Chiswick - Turnham Green and Acton Green
Post to the south Chiswick Grove Park
Post to the east Chiswick Riverside to Bedford Park
Post to the west Gunnersbury
This is all that remains of a traditional common and is now a simple area of open land. It continues between the railway line to the south and South Parade to the north between Acton Lane and Turnham Green. It is in the London Borough of Ealing and is laid out as a park with perimeter planting, cross-walks and some mature trees as well as a children’s playground. The path through the centre is said to have been part of a Roman military road In 1642 it was the part of the site of a Civil War battle when the Royalists under Prince Rupert overcame the Parliamentarian army under Lord Essex. A path runs along the north side of the railway which is reinforced with a substantial concrete wall
Acton Lane was originally called Bromcroft Lane
Boundary marker. There is/was a parish boundary marker at the junction with Chiswick High Road.
Boundary. There is a boundary stone at the south side of the junction with Chiswick Road
Park house. Office block present in the 1970s George Wimpey Training Services Unit, Training Department,
Sutton Court Nursery. This business was on the site of Sainsbury’s car park. The Fromow family’s original nursery in Chiswick on was near its junction of Sutton Lane and Wellesley Road. In the 1930s they moved here to Acton Lane where it was called the Sutton Court Nursery. The site was already in use by them as stables for their horses. It was the only 19th nursery to survive the change of Chiswick from countryside to suburb and had 24 greenhouses here with an extensive trade with Covent Garden and Spitalfields Markets. They supplied 50,000 Christmas trees a year in the late 1940s. In the 1970s it became the Sainsbury’s Chiswick supermarket and car park.
5 West London Dispensary. This is shown on maps up to the 1960s. It does not appear to be connected to the earlier Dispensary which became part of the Royal Marsden Hospital.
Railway Bridge. The District Line between Gunnersbury and Turnham Green Stations passes under the road. The line on the west side has a gap in the conductor rails which indicate the change of ownership between London Underground Limited and Network Rail. It was once the site of Acton Lane Junction where a line diverged to the north up the east side of the Gunnersbury Triangle. It dates from the 1860s when trains first ran to Richmond.
Chiswick Park Station. Opened in 1879 this lies between Turnham Green and Acton Town on the District Line. It was built by the Metropolitan District Railway as part of a line between Turnham Green and Ealing Broadway built in 1879 to connect to GWR called the Ealing Extension. The station opened as ‘Acton Green’. The original station was by J.Wolfe Barry in plain brick with a two storey stationmaster’s house and entrance. In 1887 the name was changed to ‘Chiswick Park and Acton Green’. In 1910 the name was changed to ‘Chiswick Park ‘. It was rebuilt in 1932 when the Piccadilly line as scheduled to pass through the station. The new station was designed by A.A.Heaps with consultation with Charles Holden in a modern European style using handmade red brick, reinforced concrete and glass. It had a tall semi-circular ticket with external brick walls with panels of clerestory windows and a flat concrete slab roof. Inside brick work was left exposed and canopies had concrete with shuttering marks remaining. To make it visible from Chiswick High Road there was a square brick tower surmounted by the UNDERGROUND roundel and the station's name.
Railway Bridge. This crosses the road to the east of the station and carries the four District and Piccadilly line tracks on their way to Turnham Green station. The Piccadilly using disused LSWR lines. It also once carried the Acton Curve as it turned north to join the London and South West Railway Line.
Fairlawn Court. Flats were built on the site of Evershed & Vignoles' factory when it closed in the 1990s. It was previously the site of a house called Acton Green Lodge.
Evershed & Vignoles. Factory built in 1933 making electrical test equipment. The company had been founded in 1895 Company by Sydney Evershed and Ernest Vignoles by purchasing the instrument section of their employers Goolden and Trotter. They moved to Acton Lane in 1903, registering the Megger Tester, although other instrumentation and marine signalling systems were developed. The works was expanded onto this site in 1933. In 1971 much of the company was sold to Thorn Electricals and in 1986 they were taken over by Aco. Ltd. The Acton Lane works closed down at about that time. Later they became part of Meggitt Holdings with their British works in Dover.
‘Anonymous’ post box – one without the Royal Cipher – on the corner with Bollo Lane.
Barley Mow Passage,
9 The Lamb. This was previously The Barley Mow which dated from 1761. A painted sign at the side refers to Chiswick's Lamb Brewery.
