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Brentford

Brentford is a suburban town in west London, England, and part of the London Borough of Hounslow. It is located at the confluence of the River Thames and the River Brent, 8 miles (13 km) west-southwest of Charing Cross. Its former ceremonial county was Middlesex.

Brentford is the first point which was easily fordable by foot on the tidal portion of the River Thames (this was before dredging took place). Partly for this reason it has been suggested that Julius Cæsar crossed the Thames here during his invasion of Britain in 54 BC. In his own account, he writes that he crossed the river 80 miles (130 km) from the sea and Brentford is also this distance from his supposed landing beach. He further states that the river bank was protected by sharp stakes. During the building of Brentford Dock many such oak stakes were discovered. Dredging the river uncovered so many more that they had to be removed, for they were a hazard to navigation.[4] Although his descriptions are compelling, there is as yet, no archaeological proof that this was indeed the spot where he and his army had to fight to cross. It must also be kept in mind that Julius Cæsar's own accounts suffered in some part, to his embellishment of the facts. Nevertheless, outside the local County Courts there now stands the Brentford Monument, hewn from solid pink granite, whereupon it is asserted, that a documented battle took place here at this time between Cæsar's forces and Cassivellaunus.[5] There are, however, two other historically accredited battles of Brentford in 1016 and 1642.

Timeline

  • 54 BC Brentford is a likely site of a battle recorded by Julius Cæsar between Julius Cæsar and local king, Cassivellaunus.
  • 781 Council of Brentford recording settlement of a dispute between King Offa of Mercia, and the Bishop of Worcester
  • 1016 Battle of Brentford between the invading Canute and Edmund Ironside
  • 1431 Relocation of Syon Abbey to Brentford from Twickenham
  • 1539 Destruction of Syon Abbey by King Henry VIII
  • 1616 - 1617 Pocahontas, the Native American 'Princess', lived in Brentford
  • 1642 Battle of Brentford during the English Civil War
  • 1682 A very violent storm of rain, accompanied with thunder and lightning, caused a sudden flood, which did great damage to the town of Brentford. The whole place was overflown ; boats rowed up and down the streets, and several houses and other buildings were carried away by the force of the waters.[10]
  • 1717 Brentford Turnpike Trust founded to maintain the road between Kensington and Hounslow
  • 1805 Start of operations of the Grand Junction Canal (later the Grand Union Canal)
  • 1815 - 1817 John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the USA, lived in Brentford
  • 1828 William Corder was arrested on Wednesday April 23 at Everley Grove House, Ealing Lane in Brentford, for the notorious Red Barn Murder.
  • 1841 Brentford was flooded, caused by the Brent Reservoir becoming overfull so that the overflow cut a breach in the earth dam. Several lives lost.[11]
  • 1849 Start of operations of the Hounslow Loop line, providing service to Kew Bridge, Brentford Central and Syon Lane stations in the Brentford area.
  • 1859 Start of operations of the Great Western & Brentford Railway company linking Brentford Dock to the Great Western Railway main line at Southall. Additional passenger station named 'Brentford Town' later constructed just north of Brentford High Street.
  • 1884 Start of operations of Boston Manor Underground station (then known as Boston Road).
  • 1889 Brentford Football Club founded by a rowing club seeking a winter sport.
  • 30 May 1925 - Great West Road officially opened by King George V. Later the Brentford section became known as the Golden Mile due to the large number of factories that relocated there to take advantage of the good communications. The factories provided high employment and stimulation to the local economy.
  • 1 January 1929 - Grand Junction Canal bought by the Regent's Canal and amalgamated with other canals to form the Grand Union Canal.
  • 1965 Opening of elevated section of M4 motorway

The road which is now Brentford High Street served as the main road to the South West of Britain for many centuries, and even now, the M4 motorway and the Great West Road pass approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) north of the original main road through Brentford.

Landmarks

Syon House, the London residence of the Duke of Northumberland.

Syon Abbey, now razed to the ground, was the largest abbey church in England.

Syon House is built upon part of the site of Syon Abbey. The exact location of Syon Abbey was unknown until archeological investigations in the grounds of Syon House (Syon Park) in 2003 (by Time Team) and 2004 revealed the foundations of the abbey church. It was larger than Westminster Abbey is now, but no above-ground structure remains. For more details on the abbey and the reasons for its destruction, see its own entry - Syon Abbey.

