as a school.

Thomas Thorney, barber-surgeon of London, bought the Bell on the north side of the highway and other property which in 1612 he left to his nephew Peter, also a barber-surgeon. (fn. 131) Peter bought land, including the tenement called Butlers, from Gervase Vincent (fn. 132) and died in 1628, (fn. 133) leaving a son Thomas, a minor, who had died by 1633, and a daughter Elizabeth, wife of John Glassington. (fn. 134) By 1646 only a house and 15 a. remained with Glassington, (fn. 135) and the property descended in separate parcels.

The farm called BUTLERS was owned by Henry Frowyk (d. 1520), (fn. 136) William Vincent in 1610, (fn. 137) and Peter Thorney in 1628. (fn. 138) It passed apparently to the Stevenson family, and may have been disposed of by the will of Henry Stevenson, proved in 1776. In 1775 the property was described as a new brick house and a wash house with 1½ a. In 1797 it belonged to Mrs. Elizabeth Hervey, passing between 1811 and 1821 to William Hervey, and in 1842 it consisted of the house, then called the Lodge or Acton Lodge, standing where Highlands Avenue later met Horn Lane, and 10 a. Hervey sold it in 1853-4 to Henry Scott Turner, whose son, Maj. Henry Scott Turner, lived at the Lodge from c. 1855 to 1871. in 1902 the house stood empty (fn. 139) before making way for the Highlands estate. (fn. 140)

The BELL, also held by Peter Thorney in 1628, (fn. 141) was known in 1637 (fn. 142) but not listed as an inn in the early 18th century. (fn. 143) In 1729 Francis Ware sold it to Thomas Mandevil of Acton, apothecary, (fn. 144) who had replaced it with two adjoining brick houses by 1752, when he sold them to Nathan Carrington. Carrington's grandson Nathan Garrick, nephew of David Garrick the actor, had succeeded by 1780. The two houses were called Lichfield House and Suffolk House. (fn. 145)

A copyhold house with 4 a. acquired in 1611 by Thomas Thorney (fn. 146) was known as ORGER HOUSE in the 19th century and said to have been a fine Jacobean house. (fn. 147) In 1659 it was acquired by Sir John Trevor (1596-1673), gentleman of the Privy Chamber, (fn. 148) probably through his wife Anne, and after her death in 1663 it was conveyed to their son Richard (d. 1676). (fn. 149) Richard surrendered it in 1671 and 1674 to Thomas Coppin, (fn. 150) who left it in 1689 to his daughter Mary (d. c. 1699), wife of William Dickens, (fn. 151) and by 1702 it was held by Francis Dickens of Gray's Inn. (fn. 152) Thomas Eames was admitted in 1705 and succeeded by his youngest son William in 1711. (fn. 153) By 1797 the owners were the Revd. William Hall of Acton and his wife Frances Estcourt, (fn. 154) who in 1804 conveyed the house and adjoining land to the Clergy Orphans' school. The school occupied the house until 1812. (fn. 155) In 1834 John Bird was the owner, as in 1858 when the house had 'recently' been burned down. (fn. 156)

FIGHTERS perhaps had been the tenement which William Woodstone granted to Thomas Vighter, who had been succeeded by John Vighter by 1382. (fn. 157) Shortly before 1640 Anthony Bouchier sold it to Sir John Trevor, who lived there then. (fn. 158) In 1728 Dr. Thomas Pearson sold it to John Somerset, (fn. 159) whose widow Dorothy retained it when she surrendered other property in 1732. (fn. 160)