Devonshire Works is part of the Sanderson Wallpaper Factory. This was an extension to their original factory with a footbridge to it and later the building now called Voysey House was added. The original building burnt down in 1928. That building is now the business centre
Barley Mow Centre. This was the first commercial workspace in the UK in the old Sanderson Factory. Lots of different small businesses sharing facilities from 1976.
Voysey House. Built for the Sanderson wall paper factory in 1907/3 as an extension to the factory opposite and designed by C.F.A. Voysey as his only factory building. It is in white glazed brick with Staffordshire blue brick. There are small circular windows of the fourth floor and buttresses which house ventilation shafts have flat projections. Inside supporting iron columns are progressively slenderer on each floor.
Chiswick Telephone Exchange, This is a 4 storey office block used by British Telecom. It had two poles mounted with two 300mm satellite dishes and associated ancillary equipment on top of the building as well as a plant structures such as air conditioning units.
51 plaque to comedian Tommy Cooper
Methodist Church. The current church is in Sutton Court Road at the south end of what was a large site. In 1880 a church was built at the north end of the site on the corner of Sutton Court and Barrowgate Roads. In 1980 this site was sold has been replaced by housing in Barrowgate Road.
Acton Green Works. This was Hill Brothers (Service) which seemed to have made a range of commercial display materials – frames, notices boards and so on.
Laundry. A laundry was on the site before the Second World War.
Site of London Transport Turnham Green Garage. This had been a horse bus stables acquired by London General Omnibus Company in 1898. It was used for motor buses from 1911. It was sometimes used for experimental work because it was near Chiswick Works. It closed in 1980. Alfred Close and other housing is now on the site.
This road is on the line of Bollo Brook as far as Chiswick Park Station. This is also the boundary between Ealing and Hounslow.
Nature Reserve. This is known as the Gunnersbury Triangle which was cut off from the rest of the area by railway and allotments and grew wild. It became a damp secondary woodland surrounded on all sides by railway lines. During the 19th it seems to have been used as an orchard with some gravel or sand excavations. From the 1940s the area was undisturbed. There were development proposals in 1982 and a campaign was mounted by the Chiswick Wildlife Group which defeated British Rail’s plans at a public inquiry. The Borough bought the land with assistance from the Greater London Council and since 1984 it has been a London Wildlife Trust reserve. There is a new pond and some seasonal ponds. The reserve supports small mammals and a foxes as well as many birds. A nature trail leads through birch and willow woodland, as well as wet woodland to an open meadow that is carpeted with wildflowers in summer. Seats provide an opportunity to rest and enjoy the sight of nearly fifty bird species and many butterflies. Train noise can be a problem, but is offset by birdsong on summer days
Acton Curve. The London and South West Railway built a north-to-east curve from Bollo Lane Junction to Acton Lane Junction in the late 1860s. This gave access to trains from Willesden or Cricklewood to Hammersmith and Kensington. It was used by Midland coal trains in 1878, and also for passenger trains to Richmond from Moorgate Street. It closed in 1965. The route of the curve is now a footpath within the reserve. It also formed the boundary between the boroughs of Ealing and Hounslow.
Railway Bridge. This carries the line from Chiswick Park Station built by the Metropolitan District Railway on the Ealing Extension in 1879. The next station is Acton Town. The fast Piccadilly Line service was added in 1832 necessitating widening and some rebuilding
The Bollo House. This was built in 1885 and named the Railway Tavern for the workers constructing the railway lines nearby. It was renamed the Orange Kipper in 1988 and in 2000 The Bollo House. It is leased from Greene King.
Chiswick Memorial Club. This is in what was Afton House which dates from around 1800 with what was originally a large front garden, now gone. As a school in the 1850s it was called Falkland House and was then a laundry until around 1913. In 1919 Dan Mason, the Cherry Blossom Polish company owner, gave it as a club for ex-service men. It is an example of the wealthier houses here.
Chiswick Back Common
Chiswick Common, which is in the London Borough of Hounslow, lies to the south of the railway line. The Common was part of the Bishop of London's Manor of Fulham and was rural until the mid 19th after which development followed the railway. The Common is mainly grass, criss-crossed by paths with mature trees, and the perimeter and beech hedging near the playground.
Drinking Fountain. This is at the east apex and is a fountain provided by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain Association in the 19th.
Rocks Green Multi Sports Centre. This has tennis courts and 5 a side football pitches. There are changing facilities and a club house.
