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Ealing is located in West London and twinned with Marcq-en-Baroeul in France, and Kreis Steinfurt in Germany.
Archaeological evidence shows that some parts of Ealing have been occupied for at least 7,000 years - iron age pots have been discovered on Horsenden Hill.
The name Ealing comes from the Saxon place-name Gillingas, and a settlement is recorded here in the twelfth century, amid a great forest that carpeted the area to the west of London.
Ealing is divided into seven districts - Ealing, Southall, Hanwell, Acton,Northolt, Perivale and Greenford.
As London developed, the area that makes up modern-day Ealing became predominantly market gardens, but in the 1850s (with the Great Western Railway making travel much faster) villages started to grow into towns, and now the towns are merging into unbroken residential areas.
Two branches of the Grand Union Canal cross Ealing, and these brought industry to the area. Later, God's Wonderful Railway did the same, and in the 20th century so too did the major arterial roads, the A4 Great West Road and A40 Western Avenue. Land prices in London, and the relatively low cost of freight transport, have caused most large industry to move elsewhere. The predominant occupations in Ealing today are in retail and offices.
Ealing Studios put the place on the map, culturally, with a series of well-known comedies - Kind Hearts & Coronets, Passport to Pimlico, The Ladykillers, etc. The studios were taken over by the BBC in 1955, and bits of Ealing started appearing in television programmes ranging from Doctor Who to Monty Python's Flying Circus.