Catalogue description THE MINET COLLECTION

This record is held by Hillingdon Local Studies, Archives and Museums Service

Details of DR/MIN
Reference: DR/MIN



Research potential


This large collection contains material that spans some of the most important periods in the history of Hayes. The research potential within these documents is enormous. The major topics which may be of interest can be summarised as follows;




The large group of title deeds and leases give a very great deal of information on the topography of Hayes between 1709 and 1965. Plans of the estate at various dates between 1767 and 1963 are invaluable source for charting changes over time; used in conjunction with the surveys of the property details of land use can be obtained. Plans of the land purchased from the Grand Junction Canal Co. Show the strips in the open fields which are not recorded anywhere else. One of the most useful documents is the Enclosure map and award of 1815 which details the whole parish, not just the Minet property. Material produced to sell the 1930's housing developments; brochures and articles, provide and invaluable picture of the development of the housing estates.




The earliest plan is of Hayes Court Farm in 1790. Most of the maps are of nineteenth and twentieth century date but are still useful to show the different mapmaking techniques used for different purposes such as development plans, Ordnance Survey or maps to show ownership of various properties.




The title deeds, leases surveys and maps are all an invaluable source for the place-names of Hayes. Many of the field names are only recorded within these documents. Names of houses and roads which have changed over time are also recorded here.




This collection is particularly valuable for studying both the domestic and industrial architecture of the 1930's, 40's and 50's. There are plans and specifications for individual buildings of all types, including such details as airing cupboards, coal bins and 'For Sale' boards. Non-domestic buildings include schools, sports pavilion, factories of several types and an industrial bakery. Sales brochures include photographs not only of the exteriors but also some interiors, both of houses and factories.


Urban development


All the material in the collection which dates from after 1900 is an invaluable record of the urban development of Hayes. There are records of building housing and industrial estates in title deeds, plans and maps, correspondence, photographs and printed material. The change of use from agriculture to industry is recorded in the title deeds and leases. The change of use when houses were converted to retail use is recorded in leases as is the change in status in some buildings; for example "Whitehall", a large villa, is converted into flats in 1925. Plans of sewerage, drainage, electricity and telephone cables record the growth of these utilities.




The main industry recorded in this collection is brickmaking. Leases and correspondence concerning Hayes Bridge Farm from 1881 to 1961 give exhaustive details on the working of the brickfields, including summaries of the numbers of bricks made. Other industries such as Victoria Sawmills, Chibnalls Bakery, Guys Calculating Machines, R. Woolf rubber works and many others are recorded in the leases, maps and plans.




There is only incidental information on the history of transport. The Acts of Parliament for the Grand Junction Canal (1793, 1794, 1795, 1801) and Great Western Railway (1835) are included as are deeds of sale, with plans, to these bodies, but there is no information on their organisation or administration.


Family history


Little information on the Minet family itself can be gathered from these documents. However, there is much material on many other families included with the title deeds. The earliest document in the collection is a marriage settlement of 1699. Other family records include wills, birth, marriage and death certificates. Many of the abstracts of title, included with the title deeds, provide much family information.


There are many other topics which are not represented within the Minet Estate archives. There is virtually no personal information in diaries, correspondence or household records. Only some very minor accounting records have survived. The only military record is a building plan for an ARP post in 1940. Thus the major strength of the Minet Estate archives is the topography and urban development of Hayes, including twentieth century domestic and industrial architecture.

Date: 1699-1969

On receipt the collection was arranged in two sequences. At one time the early deeds, sales details and plans were classified with an alphabetical code and number. The reasoning behind this numbering system has been lost. The remaining material was a random assortment of individual bundles and files. Fortunately the material already numbered mostly conformed to the arrangement recommended by White et al, and it was possible to arrange the remaining material according to their principles without disturbing the integrity of the bundles. The original arrangement for the material numbered with the prefixes K - R has been kept even though there are individual items which do not necessarily fit into the classification scheme. Cross references to this material are made at the appropriate place in the schedule; for example surveys of the property at different dates are included within the list of title deeds.


