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Brentford, Middlesex

Historical Description

Brentford, New and Old, a market and union town in the parishes of Hanwell and Ealing, Middlesex. The eastern part of the town is known as Old Brentford, and is in Ealing parish, the western portion, or New Brentford, being in the parish of Hanwell. The town stands at the influx of the river Brent to the Thames, about 6 miles W of Hyde Park-corner. The Grand Junction Canal unites here with the Brent, and accompanies it to the Thames. The L. & S.W., G.W., North London, and Metropolitan District railways communicate with the town in various ways, and have stations for it, and the G.W. connects here likewise with large docks for heavy traffic by water to London. The town is ancienty and took its name from a ford on the line of a great thoroughfare across the Brent. It was the scene in 1016 of a destructive overthrow of the Danes by Edmund Ironside, and in 1642 of a still more important overthrow of the Parliamentarians by the Royalists. A chapter of the Garter was held at it in 1445, and six martyrs were burnt in it in 1558.. The " Two Kings of Brentford " have done great service with all sorts of poets and poetasters, from William Cowper to Torn D'Urfey. John Lowin, the landlord of the "Three-Pigeons " here in the time of Ben Jonson, was a famous actor, and performed in Shakespeare's own company. Tho town is described by the poet Gay as a " tedious town, for dirty streets and white-legged chickens known" and by the. poet Thomson as " Brentford town-a town of mud." It now comprises one long principal street, and contains some good houses. A bridge connects the lower end of the town, across the Thames, with Kew, and another bridge, erected in 1825 on the site of a very ancient one, crosses the Brent. It is governed by a local board of health consisting of 12. members, is supplied with gas by a local company, and with water by the Grand Junction Waterworks Company. It has extensive drainage and sewage works, which were completed in 1884. The town-hall and market-house is a handsome brick and stone edifice standing in New Brentford. The county court and petty sessions are held here. A market, for the sale of garden produce was erected at a cost of about £8000 in 1892. The town is divided into three ecclesiastical districts-viz., St George and St Paul's. in Ealing parish, and St Lawrence in Hanwell parish.. The living of St George is a vicarage; gross yearly value, £300 with residence. Patron, the Vicar of Ealing. The living of St Paul's is a vicarage; net yearly value, £300 with residence. Patrons, the Crown and the Bishop of London alternately. The living of St Lawrence is also a vicarage; net yearly value, £264 with residence, in the gift of the Rector of Hanwell. All three livings are in the diocese of London. The church of St George was erected in 1887, and is a building of Kentish rag stone and brick in the. Decorated style. The church of St Paul's, erected in 1867-68, is in the Early Decorated style, and has a lofty spire. That of St Lawrence was rebuilt for the most part in 1764, bud it has an ancient embattled western tower. There are also Baptist, Roman Catholic, Congregational, Primitive Methodist, and Wesleyan chapels, and there is a place of worship used by the Brethren. The industries of the town include some extensive mailings, two breweries, a large pottery, a soap manufactory, some large timber yards with saw mills, and agas-worn. The Grand Junction Waterworks Company have extensive works here, with a huge chimney 150 feet high. The market day is on Tuesday, and fairs are held on the 17, 18, and 19 May, and the 12, 13, and 14 September. The town has a head post, money order, and telegraph office. Syon House, a seat of the Duke of Northumberland, Osterley Park, the seat of the Earl of Jersey, Boston House, the seat of Col. Clitherow, and many handsome villas are in the neighbourhood. Area of the urban sanitary district, 1109 acres; population, 13,738; area of the civil parish of New Brentford, 216 acres; population, 2069; of the ecclesiastical (St Lawrence), 2069; of Old Brentford (St George), 4457; St Paul, 7344.

Brentford Parliamentary Division of Middlesex was formed under the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885, and returns one member to the House of Commons. Population, 69,804. The division includes the following:-Brentford (part of)-Hanwell (except the detached part in the Ealing division), Heston, Isleworth, Norwood, Twickenham; Brentford-Local Government District.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyMiddlesex 
Civil parishEaling 
Poor Law unionBrentford 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

We have transcribed the marriage records for the parish of St. Mary, Hanwell, Middlesex. This parish includes the chapelries of New and Old Brentford. We will be transcribing the baptism and burial records in due course, and marriages up to 1921.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Brentford from the following:

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Middlesex is online.

CountyGreater London
Postal districtTW8
Post TownBrentford