Place:Hayes, Middlesex, England

Alt namesHeesesource: Family History Library Catalog
Coordinates51.518°N 0.42°W
Located inMiddlesex, England     ( - 1965)
See alsoHillingdon (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon borough covering the area since 1965
source: Family History Library Catalog

Hayes is one of the ancient parishes of Middlesex. From 1894 to 1904 it was part of Uxbridge Rural District and from 1904 to 1965 it was part of Hayes and Harlington Urban District. In 1965 civil parishes in the newly-created Greater London were abolished and the former territory of Hayes became part of the London Borough of Hillingdon.

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Hayes is a town in west London, situated west of Charing Cross. Historically in Middlesex, Hayes became part of the London Borough of Hillingdon in 1965. The town's population was recorded as 95,763 in the 2011 census.

Hayes has a long history. The area appears in the Domesday Book (1086). Landmarks in the area include the Grade II* listed Parish Church, St Mary's - the central portion of the church survives from the twelfth century and it remains in use (the church dates back to 830 A.D.) - and Barra Hall, a Grade II listed manor house. The town's oldest public house - the Adam and Eve, on the Uxbridge Road - though not the original seventeenth-century structure, has remained on the same site since 1665.

The town is best-known as the erstwhile home of EMI. The words "Hayes, Middlesex" appear on the reverse of The Beatles' albums, which were manufactured at the town's Old Vinyl Factory. Notable historical residents include the early modern "father of English music", William Byrd, and a pre-eminent figure of twentieth-century English literature, George Orwell.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Hayes is formed of what originally were five separate villages: Botwell, Hayes Town, Hayes End, Wood End and Yeading. The name Hayes Town has come to be applied to the area around Station Road between Coldharbour Lane and Hayes & Harlington railway station, but this was historically the hamlet called Botwell. The original Hayes Town was the area to the east of St Mary's Church, centred around Church Road, Hemmen Lane and Freeman's Lane.

For some 700 years up to 1546, Hayes formed part of the Archbishop of Canterbury's estates, ostensibly owing to grants from the Mercian royal family. In that year, the then-Archbishop Thomas Cranmer was forced to surrender his land to King Henry VIII, who subsequently granted the estate to Edward North, 1st Baron North. The area changed hands several times thereafter, but by the eighteenth century, two family-names had established themselves as prominent and long-time landowners: Minet and Shackle.

Until the end of the nineteenth century, Hayes's key areas of work were agriculture and brickmaking. The Second Industrial Revolution brought change in the late nineteenth century, up to World War I. The town's location on the Grand Junction Canal (later called the Grand Union) and the Great Western Railway - Hayes & Harlington railway station had opened in 1868 - made it well-placed for industry.

The town's favourable location caused the Hayes Development Company to make available sites on the north-side of the railway, adjacent to the canal, and Hayes became a centre for engineering and industry. HDC's company secretary, Alfred Clayton, is commemorated in the name of Clayton Road. Residential districts consisting of dwellings of the garden suburb type were built to house workers after World War I.

In 1904 the parish council created Hayes Urban District (from 1930, Hayes and Harlington Urban District) in order to address the issue of population growth. Hayes and Harlington Urban District continued until 1965 when Hayes became part of the newly-established London Borough of Hillingdon.

Author George Orwell, who adopted his pen name while living in Hayes, lived and worked in 1932-3 as a schoolmaster at The Hawthorns High School for Boys, situated on Church Road. The school has since closed and the building is now the Fountain House Hotel. The hotel bears a plaque commemorating its distinguished former resident. Returning several times to Hayes, Orwell was at the same time characteristically acerbic about his time in the town, camouflaging it lightly as West Bletchley in Coming Up for Air, as Southbridge in A Clergyman's Daughter, and grumbling comically in a letter to author/friend Frank Jellinek:

Hayes . . . is one of the most godforsaken places I have ever struck. The population seems to be entirely made up of clerks who frequent tin-roofed chapels on Sundays and for the rest bolt themselves within doors.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited Hayes town centre on 19 May 2006 as part of a programme of visits in celebration of her 80th birthday.


