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233 - 246 High Street, Old BrentfordThis is on the northern side of the High Street, in the area which is now Somerfields supermarket & car park next to the County Court.
This is in Old Brentford and originally part of Ealing parish, later St George's Parish until St Paul's Church opened (1868).
Archaeological excavations took place in several areas of Brentford in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including this part of the High Street (‘2000 Years of Brentford’ by Roy Canham, see Books etc (G) for publication details).
The excavations of this area in 1970 and 1971 are described in great detail (G24-G31) and also provide a snapshot of the area at the time: the site was described as ‘partially cleared of buildings some years ago owing to the decayed and dangerous state of several of the houses’.
The write-up noted ‘it is probable that any buildings of the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries were obliterated in redevelopment of the High Street in the nineteenth century’ and evidence of occupation from Roman times onwards was found, including an Anglo-Saxon hut.
Photos from the 1960s shows numbers 242 to 245 were two storey double fronted shops, sandwiched between three storey properties numbers 241 and 246. Number 242 had been rebuilt shortly before being sold in 1901 (along with numbers 243, 244 and 245) and 1960s photos show four very similar properties, suggesting all four were rebuilt in the late 19th century.
The tithe map and 1865 OS maps show originally the area was occupied by a small additional property. This has complicated tying in census entries to properties for the period before the High Street was numbered (ie pre 1876). As the numbering sequence has no gaps it seems likely the rebuilding took place before numbers were allocated, but this appears to contradict the note made in 1909/10 that no. 242 had just been rebuilt following it being sold in 1901.Top
PropertiesNotes prepared for numbers 233, 234, 234a - Wesleyan Chapel, later a Polytechnic, then an organ factory, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240 - Auctioneers, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245 and 246; also a list of photos, ephemera and maps
Number 233Property on the eastern corner of St Paul’s Road, Coffee Rooms from 1890 – 1940: George Shepherd 1890; John Ilsley & 5 borders 1891; Arthur W Bacon 1901; James Wyatt 1913; Redmond & Bloomer 1928 & 1933; A H Bond 1940. Described as a house and shop, three storeys and in ‘very fair repair’ in the 1909/10 valuation returns. No. 233 was owned by John Hill, WE Grogan & Annie Grogan and had a High Street frontage of 21’ 2”. It had a very small yard, 2 side entrances and a cellar.
At the time of the 1911 census John Wright Cairns, dining room manager, lived and worked here with his wife Louisa (the cook) and baby Frederick, one month old. Two live in servants completed the household: Mary Ann Sweetman, kitchen maid and Daisy Tanner or Janner, waitress. The property had 9 rooms.
By 1913 James Wyatt ran the coffee rooms, in 1920 the property was sold on 9 March 1920 for £2300.
Redmond & Bloomer ran the coffee rooms in 1928 & 1933, A H Bond in 1938 & 1940. See links below for a photo from Jeanne Whitby showing demolition underway in 1982.
Number 234In 1881 no. 234 was occupied by a household of ten, headed by James S Turner, a 34 year old drape with two assistants, born Hanwell. He had a wife, Martha E, born Leeds, age 27 and three young sons all born in Brentford: Ernest 3, Henry 2 and Herbert 11 months. James’s two sisters Sarah and Louisa Turner, aged 30 and 28, both born Hanwell, also lived here. They were recorded as ‘assistants’. Three others in the household: 3 year old nephew, John S Nice, born Gloucester; Annie Tipper, whose relationship to head of household was recorded as ‘assistant’, but whose occupation was left blank, she was 27 and born in Croydon; and Sarah Ayre, 17, born Tebworth Bedfordshire, general servant.
The 1882 trade directory provides James’s middle name ‘Summers’ and confirms his address.
By 1890 no. 234 was occupied by Alfred Platt, grocer (he lived in Heston in the 1891 and 1901 censuses, he later established a grocers at 220/221 High Street). James Pearce, grocers manager, and five assistants lived at no. 234 in 1891, then in 1901 no. 234 was occupied by William Langdon, leather seller, age 62.
In 1909/10 ‘double fronted house & shop of 3 floors… old stable at rear’, owners as for number 233.
The 1911 census records no. 234 as a lock-up shop not used as a dwelling.