Sir John Trevor also acquired by 1661 the house later known as BERRYMEAD PRIORY. (fn. 161) In 1666 he had a great house with 16 hearths, another with 15, and an empty one with four. (fn. 162) His son John died before him and Berrymead apparently passed to a grandson Edward Trevor. By 1688 George Savile, marquess of Halifax (d. 1695), who settled at Acton after the Revolution, (fn. 163) was in possession. (fn. 164) His son William, marquess of Halifax, died there in 1700 (fn. 165) and was succeeded by four daughters. (fn. 166) Evelyn Pierrepont, earl and later duke of Kingston-upon-Hull (d. 1726) bought the property in 1708. (fn. 167) He used the house as a spring and summer residence, together with his daughters Mary, before her marriage to Edward Wortley Montagu in 1712, and Frances, who married the Jacobite John Erskine, earl of Mar (d. 1732), at Acton in 1714. It was left to his second wife Isabel (d. 1728) and then to her daughter Caroline Pierrepont. (fn. 168) In 1740 the house and 9 a. were sold to Miss Dorothy Fellowes, (fn. 169) whose brother William succeeded her in 1749 and immediately conveyed the estate to Henry Ord. (fn. 170) Ord's widow Anne in 1758 sold it to Thomas Fisher (d. 1769), (fn. 171) whose trustees sold it in 1787 to Thomas Whitmore. (fn. 172) Whitmore conveyed it in 1790 to Gen. Staats Long Morris (d. 1800), (fn. 173) whose wife Jane was succeeded by her brother James Edward Urquhart in 1802. (fn. 174) Urquhart surrendered it in 1803 to Thomas Clutton, (fn. 175) whose trustees sold it in 1807 to Edmund Fleming Akers (d. 1821). (fn. 176) By 1822 a Col. Peacocke (d. 1830) owned it, being succeeded by his widow (d. 1834). (fn. 177) Stephen Peacocke, owner 1834-7, was followed by Messrs. Nicholson and Westcar in 1838 and Mr. Croft by 1844. (fn. 178) Tenants included the novelist Edward Bulwer, Lord Lytton (1803-73), who took the house for his wife in the 1830s and lived there himself in 1835-6, (fn. 179) and nuns of the Sacred Heart from 1842 to 1850. (fn. 180) In 1842 the grounds totalled 11½a. (fn. 181) Between 1849 and 1851 the house was owned by Lt. George Trafford Heald, who married Lola Montez but left England to escape bigamy charges, and c. 1856 it was bought by John Dawson. (fn. 182) In 1882 it was sold to the Berkshire Estates Co. but the house itself, with a small part of the garden, was bought by the Conservative party in 1885 and opened in 1886 as the Priory Constitutional Club. The club left after the Second World War, whereupon the house was used by the neighbouring Nevill's Bakery before passing c. 1977 to Ealing L.B. (fn. 183)

The house was described in 1705 as handsome, low, and regular, with fine gardens. (fn. 184) In 1802 it was known as Berrymead Lodge, and during the next five years Thomas Clutton, who probably gave it the name Berrymead Priory, remodelled it in a Gothic style. (fn. 185) Between 1882, when it had a galleried hall, 6 reception rooms, and 14 bedrooms on 3 floors, (fn. 186) and 1919 there was extensive rebuilding, but some Gothic detail survived inside. (fn. 187) Restoration was planned in 1980.

Sir Matthew Hale (1609-76), chief justice of King's Bench, (fn. 188) lived at Acton from c. 1666 until just before his death. His estate included BAXTER'S great house near the church where Richard Baxter had lived, describing it as small (fn. 189) although it had at least 10 hearths, (fn. 190) and DAYCROFT near East Acton Lane. (fn. 191) Daycroft may have belonged in 1461 to William Eston, fishmonger of London, (fn. 192) by purchase in 1458, (fn. 193) and was devised in 1658 by Thomas Child to his children. (fn. 194) Hale left all his property in Acton to his wife Anne (d. 1694) and then to his son Robert's son Gabriel. (fn. 195) In 1712 Gabriel settled it on his sister Frances and her husband Archibald Grosvenor; (fn. 196) they conveyed it to James Green, clothworker of London, (fn. 197) who in 1719 conveyed parts of it, including a house near the western boundary and Daycroft, to the chapter and to the almoner of St. Paul's. (fn. 198) The chapter c. 1758 exchanged its land with Samuel Wegg. (fn. 199) The almoner's land was later transferred to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, including 8 a. south of Uxbridge Road awarded at inclosure in 1859 (fn. 200) and built over c. 1900. (fn. 201) Daycroft was sold to the local board in 1889 and formed part of Acton park. (fn. 202)

