River Brent. Brentford

River Brent
The Brent flows south eastwards as part of the Grand Union Canal, and diverges into a number of channels and docks as it approaches the Thames
TQ 17802 77348

This square covers an important part of Brentford where the Brent and the Grand Union Canal arrive at Brunel's Brentford Dock. This was an area with an enormous amount of industry and activity.  As with the rest of Brentford there were also an enormous number of pubs. Some of the old part of the town have buildings relating to when this was major town in Middlesex, and also to the Civil War battle that was fought in these streets.

Post to the east Brentford and Kew Gardens and Green

Post to the south Kew Gardens West and Syon Park

Albany Place
Modern housing in an old court. It was named for, and the site of the Albany C Chapel opened 1829 by Independent Congregationalists, and was open intermittently through the 19th.   By the 1890s it was a print works

Albany Road
Before the 19th this road was called Back Lane. It has a few working-class terraces of the 1880s that escaped the post-war clearance. The area was previously market gardens
17 Albany Arms. This pub dates from the mid-19th but was rebuilt in 1901. On the pediment above the entrance, is the monogram 'RBC' and the date 1900. This stands for the Royal Brewery Co. – the local Brentford brewery.
34 Tempori Parendum.  A lawyer
Pipe an angled water pipe at the kerb carried a plaque reading "J. Bartle & Co. W London" and was a supply point for water carts.
6-10 Four houses in imitation stone, actually concrete containing gas works residues
Alley once known as King's Arms Alley

Alexandra Road
Alexandra House 1930s Brentford Health Centre. This now caters to a range of community organisations. Brentford Health Centre which also had a with juvenile employment bureau to rear. Built in 1937-8 by L. A. Cooper and K. P. Goble, borough engineer and architectural assistant to Brentford and Chiswick Metropolitan Borough. It is in brick with a flat roof. It has a tower which had in it the caretaker's flat
Brentford County Court. Built 1963 as a purpose built Court. It had previously operated in the Vestry Hall. The entrance is in this side road to reduce traffic congestion
Brentford Monument. This is now outside the County Court. It records important episodes in Brentford history. Names recorded on it include Julius Caesar, Offa King of Mercia, Edmund Ironside, Cnut and King Charles I. The Monument has a chequered history, starting as part of the 1824 Brentford Bridge and reaching its present location, the fourth in Brentford, in 1992. In one of its moves the top and bottom became misaligned

Augustus Close

The road follows the line of the Great Western railway to Southall, joining it just south of the church and the churchyard. The line of the embankment on which it ran can be seen as the point at which the rail line joins the road which was cut through from the High Street between the church and the Six Bells in the mid-1960s.  This consisted partly of Church Alley and of residential and commercial properties. The road continues into the Dock area and is now surrounded by housing built under the Greater London Council and subsequently. igHigh

Bridge over the Brent/Grand Union Canal.  This bridge was originally built by the Great Western and Brentford Railway Company to carry their Southall to Brentford Dock line into the dock area and was one of the original girder bridges. It has three wrought iron plate girders which were characteristic of Isambard Brunel.   Some parts of it were replaced in the early 20th and the current road is supported by concrete slabs.
2 Footbridges. These cross the Grand Union Canal.
2 Built as the Estate Supervisors House, originally the Head Porter's House, but now rented as residential.

Boston Manor Road
Twenty One West. This is the site of Park Baptist Chapel was on the corner the Great West Road – but this had originally been Boston Park Road. The chapel had begun in 1799 at Hammersmith. In 1855 the Park Chapel, classrooms were added in 1869 but replaced in 1936 by a hall, The chapel was bombed in the Second World War and reopened in 1950, In 1994 it merged with Brentford United Reformed Church to form Brentford Free Church. The site now has this mega office block on it.
Rail Bridge
Brentford Hospital. In 1892 Edward Clitherow, owner of Boston Manor, leased Marlborough House, at 24-26 The Butts for use as a hospital.  The Brentford Dispensary, of 1818, moved there and it was called the Brentford Dispensary, Cottage Hospital and Nurses' Home.  The two houses, built around 1690, have six in-patient beds and accommodation for nurses. As the area expanded a larger area was needed and Gale’s Orchard, in Boston Manor Road, was bought purchased and it opened in 1928. It was much larger and each bed had a wireless installation.  In the Second World War the Hospital joined the Emergency Medical Scheme with 33 beds.  It joined the NHS in 1948.  It closed in 1977 and the building became an old people's home. This was closed in 1993 and the building demolished.  The site now has the Brentford Health Centre, which opened in 1996, and the Brentford Lodge Day Hospital, a mental assessment and respite care centre.  The original foundation stone is in the wall of the Health Centre.
The Brentford Health Centre.
The Brentford Lodge Day Centre
5 Brentford School for Girls. Thus began as The Brentford British School, and a school here began in 1834. This was financed by The Rothschild Family and known as The Rothschild School in 1912. It was on the site of the Health Centre. The current building has been used since 1930 and in 1968 the school split and the boys were moved elsewhere.
Brentford Free Church.  A congregation had existing in Brentford from 1672. This Congregational chapel opened in 1783. They merged with the Presbyterians in 1972 to form Brentford United Reformed church and in 1994 with Park Baptist Church
Brentford Public Library, This was opened personally by Andrew Carnegie in 1904. It has or had a set of cast iron radiators.  It was designed by T H Nowell Parr, in yellow brick. Over the door are the date and benefactor's name and the Borough coat of arms. In the old newspaper reading room is a bronze portrait of Carnegie
19 King's Arms. Built in 1840 to resemble a coaching inn, and extended in the 1920's  
Inverness Social Club. Inverness Lodge. This is a large house with a 19th stucco front – but it may be an older house behind this. It is used as a meeting room and club and may have been a private asylum in the 19th. 
War memorials. The Brentford War memorial is a tall stone structure with carvings of a wreath. The main inscription is on the front with that to Sgt, Robert Spall V.C. Other names are carved on the sides of the memorial. There is also a memorial to those killed in two world wars who were staff members of the Gas Light and Coke Company locally and, more recently, a West Brentford memorial moved here from St. Lawrence churchyard

