West Drayton

Another in the occasional series on “Far-Flung Lost London” …

Drayton in Hillingdon was first recorded in 939 as Draegtun, its name deriving from the Old English draeg, meaning portage, and tun, meaning estate (and presumably referring to the means by which loads had to be brought into the area across the surrounding low-lying marshy land of the Colne Valley). The suffix was added later so as to distinguish it from Drayton Green in Ealing.

Surviving manor-house gate-house

Surviving manor-house gate-house

In the Saxon period and through into the succeeding Medieval, the manor was owned by the Deans of St Paul’s.  In the post-Medieval, in 1546, the  manor was granted by Henry VIII to his Secretary of State, Sir William Paget (the gate-house of whose manor-house still survives).  The area remained at least semi-rural until the arrival of the Great Western railway in the nineteenth century,  and nearby Heathrow airport in the  twentieth.

Church of St Martin

The  church of St Martin was originally built here in at least as long ago as the late twelfth century, and was subsequently rebuilt in the early thirteenth, and again in the mid-fifteenth, and restored in the late twentieth.  Nothing now remains of the fabric of the original twelfth-century church, and essentially only the lower parts of the chancel and tower of the thirteenth-century one.  In the interior, the  oldest surviving memorial dates to the early fifteenth century (it commemorates one Richard Roos, Mercer, who died in 1406).  Later memorials date to the later fifteenth and sixteenth centuries (the font also to the later fifteenth).

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