The rest of Hale's estate, including Baxter's great house, was sold to Edward Gilbert in 1723. (fn. 203) The house may in fact already have been demolished, for it was not mentioned in subsequent conveyances and in 1705 Hale's house near the Rectory had been pulled down. (fn. 204) Gilbert at once conveyed the estate to James Joye, who had acquired ACTON HOUSE. That house had probably belonged in 1624 to Sir William Garraway, brother of John (fl. 1569). (fn. 205) Sir William's widow Elizabeth died in 1636 seised of a freehold house, occupied by Sir Henry Jernegan, which passed to her son Sir Henry (d. 1646), lord mayor of London. (fn. 206) The house and 40 a. had passed by 1649 to Matthew Herbert, by 1653 to Maj.-Gen. Philip Skippon (d. 1660), (fn. 207) who left all his property in Acton to his wife Catherine, (fn. 208) and by 1686 to Skippon's son Sir Philip, traveller and writer, (fn. 209) who sold them to Sir Hele Hooke, Bt. (fn. 210) Sir Hele sold the house in 1696 to Daniel Sheldon, (fn. 211) whose trustees sold it in 1700 to Sir John Baber (d. 1704). (fn. 212) Francis Baber, brother and heir of Sir John's son John, sold it in 1721 to James Joye. (fn. 213)

On Joye's death c. 1742 his estate was sold to John Burton, (fn. 214) and in 1770 Capt. Charles Burton sold it to James Templar. (fn. 215) In 1786 Templar sold all his property in Acton to James Stratton, whose executors sold it in 1803 to Nicholas Selby. (fn. 216) The Selby family retained Acton House in 1845, but it was sold to Mary Robertson in 1860. (fn. 217) Probably rebuilt by Sir Henry Garraway in 1638, (fn. 218) it had 16 hearths in 1664 (fn. 219) and was demolished c. 1904. (fn. 220)

There has been confusion between Acton House and another residence, called after the last countess of Derwentwater. The countess stayed during her husband's trial at Acton House, in whose grounds Selby built DERWENTWATER HOUSE, possibly in 1804. (fn. 221) Selby sold it c. 1820 to George Kelly, (fn. 222) who owned it in 1842, but in 1859 it was sold to J. B. Nichols. (fn. 223) It remained a private house until it became Acton Liberal and Radical Club after 1890. The frontage was reduced for road widening, and the house itself was demolished in 1909. (fn. 224)

The GOLDSMITHS' estate grew from lands in East Acton left to the company by John Perryn, alderman of London, in 1656. The estate was first formed by Sir Richard Sutton (d. 1634), its nucleus being the copyhold capital messuage called Fosters or Hill House and later Manor House, which is recorded from 1532. (fn. 225) At his death Sutton held the capital messuage, 4 other houses, and c. 160 a. of copyhold and 50 a. of freehold. (fn. 226) His only child Elizabeth, wife of Sir John Ashfield, Bt., added to the estate, which by 1653 she had handed over to her son Sir Richard. (fn. 227) In 1654 the Ashfields sold it to John Perryn (d. 1657), (fn. 228) whose widow Alice married Sir Thomas Vyner, lord mayor of London (d. 1665), and after his death lived at the seat in Acton. On her death in 1682 the estate passed to the Goldsmiths' Company of London under Perryn's will. (fn. 229) It consisted of a large house, 2 farmhouses, and 3 cottages, with c. 166 a. of inclosed land and c. 60 a. in the fields in 1739, and was much enlarged in the 19th century and the early 20th. By the 1930s the company owned or had owned the whole area between the eastern parish boundary, Uxbridge Road, the green, and East Acton Lane, together with a wide band of land west of East Acton Lane, north of the green, and on both sides of Friars Place Lane as far as the G.W.R. line, with the Friars beyond it. Until 1920 the only sales were to railway companies, besides those of 13 a. to the local board in 1886 for Acton park and of two leasehold houses and the Friars to the U.D.C. in 1902 for an isolation hospital. Building leases were granted over the western part of the estate and brickmaking leases for land south of the manor house, and sites were given for St. Dunstan's and other churches. After 1920 sales increased, including those of a large stretch of land to the U.D.C. for Western Avenue in 1921, the sites of several big houses for building, and parts of the charity estate for council housing and schools in the 1930s. Only the site of Manor House and some land around it had not been built on by 1945 and was still leased to private sports clubs in 1980.

