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St. Mary's, Hayes

The earliest evidence of settlement in Hayes dates back to the eighth century, when various kings of the ancient realm of Mercia awarded ‘Geddinges’ (Yeading), ‘Haese’ (Hayes) and ‘Botewaelle’ (Botwell) as gifts to nobles. Historically, Hayes has comprised five distinct hamlets: Yeading, Botwell, Hayes End, Wood End, and Hayes Village (formerly known as ‘Cotman’s Town’).

Hayes has been the home of some high-profile individuals over the years. Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk and uncle to two of Henry VIII’s wives – Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard – lived there in the early 1500s, and John Heath, a judge in criminal trials in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, renowned for his harsh

sentencing and enthusiasm for capital punishment, also lived in the parish. Heath is buried in the grounds of St. Mary’s church, and commemorated in the modern settlement by Judge Heath Lane.

Some notable historic public houses in Hayes continued to exist until very recently: pubs have existed on the site of the current incarnation of the Adam and Eve since 1665, and the Angel since 1748.

Like many of its neighbouring parishes, Hayes’ economy remained almost exclusively agrarian until the nineteenth century. The first heavy industry to appear in Hayes was brick-making: the parish’s first brickfield was recorded in Yeading in 1824, and within the next three years, a further four brickfields were opened in Hayes, several of which were owned by the Shackle family. The emergence of the brickfields contributed to the expansion of housing in the parish, as cottages were built on the grounds adjoining the brickfields to house the brickfield labourers and their families.

Hayes changed most dramatically, however, in the early twentieth century, with the construction of several factories. The first large factory to be built in Hayes was that of the British Electric Transformer Co., which moved to new premises in Hayes in 1901. In 1907, the Gramophone Co., which later became EMI in 1931, opened a factory which became a major source of employment in the area.

The multitude of factories that opened in the pre-war period attracted people from far and wide, and instigated a demand for more housing in the area. In the interwar period, extensive development was undertaken in Botwell, which became the largest consumer and residential settlement in the parish.

Despite the development of Botwell, the appearance of more companies in the area, including Nestle and Kraft Cheese, meant that an acute housing shortage persisted until the end of the Second World War. A further, larger phase of house construction in the post-war period formed the basis of much of Hayes’ present condition.

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