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Description and History from 1868 Gazetteer

NEW BRENTFORD, a parish in the borough of Brentford, hundred of Elthorne , county Middlesex. [Not named on some 2003 maps - at Boston Manor.] It is part of Brentford, a market town , comprising the parish of New Brentford (also called West or Great Brentford), and the parish of Old Brentford (also called East Brentford), in the county of Middlesex, 7 miles to the W. of Hyde Park Corner. Old Brentford became a parish in 1828, being formerly in the parish of Ealing, and hundred of Ossulstone.

Brentford is a station on a loop line of the London and Southampton railway, and is connected with the Great Western railway by a branch line 4 miles long from Southall. The town is situated on the northern bank of the river Thames, which is here crossed by a handsome stone bridge of seven arches, erected in 1789, and connecting Brentford with Kew. The two parts of the town are separated by the main road to Hanwell and the small river Brent, which, after being joined by the Grand Junction canal near Hanwell, falls into the Thames at this place. Brentford, formerly called Braynford, is an ancient town, and takes its name from, the river and a very ancient ford across it, where now the bridge stands. The present bridge, a neat stone structure, was built about 1824, on the site of one which had existed here from a very early period, for the maintenance of which a toll was granted by Edward I. A battle was fought at Brentford in the year 1016, in which the Danes, having been compelled to retire from London, were defeated with great loss by Edmund Ironside. Another battle took place here during the civil war of the 17th century, in which the royalist forces, led by Ruthen, Earl of Forth, defeated the forces of the parliament, led by Colonel Hollis. Ruthen was afterwards created Earl of Brentford for his services on this occasion. In 1445 a chapter of the order of the Garter was held at Brentford. About the same time a friary, or hospital, for a master and several brethren, was founded in a chapel at Old Brentford, by John Somerset, chancellor of the exchequer and the king's chaplain, the site of which was given at the Dissolution to Edward, Duke of Somerset. Six Protestant martyrs suffered death at the stake here in 1558. The town consists chiefly of one street, narrow, irregularly built, and about a mile in length. Its situation on the great western road, the Grand Junction canal, and the railways, has made Brentford an important thoroughfare, and the seat of a good trade. Here are several extensive manufactories and works, including a soap-factory, saw-mills, an ale brewery, gas and water works; but the extensive distillery formerly situated here has recently been removed to Hammersmith. The water-works now belong to the Grand Junction Company, which has a chimney 150 feet in height, and a stand-pipe above 200 feet high. The market-gardens of the neighbourhood give employment to many of the workpeople. There is a townhall and market-house of recent erection, a savings-bank, and a dispensary situated in New Brentford. Brentford is the county town, and the elections for Middlesex take place here. It is also the head of a Poor-law Union (though the Union poorhouse is situated in Isleworth), of a County Court district, and the headquarters of the West Middlesex-militia: Petty sessions are held once a fortnight by the county magistrates. The living of New Brentford is a vicarage* in the diocese of London, of the value of 360, in the patronage of the Rector of Hanwell. The church, a plain brick edifice, rebuilt about 1764, is dedicated to St. Lawrence. The tower is that of the old church. It contains six bells, one of which bears on it the date 1011, and the inscription "Sancta Anna, ora pro nobis!" The church contains a brass and several interesting monuments, among which are those of Noy, attorney general in the reign of Charles I.; of the Clitherows, whose seat is Boston House, and to whom the manor belongs; of Dr. William Howell Ewin, by Flaxman; of Gifford, the actor; and of John Horne, father of John Home Tooke, who held the curacy about eleven years. The living of Old Brentford is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of London, of the value of 141, in the patronage of the Vicar of Ealing. The church is dedicated-to St. George. It contains an altar-piece by Zoffany, representing the Last Supper, in which the artist has introduced his own portrait as St. Peter, and those of eleven fishermen of the town as the other apostles. A new district has been recently formed out of Old Brentford, and a temporary iron church erected. There are in the town chapels belonging to the Baptists, Independents, and Wesleyan Methodists, a literary institution, and British and infant schools, besides National schools situated in New Brentford. The charitable endowments consist chiefly of the revenue of the free schools for boys and girls, the former endowed in 1719 by Lady Capel. In the market-place of New Brentford is an old inn, called the "Three Pigeons," to which some interest is attached from its having been kept by Lowin, one of the earliest performers of the plays of Shakspeare, and from its being referred to by the early dramatists. Near the town are Sion House and Osterley Park, the former the residence of the Duke of Northumberland, the latter that of the Earl of Jersey. Tuesday is the market day. Fairs are held on the 17th May, and the 12th September, each lasting three days, the former being for the sale of cattle, and the latter a pleasure fair.

[Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland" (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson 2003]
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[Last updated on 9 Oct 2003 by David Hawgood. 2003]