Manor House became hard to let in the late 19th century and was demolished in 1911. The house was probably rebuilt by Henry Lambe, goldsmith, lessee from 1686. (fn. 230) In 1980 some wainscotting and a carved wooden overmantel were at Goldsmiths' Hall, London. (fn. 231) Of the Goldsmiths' other older houses only the Friars survives, as the administration block of Leamington Park hospital. It is an 18th-century house of three storeys and attics, with five bays, a central pediment, and cornices, which probably once had pilasters. A stuccoed porch was added in the 19th century.

The ELMS estate centred on a house called the Paddocks in 1817, Acton House in 1827, and the Elms by 1845. The precursor of the house was sold as a freehold cottage with a windmill and 2 a. in 1641. From 1722 the estate belonged to Charles Morren and his wife Elizabeth, and Elizabeth's son Henry Lloyd sold it in 1737 to Sir Joseph Ayloffe, Bt., and his wife Margaret. They sold it in 1750 to Samuel Wegg (d. 1802), who acquired much other property in Acton, including the lease of Acton ponds. His son George Samuel died in 1817, his heirs being his sisters Sarah, wife of the Revd. Richard Prosser, and Elizabeth. Elizabeth held most of the property and made additions to it, including Hill House; when she died in 1842, her sister having predeceased her without issue, she owned 169 a., which passed to Charles Gray Round, of Birch Hall (Essex), a distant relative. Parts were sold in 1895 and, to the Kensington Freehold Land Trust, in 1897, and the remainder was built on early in the 20th century. (fn. 232) The Elms was built probably in the 1720s in yellow brick with redbrick dressings, having three storeys with attics and a front of five bays with pilasters and a cornice. Single-storey wings with basements were added in the late 18th century. The house, let to private tenants in the 19th century, housed secondary schools from 1954, including Twyford high school in 1980. (fn. 233)