The large maps and plans arrived in several large bundles with no discernible arrangement. After some consideration these have been arranged to follow the arrangement of the documents: i.e.. plans of individual properties; general surveys of the estate; plans relating to financial matters such as land liable to corn rent; development plans for houses and factories; improvement plans for enclosure, drainage and town planning; canal and railway plans. As these were divorced from their original documents it was not felt appropriate to rejoin them, this has been achieved by cross referencing and indexing.

Held by: Hillingdon Local Studies, Archives and Museums Service, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Minet family of Hayes, Middlesex

Physical description: 81 series
Custodial history:

The Minet Estate Archives were deposited with Hillingdon Heritage Service in 1988 by the Minet Estate Office. At this time the estate office split the archives of their Hayes and Camberwell properties between the two relevant archive offices; Hillingdon and Lambeth. As the two estates were administered as separate properties by the office this was not unwarrantable.

Administrative / biographical background:



The properties in Hayes, Middlesex, acquired piecemeal by the Minet family were collectively known as the Minet Estate. The Minets were a French Huguenot family who came to England after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1686. Isaac Minet (1666-1745) came to England as a young man and married another French refugee in London. He became a successful businessman and had a large family. John Minet (1695-1771) was his second son. He married Alice Hughes in 1724 and became the Rector of Eythorne, Kent. Isaac's youngest son, William (1703-1767) bought Hayes Court Farm in September 1766, but died before the sale was completed. The sale was completed by his brother and heir, the Rev. John Minet. On the death of John Minet in 1774 the property in Hayes was inherited jointly by the cousins Hughes (1731-1813) and Daniel (1729-1790). Hughes then set about acquiring his cousins' share and then increasing the estate to 501 acres. He also acquired property in Kent and Camberwell.


Hayes was then a small agricultural village. The building of the Grand Junction Canal in 1796 and the Paddington Arm in 1805 lead to a growth in the exploitation of brickearth in the parish. The Minets took advantage of this industrial development. The property was inherited by Hughes second son, John Lewis Minet (1766-1827) who continued to increase his holdings. On his death in 1827 the Hayes properties were left to his nephew Charles (1803-1874), who lived at Brasted, Kent. He administered the estate with the help of his brother, James Lewis Minet (1807-1885), who inherited in 1874. On the death of James Lewis in 1885 the properties in Hayes and Camberwell were left to his son William (1851-1933) who left them on his death to his daughter Susan (1884-1976). By this time the estate was administered, along with the Camberwell properties, from the Minet Estate Office in Brixton. On her death in 1976 the properties were inherited by a distant cousin, Peter Briffault Minet, who died in 1992. The remaining properties are now run by a charitable trust, the Minet Trust.


At its height the Minet Estate comprised a very large portion of the eastern side of the parish of Hayes. The properties comprising the estate included Hayes Court Farm, Coldharbour Farm, Hayes Bridge Farm, East Acton Brickworks, Victoria Sawmills, Wistowe, Porch House, Townfield and the Grange.


From 1766 until the end of the nineteenth century the Minets were almost solely interested in acquiring property. This consisted of agricultural farmland or individual houses in Hayes village. These properties were all leased out, often for considerable periods of time; for example the Newman family leased Hayes Court Farm from 1827 to 1903. William Minet reversed this policy. From the beginning of the twentieth century he began to dispose of property. At first it was only small parcels of land, but from 1930 large parts of the estate were sold for development. One large area was reserved for industrial use, the rest was residential. Residential plots were either sold in bulk to a developer, such as the local firm of Scott and Speedie, or to individual purchasers. All buildings erected on these sites had to be approved of by the Minets. Susan Minet took a very active interest in the residential developments, even going so far as to specify how many washbasins there should be of the size of an airing cupboard. She did not like the 1930's fashion for mock Tudor timbering so none can be seen on any of the houses built on the Minet Estate. By 1964 the bulk of the estate had been sold. The Estate still retains some residential properties which are leased out.

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