The market town of Uxbridge, in the county of Middlesex, is located in the west of London in what is now the London Borough of Hillingdon. The name Uxbridge derives from the name of the Saxon Wuxen tribe, whose territory was bounded by the River Colne, which now forms the boundary between Uxbridge and Buckinghamshire.
Although Uxbridge was not mentioned in the Domesday Book, by the end of the 12th century Uxbridge was given permission to hold a market every Thursday. By the mid-13th century Uxbridge had become large and prosperous enough to build a chapel dedicated to St Margaret. Over time this chapel was extended and enlarged to become the church that can still be seen at the top of Windsor Street. The associated burial ground can be seen at the bottom of Windsor Street, although it is no longer a burial ground but remains a grassed area where a war memorial now stands.
The market was the main source of prosperity for Uxbridge resulting in the building of a market house. This was rebuilt nearby in 1561 and again in 1788 by the building that still stands at the top of Windsor Street.
During the English Civil War, Uxbridge was an important garrison for Parliamentary Troops and was the site for an attempted peace negotiation, which took place in what is now the Crown and Treaty Pub.
Uxbridge continued to prosper, both from the market and from coaching trade which resulted in many inns, alehouses and breweries opening to cater for them. However in the 19th century the agricultural market declined and was replaced by industry; the coaching trade declined after the opening of the railway station at West Drayton.
Rapid change came to Uxbridge in the 20th century when the Metropolitan line was extended to Uxbridge, with the existing station being opened in 1938. Many houses were built between the two world wars. Uxbridge also had an RAF base which was home to No 11 group RAF Fighter Commander during the Battle of Britain.
Much of old Uxbridge town centre was modernised in the 1960's and 1970's, with the first of two shopping centres opening at this time. Uxbridge now houses the main European offices of several international companies plus many other major employers. Brunel University is located on the outskirts of the town.
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