  • 1. P. J. Taylor, 'Estates of Bishopric of Lond. from 7th to 16th cent.' (Lond. Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1976), 430.
  • 2. P.R.O., SC 2/188/66.
  • 3. Ibid. SC 2/190/15.
  • 4. Taylor, 'Estates of Bishopric of Lond.' 274, 335 and n. 165.
  • 5. Guildhall MS. 10234/2, p. 247.
  • 6. Ibid. MS. 12348, deed 24 July 1738.
  • 7. Ibid. MS. 10242, p. 72.
  • 8. Ibid. MS. 10249, f. 105; cf. below (the Elms).
  • 9. Guildhall MS. 12697, deed 1 Dec. 1884.
  • 10. Ealing libr., Acc. 19/1.
  • 11. Guildhall MS. 12697, deed 4 May 1882.
  • 12. P.R.O., MAF 20/2/22.
  • 13. Account of estate based on T.L.M.A.S. xxviii. 316-22, which uses most of the sources cited below.
  • 14. Cur. Reg. R. vi. 161.
  • 15. Early Charters of St. Paul's (Camd. 3rd ser. lviii), 241, 264-7, 270.
  • 16. Cal. Pat. 1313-17, 190.
  • 17. Cal. Chart. R. 1300-26, 305.
  • 18. Bk. of Fees, ii. 897.
  • 19. P.R.O., CP 25(2)/149/19, no. 373.
  • 20. Ibid. CP 25(1)/148/30, no. 138.
  • 21. Ibid. CP 25(1)/149/42, no. 90.
  • 22. Abbrev. Plac. (Rec. Com.), 327.
  • 23. P.R.O., CP 25(1)/149/40, nos. 34, 42.
  • 24. Ibid. CP 25(1)/148/37, no. 303.
  • 25. Cal. Pat. 1327-30, 184; P.R.O., C 143/195, no. 11.
  • 26. Feud. Aids, iii. 376; vi. 487.
  • 27. P.R.O., C 143/294, no. 5.
  • 28. Ibid. C 143/380, no. 14; Cal. Pat. 1370-4, 380.
  • 29. P.R.O., E 318/Box 19/953, 16 June 35 Hen. VIII, section 3.
  • 30. Ibid. E 305/6/D7.
  • 31. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xviii (2), p. 140; xix (1), p. 496.
  • 32. P.R.O., C 66/1112, mm. 14-15.
  • 33. Wrongly called Sir Thomas: B.L. Add. MS. 5501, f. 70 and v.
  • 34. Ibid. f. 263.
  • 35. P.R.O., CP 25(2)/574/1653 Trin.
  • 36. Bodl. MS. Rawl. D. 715, f. 1.
  • 37. P.R.O., PROB 11/240 (P.C.C. 388 Alchin).
  • 38. W. Archer-Thomson, Hist. Drapers' Co.'s Properties and Trusts (1940), ii. 86; L.J. xi. 70.
  • 39. M.R.O., E.M.C. 53, no. 30.
  • 40. Brydges, Collins's Peerage, i. 232-3.
  • 41. M.R.O., E.M.C. 53, no. 87.
  • 42. Ibid. Acc. 617/40.
  • 43. Ibid. 44.
  • 44. Ibid. 45.
  • 45. Ibid. 49.
  • 46. Ibid. 64; G.E.C. Baronetage, v. 94.
  • 47. Guildhall libr., Pr. V/ACT (plan); Guildhall MS. 12697 (survey bk. and key).
  • 48. M.R.O., Acc. 617/60.
  • 49. P.R.O., E 303/9 Lond./289.
  • 50. Rowland, Street Names, 26. Berrymead is not known to have been part of the dean's estate. The lands of the two ecclesiastical bodies lay intermingled over the north and west parts of the parish; dean's field in 1811 lay not far from the moated site.
  • 51. M.L.R. 1795/2/161.
  • 52. Guildhall MS. 10465/117.
  • 53. P.R.O., MAF 20/2/22.
  • 54. Ealing libr., inventory of Heathfield Lodge.
