Once a rural village, surrounded by farmland and orchards, Harlington's traditional appearance
survived until the 1950's. Today, it is predominantly a suburban area whose development has been heavily affected by the expansion of Heathrow Airport during the last sixty years. In contrast, amidst
the noise and bustle of the community to which it now ministers, the Parish Church of St. Peter and Paul, provides an oasis of unchanging calm for both worshipper and visitor
The earliest direct reference we have to Christian worship at Harlington is derived from the
Domesday Survey of 1086. It records the existence of a priest with a land holding of half a hide (approximately 50 acres). Whilst a few examples of Saxon stone churches exist, it is more likely that
any pre-Conquest church in Harlington would have been made from wood . As the flint and rubble construction of the present church, and others like it reveal, there was no local stone to be quarried
in Middlesex, leaving wood as the only realistic alternative.
Although the whole of England had nominally embraced Christianity by the 7th century, we do not
know when it first took root in Harlington or Herdintone, as the Domesday Survey refers to it. However, a passing reference to a place called Hygeredingtun, (the earliest known name for Harlington)
is in a royal document dated 831 A.D. This takes us back another 255 years to the reign of King Wiglaf of Mercia. The king granted Wulfred, the Archbishop of Canterbury, some land in the vicinity of
Hayes, whose westernmost border was Hygeredingtun. It is therefore not unreasonable to suppose that the presence of such an important ecclesiastical neighbour, would have hastened Harlington's
conversion to Christianity, if it had not happened already .