It was sold on 9 March 1920 for £2300: as no. 233 was sold on the same day for the same amount it suggests the properties were sold together.
The property was demolished in 1982 - see below for links to photos.Top
Wesleyan Chapel, Polytechnic, Organ Factory - number 234aSet back from the High Street and ‘approached from High Street only by a passage’, ‘large square brick & slate building in very fair condition, formerly a chapel’,’balcony around entire building inside’. (1909/1910 Valuation returns).
This was used as a Wesleyan Chapel (1881) and a Polytechnic (1901). 'Then and Now Brentford' by Carolyn and Peter Hammond includes more about the buildings history. At the time of the 1909/10 Valuation it was an organ factory owned by Vincent Willis who is listed in 1911 and 1913 trade directories at this address. In the 1911 census 234a was described as ‘Old Chapel’ and its use as ‘factory’.
Later it was the Brentford Electro-Chemical Works, electro-platers (1926 trade directory).
1937, 1938 and 1940 directories show three businesses using these premises:
Number 235A house on the eastern corner of the approach to no. 234a, see above.
This house and premises was owned by Edmund Douglas at the time of the tithe enumeration (1839/41), plot ref. 410 (see link below to the map of this area). He also owned no. 238 (plot ref. 407) and it seems likely that numbers 235 – 238 were built at the same time: their frontage widths (in the 1909/10 Valuation) were similar and the tithe map shows their yards or gardens all ended on the same boundary line. Also the 1909/10 descriptions suggest they were all old, three storey properties with two or three rooms on the first floor and two attic rooms on the top floor.
In the tithe the occupier was Joseph Burness, who appears at this address in 1841 and 1851 as a currier. He was born in Harlington around 1790 and in 1851 employed two men; his son Benjamin was 22 in 1851 and also a currier.
Joseph retired or died and his son Benjamin Burness took over the business. He married Emma Carpenter in 1860 and they had a 4 month old daughter, Emma when the 1861 census took place. By 1871 he had 5 children aged 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 and a live-in servant.
William Langdon, currier and leather seller, was based in the High Street by 1874, and was recorded at no. 235 in the 1881 census. He had moved to Brentford from Hammersmith with his wife Isabelle and children. He remained here in 1891 and 1901, by which time he was 62.
In the 1909/10 Valuation no. 235 is described as a ‘terrace house and shop of three storeys – old property’. It was owned by William Langdon of Eastrey, Hampshire. There were two rooms with sloping ceilings on the top floor, two rooms on the first floor and a large shop on the ground floor, with a very long extension ‘old and built of brick and wood, comprising sitting room, kitchen, scullery and loft over'; a WC and old shed at the rear completed the property, which had a High Street frontage of 15’ 3”.
William Langdon (72), his wife Isabel (71) and daughter Isabel (35) were recorded here in the 1911 census. William and Isabel had been married 45 years and had 7 children, all still alive. The property had 6 rooms and daughter Isabel assisted her father in his leather selling business.
The next occupant was Daisy Brooks, draper, who is recorded at no. 235 in 1928 (street directory). She married Reginald Evis that year but appears to have temporarily retained her maiden name for her business (perhaps re-painting signage was not a priority); the 1933 directory records Daisy Brooks, draper, at no. 235. The 1930 electoral register shows Reginald and Daisy Louise Evis. Mrs D Evis, draper, is recorded here in a 1940 directory and the 1949 and 1952 electoral registers show Daisy Evis and Margaret North (Reginald' s death was registered in Brentford in 1946, he was 62).
Dee has kindly written up a charming newspaper article about Daisy Brooks and her drapery business, which we think appeared in a local newspaper in the 1960s, shortly before the property was demolished.Top
Number 236In the Ealing tithe apportionment and map, this property was a ‘house and yard’ owned and occupied by Ann Beck. It seems likely it was one of a set of four properties built at the same time, see notes for no. 235. The 1841 census shows Ann Beck (or perhaps Buck), aged 70 and ‘independent’ living here with Ellen Beck, aged 15.
In 1851 Frederick Cross, born Hackney and his wife Emma lived here, he was a clerk to a (tape?) maker.