Braemar Road
Griffin Park - Brentford Football Club. Founded in 1889 by members of the rowing club who wanted something to do in the winter and voted for soccer rather than rugby. They have been based here since 1904. The main stand was built in the 1927/28 season. They are now a professional club.

Brent Way
The road winds round from the Railway Bridge at The Ham to join Catherine Wheel Alley.  Its route cannot easily be traced on maps before the Second World War.  Part was once called Plough Yard
Twickenham Plating Group is just visible. Plating for electronics, based in Poole and Twickenham. They moved into the Band Parchment building. As Isleworth Plating & Polishing Ltd. they occupied stabling once part of the King's Arms Pub. Tethering rings survived inside
Band's Parchment Works. James Band, from Bermondsey tannery background established a parchment making business in Brentford and moved in 1910 to Plough Yard. Closed 1981 when they were one of only two producers of parchment in Britain.
Boars Head Business Park
The Strand Glass Co., renamed Strand Glass fibre in 1966, moved to the Brentway trading estate in 1968.
Bradbury Grocer's Warehouse. 1870 in red brick with a date plaque for 1891. This stretched back from High Street premises and included stables, since demolished.

Brent Backwater
This flows in a loop from south of the over ground railway bridge over the Brent/Grand Union to rejoin the river/canal south of Brent Locks.  It thus forms an island reached by a concrete bridge from the High Street – this is Tallow Road.

Brentford Dock
Brentford Dock was opened in 1859 and used for interchange between the Thames and Great Western Railway.  The Engineer was Isambard Brunel with William Haskoll as his deputy. It was built in a Brent river delta area of marshy land used for osiers, called Lotts meadow on an area which was essentially a peninsula between two mouths of the Brent. It was used as an import/export dock and in the 19th handled 10% of national trade. It initially covered thirteen acres and had two miles of internal railway line designed to integrate the railway and dock.  The water area ran from the river to a covered dock surrounded by rail lines. The Dock closed in 1964 and was redeveloped with flats houses and a marina by the Greater London Council and landscaped by Peter Barefoot.
Dock basin. This could take boats of up to 30c tons. It has also been partly closed off and filled in
Dock Railway.  The Great Western, Brentford and Thames Junction Railway met the Great Western at Southall and ran south to pick up on Thames barge traffic.
Dock entrance to the river. Originally designed by Brunel. It had a large single leaf tidal gate. It would originally have been controlled by a lock gateman. It has been replaced by a lock with a single gate at each end. A section of the original top beam has been preserved and stands alongside used as a planter. Also preserved is the winding mechanism – artistically arranged nearby
Hydraulic Engine House Base – near the Dock Entrance, beyond the lock-keeper's building, is the base of a building which housed an engine providing hydraulic power for the dock and using old locomotive boilers. There was also an accumulator tower.  The area was for a while a children’s playground, later replaced with flower beds.
Shipping Sheds. Brunel’s wooden shipping shed was burnt down in 1920 and replaced in steel.  It had six hydraulic cranes moved here from Bulls Bridge in 1859. The shed was demolished and the flats either side of Justin Close cover some of its area
Local Goods shed. Designed by Brunel and closed in 1930. This was to the north east of the main Dock.
Warehouse 1 built 1859 designed by Brunel. Extended 1910. This was roughly on the area occupied now by Numa Court
Warehouse 2. Used for grain. Built 1901 in reinforced concrete – the second such warehouse to use this material. This was roughly on the area occupied now by Marcus Court.
Warehouse 3 used for Lysate tinplate and galvanised sheeting from Newport and Bristol, built 1908. Built in reinforced concrete. Ground floor used for storage. This was roughly on the area occupied now by the southerly part of Marcus Court
Warehouse 4. Built 1927.  Footings in use as a barbecue area. The embankment to it still there and a concrete trough marking the route of riverside transverse cranes. This was roughly on the area occupied now a path and trees.
Warehouse 5 – ground floor used for storage and as a workshop. This was roughly on the area occupied now by a wharf side structure
Warehouse 6. Export Traffic Shed. Called the Morris Shed and used for exporting Morris Cars from Cowley. This was roughly on the area occupied now by Nero Court
Riverside – a 900 foot quayside was built in 1918 which could be used by sea going boats. It had a 6 ton steam crane later replaced, by electric ones. This was roughly on the area occupied now by the backs of houses which front onto Augustus Close.

