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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 DRO/078
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1696-1952
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1.98 linear metres (46 documents).
Name of creator(s): Parish of St Matthew, Ashford | Church of England


Administrative/Biographical history:

Until the mid 19th Century, Ashford, like Laleham, was a chapelry of Staines. Ashford Church was served by a curate appointed by the Vicar of Staines. In 1860 Asford became a perpetual curacy in the gift of the Lord Chancellor and in 1865 it bacame a vicarage. Ashford Church was at one time dedicated to St. Michael. In 1796 the church was pulled down and replaced by a brick built church on the same site. The present church of St Matthew's, designed by Butterfield, was built in 1857-59 immediately adjacent to the 1796 church which was demolished on the completion of the new church.

In 1872 the West London District Schools opened in Ashford. These were poor law schools which accommodated 800 children from Fulham, Hammersmith, Paddington and some of the Westminster parishes. The school was taken over by the London County Council in 1930 and was renamed Ashford Residential School. It closed in 1955.

The Victoria County History of Middlesex volume II (published in 1911) described late Victorian Ashford as being almost completely rural. 'Now ..... an entirely new town has arisen about the station to accommodate a population of the artisan class. To the east of the older part of the town is a group of private houses standing in their own gardens'. A new church, St. Hilda's was built in 1913 on the corner of Stanwell Road and Woodthorpe Road to serve the population living near the station. It was completed and consecrated in 1928, was assigned a conventional district and eventually in c. 1973 became a separate parish. The mission church of St Benedict in Napier Road provided for the rapidly growing district of Ashford Common to the south-east of the parish. St Hilda's is a daughter church of St Matthew, Ashford situated at the corner of Stanwell Road and Woodthorpe Road. A church hall was built on the site initially, followed by the first portion of the church in 1913. St Hilda's was completed and consecrated in 1928. It was licensed for marriages in 1939 and assigned a conventional district. It is now a separate parish.

St Benedict's mission church: A mission church had been established at Ashford Common by 1911 to serve the rapidly growing population. In 1930 a site was acquired for a permanent church in Napier Road. In 1936 a curate was placed in charge of the church. On 1 May 1940 St Benedict's ceased to be part of Ashford Parish and was handed over to the Vicar of St Saviour, Upper Sunbury.

See A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 2: General; Ashford, East Bedfont with Hatton, Feltham, Hampton with Hampton Wick, Hanworth, Laleham, Littleton (1911).


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the parish of Saint Matthew, Ashford, including registers of baptisms, marriages, burials, confirmations, banns of marriage, and church services; Preachers' books; papers relating to parish boundaries and transfers; papers relating to tithes; Churchwardens' accounts; papers relating to parish charities; maps of the parish. Also architects' drawings and plans for Saint Matthew's Church, Saint Matthew's Churchyard and Saint Hilda's Church; and correspondence and Vestry minutes for Saint Benedict's Mission Church.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

DRO/078/001-015: Parish Registers; DRO/078/016-040: Parish Administration.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright for these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Parish records of St Matthew, Ashford, deposited by the Vicar, 28 March 1989.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For Ashford poor rates see the account books of Staines Overseers of the Poor 1699-1754 (DRO/002/E/02/001-002).

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
March to April 2010.

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