The coaches coming along the Oxford Road would stop at the Old White Hart to ‘change or water’ the horses and, if necessary, make use of the Old Forge which stood on the corner of Southall Green Lane (now Fosters Corner). Up till 1756 there were only 56 houses in Northcote: there were three farmers with cottages; the Red Lion Hotel; some cottages opposite with a shop on the corner of Park View Road; the Market House and several small cottages; Minton House, where the shops are between Avenue and South Road; also, the Duchess of Marlborough had a large house built (Shepherds Haw) in grounds where Southall Park is now (more about this later). The Charter for Southall Market was granted by William III in 1698 to Mr Merrick. The site was 2.03 acres. The rates on Market and Market House in 1821 were £1.2.8d (£1.13p). In 1821 William Welsh acquired the lease of the land from the Earl of Jersey and remodelled it at a cost of £1,300. The market became famous throughout the West of England and, when the railway came, animals used to be unloaded from trucks and driven to the market.
Wednesday was Market Day and Wednesday became the official half day closing for shops. This, of course, still applies, but today a lot of our new traders seem to ignore it. Right from a very early age I can remember going through the back entrance, which was in Boyd Avenue, and watching the cattle in the pens being auctioned, and later, some being taken to `Jiggens’ Slaughter House.
Although we are following the development of Southall, the Manor of Norwood has always been closely connected. In the twelfth century a chapel was established which was attached to the Parish Church of Hesa (Hayes). Largely by the help of Archbishop Chicheley the church was built in 1439. Outer walls are of flint, and it became the Mother Church of the Precinct of Norwood, which included Southall Green. The porch is fifteenth century, and restorations took place in 1824, 1864, 1896. The wooden belfry has been removed and the small Breck and Flint Western Tower erected. Seating — 280 ; Registers — Baptism 1654, Marriages 1655, Burials 1659. The font —octangular was large enough for total immersion, and is still in use. The belfry contained six bells originally. The churchyard closed for burials in 1883, after which time only those with vaults or brick tombs allowed. Norwood did not become a Parish until 1859.
Maybe the Great Plague, 1665, and Fire, 1666, had some influence on the fact that several well-known London families had houses built on the outskirts, several at Norwood. Norwood Hall was built and occupied by Elisha Bisco in 1765. In 1767 he founded Bisco School and in 1772 he gave a large sum of money to educate 30 boys belonging to the Parishes of Norwood and Heston. The only condition being that they be of honest parents and have a pair of boots. The school was established on the left hand side of Tentelow Lane, about 100 yards from the church. Each year tenders were invited for the supply of clothing and victuals.
Later, Norwood Hall became the residence of Major Unwin and, at the present time, is the Middlesex Horticultural College. Elisha Bisco was a great benefactor of Norwood Church and contributed generously towards building the Old Rectory, which was eventually destroyed by a flying bomb in the June of 1944, Second World War.