Brockshot Close
Built on the site of sidings for the London & South Western Railway to the east of Brentford Station. A Brockshot Road once also ran to the north and parallel

Brook Road North
Trading Estate on the east side, Site of rail sidings and saw mills

Brook Road South
The Griffin pub. Fuller brewery – ‘solid old school boozer’

Catherine Wheel Road

This was known as Catherine Wheel Yard and is an alley way going to the Canal and Dock area.  The Catherine Wheel, inevitably, was a pub
47 Brewery Tap.  The current pub building dates from 1928. It was originally the tap of the William Gomm Brewery, which was acquired by Fuller's in 1908 and subsequently closed. A previous pub of this name stood on the High Street. .
Polco Products was founded in 1956 at Covent Garden to make motor car accessories, particularly vacuum cleaners. The firm moved to the Brent works in 1972
Brentford Soap Co. opened by former employees of Thames Soap works in the old Beehive Brewery building. Closed in 1964. Toilet and Shaving Soaps for the trade, and Laundry and Industrial Soaps of every description.
Grand Junction Brewery. The Grand Junction brewery, ran from 1826 by James Crooks, and by 1866 George Gearey.
Beehive Brewery. This began as a brewery in the back of the Beehive pub – on a different site to the current pub. They took over the  Grand Junction Brewery. It had an artesian well 462 feet deep, a 3 storey malt house, a cooperage and stables on site.  The brothers sold the brewery and their 34 licensed premises to Fullers Brewery
Marvin architectural. Canal house

Clifden Road
Baths opened in 1896 and designed By Nowell Parr, District Surveyor. The entrance and front is in red brick but otherwise it is in stock brick. Above the windows is written “public baths”. The pool roof has glass inserts and at the back is a boiler house with a square chimney. On one side is a block thought to be the old council committee rooms. Inside are original the original doors with leaded coloured glass to the women’s slipper baths, superintendent’s office, and a committee room with an original fireplace). The Pool is extended at the deep end through the original rear wall broken through, and there is an original wooden gallery. The men’s slipper bath now the gymnasium. There is an old laundry. Holes in the soft brickwork were gouged by swimmers queuing here with the coinage of a former era. To be converted for housing.
Methodist Church. There have been Methodists in Brentford since the 18th and Wesley visited a group here. They met in an old Presbyterian chapel from 1783, and then a new meeting house from 1811. This was replaced by a Gothic building at the corner of Windmill Road in 1890 and this was bombed but restored in 1951  In 1964 the current Church, was built on part of the old church site and stained windows have been reused from the previous building.
School Lodge at entrance to Brentford School for Girls.

Commerce Road
The road runs parallel to the defunct Brentford/Southall railway line. It was an area of works and there remain three striking art deco factories. The area seems to be in process of being redeveloped and renamed Brentford Dock West.  On the Kingston Zodiac the road represents one of Capricorn’s hind legs – they comment that, he is an industrious animal.  .
Holiday Inn. Hotel. Appears to be on the site of what was the Toffee Factory.
Toffee Works.  This is said to be Walters Palm, whose factory was in Acton by the 1960s
Rock Works. Ranton & Co. moved here from Cricklewood in the 1930s. They made Bakelite electrical accessories.
The Mint House.  ouHouElizabeth Shaw, chocolate factory. The firm had been founded in 1937 by Elizabeth and Patrick Joyce. Elizabeth started to produce Mint Crisps to sell in her brother-in-law’s shop. In 1938 they worked from a kitchen in Teddington; and in 1939 to Commerce Road Brentford staying there until 1953
Falcon Pipes. These are tobacco pipes made with an aluminium stem. This was an American invention brought to England and made in Brentford from 1963. Here they launched their Brentford pipe.
British Road Services Depot. This may have previously been the depot of Universal Haulage Co., Ltd, on a site which lies between two railway lines and the canal. Nationalised as British Road Services and later denationalised.  It may be that this is now the Metroline bus depot site which they have used, as part of Armchair, since 1990.
Grand Junction Wharf. Fellows, Clayton and Morton Dock.  Swingbridge remains.