  • 55. P.R.O., MAF 20/2/22.
  • 56. Guildhall MS. 12698; P.R.O., HO 107/1699.
  • 57. M.R.O., MR/PLT/1801.
  • 58. Acton libr., sale cert.
  • 59. P.R.O., IR 29/21/1.
  • 60. Guildhall MS. 12697.
  • 61. Acton libr., plan of fête at Springfield, 1908.
  • 62. Rowland, Street Names, 34.
  • 63. M.R.O., Acc. 487/1; P.R.O., HO 107/1699.
  • 64. Bacon, Atlas of Lond. (1886).
  • 65. M.R.O., MR/PLT/4579.
  • 66. Acton libr., Friars Place farm, list of owners.
  • 67. P.R.O., IR 29/21/1; Guildhall MS. 12697.
  • 68. Ealing libr., Acc. 19/1.
  • 69. M.R.O., MR/TH/3.
  • 70. Acton libr., notes on Friars Place farm and cutting from Evening News, 7 June 1927; Ealing Local Historian (1966), no. 1; V.C.H. Mdx. ii. 4; Acton Gaz. 4 Jan. 1901; Min. of Town and Country Planning, List of Bldgs. (1947).
  • 71. Below (Goldsmiths').
  • 72. P.R.O., CP 25(2)/27/179.
  • 73. Ibid. PROB 11/30 (P.C.C. 14 Pynnyng).
  • 74. Ibid. C 142/482, no. 65.
  • 75. Bodl. MS. Rawl. D. 715, f. 5.
  • 76. P.R.O., CP 25(2)/689/15 Chas. II Trin.
  • 77. M.R.O., F 34/1-10.
  • 78. M.L.R. 1713/5/136-7; 1714/1/186-8.
  • 79. P.R.O., IR 29/21/1.
  • 80. Ealing libr., Acc. 19/2.
  • 81. P.R.O., CP 25(1)/148/36, no. 296.
  • 82. Ibid. CP 25(1)/150/67, no. 353.
  • 83. Cal. Close, 1374-7, 109, 551; 1377-81, 467-8; 1399- 1402, 479.
  • 84. Cal. of Wills in Ct. of Husting, ii (2), 541-2, 579.
  • 85. P.R.O., CP 25(1)/152/93, nos. 131, 136; CP 25(1)/152/ 95, no. 188.
  • 86. Cal. Close, 1461-8, 136.
  • 87. Shaw, Knights, i. 138.
  • 88. P.R.O., CP 25(1)/152/99, no. 6.
  • 89. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, i, p. 74.
  • 90. P.R.O., PROB 11/7 (P.C.C. 18 Logge); Shaw, Knights, i. 147.
  • 91. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, iii, p. 282; P.R.O., C 142/79, no. 231; ibid. PROB 11/20 (P.C.C. 5 Maynwaryng).
  • 92. D.N.B.
  • 93. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, iii, p. 111.
  • 94. P.R.O., PROB 11/15 (P.C.C. 15 Adeane).
  • 95. Ibid. C 142/119, no. 114.
  • 96. Ibid. PROB 11/20 (P.C.C. 5 Maynwaryng); PROB 11/ 39 (P.C.C. 5 Wrastley).
  • 97. Goldsmiths' Hall, Acton Estate MS. B.III. 1, no. 4.
  • 98. Ibid.; P.R.O., CP 25(2)/27/181.
  • 99. B.L. Harl. MS. 1711, f. 1d.
  • 100. Goldsmiths' Hall, Acton Estate MS. B.III. 1, no. 4.
  • 101. P.R.O., SC 2/190/5.
  • 102. Guildhall MS. 10833; P.R.O., C 2/Jas. I/T14/19; ibid. C 142/482, no. 65.
  • 103. P.R.O., C 142/715, no. 19.
  • 104. Bodl. MS. Rawl. D. 715, f. 3.
  • 105. Notts. R.O., Acc. 252, Rolleston of Watnall MSS. (N.R.A. Rep.) DDR. 19/2; 28/3; 130/5 and 7.
  • 106. M.L.R. 1757/2/480-2.
  • 107. M.L.R. 1765/6/457-60.
