An industrial and residential area in east Greenford, bounded by the River Brent and the Paddington branch of the Grand Union Canal
Perivale was originally Greenford Parva, or Little Greenford, and the name may be a corruption of Parva. Alternatively it may derive from ‘pure vale’ or ‘pear vale’. Stories have been told of a sequence of mysterious deaths at the medieval Perivale Mill but there is little documentary evidence even for the mill’s existence.
Perivale’s grade I listed church of St Mary the Virgin is one of the quaintest and oldest churches in Middlesex, with its various parts dating from most centuries since the twelfth. The church closed for regular worship in 1972 and is now cared for by a group of volunteers who organise chamber and instrumental concerts here.
The manor of Perivale evolved in the late Middle Ages, with links to the Mercers’ Company of the City of London.
The manor house was demolished by 1850 and Perivale remained very quiet into the early years of the 20th century. The station opened in 1904 but the village still had fewer than 100 inhabitants by the time of next census.
After 1930 the availability of open land and the coming of the Western Avenue brought manufacturers that included Sanderson’s (wallpaper) and Hoover (vacuum cleaners). Residential estates followed, notably Perivale Park, built to the west of the station by Cliffords Estates, who boasted of its 20 different styles of elevation.
Developments to the north of the industrial area included local shops on Bilton Road. By 1951 Perivale’s population had risen to almost 10,000.
Nowadays, 46 per cent of Perivale’s residents are white, and a quarter of those are Polish (Greenford is London’s Little Warsaw). Fifteen per cent of all residents are of Indian birth or descent. In most respects, Perivale’s socio-economic profile is representative of the borough as a whole, but a little more affluent.
Perivale Wood is ancient woodland formerly known as Braddish Wood, and privately owned by the Selborne Society. This is the second oldest nature reserve in the country but is only open to the public on occasional days.
Postal district: Greenford, UB6
Population: 15,339 (2011 census)
Station: Central line (zone 4)
Further reading: Frances Hounsell, Greenford, Northolt and Perivale Past, Historical Publications, 1999
See also: Horsenden Hill