Dock Road
Until the 1960s this pathway was the only access to Brentford dock. It is paved partly with fanned granite setts and was edged on the left with Great Western Railway broad gauge rail sections and a GWR fire hydrant plate in the road
Beacon Works. Pharos Marine made buoys and lighthouse equipment but have now left Brentford.  The yard behind their premises ran down the east side of the road and navigation lights and foghorns were sometimes under test there. A chimney stands alongside the road.
Pharos Marine Yard – was once called Montgomery Wharf, and had been a timber yard owned by the Montgomery family. It was later the Motor Repair Workshops of the Brentford Gas Works (North Thames Gas Board from 1949) until it closed in 1976,
Wooden boundary fence along the Pharos Marine site and Dock Road. The bottom has a row of broad-gauge rails laid on edge facing the road. The fence uprights are reinforced on the inside by more of them. Broad gauge were not used here after 1876 and they must date from then.
Underwood Hay and Straw building stood on the west side of the road. Painted on it was UNDERWOOD’S HAY  AND STRAW DEPOT. This was red brick with three gables and included part of the garden wall of the house.  kjUnderwood had worked at Brentford Docks Station, and then set up in business. In the early 20th the family firm had six branch offices and depots in London alone.
Industrial Blowers Ltd was at one time on the old Hay & Straw Depot before moving to Hanwell.
Town Wharf – neglected wharf area off Dock Road and fronting on the spillway loop of the Brent which diverts around Thames Wharf.  Used as barge stands for Vokins lighterage and tug owners. With barge beds and a small covered dock
Weir can run in either direction according to the river flow and the state of the tide. The spillway re-joins the main channel beyond the boatyards on the far side of Dock Road
MSO Marine on the site of  E.C.Jones' boatyard. They say they have two dry docks and wet docks plus a tidal grid and yard space with under cover storage
Footbridge. The bridge passes over the overflow channel for the canal on the line of the River Brent before it goes over lock area. In the 1950s a new bridge was built over the road and a second lock was built beneath it. It crosses over the dock and then floodgates. Called Dr. Johnson Lock after Dr.Robert Johnson once landowner who was the proprietor of a starch mill in Catherine Wheel Yard in the 18th century

Durham Wharf Drive
Road running to flats alongside Brentford Lock

Glenhurst Road
26 Middlesex House. Council offices now converted to housing

Grand Junction Canal
The canal used the river Brent for the three miles from Brent to Hanwell and opened to Uxbridge in 1794 and the Paddington Arm built in 1820. The Grand Junction Canal Company became part of the Grand Union Canal Company in 1929 and nationalised in 1948.  The final commercial traffic in the early 1980s was end of the lime-shipments to Rose's in Hemel Hempstead.
Thames Lock. This improved navigation from the Thames to the next lock at Brentford, originally the first lock on the system. Thames Locks were doubled and mechanised in 1962.
Footbridge. This footbridge, which crosses the lock weir, is by Westwood Baillie & Co, shipbuilders and makers of portable iron building frames.
A parish boundary marker between Old and New Brentford is near Thames Locks
Brentford Gut At the second bridge on Dock Road links the River Thames with the Grand Union Canal at Thames Locks to the right
Gauging Locks. The First lock from the High Street on the Grand Junction Canal is the gauging lock at the entrance to Brentford Depot. The locks were mechanised in 1962. The gauging locks, plus their spillway, are on a straight cut section. The River Brent here point loops behind Brentford Depot on the other of the canal. The Brent backwater flows from under a 1930's concrete bridge with a weir used to regulate the flow of water down the Brent, the two channels diverging just beyond the Depot.
Lockkeeper’s cottage. Rebuilt in 1962
Clocking in office
Toll office. The small building with the chimney and slate roof on the lock-side is a toll office, dating from 1911. It had its measuring gauge and high office desk. Traffic entering the canal here paid tolls according to the type and weight of cargo.
Warning about water levels
Bridge over canal is a replacement – marked ‘Horsehay Co Ltd Shropshire 1932’.
Grooves in the railway bridge.
Brick ramp silted escape route for horses
Workhouse Dock in the 18th there was a workhouse at the west end of the dock site.

