In 1982 with all the modern day trappings — electricity, gas, transport, wireless, motorways, etc. — it requires a very vivid imagination to go back in time to 5000 BC when almost the whole of Middlesex was covered with trees, scrub and bush land, and wild boar and other wild animals were hunted. Evidence of Stone Age human activity in the area came to light in the year 1887 when excavations were being made for a drainage scheme in Norwood Lane (now Tentelow Lane). The workmen unearthed some bones of a mammoth, against which they found a flint spear head. Some other flint implements were also found.
The Bronze Age is well represented by the findings of two collections of vessels, weapons and implements, moulds and ingots of bronze which would be from a founder’s workshop. These finds were made at North Hyde and are now in the British Museum.
The first recorded reference to the area was in a Will made by a certain priest named Werhard in the year AD 830.In his Will Werhard left considerable land in Hayes and Norwood to his next of kin, Archbishop Wulfred of Canterbury. Thus did the Manors of Norwood and Southall come under the Church of Canterbury. So we find that the Lords of the Manor were, in fact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and included such illustrious names as:
Lanfranc (1070-1093) who was friend and adviser to William the Conqueror
Thomas a Becket (1162-1170)
Stephen Langton (1207-1228) of Magna Carta fame
Henry Chicheley (1414-1443) who did so much for St Mary’s, Norwood Green
Thomas Cranmer (1533-1545) of Henry VIII’s reign
This also gave control of the churches to Canterbury.
It is thought that the Priest Werhard resided in Hayes or Hesa (as it was then known).
For the purpose of the Domesday Survey in 1086 Norwood was included in Hayes. (Summarised, it stated that Archbishop Lanfranc holds Hesa (Hayes) for 59 Hides, there is land for Forty Ploughs. It also quotes a priest has one Hide (this is an area of land) and three Knights, six and a half Hides. It concludes ‘with all its profits it is worth £30’. Archbishop Stigand held the Manor.