Hanwell: A thriving town boasting history and family fun

Hanwell: A thriving town boasting history and family funOnce a quiet village on the western outskirts of London, Hanwell has grown into a thriving town thanks to small business start-ups and community activity.

It is situated between Ealing and Southall in the borough of Ealing, a highly popular part of the capital for families and workers who want easy commutes into the centre of the city.

History of the Uxbridge Road

One of the main thoroughfares in this part of London is the Uxbridge Road, the history of which can be traced as far back as the early 18th century. At that time, revenue from tolls made it possible for the road to be surfaced with all-weather compacted gravel.

The road attracted a high number of travellers, giving rise to a bustling network of inns including the Viaduct, the Duke of Wellington and the Duke of York. Over the decades, retailers sought to make the most of the busy trade along the road by opening shops between the inns.

Uxbridge Road can also boast of being the location from which Jim Marshall helped to design, build and sell the now iconic black Marshall amplifiers to music legends like Jimi Hendrix in the 1960s.

Today, the road is part of a busy route that stretches from London's western suburbs to locations like Shepherd's Bush near the city centre.

Transport

Hanwell is well served by transport infrastructure, with five National Rail stations within 2.5 miles of the centre of town: Hanwell, Southall, West Ealing, Drayton Green and Ealing Broadway. First Great Western services depart from these stations to London Paddington, Reading and Oxford, while Heathrow Connect provides trains to Heathrow Airport.

The nearest London Underground stations are Boston Manor and Northfields on the Piccadilly line, which provide direct connections to Central London.

For local travel, buses are probably the best public transport option. The bus network links Hanwell to Uxbridge, Hayes, Southall, Northolt, Wembley, Ealing and Chiswick, among other areas.

Places of interest

The many points of interest and attractions in and around Hanwell make it a popular option for families and people with a passion for local history, particularly of the religious variety.

Among the religious sites in the area is St Mary's, the local parish church, the current structure of which was built in 1941. It is one of the architect Sir George Gilbert Scott's early churches and symbolises his gothic revival style.

The church of St Thomas the Apostle on Boston Road is a grade II listed building, while St Mellitus also stands as a striking symbol of gothic architecture.

History enthusiasts will also be interested in visiting the Wharncliffe viaduct, Isambard Kingdom Brunel's first major structural design and the first contract let on the engineer's Great Western Railway.

The Hanwell flight of six locks, which has been recognised as an ancient monument by English Heritage, raises the Grand Union Canal by just over 53 feet. The location provided inspiration for the great painter JMW Turner, who lived in nearby Brentford.

Families living in Hanwell don't have to go far to reach Elthorne Park, which offers a children's playground and plenty of open space, as well as public tennis courts and a skate park.

Hanwell Carnival

The biggest event on the local calendar is Hanwell Carnival, which was established in 1898 and is thought to be the oldest celebration of its kind in London. It has also grown into the second largest carnival in London after Notting Hill.

Held on the third Saturday of June every year, the event was founded to raise money for the Cottage Hospital, now Ealing Hospital.

It offers plenty of fun activities and attractions for all ages, including a procession of floats from Hanwell Community Centre to Elthorne Park, dances and demonstrations by local groups, live music, children's rides and a beer tent.

Published 26th January, 2015

© 2015 Estates IT Limited

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Hanwell is a busy and popular town in the west London borough of Ealing.

Hanwell: A thriving town boasting history and family fun

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