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Not Brentford

The quest to find Catherine Row and neighbouring roads

VP wrote in March 2018 seeking images of the Victorian streets inbetween Albany Road and the High Street. 'The area in question is today Charlton House and Albany Place. However before that there were Victorian streets. Some I believe were called Catherine Row, Caroline Place, Sussex Place. There was also Paradise Place.'

As at 2018 the area is under consideration for inclusion in the St Paul's Conservation Area.

Findings

The OS map revised 1893 and published in 1894 shows the locations of three of these roads, bounded by High Street to the south, Albany Road to the north and Ealing Road to the east. Sussex Place looks a cut above a normal terrace, with wider frontages and small gardens to front and rear. Paradise and Caroline Place properties were a little smaller and those on Paradise Place opened on to a path or alley whereas the Caroline Place properties had small front and back gardens.

But where was Catherine Row? At the time we concluded it may have been a later build, perhaps off Catherine Place.

The image below is from an OS map freely accessible on the National Library of Scotland website; it is at a scale of 1:1056, find out more.

OS map showing area south of Albany Road

Aerial view of Paradise Place area looking east, High Street right, Albany Road left

VP investigated further: 'There is a super website Britainfromabove.org.uk which has some excellent shots of Brentford. One in particular caught my eye and thanks to the OS map I was able to annotate a section with street names. Another photo I found seems to show 'The Barracks' which in the above photo had already been pulled down. It seems it was a single storey terrace that resembled Ingram's Alms houses in Isleworth (from what I could tell from a very blurred photo).'

VP later found a photo of Catherine Row in Brentford Past which clinched its location: marked in red above. As suspected it was a later build; the map shows a gap between Paradise Place and Caroline Place where Catherine Row was built at some point after 1893: a neat terrace of 12 properties, ideal for young couples. Thanks to Local Studies, Chiswick Library for providing a copy of the photo from their collection:

Catherine Row

Demolition plans

The Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Brentford and Chiswick 1959 describes the 'Albany Road Re-development Area'. Recent demolitions included: 31 properties on Caroline Place, Catherine Row and 5 Albany Road; 19 properties on Mount Pleasant, Sussex Place and 19A Albany Road; also several blocks of Albany Road properties. Specifically numbers 1-12 Catherine Row (sequential) were mentioned, a match to the aerial view which shows a terrace of 12 properties, the ones at each end with a gable end. (The Wellcome Library, freely available online)

As to the dates when these properties were built, Caroline Place and Wellington Place are mentioned in the will of George Sanders of Old Brentford written in 1850 (13 and 8 copyhold properties respectively); so by 1959 the Caroline Place properties were over 100 years old and deemed unfit for habitation. Catherine Row must have been only 60 or so years old when it was demolished.

Summing up

VP's identification of the aerial view and using theBrentford Past photo, combined with a joint effort in matching to the OS map, means what were simply road names can now be seen: small, two-storey homes, part of our shared heritage and story.

Some 1860s references

West London Observer 11 July 1863 Old Spring Gardens, Brentford, Middlesex.
MESSRS KING and SON will sell by Auction,
at the Castle Inn, Brentford, on Tuesday,
July 14th, 1863, at three o'clock, in one lot,
3 COPYHOLD COTTAGES with front Gardens
and Pump of Spring Water, situate and known
as Paradise Place, old Spring Gardens, Old
Brentford, in the Parish and Manor of Ealing,
Middlesex; in the occupations of Messrs. Taylor,
Barkshire, and Lindsey, at Rents amounting to
23 8s. Per Annum. May be Viewed, and
printed Particulars with Conditions of Sale had
of Messrs. Clark and Ruston, Solicitors, Brentford;
and at the Place of Sale; the principal Inns in the
neighbouring Market Towns; and at the Office of
Messrs. King and Son, Auctioneers, Estate Agents,
Valuers, &c., &c., Brentford, W.

The sale took place a couple of years after the 1861 census and the address 'Paradise Place' has not been indexed on Findmypast. However Stephen Barkshire, 34, labourer, living nearby at 5 Sussex Place with his wife Elizabeth 29 and daughter Mary Jane 8, both born in Old Brentford seems a reasonable fit to the tenant named in 1863. The property was occupied by four households, a total of 13 people; occupations including fruit hawker, basket maker and garden labourer.

Previous pages in the census covered Wellington Place, Mount Pleasant and then Paradise Place. John Taylor, 55, bricklayer, born Enfield, wife Sophia and four children aged 8 to 15 were living at no.3 Paradise Place and he could be the tenant referred to in the advert.

Further checks on Findmypast show Paradise Place has been indexed as a house name, with the address Back Lane.

In 1861 the ten occupants of 1 to 10 Paradise Place were:

  1. Hamblin
  2. Ivies
  3. Taylor
  4. Watkins
  5. Neighbour
  6. Anson
  7. Morris
  8. Hays
  9. Hodgman
  10. Parsons
The following two properties, Cliff Cottages, were occupied by Lamb and Hayes. These may be the two larger properties adjoining the end of Paradise Place.

Published June 2018; updated November 2018