|St Mary's Churchyard, Hanwell||Ealing|
Hanwell is mentioned in the Domesday Book as an independent manor although it became a subsidiary of Greenford. First mention of a Christian church at Hanwell occurs in 958 AD and in the C12th a small thatched church was built, later rebuilt in 1781/2. The village consisted of only a few houses along Church Road until the late 1830s but in 1841 a larger parish church was needed for the growing population and the current church was built. The walled churchyard overlooks the Brent Valley and is part of the rural landscape of Brent Lodge Park, once owned by Hanwell Rector G H Glasse; the church lych gate is now the entrance to the park. Among the monuments in the churchyard are box tombs, a monument to Glasse's wife and daughter, and one gravestone dated 1707 by the west door.
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The name Hanwell probably derives from Anglo Saxon 'hana', a cock, and 'wielle' a stream and meaning a cock-frequented stream. Hanwell is mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 as an independent manor although it became a subsidiary of Greenford under the Abbot of Westminster. First mention of a Christian church here occurs in 958 AD and by 1100-1199 a small thatched church was built on the site although the village consisted of only a few houses along Church Road until the late 1830s. The medieval church was rebuilt in 1781/2 by Thomas Hardwick, a significant part of the cost contributed by the rector Samuel Glasse, who was also chaplain to George III. This classical brick building had a turret and cupola at the west end but, despite the addition of a gallery in 1823, by 1840 a larger parish church was needed for the growing population.
The current church was built in 1841/2, an early commission of Sir Gilbert Scott, working with W B Moffatt, a flint building with stone dressings and a tall spire that remains a highly visible landmark. In the tower a large clock probably from the C18th church was installed and remained in use until 1980. The area included large estates such as Hanwell Park and Hanwell Grove. Brent Lodge, which had been part of the Hanwell Park Estate until 1782, was acquired in 1795 by the then Rector George Henry Glasse, son of Samuel Glasse, having become Rector of Hanwell when his father resigned in 1785. A classical scholar and schoolmaster, Glasse built up his estate near the church. Development of the area accelerated when the Great Western Railway arrived in 1838 and Brunel built the Wharncliffe Viaduct; Hanwell Bridge extended the London road west over the Brent river. The building of the Central District School for poor-law children in 1856, among whose pupils was Charlie Chaplin, also brought more people to the area and by 1885 Hanwell was an urban district. In 1926 it amalgamated with the Borough of Ealing.
The walled churchyard overlooks the Brent Valley and is part of the rural landscape of Brent Lodge Park (q.v.). Among the monuments are box tombs, a neo-classical style monument commemorating G H Glasse's wife Hannah and daughter Anna (d.1802), and one gravestone dated 1707 outside the west door. The lych gate is now the entrance to Brent Lodge Park, the entrance to the railed churchyard now a simple gate with metal overthrow. There are roses and yews visible from Church Road, while to the north and running down the slope of the hill the burial ground extends in a more wooded area.
LB Ealing Conservation Area Appraisal (April 1999); Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed); Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); Peter Hounsell, 'Ealing and Hanwell Past' (Historical Publications, 1991)