Samuel Goddard, furniture dealer, born Isleworth, had settled here with his wife Frances (nee Goddard) and family by 1861 and the Goddards remained here until at least 1881. In 1881 Samuel Goddard, head of household, was 34 and presumably a descendant of the original SG. His occupation was ‘auctioneer’. Other Goddard descendants ran various local businesses into the 20th century.
By 1901 a coal and coke merchants was based here and the property was occupied by Richard Hitchens, manager.
The 1909/10 Valuation describes 236 as a ‘office, house and premises’ owned and occupied by Rickett Cockerell & Co Ltd, 40 Trinity Square EC. It had been sold on 23 October 1903, freehold, for £560. It was ‘old property’. A 1909 advert appearing in a concert programme states ‘Geo J Cockerell & Co, Coal Merchants to H.M. The King’, telephone Ealing 16’.
The occupiers at the time of the 1911 census were the Cowley family, headed by John James Cowley, age 40, coal depot manager. He had a wife and three daughters, the eldest, Ada Elizabeth, age 17, worked for the National Telephone Company as a telephone operator. His widowed mother in law Harriet Garrod, 81, completed the family. The property had 6 rooms.
No. 236 was used by G K Cockerell & Co (incorporated with Rickett, Cockerell & Co Ltd), coal & coke merchants in 1913 and in 1928, 1933 and 1940 this was a hardware stores run by various members of the Miller family.Top
A bakery for over 50 years - number 237It seems likely no. 237 was one of a set of four properties built at the same time, see notes for no. 235. Joseph Andrews owned this house and premises at the time of the tithe enumeration (1839/41) and it was occupied by John Pearse or Pearce, a confectioner, in 1841 and 1851. In 1851 his wife Ann, sister Catherine (unmarried), brother in law Thomas H Edmonds and servant Eliza Laysdell made up the household.
Mrs Maria Taylor, baker and widow of John Donville Taylor, ran her bakery from here 1861, 1871. In 1872 Maria Sarah married William Grew and her son George took over; he remained running the business until his death in 1914. George had four daughters then two sons, John Donville (known as Jack) and Egbert Oliver. He married twice - to sisters named Foord from number 63. Egbert Oliver emigrated to America in 1907 and Jack moved to Brighton after his father’s death to run the Black Horse PH on Church Street, so the bakery business ceased shortly after George’s death.
The 1911 census shows George Taylor, baker with his wife Sarah and daughter Hilda, son John at home. The property had 6 rooms.
One of George’s daughters remembered 237 as an old building, where you could see between the gaps in the wooden floorboards to the rooms below. At the time of the Valuation Returns (1910) the property is described as ‘a terrace house and shop of three storeys, top floor – 2 attics; first floor: 3 rooms; ground floor: shop, parlour, kitchen, old shed. Old bakehouse at the rear (now demolished). This property is undergoing extensive alterations & repairs and is being re-drained’.
In 1928 this was a ‘domestic stores’ run by Mrs Florence Mary Browning, in 1933 Robert Istead was running the stores and in 1940 this was an antiques shop run by Mrs Ella Turvill.Top
Number 238It seems likely no. 238 was one of a set of four properties built at the same time, see notes for no. 235.
In 1841 and 1851 censuses no. 238 was occupied by boot and shoemakers: 1841 – Thomas Cox and Edward Aldridge; 1851 – William Ashfield and Henry Smith. More details of the Ashfield family.
In 1861 Miss Mary Mason was shopkeeper, sharing the property with two lodgers and a servant. In 1871 Miss Miriam Stubbersfield ran a ‘fancy repository’ here.
The first confirmed occupancy following the numbering of the High Street in 1876: 1881 census – John Bastable, clothier and outfitter.
An 1890 directory shows ‘Williams, boot & shoemakers’ at this address along with William Langdon, shoemaker – possibly a son of the William Langdon at no. 235. However the property was unoccupied at the time of the 1891 census and does not feature in the 1901 census.
The 1909/10 Valuation records the owner as William Langdon. It was empty and comprised an office, house and premises, terraced, 3 storeys: top floor – 2 attics; 1st floor – 2 rooms; ground floor – office, backroom, kitchen, washhouse, WC. ‘Old property but in very fair repair’.
