Friday, 3 April 2020

Gunnersbury

Post to the north Acton Town and Gunnersbury Park
Post to the south Strand on the Green
Post to the east Turnham Green and Acton Green




Brentford Market
Brentford Market began in 1306 with a Royal Charter. Later a Market House was built. By 1890 the trading by at least 60 wagons around the fountain was becoming a nuisance, causing congestion and blocking the road.  The Brentford Local Board planned a purpose built market and bought land from the Rothschild estate east of Kew Bridge and north of the road at Gunnersbury to provide a market site. In 1897 an extension was laid out next to the original site. By1929 there were 260 growers regularly bringing produce from local country areas. In 1968 the site included a bank, restaurant, barbers and clothing shops, a blacksmith, an eel stall, a florist sundries stand as well as casual stands but q report concluded that the site was ‘completely unsuited to the needs of the modern pattern of trade and its associated problems’ and  A new Western International Market opened in 1974

Brooks Road
This was called Blenheim Road it hr 1890s, but appears to be a country lane before that called Back Lane
7 Meadowcroft. Sheltered housing
Cope Studios. Flats built on site of ‘works’
St.James Court. Built on the site of St James' parish hall. St. James since demolished

Cambridge Road North
Stench pipe in cast iron from the 19th
6-18 houses here were destroyed by a land mine during the Second World War and a British Restaurant was established on the site. It was redeveloped in the 1980s when Afroze Court flats were built.

Capital Interchange Way
Built on the site of Brentford Market and includes a number of large warehouse and similar buildings. There are now more development plans.
Kew House School. This is in what looks like a large commercial tower block. Independent co-educational secondary school. This was founded by qualified teachers Maria and Edward Gardener in 2013. It is part of the Gardener Schools Group. Parents at the ‘preparatory’ schools urged the Directors to open a co-educational secondary school for older pupils and so Kew House School opened

Chiswick High Road
This was once known as Brentford Road.
389 Chiswick Tower. 17 story office block which stands above the station and which also provides a new entrance and footway to the station. It was originally called Radial House and was designed by Raymond Spratley and Partners.
389 British Standards Institution. This is in the Chiswick Tower
Gunnersbury Station. Opened in it lies between Turnham Green and Kew Gardens on the District Line; and between South Acton and Kew Gardens on the North London Line. It was originally built by the London South West Railway as a main-line station called ‘Brentford Road’ on the Kensington and Richmond Railway. In 1871 the name was changed to ‘Gunnersbury’. From 1877 it was part of the Metropolitan District Railway when the first underground trains started using the station and it is an important connecting line from the North London Railway. There was a two storey station house, etc to the north of the station which was identical to that at Hammersmith Grove Road Station. In 1932 the eastern island platform on the London North West Railway curve to Kew Bridge was dismantled by Southern Railway.  On the in 1954 the roof of the island platform was blown off by a tornado.  The station was rebuilt by British Rail in 1967 with 18-storey office tower, and car park on the original station area. It now has only two tracks as distinct to the original four.’
Bowling green 1982 is this the Sanderson Bleak House sports site??
578-586 Office block with Co-op supermarket in the ground floor – ‘high profile contemporary office building’. The site was previously Hardware House
Chiswick Park., This is a complex of business units designed in the late 1990s by the Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. The site was formerly occupied by London Transport’s Chiswick Works developed by the Anglo-Norwegian Kvaerner Group. This was the largest development in London at the time and has an inner garden, which references Monet and Chinese influences.
Chiswick Works. Opened by London General Omnibus Company, and then London Transport, in 1921–2 as its central overhaul works, employing 2,000 men. Built on what was market garden land. This is where new buses were put through their paces and trainee drivers tested on the famous skidpan. It was originally designed to maintain 4,000 vehicles, and included a training school from 1925 but was restricted to engineering after London Transport opened its Aldenham works in 1956.  In 1979 London Transport employed over 2,680 at its Chiswick works. Ornamental iron gateway which has now gone. It closed in 1988
590 The Gunnersbury pub. Previously called Sir John Bull when it was a live music venue featuring groups like The Who. It was built in 1853 with a saloon next door with tables for billiards, pool and snooker.
Toll gate. In 1717 the High Road on the north side, became a toll road and a tollgate was situated at the site of what became Gunnersbury station, until 1872 when tolls were abolished.  A mile stone is marked on OS maps here up to the 1930s.
630 Cultural Bureau of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia.  Late 1980/90s office building,
636 Clayton Hotel
St James’ Gunnersbury Church. This mission church served a chapel formed in 1880.  The church in Kentish rag stone, early English style was built in 1886/7 on a site given by Rothschild family. It. closed in 1986 and was demolished in 1989 .There is an office block built on its site.
433 Mitchell House. Local Tory HQ
475 Crown Inn. Demolished 1975
London Stile farm. Farm in the hamlet of London Stile. Slightly north of Brentford Market
515 Gardeners Arms. This pub was demolished in 1957 for the Chiswick flyover.
658 Fountain Leisure Centre, this is on the site of Brentford market. Built in 1987 by the Borough Architects Department.  Named after the fountain which stood in the market when it was at Kew Bridge. There are plans to replace it.

