Norwood Green

Norwood Green, Ealing

The ‘nice’ part of Southall, according to some, situated to the north-west of Osterley Park

Hidden London: The Plough Inn at Norwood Green by Maxwell Hamilton

Orig­i­nal­ly just called Nor­wood, it was first men­tioned in a will of 832, which bequeathed the manor to the Arch­bish­op of Can­ter­bury.

St Mary’s church is of Nor­man ori­gin and was rebuilt in the mid-14th cen­tu­ry, when the Plough Inn was estab­lished to serve labour­ers work­ing on the project.

The Plough was rebuilt in the 17th cen­tu­ry and has since been altered in var­i­ous ways. Sev­er­al hand­some vil­las were erect­ed in the late 18th and ear­ly 19th cen­turies, most of which were lost to sub­ur­ban devel­op­ment.

Shown in the pho­to below, Fri­ars Lawn and the Grange are a pair of late-18th-cen­tu­ry hous­es fac­ing the green.

Hidden London: Friars Lawn and the Grange, with daffodils

The local­i­ty’s finest sur­vivor is Sir John Soane’s Nor­wood Hall, which he designed for a friend in 1803, in a sim­i­lar style to his own Pit­shang­er Manor. The house, which has orig­i­nal Soane draw­ings and a large walled gar­den, was mod­i­fied and extend­ed by the Unwin fam­i­ly in the late 19th cen­tu­ry.

Ear­ly in the 1920s the Unwins sold off much of Nor­wood Hall’s land to the builders War­ren and Wood. Their estate’s streets are named after places in Dorset, Warren’s home coun­ty.

Nor­wood Hall itself and its remain­ing 19 acres of gar­dens were acquired by Mid­dle­sex coun­ty coun­cil and con­vert­ed to a hor­ti­cul­tur­al col­lege.

The for­ma­tion of the bor­ough of Southall-Nor­wood in 1935 echoed the phys­i­cal con­ver­gence of the two set­tle­ments on the for­mer brick­fields between the rail­way line and the Grand Union Canal. A large part of Nor­wood Green was made a con­ser­va­tion area in 1969.

In 2009 Nor­wood Hall was acquired by the Sri Guru Singh Sab­ha Southall, a Sikh faith insti­tu­tion. Sikhism has more adher­ents than any oth­er reli­gion in Nor­wood Green.

In his poignant autobiography The Scent of Dried Roses, Tim Lott depicts the suburban aura of Norwood Green in the 1960s. “The neat houses are decked out with a jumble of modest details of dreamed life – a caravan or boat in the front yard, a cartwheel on the wall, carriage lamps at the entrances.”

Postcode area: Southall, UB2
Population: 14,032 (2011 census)
Further reading: Alan D Sabey (editor), Norwood Green in the Year 2000, Norwood Green Residents’ Association, 2000
* The picture of the Plough Inn at the top of this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Maxwell Hamilton, at Wikimedia Commons (originally at Panoramio), made available under the Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence. Any subsequent reuse is freely permitted under the terms of that licence.