Another in the occasional series on “Far-Flung Lost London” (for further details of which, the reader is referred to Nick Barratt’s “Greater London”, newly available in paperback) …
Greenford was first recorded, as Grenan forda, in the ninth century, in an Anglo-Saxon charter of 845. It takes its name from the Old English grene, and ford, referring to a vegetated area around a ford over the River Brent. The manor was in the hands of Westminster Abbey from the time of the Norman Conquest in the eleventh century until that of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the sixteenth. It remained essentially rural until the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the arrival of the railway.
Church of Holy Cross
The old church of Holy Cross on Oldfield Lane is thought to have been founded in the twelfth century, around 1157. The oldest surviving parts of the present church, though, are thirteenth- to fourteenth- century, and the main body of it is late fifteenth- to early sixteenth- century, with some nineteenth-century modifications. There are a number of surviving fifteenth- to early seventeenth- century memorials and monuments in the church, alongside a font dating to 1637. There are also some interesting stained-glass windows acquired from King’s College, Cambridge and inserted in the nineteenth century, although dating to the fourteenth to sixteenth.
The neighbouring new church was built in 1943, to cater for the then rapidly growing population of local factory workers and commuters.