The 1911 census lists no. 238 as an uninhabited shop and the property is not included in a 1913 trade directory. In 1928, 1933 and 1940 trade directories Cowley Bros, coal merchants, operated from no. 238. Ivy M Cowley lived here in 1952 (electoral register).Top
Number 239Numbers 239 and 240 were recorded together in the 1909/10 Valuation. 239 was a ‘small warehouse’ at the side of no. 240. Censuses do not suggest anyone lived in this property. It was part of the King’s auction / estate agency until at least 1913. Druce and Smith, bakers, operated from number 239 and 240 by 1933 (trade directory).
Kings, the Auctioneers - number 240A long running auctioneers, already established by 1839 and run by John King. He was recorded in the tithe enumeration as the owner and occupier of this ‘house and premises’. He is listed in the 1841 census aged 60 and left a PCC will in 1847; he was succeeded by his son, John King junior, who lived & worked here as an auctioneer in 1851 & 1861. By 1871 John junior's son Marshall King, aged 24, was living here although the business was under John King’s name in 1874; Marshall O King remained here in 1881 / 1891 and in 1890 the business was ‘King & Son, auctioneers & valuers, land, house & estate agents’.
By 1901 no-one was living on the premises. The 1910 Valuation returns mention a small warehouse known as No. 239 at the side of no. 240 and a stable & harness room with loft over to the rear of 240. ‘This is an old property but in fair repair’. It had a back entrance from Albany Road and was owned by M J King at the time.
In 1911 Marshall King, estate agent, 60 lived in the 8-roomed house with his two sisters Margaret Ellen, 58 and Kate, 56 – all unmarried, the sisters having ‘private means’.
In a 1913 trade directory King & Son, auctioneers are listed at 239 & 240. Marshall King's death was registered in Brentford in 1917, aged 70 and by 1928 number 240 was Druce & Smith, bakers, who remained there in 1933 & 1940.Top
Number 241The 1839 Pigot Directory includes a Nathaniel Charles White, egg & butter merchant in Old Brentford. He is listed as the owner and occupier of a house, stabling, garden & premises in the 1839/41 tithe apportionment; he also owned a further 4 High Street properties (each a house and yard), in the area which were later numbers 244 - 246.
In 1841 Charles White, butter dealer & presumably the same man, lived here. By 1851 the business was run by James Wilmot, ‘butterman’ who remained here in 1861, 1871, 1874. In 1881 Horace White, provision merchant, was living here, in 1890 Edward Albert Fricker, provision merchant & cheesemonger had taken over. Edward Albert Fricker married Sarah Gilbert in 1884: she was from the Gilbert family who ran a mineral water shop at no. 69 & the Rising Sun beerhouse at no. 68. Edward is listed at no. 241 in 1891, 1901 and 1913.
The 1909/10 Valuation describes no. 241 as ‘terrace house and shop of 3 storeys’; it had a long shop on the ground floor and a 2 stall stable at the rear and shed with loft over, entrance from Albany Road. The property was old and in fair repair. It was ‘To Let’ when inspected.
The 1911 census shows Edward Albert Fricker, provision merchant with wife Sarah, daughters Sarah Elsie and Hilda Rosetta at no. 241. The youngest daughter, Hilda, 18, was a telephone operator, the property has 7 rooms.
By 1928 T Bradshaw & Co, corn merchants were running their business from here, listed also in 1933. In 1940 Frederick Sargeant ran his undertakers from this address.Top
Number 242The tithe apportionment shows James Humphries owned the house and yard occupied by Thomas Brown, fishmonger and Thomas Brown was recorded here in the 1841 and 1851 censuses. In 1851 he was 60; his wife and daughter (both named Mary Ann) and 12 year old Thomas Knight, errand boy, completed the household.
In 1861 no. 242 was shared by Elizabeth Ilsley, a 67 year old widowed milliner, Frederick & Caroline Erick (Caroline was also a milliner) and a person who was 'not at home'.
In 1871 Charles Finall ran a refreshment house from no. 242: ten years previously he was the landlord at the Rising Sun, no. 68. By 1881, Henry Bolter, confectioner lived here; he is also recorded at this address in the 1878 Post Office trade directory and with a simple 'High Street' address in their 1874 directory, so may have been at 242 by 1874. Bolter was still at this address in 1882.