Chiswick Common Road
40 this is the site of what was the Colville Motor Works, which went out of business in 1913. They were specialists in carburetion. After the Second World War the site was used by a series of plant hire and related firms – in the 1940s Red Arrow Deliveries, in the 1950s Patrgrin Products Hiring and making concreting machinery and in the 1980s J. Coales with a trailer hire business.
Chiswick High Road
The leading shops of Chiswick are situated on the main High Road between Goldhawk Road and Gunnersbury Station
229 Electric Theatre. This opened in 1910. It was re-named Coliseum Cinema, in 1929 and sound on disc was introduced. It closed before 1932, re-opening as a news and cartoon cinema, renamed Tatler. It closed again in for 1933 and was eventually demolished. The site is now a row of low rise shops;
247 Our Lady of Grace and St.Edward Roman Catholic Church. A chapel was opened in Turnham Green and in Chiswick High Road in 1859. A school was also started along with plans for a larger church. In 1864 a foundation stone was laid for a church and a school. In 1886 the present church was opened and consecrated in 1904. It is in the Italian Renaissance style designed by John Kelly of Kelly & Birchall. After the Great War the tower was added as a war memorial 1930 by Sir Giles G Scott. There is a plaque in English and Latin which says: 'The Catholic pastors and people of Chiswick laboured to build this tower to the glory of God and in honourable memory of all brave and faithful men who died for the country during the Great War especially those who were members of this parish or boys in its schools”. The church was bombed in 1944 and not repaired until 1953.
The presbytery. This stands next to the church in two Georgian houses acquired in 1931. They are detailed with Coade Stone mask keystones.
271 this is a passage way and the garden area of the Lamb Pub (ex Barley Mow) which stands to the rear in Barley Mow Passage.
Belmont House. This big grand house was opposite the Barley Mow. It was used as a private school and demolished in the 19th
332 Goodbans Department Store. This dated from 1909 built onto an existing drapery business. It had 30 departments and closed in 1974. Later this was partly used by Boots
347-353 Office block on the site of Chiswick Congregational Church. In the 1870s a tin church was built here on a site which backed onto Arlington Gardens. Van Gogh was here in 1876. In 1881 it was replaced with a stone church and the tin building became the Sunday School. It closed in 1974 by which time it had joined the United Reform Church. It was demolished in the early 1980s.
356 Palais Cinema. This opened in 1909. It was fined twice in 1914 for screening films on a Sunday and closed in 1916, requisitioned by the Government as a storage facility.. It opened again in 1919 as the Palace of Entertainments. It later became a Woolworth’s Penny Bazaar, and then a Woolworths shop. This appears to now be a Waitrose
374 Crown & Anchor Public House. This was built before 1839 but extended in 1882. It was faced in the 19th with tiles and with plaques with coloured rams and 'Young and Company's Ales' in reference to the Ram Brewery, Wandsworth. It is however now a Mitchell and Butler house.
414 Chiswick Empire Theatre of Varieties. A handsome building faced with terra-cotta. This was built by Oswald Stoll despite local opposition. It was designed by Frank Matcham and included ten dressing rooms and an orchestra pit for the resident orchestra. It opened in 1912 and put on variety, plays and occasional opera. In 1932, it became a full time cinema with a Western Electric sound system. Variety was later resumed. It was forced to close in the blitz and reopened in 1941. It closed in 1959 despite full houses for unknown reasons. The last night featured Liberace. It was demolished within a month
414 Empire House. Built in 1959 by Carl Fisher as an obtrusive office block which replaced the former theatre. It is now to be turned into housing. Also called Chiswick Centre
434 Old Pack Horse. The pub is mentioned in 1669 and has some sort of verified connection with highwaymen. It was rebuilt in 1910 With plenty of terracotta detail and bowed ground- floor windows, by Nowell Parr
450 Connolly's Bar and Diner. This was a pub called the Robin Hood and Little John which opened in 1862 on the site of an old beer house. The pub moved here in 1897 and `Robin Hood’ is written on the gable. It was renamed Tommy Flynn’s Bar in 2003 and Connolly’s in 2006.
Now in two halves, this road once ran from Chiswick Common Road to the High Road.
59 Clifton Gardens Resource Centre. Care Centre for the elderly on the site of a Post Office Sorting Office.
Sorting Office. Post Office building replaced by the Care Centre
A small cul de sac going into the area which was once the Acton Curve. It now goes only a few yards and is surrounded by new blocks of flats. It appears to have very recently gone further and accessed a warehouse which appears to be on the site of the Royal Standard Laundry.
