Description and History from 1868 Gazetteer
UXBRIDGE, a parish, market town, and ancient municipal borough in the hundred of Elthorne, county Middlesex, 15 miles N. W. of London.
It is the terminus of a short branch line of the Great Western railway. It is a flourishing town on the south-western declivity of a range of hills, and extends down to the Colne, which divides Middlesex from Bucks, and is crossed by a brick bridge of five arches. It was originally founded by Alfred the Great, and formed part of Culham till 1669. During the civil war it became famous as the place where the commissioners of Charles and the Parliament met to consider the terms of a treaty, which however they could not agree upon, in 1645. It was occupied by Cromwell in 1647. The town consists mainly of one long street of well-built houses, some of which are ancient, and of several out-lying hamlets or suburbs. The streets are clean and well-lighted, and the shops have a thriving appearance. The principal buildings are the market-house, on pillars, 140 feet by 49 feet; the public rooms in London-street, where the county court is held monthly; the old bank, and the commercial branch bank, and two bridges. This place derives much of its importance from its numerous and extensive wharves, which facilitate the trade in corn, foreign timber, coals, slate, and other heavy commodities for the supply of West Middlesex and Bucks. There are extensive corn-mills, oil-mills, an iron foundry, four breweries, parchment works, several agricultural-implement factories, besides window, chair, and brick makers. It is the place of residence for many genteel families, provisions being abundant, with excellent fishing and shooting in the neighbourhood. The royal staghounds meet here. The population in 1851 was 3,236, and in 1861, 3,815. It was formerly governed by two constables and four headboroughs, but is now under a local board of health, and under the Public Health Amendment Act is divided into two wards, the old borough being known as the In ward, and the populous suburbs, the Out ward. It is a polling-place for the western division of the county, a petty sessions town, and head of an excise collection district. Uxbridge also gives name to a Poor-law Union comprising 10 parishes, though the poorhouse is situated at Hillingdon, and to a deanery in the diocese of London. The livings of the three ecclesiastical districts-viz:, St. Margaret's in the In ward, and St. John's in the Out ward, or Uxbridge Moor, and the new district of St. Andrews, are perpetual curacies,* the first value £82, the second £100, and the third about £200. The church of St. Margaret was built about the middle of the 15th century, and had formerly a chantry founded by Shiryngton. It contains an old font and the effigies of Dame Leonora Bennet, who once resided in the Treaty House, where Cromwell had his head-quarters, but which is now converted into the "Crown Inn." The local charities produce about £850 per annum, including £600 belonging to the "borough," and £100 being Townshend's bequest for the maintenance of a lecturer. There are a National school, a British school, and an infant school, and a school of industry. The principal residences are Hillingdon House, the seat of H. R. Cox, Esq., and Hillingdon Court, the seat of C. Mills, Esq. Market days are Thursday and Saturday. Fairs are held on 25th March, 31st July, 29th September, and 11th October, the two last being statute fairs.
[Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of
Great Britain and Ireland" (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
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[Last updated on 9 Oct 2003 by David Hawgood. ©2003]