In 1889 Agnes Jane Johns(t)on was born here on the 8th February. Her father Richard was working as a 'milk carrier'. This information comes from a certified copy of Agnes Jane's birth certificate; the Johns(t)on family may have had rooms over the shop premises. By 1890 George Barrett ran refreshment rooms from 242, although in the 1891 census he is described as a lighterman (born Newbury, Berkshire). The 1891 household contained 9 people, as well as George, wife and four children they had a 10 year old visitor, William G Newman, and a 17 year old servant Lydia Hunt and her 7 month son, George.
A 1898 trade directory shows George John Ells at no. 242 and the 1901 census records that George J Ells his wife and two children lived here: George Ells was a tobacconist & confectioner.
In 1907 Walter Henry Dean, boot maker traded from 242.
‘A terrace house and shop plus a side passage.’ ‘Rooms run over passage.’ Purchased by A H Farrow in June 1901 and the 1909/10 Valuation also noted ‘no capital expenditure as yet as property had just been rebuilt when purchased.’
In 1911 Thomas Hewley boot repairer, lived and worked from here. He had a wife Alice, a 14 year old apprentice boot repairer Frederick Charles Brown and a boarder, Charles Allen, a dealer aged 63 completed the household. The property had 5 rooms.
By 1913 the premises were again a confectioners, run by Mrs M White.
In 1928, 1933 and 1940 trade directories a G P Atkins, tobacconist, is recorded at no. 242.Top
Number 243Earliest definite occupants: William Henry Carey, a plumber and painter (1881, 1882); then Ingram John Foreman, plumber, 1890 and 1891. A trade directory shows by 1898 George Robert Lewington, florist (Brentford’s first?) had a shop here. The 1901 census shows he was 39, had a wife, Kate, 38, born Oundle Northants, they had no children at home.
The 1909/10 Valuation describes 243 as a brick built terrace house and shop of 2 storeys, with 3 rooms on the first floor, a shop, parlour, kitchen on the ground. It had a conservatory, a WC, modern drains and was in ‘very fair repair’.
In 1911 Catherine Goodfellow Lewington was recorded as a widow, continuing to run the floristry business. Her mother Catherine Parkinson, 78, was living with her, and Catherine Abbott, a 14 year old niece born in Peterborough, was ‘assisting her aunt in business’. The property had 5 rooms.
CG Lewington, florist, is recorded in trade directories to 1928. In 1933: W & M Ayling, florists; in 1940: Frederick Lambert, boot repairer. The 1952 electoral register shows Frederick and Anne Lambert at no. 243.Top
Number 244The tithe apportionment shows no. 244 and its neighbours were owned by Nathaniel Charles White. No. 244 was occupied by Thomas Lowe: it was a ‘house and yard’. Thomas Lowe is recorded here in the 1841 census, a shoemaker.
In 1851 George Gardner lived on his own at 244 ‘late shop’. By 1861 Henry Bolter, locally born, lived here with his wife and two small children: he was a boot maker. The 1871 census at first glance shows a different family, headed by Mathew Henry Bolton. This may be the same family: although the wife’s name has changed from Rose Hannah to Rose Maude, her birthplace of Isleworth is consistent in the two censuses and her ages (28 and 37) close. Their son Henry, who was 2 in 1861 may have died and another Henry born, as he was 10 in 1871. The father’s occupation of boot maker is consistent too.
The 1881 census, the first to include High Street house numbers, shows Daniel Wells, labourer and his family lived at no. 244. Two doors away at no. 242 lived Henry Bolter, a confectioner, and his wife Rose Hannah, ages 44 and 42: Rose Hannah should be 48 if her age in 1861 was correct, but this must be the same family (although whether it is the same as the BoltON occupants in 1861 is uncertain).
Henry E Gulliver had moved to no. 244 by 1889, he was a tailor and lived at no. 244 for over 20 years before moving to no. 266. See an advertising postcard showing Mr Gulliver and his shop at no. 266. No. 244 was very similar in appearance to no. 245, for which there is a 1900 photo - see link below.
Following Henry Gulliver’s departure Joseph Perlmutter, a watchmaker was recorded at no. 244 in a 1907 trade directory. A few years later, when the 1909/10 Valuation took place, no. 244 was described as a ‘brick built terrace shop and house of two storeys’. It had three rooms on the first floor and a shop, parlour and kitchen on the ground floor, frontage to High Street being 16’ 7”.
