Much of the heart of modern Hayes was once called Botwell and the old identity is still visible in the names of roads, community facilities and the local ward
First recorded in 831, Botwell was the site of a spring with supposedly curative properties; ‘bōt’ was an Old English word for ‘remedy’.
Botwell was still a quiet farming village when the Grand Junction (now Grand Union) Canal crossed the south-west corner of the district in the mid-1790s. A few substantial houses were erected on Botwell Lane in the early 19th century but economic activity had only progressed as far as brick-making when the Great Western Railway arrived in 1838.
A station opened in 1864 and the decision to omit Botwell from its name ultimately consigned the old village identity to history.
Factories were built and houses and shops for their workers followed and what was by then called Hayes Town was fully built up by the outbreak of the Second World War.
Wetherspoon’s Botwell Inn opened on Coldharbour Lane in 2000, occupying the former premises of the furnishers S Moore & Son.
Botwell Green is a six-acre open space and the site of a community leisure centre that opened in 2010 and is shown in the photo above.
The oldest part of Botwell is now designated a conservation area.
Now half of Hayes & Yeading, Hayes FC was founded in 1909 when Eileen Shackle, the teenage daughter of a wealthy land agent, encouraged local youngsters to form a football team. From its foundation until 1929, the club was called Botwell Mission, after the mission church that had been built in memory of Eileen’s grandfather.
Postcode area: Hayes UB3
Population: 15,034 (2011 census)
Station: Heathrow Connect and First Great Western local services (Hayes and Harlington, zone 5)