Botwell, Hillingdon

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

geograph-4720151-by-Des-Blenkinsopp - Botwell Green Leisure Centre

First record­ed in 831, Botwell was the site of a spring with sup­pos­ed­ly cura­tive prop­er­ties; ‘b?t’ 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)
* The picture of Botwell Green Leisure Centre on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Des Blenkinsopp, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is freely permitted under the terms of that licence.