Great West Road
The road was opened in 1925 and widened m 1986. In the 1920s it was built as an alternative to congested Brentford High Street though a rural area. The end of the road is now overshadowed by the M 4 flyover.
Glaxo Smith Kline. This is on the Trico and Maclean’s sites. Glaxo are a major international pharmaceuticals company with a strong British base. This is their headquarters. Built by RHWL Architects in 2001. In the door is a world map and windscreen wipers, corrugated doorways inside. 
980 Trico House Windscreen Wiper factory opened in 1928 and moved to Wales in 1992.  It was a low range with Egyptian door surrounds. Trico Folberth was an American company who established a factory in Cricklewood in 1928. In front of Trico House was a neon sign of a world map swept by a windscreen wiper.  The adjacent factory of Thompson & Norris was taken over in the 1950s. The buildings were demolished in order to be a UK headquarters for Samsung. The Asian economic crisis of the late 1990s meant that this did not happen,
Thompson & Norris making corrugated cases in a building which had a plain front added by Robert Sharp in the late 1920s.  This had a corrugated design on doorways.  They moved to Park Royal in the 1950s.
MacLean’s. This was built in 1932 by F.E.Simpkins for the toothpaste company, with a rendered facade and stepped art deco pavilions and parapets.  MacLean’s had been founded in 1919 in Paddington by Alexander Maclean to make toiletries for chemists.  They opened here as a result of their successful anti acid powders. Continuing success meant that they expanded to other sites. They became part of the Beecham group in 1938.
Rank Audio-visual, took over the MacLean’s former factory buildings in order to central their marketing and service divisions. The factory was demolished early in 1997 after standing empty after Rank left the site in the mid-1980s.
Sperry Gyroscope Company Limited. The factory opened in 1931. They made compasses gyrostabilisers and similar equipment for aircraft and ships. The factory was designed by F.W.Courtney Constantine and F.W. Moore. It has a heating system which relied on solar power. Searchlights were tested on the roof. Air vents between ground and first floors were designed to resemble stylised gyroscopes. In the Second World War the factory was extended and secret work undertaken for Vickers
Great West Plaza. This is now centered on Riverbank Way plus Mercury Communications in a late 1980s stretch of speculative offices. It occupies buildings with domestic style roofs above blue trimmed glazing;
Janzen Knitting Mills factory opened in 1931 with a factory designed by Constantine and Vernon. This was an American company making swimwear – with the well known logo of the young lady diving.  They moved to Barnstable in the 1960s. The factory was replaced by an office tower and 1966 their first tenants were Siemens and Honeywell computers. Groupe Bulle tower on the Janzen site. This is now Great West House providing office accommodation for a variety of companies
1000 Boston Park Plaza. The Mille. This was built in the 1960’s and refurbished in 1985/1986, and has office accommodation over a thirteen floors. It was originally built by construction company Turiff as their headquarters.

Half Acre
An old field name and the Half Acre runs north from the High Street. Until the 19th this was the site of Ronald's Nursery, a supplier to Kew gardens of botanical garden items.
Police station and County Court. This had operated in the Vestry Hall, built 1899, from 1907 which stood here until the 1960’s
St. Paul’s Old School. The Brentford Nursery. This seems to have been connected to Lawrence’s church and to have been a girls school
37 Half-Acre House, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust
Queens Hall. This was built in 1911, as a theatre, a skating rink and became the Queen’s Hall Cinema in -1912. It closed on in 1957 and was demolished