Hayes has, over the years, been heavily involved with industry, both local and international, having been the home of EMI, Nestlé and H. J. Heinz Company. Past companies include Fairey Aviation (later merged with Westland), and HMV.

The first large factory established was that of the British Electric Transformer Company (affectionately known as the B.E.T.), which moved to Hayes in 1901. The B.E.T.'s main product was the Berry transformer, invented by A. F. Berry (the company's technical adviser and a member of the board of directors); Berry also invented the Tricity cooker.

The most significant early occupier was the Gramophone Company, later His Master's Voice and latterly EMI. The Hayes factory's foundation stone was laid by Dame Nellie Melba. The EMI archives and some early reinforced concrete factory buildings (notably Grade II listed Enterprise House [1912] on Blyth Road, the first known work of Evan Owen Williams - described by English Heritage as "the most significant engineer turned architect in twentieth-century British architecture") remain as The Old Vinyl Factory.

It was here, in the Central Research Laboratories (generally known as "CRL"), that Isaac Shoenberg developed (1934) the all-electronic 405-line television system (called the Marconi-EMI system, used by the BBC from 1936 until closedown of the Crystal Palace 405-line transmissions in 1985).

Alan Blumlein carried out his research into binaural sound and stereophonic gramophone recording here. "Trains at Hayes Station" (1935) and "Walking & Talking" are two notable films Blumlein shot to demonstrate stereo sound on film. These films are held at the Hayes EMI archive.

In 1939, working alongside the electrical firms A.C. Cossor and Pye, a 60 MHz radar was developed, and from 1941 to 1943 the H2S radar system.

During the 1990s, CRL spawned another technology: Sensaura 3D positional audio. In an echo of Blumlein's early stereo recordings, the Sensaura engineers made some of their first 3D audio recordings at Hayes Station.

During the First World War the EMI factories produced aircraft. Charles Richard Fairey was seconded there for a short time, before setting up his own company, Fairey Aviation, which relocated in 1918 to a large new factory across the railway in North Hyde Road. Over 4,500 aircraft were subsequently produced here, but Fairey needed an airfield to test these aircraft and in 1928 secured a site in nearby Heathrow. This became the Great West Aerodrome, which was requisitioned by the Air Ministry in 1944. It was initially developed as a heavy-bomber base intended for Boeing B-29 Superfortresses, but when the Second World War ended in 1945, it was taken over by the Ministry of Aviation and became Heathrow Airport.

In 1913, German bodybuilder Eugen Sandow - famous in his time as "Sandow the Great", a contender for the title of world's strongest man - opened a cocoa factory in Hayes. Sandow's fortunes plummeted in World War I. The Sandow Cocoa Company went into liquidation, and the building and assets passed to the Hayes Cocoa Company in 1916. Hayes Cocoa was owned by Swiss chocolate company Peter, Cailler, Kohler.

In 1929 the Nestlé company bought out Peter, Cailler, Kohler and located its major chocolate and instant coffee works on the canal, adjacent to the railway east of the station; it was for many years the company's UK headquarters. The road that led to the factory was renamed Nestlé's Avenue (from Sandow Avenue, so-named after the German strongman); Sandow Crescent, a cul-de-sac off Nestlé's Avenue, remains. The factory's elegant Art Deco façade survives, and is a local landmark.

Opposite Nestlé, on the other side of the canal, the Aeolian Company and its associates manufactured player pianos and rolls from just before World War I until the Great Depression. That, and the increasing sophistication of the gramophone record market, led to its demise. Its facilities were subsequently used by, among others, Kraft Foods and Wall's, a meat processor and ice cream manufacturer. Only one of the Aeolian Company's striking Edwardian buildings remains. Designed by notable English architect Walter Cave, Benlow Works (post-World War II owner Benny Lowenthal re-named the factory after himself) on Silverdale Road is a four-storey structure with Diocletian windows on the top floor. It is Grade II listed.

From the early 1970s to 2003 McAlpine Helicopters Limited and Operational Support Services Limited (later renamed McAlpine Aviation Services Limited) operated from two purpose-built helicopter hangars in Swallowfield Way industrial estate, as the company operated on land already owned by Sir Robert McAlpine. The land on the other side of the Grand Union Canal is called Stockley Park and its buildings were intentionally positioned to allow safe passage for helicopters into the heliport in case of an emergency. Fortunately, this was never used.