The London Butterfly House in Syon Park was an insectarium like a large glasshouse containing a butterfly zoo. Visitors could see butterflies and moths flying about, feeding, and emerging from Chrysalises. There was also a colony of large ants (kept with the butterflies), a small tropical bird aviary, and a small gallery of reptiles, amphibians, insects and spiders. The lease on the current site expired in Oct 07 and the Butterfly House closed on 28 October 2007.

Boston Manor House, built in 1622, is a Jacobean manor house, noted for its fine plasterwork ceilings.

Gunnersbury Park Museum is the local museum for the Boroughs of Ealing and Hounslow and situated in Gunnersbury House. It contains many archaeological finds including hundreds of flints, plus Roman and Viking weapons found in Brentford. It also has displays of costumes and changing displays on other subjects of local interest. The house was formerly occupied by the Rothschild family and although they did not leave any contemporary furniture or fittings, some of the decorative schemes have been well preserved.

The Weir, public house, formerly 'The White Horse' was where the artist J. M. W. Turner lived for one year at the age of ten. He is regarded as having started his interest in painting while living there. Later on in life, he lived nearby in Isleworth and Twickenham.

Syon Park House (demolished in 1953), not to be confused with Syon House, housed the 'Syon Park Academy' where the poet Shelley was educated between the ages of 10 and 12 before moving on to Eton. A Royal Mail depot stands on the site now. This may also be the site of the dwelling where Pocahontas lived in Brentford End between 1616 and 1617.

Brentford Dock, a freight terminus of the Great Western Railway, built at the confluence of the River Thames and River Brent, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and built between 1855 and 1859. A spur line from the GWR at Southall was constructed to the Brentford Dock railway station to facilitate easy transferral of freight from lighters and barges on the Thames to GWR-served destinations in the west of the United Kingdom. The dock was redeveloped as residential accommodation in the early 1970s, and little industrial archeology remains. However, Dock Road still retains some of its original fan pattern cobblestone road bed and examples of Brunel's broad-gauge 'bridge section' rail can be seen there.

The Brentford Dock flats (Originally named the Tiber Estate[19])were built alongside formerly important transport infrastructure as Brentford is the terminus of the Grand Union Canal, originally the Grand Junction Canal. This waterway is still in use for leisure traffic.

The 1000 Great West Road Building, an office building located in Brentford on the M4 motorway featured in Hard-Fi's Living for the Weekend Music Video

Brentford Public Library is a Carnegie library.

Brentford Public Baths (1896) are a Grade II listed example of late Victorian architecture.

Kew Bridge Steam Museum houses the world's largest working beam engine.

The Musical Museum houses a large collection of mechanical musical instruments, such as player pianos and a Wurlitzer organ.

Sports

Griffin Park is home to Brentford Football Club and Chelsea Football Club Reserves (from 2002 until 23 September 2005 it was the home of the London Broncos rugby league club - subsequently they were renamed Harlequins Rugby League and transferred to The Stoop).

Brentford F.C. are a professional English football club based in Brentford in the London Borough of Hounslow. They are currently playing in Football League One.

They were founded in 1889 by members of the Brentford Rowing Club and play their home games at Griffin Park, their home stadium since 1904. The club has a long-standing rivalry with near neighbours, Fulham.[20]

Transport

Nearest tube stations:

  • Northfields tube station
  • Boston Manor tube station
  • South Ealing tube station
  • Gunnersbury tube station

Nearest railway stations:

  • Brentford railway station
  • Kew Bridge railway station
  • Syon Lane railway station

Isleworth

Isleworth is a small town of Saxon origin sited within the London Borough of Hounslow in west London, England. It lies immediately east of the town of Hounslow and west of the River Thames and its tributary the River Crane. Isleworth's original area of settlement, alongside the Thames, is known as 'Old Isleworth'. The north-west corner of the town, bordering on Osterley to the north and Lampton to the west, is known as 'Spring Grove'.