Joseph Perlmutter remained at this address according to trade directories to 1938. In 1940 Norman Biddlecombe, cycle repairer was recorded at no. 244.Top
Number 245A Samuel Goddard, umbrella maker, is included in the 1839 directory; by 1851 a person of this name and occupation was living at number 245. In 1861 Mrs Eliza ‘Lungernot’ umbrella maker lived here, then in 1871 John Longenotto (in 1874 Longinotto), in 1881 Mrs Elizabeth Longinotto and 1882 Miss Mary Ann Longinotto.
The premises were subsequently used by John Sullivan, boot and shoe dealer (1890) and, following his death that year, by his wife Mary Sullivan (1891, 1901). See link to 1900 and 1950 photos of this shop below.
A 1907 trade directory records Maddicks & Norton, blind makers at this address, then Thomas Maddicks, blind maker in 1913.
The owner for numbers 242 – 245 was A H Farrow at the time of the 1909/10 Valuation; the properties were sold to him in June 1901.
The 1909/10 Valuation noted no. 245 had a frontage to the High Street of 16’ 4” and it was described as a ‘brick built terrace house and shop of 2 storeys’ with 3 rooms on the first floor and a ground floor shop, parlour, kitchen. The occupiers had a tenancy of 5 years from 25 March 1910.
Maddicks was followed by Mrs H. Newman, who was a wardrobe dealer 1928 – 1933, and ‘novelties’ in 1940. The 1952 electoral register lists the following Newmans at 245: Alice, Henry, Henry T, Ronald F.Top
Number 246A semi-detached house at the western corner of New Spring Gardens.
As it is between umbrella makers in business from 1851 and New Spring Gardens, in theory the occupants can be deduced for the period before the High Street numbering in 1876. However information from maps and censuses suggests otherwise.
In 1851 it seems likely that Robert Johnson, Chelsea Pensioner lived in a house on the western corner of New Spring Gardens with his daughter Elvina Johnson. She remained here in 1861, a grocer. Twenty years later in the1881 census (by which time the High Street was numbered) Elvina lived at no. 248. It seems unlikely she moved two doors down the road but no. 248 is on the eastern side of New Spring Gardens.
Firmer details for no. 246 from 1878 onwards: William Bradshaw, butcher was recorded at no. 246 in an 1878 trade directory and census returns for 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911. By 1911 he was 64 and had been married to Sarah Maria for 39 years. A grown up son Ernest F Bradshaw and daughter Mabel J Bradshaw remained at home. Two other children had moved away. The property had 7 rooms.
The 1909/10 Valuation shows William owned no. 246, it had 3 storeys and a basement, with 2 rooms on the top floor, 3 on the first floor and a shop, parlour and kitchen on the ground floor. There was a basement cellar.
At the rear was a stable and coach house with a loft over; there was an entrance from New Spring Gardens.
William Bradshaw was recorded here in a 1913 trade directory. By 1928 Spink & Sons, provision merchants were at 246, no reference in 1933. In the 1939 Register Reginald G Cobill, master butcher, own account (born 17 Jul 1906) and his wife Irene A Cobill, overseer optical factory, (born 11 Oct 1911) lived here. The Cobills were recorded at this address in the 1952 electoral register.
Douglas Chinnery remembers no. 246 as a butchers: on Friday evenings they sold hot faggots, savaloys and pease pudding from the side entrance.Top
Photos/Ephemera/MapsLinks are included below to some photos, ephemera or maps accessible on this site. There may be additional photos on the site - suggest you check the Properties - photos link in the navigation area to the left.
References such as '1899 (A11)' indicate the date of a photo (1899) and where it is published (A11). Details of 'A' are available: see Mainly paper sources page; '11' refers to the page no, or photo no. in the publication.
Roads OffSt Pauls Road between numbers 232 and 233: this is not marked as a road on the 1865 Ordnance Survey map and presumably was constructed around the time St Pauls Church opened in 1868. It appears that two properties were demolished to make way for the new road.
New Spring Gardens between numbers 246 and 247: the County Court was built on this site in the 1960s (A49)Top
Published 2005; last updated October 2019