ARCHIVES OF THE MINET ESTATE, HAYES, MIDDLESEX.
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.
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.
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.