1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hounslow

HOUNSLOW, a town in the Brentford parliamentary division of Middlesex, England, 121/2 m. W. by S. of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, on the District and London & South Western railways. Pop. (1901) 11,377. It has grown into an extensive residential suburb of London. Its situation at the junction of two great roads from the west of England made it an important coaching station, and some 500 coaches formerly passed through it daily. A priory of friars of the Holy Trinity was founded at Hounslow in 1296, and existed till the dissolution of the monasteries. The priory chapel was used as a church till 1830, after which its place was taken by the existing church of the Holy Trinity (1835). Hounslow Heath, west of the town, had, according to the survey of 1546, an area of 4293 acres. It was the site of Roman and British camps, and in the wars of the 17th century was the scene of several important military rendezvous. It was a favourite resort of highwaymen, whose bodies were exposed on gibbets along the road. In 1784 the base-line of the first trigonometrical survey in England was laid down on the heath. In 1793 large cavalry barracks were erected upon it, and it is also the site of extensive powder mills. It began to be enclosed towards the end of the reign of George III. In Osterley Park, N.E. of Hounslow, Sir Thomas Gresham built a mansion in 1577, and this was rebuilt with great magnificence by Francis and Robert Child c. 1770. Hounslow is divided between the parishes of Heston and Isleworth. Pop. of urban district of Heston and Isleworth (1901) 30,863.