Isleworth's former Thames frontage of approximately one mile, excluding that of the Syon estate, was reduced to little over half a mile in 1994 when a borough boundary realignment was effected in order to unite the district of St Margarets wholly within London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.[1] As a result, Isleworth's boundary with the Thames is now almost entirely overshadowed by the 3.5-hectare (8.6-acre) islet of Isleworth Ait.[2] The River Crane flows into the Thames south of the Ait, and its distributary the Duke of Northumberland's River west of the Ait.

College

  • West Thames College

Schools

Primary

  • Ashton House School
  • The Blue School CE
  • Isleworth Town
  • Ivybridge
  • Marlborough
  • Smallberry Green
  • Spring Grove Primary
  • St Mary's RC
  • Worple

Secondary

  • The Green School for Girls
  • Gumley House Convent RC School for Girls.
  • Isleworth & Syon School for Boys
  • Oaklands School (SEN)

Routes

The principal road in Isleworth is the London Road (A 315) as this road from the centre of London passes through Westminster it is called 'Piccadilly' and then 'Knightsbridge'. In Kensington it is 'High Street', in Hammersmith 'King Street', in Chiswick it's the 'High Road', in Brentford it's the 'High Street', and as Isleworth's 'London Road' passes into Hounslow it again becomes 'High Street'. In former times it was part of the 'King's Highway' to Windsor.

A bigger road was completed in 1925, named the Great West Road (A 4), moving in much the same direction and forming the notional northern boundary of Isleworth. A six-lane dual carriageway for most of its length, with attendant cycle paths, it fulfilled the purpose of bypassing the bottlenecks of Brentford and Hounslow high streets to relieve the old road from London of traffic heading to and from Windsor and beyond. A later branch extension off this new road, named the Great South West Road, carried traffic south-westwards and this had the additional effect of relieving the London Road of traffic heading to and from Staines and beyond. In terms of volume and speed of traffic the newer road is of course a much more important throughway for Isleworth, but in human terms it does not identify with or serve the local community so closely.

The other throughway in this category is the Twickenham Road (A 310), which branches off London Road west of the Syon estate and takes traffic to Twickenham, Teddington and beyond. This was the King's Highway to Hampton Court, so in years past those houses fronting on Twickenham Road, such as Somerset House, Kendal House and the two Silver Halls would have been favoured with a royal gaze from time to time.

Road passenger services

Isleworth had a tram depot situated on the north side of London Road, near to the border with Hounslow. The original operating company was London United Tramways. After the formation of the London Transport Passenger Board the depot was converted in 1935 to trolleybus operation. Its construction was designed in a horseshoe shape with a travelator (which also incorporated a turntable) at the far end. Originally known as Hounslow Depot, it was renamed Isleworth and given the code "IH" in trolleybus days. It had a capacity for a maximum of 37 vehicles and only ever operated on one service - namely the 57 tram route which, on conversion, became the 657 trolleybus route. Both the 57 and 657 services operated between Hounslow Heath & Shepherd's Bush Green via Hounslow Town, Isleworth, Brentford, Chiswick, and Goldhawk Road. The Hounslow terminus was, in the case of the 57 tram, from a tramway stub near the Hussar Pub and in the case of the 657 trolleybus, on a turning place at the junction of Staines Road & Wellington Road. At different times there were ambitious plans to extend the tram lines westward to Staines and even to Maidenhead, but these never came about and even the modern replacement motor bus routes still only mainly traverse the original roads.

When the 657 figured in the final London trolleybus conversion of all, on May 8, 1962, Isleworth Depot closed and its replacement motor buses and staff were transferred to nearby Hounslow Bus Garage (coded "AV"). The service number for the route became 117, which up to this time ran between Egham and Hounslow.The 117 was later superseded by extensions to the then 237 route. Following on from the break up of London Transport Buses and the formation of Transport for London, Hounslow Garage became part of the Transdev London London United operation and this, in turn, has been taken over by RATP Group which is another French owned company.

There was also the 667 trolleybus, formerly the 67 tram, which passed through Isleworth en route from Hampton Court to Hammersmith via Hampton Hill, Fulwell, Twickenham, Busch Corner, Brentford and Chiswick. Upon its transfer to motor bus operation, as part of the final London trolleybus conversions, the route had its number changed from 667 to 267. Both the 667 and its replacement have been operated by Fulwell Garage. The history of the ownership of Fulwell (coded "FW") is exactly as for Hounslow Garage above.

