Hayes (Hillingdon, Middlesex)

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

Hayes was first recorded in  an Anglo-Saxon charter of 831 as Haese, from an Old English word  meaning “heath-land”.  It was a small village for most of its history, only beginning to become  suburbanised after the coming of the Grand Junction Canal in the late eighteenth century and the Great Western Railway in the mid-nineteenth.  It is now administratively part of the Urban District of Hayes and Harlington in the London Borough of Hillingdon.

Church of St Mary

The original church of St Mary was probably built here sometime in the Saxon period, being mentioned in the Norman Domesday Book of 1086.  The present church was built in the early Medieval period, in the twelfth or thirteenth century (*); and extended in the late Medieval, in the fifteenth century, when the north aisle and tower were added; and again in the post-Medieval, in the sixteenth century, when the  south aisle, south porch and lych-gate were added.

St Christopher mural - Copy

In the nave, the font,  mural of St Christopher, piscina and sedilia survive from the Medieval period.

Lellee memorial - Copy

There are also some surviving Medieval to post-Medieval memorials: to Robert Lellee, Rector (who died sometime between 1356 and 1375); Robert Burgeys, Rector (d. 1421); Walter Grene, a “Controller of Tonnage and Poundage” in the Port of London, a Justice of the Peace and a Member of Parliament  (d. 1456); Thomas Higate (d. 1579); Sir Edward Fenner, a Judge of the King’s Bench (d. 1611); and Veare Jenyns (d. 1644).  In the churchyard is the surviving grave of Richard Bixey (d. 1660).

In 1534, Henry Gold, the “Vicar of Hayes”, an accomplice of the traitress Elizabeth Barton (the “Holy Maid of Kent”), was executed alongside her  at Tyburn.  And in 1650, Patrick Young, Rector, was ejected from his post, for refusing to follow the rule of the Independents during the Civil War.

(*) Sources differ.  Note, though, that the first record of a Rector is from 1259.

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