Royal Standard Laundry. This large laundry dated from 1889 and closed in the 1970s.
Mission Hall. This is part of Christ Church Acton Green
50 Bell Industrial Estate. This appears to be on part of the site of the Evershed and Vignoles Factory in Acton Lane
Mosaic mural. This is the work of sculptor Carrie Reichardt and fulfils a promise to Luis Ramirez, who was executed in Texas last year for murder
Part of the area called the Glebe Estate, built on the site of the Chiswick Glebe.
18 Bolton Pub. This was built before 1882 and was called the Bolton Hotel and Music Hall. It closed in 1995 and is now flats.
Public Library. The original Chiswick Library was on the corner with Bourne Place in 1890. It closed in 1897
This was built in 1820 by the Duke of Devonshire as an Approach Road to Chiswick House.
1 Chiswick Library. The library is in a house donated by Sandersons and formerly intended as the Sanderson family home. An extension was provided in the 1930’s.
2 Express Dairy depot. This depot appears to have been run with their larger site in Acton Lane.
2 Roman Catholic Parish Centre opened 1980 on Express Dairy Site
Royal Horticultural Society Gardens. These gardens lay on the west side of Dukes Avenue, on land now covered by Alwyn Avenue, Barrowgate Road, Hadley Gardens and Wavendon Avenue. They were experimental gardens open between 1822 and 1904. The Society leased the 33 acres from the Duke of Devonshire. Half the gardens were for fruit and vegetables; 13 acres for flowers and shrubs and there was an eight-acre arboretum. Hot houses were built for the exotic plants being brought back from the Far East, the Americas and other places. The Society also ran conferences and had a training scheme for young gardeners. In 1870 the acreage was reduced to 11 acres; glasshouses were demolished and the arboretum swept away. The gardens were moved to Wisley in 1904.
Packhorse Square – this was a named used for this area in the past. It was thus behind the Packhorse Pub
Whitbread Bottling Stores. This was on part of the Sainsbury’s site. Beer was brought here in tankers for bottling and distribution. It had opened in 1914.
Almshouses. Very small almshouses enlarged in 1822 and demolished in 1886
National School for Boys. This opened 1848 and was later used for infants. It was demolished in 1968.
Primitive Methodist chapel. This was on the east side of the south end of the road and opened in 1884. It was extant until the Second World War.
This footpath is the remains of what was once Dead Donkey Lane running here from Strand on the Green
2-4 Chiswick Fire Station. Opened 1963 in Western Command District. Has a Mercedes Benz Atego 1325F Fire engine with Dual Pump Ladder.
Heathfield House. This was on the site now occupied by the fire station. A 17th house was replaced in the 18th and its most famous occupant was Lord Heathfield who defended at the siege of Gibraltar. The house was demolished in 1837 and a vicarage for Christ Church built here. The gates of the house are now an entrance to Green Park in central London.
Militia Barracks. These were barracks for the 3rd Middlesex and Royal Westminster Light Infantry Militia 1854-1878. They were later sold to Sandersons, wall paper manufacturers. One block became the site of the Army and Navy Depository. Two of the militia buildings were destroyed in the Second World War and were rebuilt as a post office and a warehouse which was leased from 1966 to the Pantechnicon.
Sandersons. They bought the militia barracks and later leased them to the Army and Navy Stores.
9 Devonhurst Place - Pantechnicon. This was the Army & Navy Stores depository built in 1871 on the site of one of three blocks of militia buildings. It was leased from Sandersons and bought outright in 1888. In 1969 a computer centre was opened on one floor the rest was used for storage until 1980. One of the earlier gatehouses has been removed, but the larger has been retained, and used as a house. The large 20th century sheds have been removed from the rear. It was converted to flats in 1988
Post Office. This is adjacent to Barley Mow Passage and dates from 1966.
Town Hall. This was originally the Vestry Hall on land bought in 1874. It became the town hall of Chiswick Urban District Council in 1896 and is a typically Italianate vestry hall in yellow stock bricks. The architect was W T. Trehearne, surveyor to the Chiswick Improvement Commissioners. In 1887 there was a competition for an extension comprising with space for theatrical performance. In 1900-1 additions were built to the designs of Arthur Ramsden, and the enlarged building became Chiswick Town Hall. It is now longer used as a Town Hall by what is now London Borough of Hounslow but is office accommodation and meeting space as well as a registry office, rates office and a venue for classes. Inside are ornate spaces including the former council chamber, with trussed timber roof and an imperial staircase with a cast-iron balustrade. There are also the Main Hall and the Hogarth Hall.
Heathfield Terrace Station. This was planned as part of the Central London Railways planned underground extension from Shepherd's Bush to Gunnersbury in 1912. It was never built because of the Great War.
The road was named for the Royal Horticultural Society gardens to which it led.
National School. Girls were at school here from before 1867. The building was demolished in 1972
Until the 1950s this was a row of tiny cottages built by a Mr. Mills
Built as part of Jonathan Carr’s Bedford Park Development
15 Duke of Sussex. Built 1898 by Shoebridge & Rising, stuccoed and tile hung to replace an earlier beer house. It was rebuilt by the Cannon Brewery of Clerkenwell. Later it was a Firkins pub until 2006.
St Alban's Church. This was designed by Edward Monson and the foundation stone laid in 1887. It is in red brick with a striking appearance because of the steep pitch of the roof. The church has been disused for some years but is currently being revived
Church hall and club buildings in green painted corrugated iron. It may have been a tin tabernacle used as a mission church, here, or elsewhere.
Sutton Lane North
Bollo Brook once ran alongside the road, heading for the River.
Arlington Cottages. 17th cottages set back from the road
The Smokehouse. This was originally called The Queen’s Head and more recently the Hole in the Wall. It dates from at least 1722 and was rebuilt in 1925.
10a West Gym. This was built in 1881 as a Lecture Room for Gunnersbury Baptist Church but has been a gym since the 1980s.
Sutton Court Road
Chiswick Methodist Church. This originated in meetings of the Hammersmith Wesleyan circuit in 1845 held in local shops in the 1860s and 1870s. A yellow-brick Sunday school and chapel was built in 1880 on land given by the Duke of Devonshire. A church was built in red-brick in 1909. Despite Second World War bombing it remained in use.
Telephone Exchange. This is now flats.
14 used by a succession of private schools between the 1890s and 1930s.
Town Hall Avenue
Christ Church. This was built in 1843 to accommodate the growing population Turnham Green. The land on the Greens originally belonged to St Pauls Cathedral. It was an early commission for Gilbert Scott and was provided with galleries which have since been removed. It was used as the garrison church for the nearby militia barracks. Considerable work of refurbishment was undertaken in the 1990s. The original organ was replaced with a digital one and space was found for a meeting room, two smaller rooms and a kitchen as well as toilets and a lift.
2 telephone boxes. These are Type K6, designed in 1935 by Giles Gilbert Scott. Made in cast iron these are square kiosks with domed roofs.
Turnham Green is a public park separated in two by a small road and with Christ Church on the eastern part. The name comes from what was once a village on the main road heading west from London. On 13 November 1642, the Parliamentary army prevented the Royal march on London in the Battle of Turnham Green.
War Memorial. This is at the east end of the Green and is a stone obelisk on steps with railings and a hedge around it. There is a laurel wreath on the obelisk and metal poppies on the gate. It says “In grateful and affectionate memory of the men of Chiswick who fell in the Great War 1914...1918 and in the World War 1939...1945. It was unveiled in 1921 in the presence of the Duke of Devonshire and the Bishop of London.
Fromows Nursery was originally at the corner with Sutton Lane. William Fromow established his business here in 1829 when he bought an existing nursery. It was taken over by succeeding family members and other sites were acquired. The family home had been a cottage in Sutton Lane land which was replaced in the 1890s by a conservatory. Heavy death duties in the 1930s led to the sale of the premises and blocks of flats were built on the site.
Fromows Corner. This is where Fromow's offices and stores were. There is a plaque of Fromows on the topmost gable of the corner building.
Fromows seed shop. This was across the road from the offices and stores.
Blue Plaque Guide
Barton. London’s Lost Rivers
British History Online. Chiswick. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Christ Church. Web site
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Clegg. The Chiswick Book
Clunn. The Face of London
Field. London Place Names
Glazier. London Transport Garages
Grace’s Guide. Web site
Hillman and Trench. London Under London
Historic England. Web site
London Borough of Ealing. Web site
London Borough of Hounslow. Web site
London Geezer Web site4
London’s Industrial Archaeology
Nairn. Nairn’s London
Nurserygardeners. Web site
Oates. Acton. A history
Our Lady of Grace. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. North West London
Robbins. The North London Railway
Victorian Web. Web site
Welford .Village London
Wikipedia. As appropriate