Link to Brentford High Street Project

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Old maps can be used to

  • find the location of census or trade directory addresses
  • see the shape of your ancestor's home, outbuildings, the size of its yard or garden, and what was behind the property and what it looked out over
  • see changes in the neighbouring area by comparing maps of different dates
  • help establish whether your ancestor's home was rebuilt before or after they lived there

Maps on this site

The tithe and Ordnance Survey maps show each property in enough detail to allow you to match images in postcards and local history book High Street. Sometimes it is possible to trace a particular building through from 1839 to 1935 using maps, read a description of it from the 1909/10 Valuation and (if lucky) find postcards or photos from the 1890s onwards.

Maps on external sites

National Library of Scotland

The National Library of Scotland has published a huge range of Ordnance Survey and other maps, not just for Scotland but also England and Wales.

Brentford lies within the area near London covered by larger scale maps; these are the 'most detailed mapping of London by Ordnance Survey, from just over a century ago. The five foot to the mile or 1:1,056 scale covered the capital in 729 sheets, based on a revision and survey of 1891-5.'

If you want to see the maps available for a certain place, use Find by place. The Choose maps (select from both lists) offers first a choice of map, just two examples quoted here, there are more:

  • England and Wales, Ordnance Survey - useful for viewing maps of Brentford from the 1870s onwards
  • Great Britain, Bartholomew mapping - smaller scale, useful for seeing the bigger picture
The second choice is map scale, for example the England and Wales, Ordnance Survey offers several including
  • OS Town Plans, 1840s-1940s (skeleton plans for Brentford are available for 1851 and more detailed plans for 1895)
  • OS 25 Inch, 1850s-1950s
  • OS 1:1,250-1:10,560, 1944-1971
A modern map displays with a grid showing map coverage. Click on one grid square to view the maps available - for example there are eleven 6" to the mile maps for Brentford spanning 80 or so years - and choose which you want.

Explore georeferenced maps displays a modern satellite view overlaying a historic map, with a slider to alter the transparency level. This option allows you to roam around the area without hitting the edge of a map. It is also possible to measure distances between two points, and areas. However, not all maps have been georeferenced so your choice of dates/scales is more limited.

Side by Side allows you to view two maps of different dates, or a map and a Bing view.

An example from Jim Storrar: 5 feet to the mile OS map of late Victorian Brentford; you may need to 'X' a pop-up screen; then you should land near the Grand Junction Water Works, pull the map to the right to explore westwards

Tithe summary

The High Street is split between New Brentford and Ealing tithe maps, dating from 1838 and 1839/1841 respectively. The original maps are held at London Metropolitan Archives, copies are also held on fiche/film at The National Archives, Kew. Read on for more information about the tithe maps, or access links to view tithe images.

Each property was allocated a number, for example the Castle Inn and outbuildings share property ref. 320 (208 High Street New Brentford when the High Street was numbered in 1876). The properties shaded pink were occupied by people, those shaded grey were outbuildings. Castle Inn and outbuildings from New Brentford tithe map

Ealing Tithe

The Ealing tithe apportionment is dated 13 June 1840 and lists all property owners and occupiers. This has been valuable in tying in to the 1841 census a few years later.

The Ealing valuer was William TRESS of Princes Street, Wilson Street, Finsbury Square Middlesex (not a local man, so some surnames were misinterpreted by him).

The whole of Ealing parish consisted of:

Description Acres Roods Perches*
arable land 834 0 39
meadow or pasture land 1978 2 39
woodland 5 1 27
common or waste land 57 1 31
market garden 467 3 26
ozier ground 5 0 29
sites of buildings, yards, gardens, roads, ways & water 458 3 34
total subject to tithes 3807 3 25
glebe lands # 78 0 22

* 1 perch = 30.25 square yards; 40 perches = 1 rood (1210 square yards) which is a quarter of an acre (4840 square yards)

# in full 'glebe lands which, if not in the hands of the owner or owners, would be subject to tithe of which 67 acres, 3 roods and 3 perches are part of the possessions of the Chancellorship of the Cathedral Church of St Paul in London and to Thomas Jennings BRAMLY, Thomas SMITH, Thomas HARRINGTON & Susannah SMITH as lessees as aforesaid and 10 acres, 1 rood and 19 perches belong to Reverend John SMITH'

The total value was assessed as £1,630 9 shillings, of which £607 7 shillings was due to the vicar and £1,023 2 shillings was to the appropriator.


New Brentford Tithe (LMA DL/TI/A/005/A: map; ~/B: apportionment)

The apportionment includes information which is summarised here:
An agreement for the commutation of tithes was made on 27 October 1838. Parties involved included Reverend Tindal Thompson WALMSLEY DD, Rector of New Brentford and owner of all the great tithes, and the Reverend John STODDART DD, Vicar of the parish and owner of all the small tithes thereof.

The parish of New Brentford contains 220 acres or thereabouts.

The lands subject to the payment of any kind of tithes is 162 acres or thereabouts and comprises:
     arable & gardens & nursery grounds is 37 acres or thereabouts
     meadows or pasture land is 121 acres or thereabouts
     wood and osier ground in 4 acres or thereabouts

Land not subject to tithes is 52 acres or thereabouts & comprises sites of houses and cottages, warehouses, outbuildings, numerous small yards, wharfs, public roads, so much of the River Thames as within said parish, portions of the old River Brent and the Grand Junction Canal and the Towing Path also the Market Place and two large open spaces (not common or waste) called The Ham & The Butts.

The Valuer was William Thomas WARREN of Isleworth.

Gross rent charge payable to tithe owners in lieu of tithes: £145. Vicar £85 and Rector £60.

A summary of landowners recorded in the New Brentford tithe apportionment is available.

The tithe map is at a scale of 2 chains to the inch and measures 71 inches by 26 inches. It is a beautiful document with stunning colouring.

List of Tithe Map images

The tithe map images available through the following links appear courtesy of Corporation of London, London Metropolitan Archives.


Ordnance Survey

The larger scale OS maps also show individual properties. I have added house numbers to the 1894 map as part of this project and the resulting images will be made available in time. See example

1909/10 Valuation Returns

The Valuation Returns consist of a set of annotated 1894 OS maps, each property/plot being given a reference, and a set of Field Books in which brief details for each property/plot were recorded on pre-printed forms.

The Field Books include a number of small sketches used to illustrate the range of properties on each plot and to show rights of way etc. The maps and Field Books are held at The National Archives (TNA), Kew.

I have not been able to locate the map showing the eastern part of Old Brentford: this map covered parts of Surrey; the map at TNA includes property refs for the Surrey properties but not the Middlesex properties.

This site does not include copies of the Valuation Return maps but OS maps from the same date are available.

If you are interested in whom owned a property and a brief description of it, see the summaries by house no. and surname of owner. I am in the process of adding details from the 1909/10 Valuation to each property's notes.

1925 Street Map

Bacon's 'Up to Date Atlas and Guide to London' includes a street map for Brentford.

1930 Map

Mr T.W. Collis has prepared a hand-drawn map showing the area between the Market Place and Half Acre as he remembers it from ca 1930. The map includes the old and new road lines, showing how the High Street originally was much narrower.


Published pre 2010; last updated January 2023