Thursday, 15 November 2012

Is Heathrow Airport responsible for a Chancel?

Middlesex Parishes

There are a number of Middlesex parishes near Heathrow airport which have had Lay Rectors and also enclosures  acts with traceable enclosure plans.  These include Enfield, West Drayton, Ashford and Harmonsworth (full list here). I have looked up all these parishes on the internet and according to British Online History '369 acres in lieu of tithes were awarded to George Byng, the impropriate rector' of Harmondsworth.

Where is this land now?

Well according to wikipedia ' Much land in Heathrow Field which later belonged to Heathrow Hall was assigned to "George Byng,", some as landowner, some in lieu of rights to tithe'.  It is the owner of the land in lieu of tithe that has chancel repair liability. Heathrow Hall was demolished in 1944 and the rural common land has gone so those 369 acres probably now have an airport on top of it. Almost certainly BAA  is the Lay Rector of Harmondsworth and personally and severally liable for the chancel but I don't think BAA will be worrying about the money or the loss of value of their property.

Questions, Questions.

Well does BAA know this? Has this liability been compounded in the distant past? What is the church doing about protecting their rights? Does the church think that registering the liability will compromise their charitable objectives?


There is little doubt in my mind that this is true but there is only one way of being certain and that is view the Award and Plan at the London Metropolitan archives reference MR/DE/HARM/1/1-2.

1 comment:

  1. Apparently there is another copy of the award with the archives of London Borough of Hillingdon.