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Ossulstone Hundred in Middlesex.svg
 • 1831 47,950 acres (194.0 km2)[1]
 • 1831 1,008,441
 • 1881 2,205,806
 • Created in antiquity
Status hundred
 • Type Divisions / liberties

Ossulstone was an ancient hundred in the south east of the county of Middlesex, England.[2] Its area has been entirely absorbed by the growth of London; and now corresponds to the seven London Boroughs of Inner London north of the Thames and, from Outer London, in decreasing order, parts of the London boroughs of Ealing, Brent, Barnet, Hounslow and Haringey dependent on ancient parish.


It was named after "Oswald's Stone" or "Oswulf's Stone", an unmarked pre-Roman minor monolith which stood at Tyburn (the modern-day junction of the Edgware Road with Bayswater Road). Oswald's Stone was earthed over in 1819, but dug up three years later because of its presumed historical significance. Later in the 19th century it was to be found leaning against Marble Arch following its move. In 1869 shortly after an archaeological journal published an article about it the stone disappeared and it has not been identified since.[3]

Originally meeting at Oswald's Stone, the hundred court eventually moved south-east to the vicinity of Holborn where by the 19th century it was being held in a property in the north east corner of Red Lion Square by that stage an outpost of the legal quarter of London close to Lincolns Inn[4]. Following the de facto end of hundreds as a judicial unit in the late 19th century, the building became the headquarters of Conway Hall Ethical Society.

One of six hundreds of Middlesex, it bordered Edmonton hundred to the north and Elthorne and Gore hundreds to west and north. It bordered the Becontree hundred of Essex to the east, and had a short boundary with Hertfordshire to the north. It had the Thames as the boundaries with the Blackheath Hundred of Kent to the southeast and those of Kingston, Brixton and Lambeth in Surrey. It did not include the City of London, which it surrounded to the west, north and east.[5] Additionally, Westminster formed an independent liberty[clarification needed].


In the 17th century the hundred was split into five divisions, which replaced the hundred for most administrative purposes. These were:[5]

Division Parishes
Kensington Kensington, St Luke Chelsea, Fulham, Hammersmith, Chiswick, Ealing, Acton
Holborn St Giles in the Fields and St. George's, Bloomsbury, St Andrew, Holborn and St George the Martyr, Saffron Hill, Hatton Garden, Ely Rents and Ely Place, liberty of the Rolls, St Pancras, St John, Hampstead, St Marylebone, Paddington, Savoy
Finsbury St Luke, Glasshouse Yard, St Sepulchre, Clerkenwell, St Mary Islington, St Mary Stoke Newington, The London Charterhouse, Finchley, Friern Barnet, Hornsey
Tower Hamlets St Mary Whitechapel, Christchurch Spitalfields, St Leonard Shoreditch, Hoxton, Norton Folgate, St John Hackney, St Matthew Bethnal Green, Mile End Old Town, Mile End New Town, St Mary Stratford Bow, Bromley St Leonard, All Saints Poplar, St Anne Limehouse, Ratcliff, Shadwell, St John Wapping, East Smithfield, St Catherine, Stepney, The liberty of His Majesty's Tower of London
Westminster City: Close of the Collegiate Church of St Peter, St Margaret and St John
Liberty: St Anne, St Clement Danes, St George Hanover Square, St Martin in the Fields, St James, St Mary-le-Strand, St Paul Covent Garden


  1. ^ Great Britain Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, Middlesex hundreds 1831 census population. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  2. ^ British History Online - Hundreds of Middlesex
  3. ^ Ossulstone Hundred, A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 6: Friern Barnet, Finchley, Hornsey with Highgate (1980), pp. 1-5 accessed: 30 May 2007
  4. ^ History of Red Lion Square, Victoria County History
  5. ^ a b British History Online - Divisions of Ossulstone hundred

External links

  • Vision of Britain - Ossulstone hundred
  • Map of Divisions of Ossulstone Hundred [1] – the map indicates that technically the Westminster Division was an independent constituent of the Holborn Division.

Coordinates: 51°30′46″N 0°9′44″W / 51.51278°N 0.16222°W / 51.51278; -0.16222

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