Damont Audio was a vinyl pressing plant based in Hayes from the 1970s to 2005. "DAMONT" or "Damont Audio Ltd" is typically inscribed in the run-out groove of vinyl produced at the plant.

West London Film Studios sustains Hayes's historical connections with the arts industry in accommodating the production of TV programmes and feature films.

In 1971, Neville Sandelson, MP for Hayes and Harlington 1971-1983, articulated concern about de-industrialisation in the House of Commons: "The position in Hayes . . . is causing grave anxiety both in regard to the present and the long-term prospects. The closure of long-standing industrial firms in the area has become a contagion which shows no sign of abating". By 1982, Sandelson said the contagion had become an epidemic, reiterating: "a subject of great concern to every family in Hayes and Harlington . . . the progressive decline of industry."


St Mary's (a.k.a. St Mary the Virgin) Church on Church Road is the oldest building in Hayes. It is Grade II* listed. The central portion of the church, the chancel and the nave, was built in the 1200s, the north aisle in the 1400s (as was the tower), and the south aisle in the 1500s, along with the lychgate and the south porch. The lychgate and wall to the south are Grade II listed. Hayes's entry in the Domesday Book (1086) makes no mention of a church or chapel, and the name of St Mary suggests a 12th-century dedication as it was at this time that church dedications in this name first appeared in England. Besides the church, the other main building in medieval villages was the manor house. The manor house formerly associated with the church was assigned to Canterbury Cathedral by Christian priest Warherdus as far back as 830 AD. The site of the original manor house is not known, but it is likely to have been on or near the site of the building latterly on Church Road called the Manor House, parts of which dated from the early 16th century. At the time of the Norman Conquest, Archbishop Lanfranc had contacts with the parish. St Mary's has a 12th-century font, and many interesting memorials and brasses. The brass to Robert Lellee, Rector somewhere between 1356 and 1375, is purportedly the oldest brass in Middlesex. Adjacent to it is another to Rector Robert Burgeys (1408–1421). (The first recorded Rector was Peter de Lymonicen [1259]). There are tombs in the church to Walter Grene (1456), Thomas Higate (1576), and Sir Edward Fenner (1611), Judge of the King's Bench. The latter tomb covers earlier tiling on the wall and floors. Some partly uncovered pre-Reformation wall-paintings and a large mural (dating from the 14th century) of Saint Christopher with the infant Child are on the North wall. A brass to Veare Jenyns (1644) relates to the Court of Charles I, while other Jenynses, who were Lords of the Manor, link with Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. Judge John Heath, after whom Judge Heath Lane was named, is also buried at St Mary's. Victorian restorers donated a number of windows, and more recent additions include windows to Saints Anselm and Nicholas. The Coronation window is in the north aisle above the Triptych painted by the pre-Raphaelite Edward Fellowes Prynne. His brother George Fellowes Prynne carved the Reredos with St Anselm and St George in the niches. The embossed roof of the Nave reflects the Tudor period with emblems of the crucifixion and the arms of Henry and Aragon (the lands passed to Henry VIII as a consequence of the English Reformation). Cherry Lane Cemetery on Shepiston Lane was founded in the mid-1930s to provide a new burial ground when the churchyard at St Mary's Church had run out of space.

St Anselm church, built in 1929 on Station Road in Hayes town centre, is so-named because William Rufus sent Archbishop (later Saint) Anselm of Canterbury to stay in the manor house of St Mary's church, as it was the nearest of the Archbishop's manors to Windsor, where William Rufus resided.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic church was built in 1961, replacing the earlier church built in 1912. It is situated in Hayes town centre, just off Coldharbour Lane/Station Road. The first permanent building to be built was the adjacent school, Botwell House Catholic Primary, which opened in 1931. The church's picture of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (which measures 5½m x 3m) was painted by Pietro Annigoni (1910–1988) in Florence, and took nine months to complete. The Grade II listed, early nineteenth-century presbytery, "Botwell House", was originally the home of Hayes's principal landowner, John Baptist Shackle.

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