Chiswick Flyover
This a short section of elevated dual-carriageway which opened in 1959 was not originally classed as a motorway. .It was intended to reduce the impact of traffic travelling between central London and the west. There is a 40mph speed limit

Great West Road
This was a route built between the wars bypassing Brentford and Hounslow first planned around 1920. It is only called this for this short stretch.
Railway bridge

Gunnersbury
Gunnersbury-The Suburb’ was an attempt by developers to re-brand Brentford Road and link it to Gunnersbury House and its Park.

Gunnersbury Avenue
Part of the North Circular Road. The A406 is described as North Circular Road (proposed new road): the road was mostly new build but in the west was renumbered from existing roads. By the mid-1930s the road was in existence from the A4 at Chiswick clockwise. The westernmost stretch is inadequate for its task. It runs north from the A4/ A406/ A205/ A315 roundabout
Gypsy Gate. Entrance to Gunnersbury Park.
International School of London. This was a Roman Catholic Grammar School, built in 1932 on land from the Rothschilds. It is now the International School of London, an international school which seeks to integrate mother tongue languages into a standard international curriculum, starting in early childhood. Founded in 1972.
141 St Dunstan Roman Catholic church. A small church of 1931 by T.H.B. Scott. Built as part of a complex with the former Roman Catholic church next door.
Gunnersbury Catholic Grammar school. This was founded in 1919 with 15 boys in a local hall. The Grammar school was opened in 1932 in Gunnersbury Avenue.  It became a Voluntary Aided school in 1939. From 1962 it operated on a split site as a comprehensive. They have since moved to new site as Gunnersbury Catholic School

Gunnersbury Cemetery
143 Gunnersbury Avenue.  Gunnersbury Cemetery, also called Kensington or New Kensington Cemetery, was opened in 1929. It is owned and managed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.  It was opened in 1936 on land which was part of the Rothschild estate.  There is simple brick chapel
Katyn Memorial.  20 foot black Nubian granite.  1976 in Gunnersbury Cemetery.  In memory of 14,500 prisoners of war who disappeared from camps in Russia. Designed by Louis Fitzgibbon and Count Stefan Zamoysky – who always wore a black tie.  Foreign Office wouldn’t let them say that the Russians were the guilty party and also stopped them putting a crowned Polish Eagle surrounded by barbed wire.

Gunnersbury Park
This square covers only a small section of the south west area of this large park. See squares to the north and west for detail

Harvard Road
57 Russian Orthodox Cathedral. – called the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God and the Royal Martyrs.  Built 1998 in the Pskov style – blue onion dome with gold stars. the main church is  on the ground floor and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and a second church, or chapel, downstairs is dedicated to the last Imperial Russian emperor, Tsar Nicholai II and his family, who were executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918 and canonised by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in 1981. It is a compact building painted white with a walk-way around it used for processions. The belfry was completed in 2013 with a full peal of nine bells specially commissioned from Russia
Clergy House – Sanderson’s House. This was the home of Harold Sanderson, who with his two brothers ran the Sanderson wall-paper works and who was responsible for production after the death of his father. Harold married in 1893 and lived in this house until 1904.

Chiswick Roundabout
Chiswick Roundabout. This opened in 1959, and is one of the oldest motorway junctions in England opened some years before the M4 was built.  It is the junction for the A4 Great West Road, A205 South Circular, A315 Chiswick High Road, A406 North Circular and M4. Chiswick Flyover which is clad with brickwork. On the westbound side the original section is visible.