High Street
This busy route was bypassed by the Great West Road in 1925. Over the years it has contained a phenomenal number of pubs – of which only a tiny fraction are listed here. Brentford historians maintain an interesting web site detailing the history of every building and site in the road.
Brentford Bridge. This is an ancient crossing of the River on the road between London and the West Country. The present bridge was built in 1824 by Robert Sibley and widened in 1825 and 1909 and improved in 1994-5.  In 1893 the Grand Junction Water Company added iron structures to carry water pipes accross it. It once carried granite drums supporting a lamp which were later used for the Brentford monument which was at one time part of the bridge. 
55 Brentford Fire Station. The Old Fire Station is a red brick building by Nowell Parr, District Surveyor, faced with Doulton tiles. It was completed in 1897, extended in 1912 and in use until 1965. It was restored to use as offices in 1985 but is now in use as a restaurant.
56-57 Ferry Quays courtyard
60 18th houses with three bays which once had its own wharf. It was used as the Police Station in 1840 -1869, with six cells, which remain inside.  It was later used as a dairy.
66 Fat Boys Thai restaurant. This was previously the Rising Sun pub which had closed in 1964 and been used as a shop
69-76 Heidelberg.  Printing machinery distributors
77-78 Beacon Works Pharos Marine made buoys and lighthouse equipment. The company left Brentford in December 1998. Moved to an industrial estate in Hounslow.
80, late 18th, with a porch with carvings of urns and garlands. Used as offices and earlier used as industrial premises
128 Magpie and Crown. Mock-Tudor pub, set back with an outside drinking area.
152- 158 Canal Court built in the late 1980s
208 Castle Hotel. This was impressive with large stables. In the 19th it was a main stop for coaches westbound out of London. It included a theatre and dance hall and was much used by local clubs and societies. Closed in 1936
227 Beehive Pub. Rebuilt in 1907 when Half Acre was widened because of the need for access for the trams. A small corner pub by architects Nowell Parr and A.E. Kates, It has art nouveau glass, and Parr's tiles, in mottled slate blue and coloured Doultonware. Inside is an art nouveau grate. The sign has a straw bee hive.
275 Coronet Cinema. This opened as The Brentford Cinema in 1912 and was re-named Electric Cinema soon after. By 1926 it was the Coronet Cinema, and was closed 1930, never having been equipped for talkies. It became a garage in and was being used by the Press Plating Co. in 1964 
St. Lawrence church. The oldest building in Brentford. Its site could be that of a church and churchyard built in 1163. The church had close connections with the Manor of Boston, The original section of the Church is the Tower built in the 15th in Kentish ragstone. The nave dates from 1764 and is in stock brick by Thomas Hardwick. The unique interior wooden columns date from 1889. In 1760- 1773 the curate was radical John Horne Tooke, and at that time the Church was rebuilt. There is a monument to William Ewin by Flaxman.  It ceased to be used in 1969 and is closed.
Churchyard. Derelict and overgrown walled churchyard is fenced off from public access. Buried here are members of the Clitherow family who owned Boston Manor from 1670-1924. The war memorial has now been moved to the library gardens.
St Lawrence church wall - plaque about pure water at ground level. The Grand Junction Water Company provided a water fountain on the High Street side of St Lawrence's churchyard in 1862. This promised of 'pure filtered' water to the former drinking fountain above.
Morrison’s supermarket. Which was called International when it first opened, then Gateway and Somerfield
148 Six Bells.  Called after the six bells in the church which were rung for special events
Magistrates Court. This is on the site¬ of the market place, and it was built in the 19th by a Town Hall and Market Company which had been formed to develop the area. It was used for magistrates and county courts, and also let social gatherings. Brentford’s first library was housed here and it was where the Guardians met.  In 1891, Middlesex County Council bought it and in 1929 it was rebuilt -. It is faced in stone with ‘Beaux-Arts’ plus a steep roof topped with am 18th clock. The County Court moved out in 1963. At the back are the remains of the stock brick and stucco Brentford Town Hall and Police Court built 1850 by F. Byass
Wilson & Kyle Ltd., former manufacturers of fuel injection systems for marine engines, ceased operations in Brentford and closed down in March 1998. Their premises occupied most of the west side of the road. They were an old-established family firm of marine engineers.

Johnson’s Island
This is a tiny area at the bottom end of Catherine Wheel Road.
Johnsons Island artists’ studios
Greaves and Thomas.  Makers of terrestrial and celestial globes have a showroom here.

Justin Close
Part of the route of the road follows the line of the dock railway track
Marcus Court. Flats. Built between the sites of Dock Warehouses 4 and 5. Vaults and horizontal arches designed by Brunel lie underneath and can be seen.
Nero Court. Flats. Behind them lie vaults and horizontal arches designed by Brunel. Bricked up vault arches can be seen.
Promenade in front of Numa Court which cuts off the original western end and loading bay of the dock.

Lateward Road
St Paul’s recreation ground. This was laid out on building land, rescued, as open space in 1883.
Jubilee Obelisk. Installed in 1889 in commemoration of Queen Victoria's Jubilee in 1887

London Road
In November 1642 the area around Brent Bridge and London Road was the site of a battle of the Civil War. In the early morning a Royalist army under Prince Rupert charged along London Road hoping to enter into the town. They encountered strong resistance from Parliamentary troops stationed in the road but the skirmish reached the bridge which was barricaded with cannon.  The bridge was eventually taken by the Royalists and heavy fighting continued into the late afternoon through the town and eventually the Parliamentary army retreated towards London. The Royalists then sacked the town and as a result a relief fund was set up.  Very many were killed and wounded solders were treated in local houses and churches.
Brentford Town Station. Opened in 1860 by the Great Western Railway. The entrance was on the north side of London Road west of the junction with Commerce Way.  It was used by passengers from Southall from 1860 to1915 but originally using just one platform.  From 1915 to 1920 there was a temporary closure and the Southall service ceased. In 1924, the down platform was still in good order and had at least one lamp and a 'Way Out' sign.  It Closed in 1942 and in 1957 everything was demolished leaving just the derelict remnants of the signal box and grass-grown platforms, and the abandoned down side exit ramp.  The down platform had been disused after the introduction of rail motor services. The booking office was at the east end of the platform.  The station was said to be ‘Impractical for ladies’
Signal box. Opened in the spring of 1905, and remained in use until 31st January 1954.
Ring Main – the road outside the station is directly above the London water ring main, 45 metres below ground.
29 George and Dragon. Pub
Angel. This from before the 1550s. Rebuilt 1935; renamed "Park Tavern" 1989; demolished 2002 now flats
O'Brians. This was once the Northumberland Arms or the Duke of Northumberland or Mary O'Riordens
Royal Mail. Depot
Syon Park House., This was the site of the 'Syon Park Academy' where the poet Shelley was educated before going to Eton. It is the site of the A Royal Mail depot. Demolished in 1953. This may be where Pocahontas lived in 1616
Brent Lea Recreation Ground. This is next to Syon Park, and a length of old park wall lies along the boundary.

Market Place
The Market had a Charter from 1306. It moved to this site here in 1560 among rowdy scenes. The Market house was abolished in 1933. It closed and was moved to Kew Bridge.
Three Pigeons – this stood on the west corner of the Market Place with the back running down to the Brent. The pub was called The Pigeons or The Doves and had been here since the 16th. It was as run by John Lewin who had been in the same acting group as Shakespeare. It closed in 1916.
The Weir or the White Horse. This stands near the Magistrates' Court and has a riverside garden with views of the Brent backwater. Turner, the artist, spent four years as a boy living here with his uncle who was a local butcher. The pub has been here since at least 1633 but has been rebuilt. In the past it had an adjacent malthouse.
All Clear Memorial Hall. This building, next to 28, appears to have been the Electric Theatre opened 1910-1912. It was later used by a film company, Nova Films. It became a Billiard Hall and then Scout hall. By the 1930 it was in industrial use. Demolished

New Road
The New Inn. Pub
Bags of Potential Studio. This was the Primitive Methodist church. Jubilee Chapel was founded in 1897 by Primitive Methodists. It was replaced by the new Methodist church in Clifden Road in 1964.

Pump Alley
Brentford Sewage Pumping Station. 19th century stables, offices and manager's house around the Pumping Station of 1883 which was built in 1883 designed by F.W.Lacey. The chimney base remains and an inscribed stone records all the members of the Local Board with Layton as Chairman. Double wooden gates. With a weighbridge just inside. Nowell Parr added a destructor, gates etc in 1897.

Southall-Brentford Line. From the London Road viaduct, the branch descended until it reached the level of the dock.
Viaduct after the station the line turned east and continued towards the docks on a 233yd viaduct. In 1859 this was "partly composed of brick arches and partly of brick abutments".

Robin Grove
Robin Grove Recreation Ground

Somerset Road
17 17th house with a Victorian top floor and porch,

Station Approach
Brentford Central Station. Originally built in 1849 it now lies between Syon Lane and Kew Bridge on South Western Trains. It was opened as ‘Brentford’ by the Windsor, Staines and South West Railway. In 1950 it was renamed as ‘Brentford Central’ but the name since were changed back.  In 1989 both platforms lost their canopies and small shelters built. The footbridge was removed so that passengers had to walk right round and the station house was drastically changed.
Goods shed. Closed 1965

Station Road
Goddards Depositary

St Paul's Road

St Paul's Church. An iron church was originally provided by Ealing Rural-Decanal Association and a ragstone church was built in a new site in 1867-8 by H. Francis. It was a chapel of ease of St. Lawrence's in 1952 and then the principal church of the united parishes of Brentford from 1961.  It is said that the famous Zofran painting which used to be in St George's church is now here.
St. Laurence with St Paul Primary School. Opened as a National School in 1873 for primary, junior and infants,

Tallow Road
This goes up the centre of the lock area of the canal and consists of a gated community of flats in 1990s ‘regeneration’ style.

