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Hounslow is the principal town in the London Borough of Hounslow. It is a suburban development situated 10.6 miles (17 km) west south-west of Charing Cross. It forms a post town in the TW postcode area.

The origin of the name Hounslow is uncertain. It may derive from the Anglo-Saxon Honeslaw (meaning an area of land suitable for hunting), or from a name or description for a mound or hill associated with the pagan Hundi, of Anglo-Saxon times.

Positioned on the Great Western Road, Hounslow was centred around Holy Trinity Priory founded in 1211. The priory developed what had been a small village into a town with regular markets and other facilities for travellers heading to and from London. Although the priory was dissolved in 1539 the town remained an important staging post on the Great Western Road. The adjacent Hounslow Heath that had been used as a military encampment by both Oliver Cromwell and James II developed a reputation as the haunt of highwaymen and footpad.

The building of the Great Western Railway line from London to Bristol from 1838 seriously impacted travel along the Great Western Road. By 1842 the local paper was reporting that the ‘formerly flourishing village’, which used to stable 2,000 horses, was suffering a ‘general depreciation of property’.

The construction of the Great West Road in the 1920s gave the town a new lease of life as an industrial area. These factories were the town’s primary employer until their decline in the 1970s. In the next two decades offices replaced factories and Hounslow expanded to what it is now.

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