  • 108. Baker, Acton, 156.
  • 109. P.R.O., IR 29/21/1.
  • 110. Keane, Beauties of Mdx. 18-19.
  • 111. G. H. Monson, Hist. Acton (1934-5), 10; Rowland, Street Names, 15, 25.
  • 112. Below, trade and industry.
  • 113. P.R.O., CP 25(2)/171/11 Eliz. I East.
  • 114. Ibid. REQ 2/211/3.
  • 115. Ibid. C 1/1298/9-10; Hist. MSS. Com. 39, 15th Rep. II, p. 259.
  • 116. P.R.O., SC 2/189/24.
  • 117. Ibid. C 3/343/17.
  • 118. Goldsmiths' Hall, Acton Estate MS. B.III. 1, no. 8.
  • 119. P.R.O., PROB 11/145 (P.C.C. 38 Clarke).
  • 120. Goldsmiths' Hall, Acton Estate MS. B.III. 1, no. 6.
  • 121. Bodl. MS. Rawl. D. 715, ff. 5, 3, 1.
  • 122. M.R.O., Acc. 156/1; D.N.B.
  • 123. M.L.R. 1723/4/20; 1769/2/166-7.
  • 124. Guildhall Libr., Pr. V/ACT (plan of Fetherstonhaugh's est.). Plan perhaps copied from earlier one, as it gives Carrington's name rather than his nephew's.
  • 125. M.R.O., F 34/1-10; ibid. MR/PLT/4550.
  • 126. Below (Acton Ho.).
  • 127. Guildhall MS. 10312/100.
  • 128. Ibid. MS. 10465/24.
  • 129. M.L.R. 1769/2/451.
  • 130. Baker, Acton, 183.
  • 131. P.R.O., PROB 11/123 (P.C.C. 58 Lawe); ibid. SC 2/189/34.
  • 132. Ibid. C 2/Jas. I/T 14/19; Guildhall MS. 10833.
  • 133. P.R.O., C 142/491, no. 40.
  • 134. Ibid. SC 2/190/8.
  • 135. Bodl. MS. Rawl. D. 715, f. 5.
  • 136. P.R.O., C 142/79, no. 231.
  • 137. Goldsmiths' Hall, Acton Estate MS. B. III. 1, no. 4.
  • 138. P.R.O., C 142/491, no. 40.
  • 139. B.R.A. 1180 (W. Suff. R.O., deeds of Wm. Hervey); Guildhall MSS. 10465/116-17; P.R.O., IR 29/21/1; ibid. MAF 20/2; M.R.O., Acc. 1385/9 and intro. in cal.
  • 140. Ealing libr., Acc. 19/2.
  • 141. P.R.O., C 142/491, no. 40.
  • 142. Mdx. & Herts. N. & Q. iv. 78.
  • 143. M.R.O., MR/LV.
  • 144. M.L.R. 1729/5/5-6.
  • 145. Monson, Acton, 29; M.R.O., MR/PLT/4550.
  • 146. P.R.O., SC 2/189/34.
  • 147. Jolliffe, Acton, 74.
  • 148. D.N.B., amended in B.I.H.R. xviii. 136; Glynde Place Archives, facing p. xxvi.
  • 149. Guildhall MS. 10312/100.
  • 150. Ibid. 107, 109.
  • 151. P.R.O., PROB 11/398 (P.C.C. 3 Dyke).
  • 152. Guildhall MS. 10465/16.
  • 153. Ibid. 27.
  • 154. Ibid. 118.
  • 155. P.R.O., PROB. 11/285 (P.C.C. 714 Wootton); ibid. C 54/7842, no. 6; below, educ.
  • 156. Guildhall MS. 12698; P.R.O., MAF 20/2/22.
  • 157. Cal. Close, 1381-5, 221.
  • 158. Glynde Place MS. 691 (Glynde Place Archives, 65).
  • 159. M.L.R. 1728/5/143, 1723/3/274-5.
  • 160. M.R.O., Acc. 617/44.
  • 161. Guildhall MS. 10312/98.
  • 162. P.R.O., E 179/252/32.
  • 163. D.N.B.
  • 164. Guildhall MS. 10465/4.
  • 165. Ibid. 15.
  • 166. Ibid. 16.
  • 167. Guildhall MS. 10465/56.