The Butts
The name reflects that this was common land used since at least the 16th for compulsory archery. It was also the original site of the market place and where Parliamentary troops were stationed in the Civil War. The area was enclosed and sold for building in 1664 developed by William Parish, landlord of the Red Lion Inn. Nell Gwynn is said to have lived here. It was also the site for the hustings where the riots took place during Wilkes’ elections of the 1760s when poll books were burnt and a man was killed.
Lampposts. These all date from 1997
6-8 St.Raphael's. a three-storeyed 18th-centuryhouse of yellow brick, much extended. Now a care home run by the Poor Servants of the Mother of God. Frances Taylor founded the order in 1872. In 1854 she had gone to the Crimea with Florence Nightingale's and her desire to work for and with the poor, led her to found the Congregation in 1872 as Mother Magdalen
10 St.Mary’s Convent.  There seems to have been a house here in 1764, it was rebuilt in 1792. By 1810 it was called ‘Egglesfield House’, and was a boarding school but later became used as a home. In 1880 it was acquired by Frances Taylor and it is still owned by the Poor Servants of the Mother of God. It has been extended by the building of the care home in 1924; a new infirmary and chapel in the 1950s since replaced by a new care home and a smaller chapel
7 This has a garden designer's walled garden, which is divided into three rooms -- a terrace with a water feature, behind it a pergola and a box-edged lawn with deep borders, and past a hedge and arch, is a secret garden with a pond.
15-17 Chatham House and Beaufort House .  L-shaped houses, with a rural broad frontage comprising with two front rooms with a dog-leg stair, with a kitchen behind.  Door case with carved frieze and fanlight.
16-22 four 18th cottages.
21- 23 Cobden House and Linden House 18th
24-26 Marlborough House, built in 1690 in brown brick.  In 1892 Edward Clitherow, leased the building as a hospital.  The Brentford Dispensary, which had opened in 1818, moved here and it was renamed the Brentford Dispensary, Cottage Hospital and Nurses' Home. The freehold was bought in 1902, but a larger hospital was needed and the Dispensary moved to a new site in Boston Manor Road.
40 -46 18th
Canal Boatmen's Institute by Nowell Parr, this was opened in 1904 by the London City Mission.  It is in Arts and Crafts style and had two schoolrooms with living accommodation above. On the first floor is a central wooden window like one in Ipswich. On the gable is '1904' and "BOATMAN’S INSTITUTE. Beneath the ground floor windows are plaques to benefactors including the wife of the architect. Inside are folding wooden screens separating the schoolrooms. The institute provided basic education to the children of boatmen and maternity provision for boatmen's wives. It backs on to the canal and was built on canal company land on the site of a watermill. It is now housing.
Caxton Mews and arch. This was built in the 1970s on the area of the yard of the Castle Inn.

The Ham
This is an old piece of riverside common and a field-name meaning piece of flat land beside the river
Fire Station. North of the railway was the Engine House of a volunteer fire service by 1853
Railway viaduct – a stretch of railway viaduct remains from the Brentford Dock Line, 1859. Isolated the arches under it are in various light industrial use.
Albion Timber Merchants.  The brick building was used to repair traditional wooden craft until the early 1980s.
Ham Weight Dock - The small dock only just visible from Augustus Close, was Ham Weight-dock; here craft were weighed to assess cargo capacity
St. Lawrence School. This now has Teddies Nursery in it. It was originally a charity school for boys, built in 1815 on land given by Colonel Clitherow. It became the National School for New Brentford in 1835

Troy Town
A deprived area between Ealing Road and Half Acre

Town Meadow Road
Town Meadow was on which the dock was built. Osier growing and residents had common and Lammas rights.
Corporation Yard,
Soap Works

Upper Butts
1 a five-bay front with segment-headed windows. Staircase with simple turned balusters continuing to attic level; good panelling throughout. In the garden a summer house with three Gothic windows brought from a shop in Brentford High Street.
The Cedars. marks the limit of the c18 development.

Windmill Road
New Grove Mansions. 18th
24 Garrett House

York Road

Congregational Chapel.  1870 now housing.

BHSProject. Web site
Brentford and Chiswick Local History Society. Web site
Brentford School for Girls. Web site
Brentford TW8. Web site
Brentford Walk B
Brewery History Society. Web site
British History. Middlesex, Brentford. On line
Canal walks. Leaflet.
CAMRA, Real Beer in London,
Clunn. The Face of London
Connor. Forgotten Stations of London
Cinema Treasures. Web site.
Dodds, London Then
Field. London Place Names,
GLIAS. Brentford Walk leaflets
Greater London council home sweet home
Greater London Council. Thames Guidelines
Ian Nairn, Nairn’s London
Kingston Zodiac
London Borough of Hounslow. Web site
London Drinker
London Gardens Online. Web site
London Railway Record
London Encyclopaedia
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Marshall. History of the Great West Road
Middlesex County Council. History of Middlesex
Pevsner and Cherry.  North West London
Pub History. Web site
Riverbank Way. Web site
Roll of Honour. Web site.
Smith. Civil Engineering Heritage. London and the Thames Valley
Stevenson. Middlesex
Thames Basin Archaeological Group Report
Walford. Village London

First of all I would like to pay tribute to the many, many Brentford historians who work on this interesting area and say that this page is in no way an attempt to compete with them – or begin to meet their standards.  For me it is the next page in a series – and I have to do something, although I can’t match up to them.


Second – this is a chance to acknowledge the work of Diana Willment, who died just two months ago – and to say how much I, and others, appreciated her work.  I did not think that a chance meeting last year at Kew Bridge Engines would be the last time I ever saw her – but – thanks – Diana.


Popular posts from this blog

Bromley by Bow

South Norwood

River Lea/Bow Creek Canning Town