On Summer Bank Holidays both the 657 and the 667 operated extra scheduled journeys whereby they exchanged their termini, with some 667s operating to Shepherds Bush and some 657s operating to Hampton Court. This practice did not survive after the trolleys were withdrawn.

A long-established motor bus route serving Isleworth (and Hounslow) was the number 37. This was one of the earliest motor bus routes introduced by the London General Omnibus Company and it originally ran from Isleworth to Peckham via St Margarets, Richmond, Barnes, Putney, Wandsworth, Clapham Junction, Clapham Common, Brixton, Herne Hill and East Dulwich. It was later extended westward to Hounslow (passing Isleworth railway station) and for a brief time offered a summer service extending as far as Maidenhead. Even without that short-lived extension the 37 was one of London's longest routes. At first the terminus in Isleworth was actually the forecourt of The Northumberland Arms public house. Later, for "short" running timings, this changed to stands in Magdala Road and then in South Street, outside the Public Hall. The western arm of this historic route was curtailed between Putney and Hounslow in 1991 and the section between Richmond and Hounslow via Isleworth became the province of a new, more localised service numbered H37.

As of September 2011 the bus services serving Isleworth and provided by Transport for London are: 117, 235, 237, 267, 481, H20, H22, H28, H37, H91, N9.

Rail passenger services

Isleworth has only one rail service. It consists of a loop branch line running off the minor main line service operated by South West Trains between central London and Reading. On the down-service the loop begins at the Barnes junction, then travels through the towns of Chiswick and Brentford before entering Isleworth by crossing over the River Brent just south of the A4 trunk road. Thereafter it serves the two stations of Syon Lane and Isleworth before leaving the town just north of the Woodlands estate and passing under Bridge Road. The service usually runs at fifteen minute intervals. Following its next stop at Hounslow the loop re-enters the main line on the up-service shortly before the Whitton station.

Nearest National Rail stations

  • Isleworth
  • Syon Lane

Nearest London Underground stations

  • Osterley Piccadilly Line
  • Hounslow East Piccadilly Line
  • Richmond District Line

Osterley

Osterley is a district in the London Borough of Hounslow in west London. It is situated approximately 10 miles (16.1 km) west south-west of Charing Cross.

Osterley lies north of the A4 (The Great West Road) and extends further northwards beyond the M4 Motorway. Syon Lane forms the border to the east, while the border with the town of Heston lies to the west.

Osterley is principally a rural district encompassing the large ancestral private estate of Osterley Park and its house. These were formerly owned by the Jersey family and were used during World War II as the home for Tom Wintringham's Home Guard training school. They are now National Trust property. During the inter-war period of the 1930s when the Great West Road was completed ribbon development housing appeared, and this gradually expanded to form the comparatively small residential sections within Osterley.

Besides Osterley House and Park, the district is also known for embracing one of the London residences of The Sultan of Brunei (The Aviary Farm in Windmill Lane).

The electoral ward of Osterley and Spring Grove now has its own dedicated Police team as part of the Metropolitan Police Safer Neighbourhoods programme.

Nearest tube station

  • Osterley tube station

Nearest railway stations

  • Syon Lane railway station
  • Isleworth railway station

Chiswick

is a large suburb of west London, England and part of the London Borough of Hounslow.[1] It is located on a meander of the River Thames, 6 miles (9.7 km) west of Charing Cross and is one of 35 major centres identified in the London Plan.[2] It was historically an ancient parish in the county of Middlesex, with an agrarian and fishing economy. Having good communications with London from an early time the area became a popular country retreat, and as part of the suburban growth of London in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the population of Chiswick significantly expanded. With neighbouring Brentford, it became a municipal borough in 1932 and has formed part of Greater London since 1965.

Economy

Chiswick High Road contains a mix of retail, restaurants, food outlets and expanding office and hotel space. The wide streets encourage cafes and restaurants to provide pavement seating. Being situated between the offices at the Golden Mile Great West Road and Hammersmith, office developments and warehouse conversions to offices began from the 1960s

Transport

Chiswick is situated at the start of the North Circular Road (A406), South Circular Road (A205) and the M4 motorway, the latter providing a direct connection to Heathrow Airport and the M25 motorway. The Great West Road (A4) runs eastwards into central London via the Hogarth Roundabout where it meets the Great Chertsey Road (A316) which runs south-west, eventually joining the M3 motorway.

