infobox UK place
country = England
map_type = Greater London
region= London
official_name= Heston
latitude= 51.4852
longitude= -0.3788
os_grid_reference= TQ125775
post_town= HOUNSLOW
postcode_area= TW
postcode_district= TW5
london_borough= Hounslow
constituency_westminster= Feltham and Heston

Heston is a place in the London Borough of Hounslow, West London. It is a suburban development area based on a former farming village convert|10.8|mi|km|1 west south-west of Charing Cross.

Heston is perhaps most widely known as the location of the Heston service area on the M4 motorway and for air cargo handling facilities.

Heston Community School caters for the majority of children in the area. Other infant and junior schools include Springwell Junior school and The Rosary RC Junior School.


The village of Heston lies to the north of Hounslow and has been settled since Saxon times. A charter of Henry II gives the name as Hestune, meaning “enclosed settlement, which its location in what was the Warren of Staines, between the ancient Roman road to Bath, and the Uxbridge Road to Oxford, justifies.

Prior to 1229 Heston was part of the parish of Gistleworth (Isleworth) before being taken by Henry III, who subsequently granted it to the Earl of Cornwall. Following his death in 1316, Heston was owned by the Crown, and later to the wardens of St Giles Hospital prior to being surrendered to Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Elizabeth I granted Heston to Sir Thomas Gresham, and after eating some bread made from locally grown wheat, insisted on a supply for her own personal use.

The separation from Isleworth in the 14th century gave the locals a sense of independence from their southern neighbours with whom they frequently quarrelled. The practice of “beating the bounds” was practised annually when the inhabitants went in procession around the parish boundaries to show locals the extent of their lands. A contemporary account of such a procession describes an occasion where the parishioners of Heston came across some from Isleworth and the ensuing “quarrel” saw men from Heston trying to throw the others across a ditch.

St Leonard’s Church (COE) dates from the 14th century, though there are records of a priest in Heston in the Seventh century. The church tower survived the necessary rebuilding works in the 19th century, as did the lychgate. The grave of Private Frederick John White, who was flogged to death at Hounslow Barracks in 1846, can be found in the graveyard. The outcry at the manner of his death brought about a reduction in the maximum number of lashings that could be given as punishment, and eventually the banning of the practice altogether.

Our Lady Queen of Apostles is the Catholic Church in the area, built in the 20th century, it is smaller than St Leonard's though has a larger congregation and is popular among families who send their children to the local Rosary RC Junior School.Notably, all the altar-servers from Our Lady Queen of Apostles are specially chosen from the Rosary RC Junior School by the parish priest.As of 2006 with the replacement of the Parish Priest Father Michael Tuck; for the first time in the parish's history females may be chosen to be altar-servers.

The Great West Road was completed in 1925 and the farming and market gardens around the village were snapped up for housing developments, changing the village beyond recognition.

In 1929 Heston Aerodrome opened for private flying and nine years later the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, landed there after signing the infamous Munich Agreement with Adolf Hitler. He is famously photographed holding up his “piece of paper”, which was meant to bring “peace in our time”.

Four years earlier on August 9, 1934 the first flight from inland Canada (Wasaga Beach in Ontario) landed at Heston. The pilots, Ayling and Reid, in their Dehavilland Dragon 84 "Trail of the Caribou" were attempting to beat the then long distance flying record of 5657 miles by flying to Baghdad from Wasaga Beach a distance of 6,300 miles. They were unsuccessful when icing caused the throttles of their motors to remain open and hence increase their fuel consumption to such an extent that they could not hope to achieve their goal. However, their flight presaged the thousands of flights taken on the "Air Bridge to Europe" during World War II.

The airfield has long been closed and in its place there are commercial and industrial buildings, including the Parkway and Parkway West facilities. Opposite these, on the other side of Cranford Lane, lies the Brabazon Estate, a housing estate where road names honour pilots and aircraft of the past such as Sopwith Road (the Sopwith Camel), Wright Road (the Wright Brothers), Bleriot Road (Louis Bleriot), Cobham Road (Sir Alan Cobham) and Brabazon Road (Lord Brabazon of Tara).

Notable Residents

* Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin.
* Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple.
* Ricoh Gill of Cast The Bones.

Transport and locale

Nearest places

* Osterley
* Norwood Green
* Southall
* Harlington
* Hounslow
* Isleworth

Nearest tube station

* Hounslow West tube station
* Osterley tube station

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