  • 168. Complete Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, ed. R. Halsband, i. 156 and passim; iii. 42 and n.; J. E. Lush, Berrymead Priory (1923), 13-14; D.N.B.
  • 169. M.L.R. 1740/3/75-7.
  • 170. Guildhall MS. 10465/65; M.L.R. 1749/1/372-3.
  • 171. Guildhall MS. 10465/84.
  • 172. M.L.R. 1787/5/382.
  • 173. Ibid. 1790/8/365-6.
  • 174. Guildhall MS. 10465/117.
  • 175. Ibid. 118.
  • 176. Ibid. 138.
  • 177. Lush, Berrymead, 19.
  • 178. Guildhall MS. 12698.
  • 179. Lush, Berrymead, 19-21.
  • 180. Below, Rom. Cathm.
  • 181. P.R.O., IR 29/21/1.
  • 182. Lush, Berrymead, 23, 25.
  • 183. Rowland, Street Names, 6.
  • 184. Bowack, Antiquities, 59.
  • 185. Lush, Berrymead, 17.
  • 186. Ibid. 25; Acton libr., Berrymead Priory, sale cats. 1882, 1889.
  • 187. Lush, Berrymead, 27-8.
  • 188. D.N.B.
  • 189. Reliquiae Baxterianae, ed. M. Sylvester (1696), pt. iii. 176, 181.
  • 190. P.R.O., E 179/252/32.
  • 191. M.L.R. 1719/5/106-7.
  • 192. P.R.O., SC 2/188/81.
  • 193. Ibid. CP 25(1)/152/95, no. 188.
  • 194. Ibid. PROB 11/285 (P.C.C. 714 Wootton).
  • 195. Ibid. PROB 11/353 (P.C.C. 19 Hale).
  • 196. Guildhall MS. 10465/27.
  • 197. M.L.R. 1719/5/106-7.
  • 198. Ibid. 1720/5/282-6.
  • 199. M.R.O., Acc. 617/38.
  • 200. Ibid. MR/DE/ACT.
  • 201. Below, econ. (Acton Vale).
  • 202. Ealing libr., Acc. 19/1.
  • 203. M.L.R. 1723/4/287-8; Guildhall MS. 10465/39.
  • 204. Bowack, Antiquities, 59.
  • 205. Goldsmiths' Hall, Acton Estate MS. B.III.1, no. 8.
  • 206. P.R.O., C 142/545, no. 79; D.N.B.
  • 207. Bodl. MS. Rawl. D. 715, ff. 1, 3; D.N.B.; below, plate facing p. 32.
  • 208. P.R.O., PROB 11/300 (P.C.C. 193 Nabbs).
  • 209. D.N.B.
  • 210. Guildhall MS. 10465/2.
  • 211. Ibid. 11.
  • 212. Ibid. 15.
  • 213. M.L.R. 1721/5/281.
  • 214. Guildhall MS. 10465/58.
  • 215. Ibid. 85.
  • 216. Ibid. 118.
  • 217. P.R.O., IR 29/21/1; ibid. MAF 20/2/22.
  • 218. Lysons, Environs, ii. 15.
  • 219. M.R.O., MR/TH/3; P.R.O., E 179/252/32.
  • 220. Rowland, Street Names, 1.
  • 221. Jolliffe, Acton, 61; Lysons, Environs, ii. 15.
  • 222. Guildhall MS. 10465/118.
  • 223. P.R.O., IR 29/21/1; ibid. MAF 20/2/22.
  • 224. Jolliffe, Acton, 62.
  • 225. Goldsmiths' Hall, Acton Estate MSS. B.III.1-14.
  • 226. P.R.O., C 142/514, no. 45; ibid. SC 2/190/8.
  • 227. Bodl. MS. Rawl. D. 715, ff. 5, 3, 1.
  • 228. B.L. Add. MS. 38476, ff. 112-14.
  • 229. P.R.O., PROB 11/263 (P.C.C. 107 Ruthen).
  • 230. M.L.R. 1720/5/301; illus. in P. Norman, E. Acton Manor Ho. (L.C.C. Survey, monograph vii, 1921); above, frontispiece.
  • 231. Inf. from the librarian, Goldsmiths' Co.
  • 232. M.R.O., Acc. 617 and 1247; P.R.O., IR 29/21/1.
  • 233. Below, educ.