The southern border of Chiswick runs along the River Thames, which is crossed in this area by Barnes Railway and Foot Bridge, Chiswick Bridge, Kew Railway Bridge and Kew Bridge. River services between Westminster Pier and Hampton Court depart from Kew Gardens Pier just across Kew Bridge.

Including buses that stop at Kew Bridge and Chiswick High Road, and/or Kew Bridge railway station, Chiswick is served by eleven bus routes (27, 65, 94, 190, 237, 267, 272, 391, 440, E3 and H91) and two all-night services (N9 and N11). Three services run 24 hours a day (27, 94, 65).

Until its closure in 1989, London Transport had a Central Works and Training School (for bus crews) located in Chiswick High Road, opposite Gunnersbury Underground Station. The Training School incorporated a bus "Skid-Pan".

The District line crosses Chiswick, the London Underground stations are (east-west): Stamford Brook, Turnham Green, Chiswick Park and Gunnersbury. Turnham Green is an interchange with the Piccadilly line, but only before 0650 and after 2230, when Piccadilly line trains stop at the station.

The nearest National Rail stations are Chiswick and Kew Bridge. South West Trains operates a regular service to London Waterloo via Clapham Junction.

The North London line crosses Chiswick (north-south); the nearest London Overground station is Gunnersbury

Ealing as a suburb of London

With the exception of driving animals into London on foot, the transport of heavy goods tended be restricted to those times when the non-metalled roads were passable due to dry weather. However, with the passing of the Toll Road Act, this highway was gravelled and so the old Oxford Road became an increasingly busy and important thoroughfare running from east to west through the centre of the parish. This road was later to be known as the Uxbridge Road. The well-to-do of London began to see Ealing as a place to escape from the smoke and smells. In 1800 the architect John Soane bought Payton Place and renamed it Pitzhanger Manor, not to live but just for somewhere green and pleasant, where he could entertain his friends and guests. Soon after (1801) the Duke of Kent bought a house at Castlebar. Soon, more affluent Londoners followed but with the intention of taking up a permanent residence which was conveniently close to London. A one time prime minister, Spencer Perceval made his home at Elm House. Up until that point, Ealing was mostly made up of open countryside and fields where, as in previous centuries, the main occupation was farming.

Economy

Ealing Studios

Ealing is best known for its film studios, which are the oldest in the world and are known especially for the Ealing comedies, including Kind Hearts and Coronets, Passport to Pimlico, The Ladykillers and The Lavender Hill Mob. The studios were taken over by the BBC in 1955, with one consequence being that Ealing locations appeared in television programmes including Doctor Who (notably within an iconic 1970 sequence in which deadly shop mannequins menaced local residents) to Monty Python's Flying Circus. Most recently, these studios have again been used for making films, including Notting Hill and The Importance of Being Earnest. Most recently, St Trinian's, a remake of the classic film, was produced by Ealing Studios; some locations in Ealing can be seen in this film.

Quite remarkably, Ealing now lacks any cinema houses in which to show these films; the Ealing Empire cinema has now been closed since 2008. However local group Pitshanger Pictures shows classic movies in St Barnabas Millennium Hall on Pitshanger Lane.[10]

Ealing does have a theatre on Mattock Lane, Questors Theatre.

Transport

Ealing is served by Ealing Broadway station on the Great Western Main Line and the London Underground in London fare zone 3. It is also served by three other tube stations at North Ealing, South Ealing and Ealing Common. The Piccadilly line operates at North Ealing, Ealing Common and South Ealing; the Central line at Ealing Broadway; and the District line at Ealing Broadway and Ealing Common. The station at Ealing Broadway is served by National Rail operators First Great Western and Heathrow Connect. Early in the 21st century Transport for London (TFL) planned to reintroduce an electric tram line along the Uxbridge Road (the West London Tram scheme), but this was abandoned in August 2007 in the face of fierce local opposition and a switch in priorities and funding to Crossrail.

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