Kew Bridge Road
Prince’s Hall. In the 1880s this was opposite Kew Bridge Station on the north side of the Star and Garter Hotel and was used as a beer garden. Later it was a swimming pool and in the Great War it was a roller skating rink. Later it was a dance hall and then a cinema, Prince’s Hall Electric Cinema. In the early 1920s it became a film studio and later it was leased by the de Leon family as the Q Theatre. It was a venue for new plays and experience for directors, technicians and actors. For instance Dirk Bogarde started his career painting scenery for the theatre there and then became Assistant Stage Manager.  It closed as a professional theatre in 1956 and was used by amateurs until 1958, was demolished and replaced with offices, called Rivers House, (was New Bridge House). The De Leon Drama School formed the nucleus of the Richmond Drama School.
Star and Garter.  This was an 18th century coaching inn. It was once owned by Royal Brewery then leased to Fuller's. When the second Kew Bridge was opened on 22 September 1789 the celebration dinner was held here. It was replaced with offices and flats in 1984 and seems to have been since demolished
56 Express Tavern. Also called The Express Ale & Cider House. Building date from the 1860s and the forecourt was used for trading which that developed in to Brentford Market. Plaque commemorating the Trafalgar Despatch unveiled August 2009. There is a brass plaque claiming that this pub was on the route of the 'Trafalgar Despatch', on which messengers communicated news about the battle of Trafalgar to the government
Fountain. This dated from 1877 and was in the informal market which occupied this junction from 1888. The fountain went to Southall when the market moved there
Jupp's Malthouse. This was on the west side of the bridge approach. Jupp's wharf was near is mooring posts and coal and grain was landed here.  There was a tall cowled chimney. William Jupp owned the malthouse from at least 1877 and was also a coal and corn merchant.

London Stile.
At the junction with Kew Bridge road a few houses along the High R n the 17th century were a hamlet called London Stile. London Style House was on the corner of what is now Wellesley Road. This was rented from 1764 by the painter John Zoffany in the late 18th century

M4
The M4, motorway runs from London to South Wales and, was called the London-South Wales Motorway. Junctions J1-J5 opened in 1965 and included the Chiswick Flyover.[

Park Place
Gunnersbury Sports and Social Club. This appears to be on the site of a London transport (District Line) sports ground. It may include a Serbian Restaurant.  In 2008 various clubs who used the ground were barred without explanation.
Groundsman’s bungalow. This is now a private nursery school
On the other side of the railway from this sports area is the southernmost section of the London Transport Acton Works. Entered from Bolo Lane – in the square to the north.

Power Road
Trading Estate area. Manly car dealerships plus old factory and warehouse areas converted to office and workshop rentals.
Chiswick studios. In the 1930’s The Warehouse which is now Studio 1 was built by the ‘American Singer’ Sewing Machine company. And became a leading distribution centre for the country.  In the Second World War the company produced munitions. In 1950’s Singer’s main factory in Scotland was modernised which meant they no longer needed their distribution hub here. It was then used by the BBC. The Equipment Department housing workshops where electronic equipment was manufactured tested and stored.  Gryphon and George were two lion-like beasts at the entrance. They are now at Kingswood Warren. Helical acquired the site in 2015. Studio 1 was refurbished in 2017, for rented workspace

Railway Line
Triangular junction with the line to Kew Bridge and the South Western Hounslow loop at Kew.  Both Old and New Junctions were built in the 1860s. Richmond Line Extension to North London Railway on London South Western Railway property, which left new line at Acton Junction. This is all about the coal trade.
Brentford Road Junction is under the High Road. This connects the lines into   Gunnersbury Station with the lines from the North London Railway.

Surrey Crescent
As early as the 1840s the cottages here described as Gunnersbury. The road is now essentially part of the roundabout.

Wellesley Road
Wellesley Road was a right of way for pedestrians with its alignment connected to Barley Mow Passage.
Gunnersbury Baptist Church. IN 1873 Rev William Frith led a group of eighty dissenters anxious to form a church called the Trinity Martyrs’ Memorial Church. They met in an iron church and a permanent church was opened in 1878. However they ran into debt and gave the church and buildings to the London Baptist Association. Soon they were again flourishing - on Saturdays a sandwich board man walked the High Road; they were against Sunday opening of Cinemas and Madame Tussauds and Sunday games in Gunnersbury Park.  In 1934 a hall was built behind the church. The church was bombed in the Second World War ad lost a lot of members, but things improved later and it still flourishes now.
Emmanuel Reformed Episcopal church was on the site off Wellesley Court. This was an iron church. Demolished 1949
Site of Sunday school on west side of the railway. This was the lecture hall of the Gunnersbury Baptist church, sold n 1934

Sources
Brentford Local Web. Web sit
British History on line. Ealing and Brentford. Web site
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
Gill Clegg’s Chiswick History Web pages.  Web site
GLIAS-Newsletter 
Gunnersbury Baptist Church. Web site
London Borough of Hounslow. Web site
Middlesex Churches, 
Pevsner and Cherry.  North West London
Robbins.  North London Railway.
SABRE. Web site
Stevenson. Middlesex
Strand on the Green. Web site
West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society. Web site

No comments: