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Not Brentford

Postcard showing High Ground, Brentford, early 1900s

Roger Williams provided this tinted postcard which probably dates from the early 1900s: the tram lines are laid but the High Street is quiet. I presume it was called 'The High Ground' as it was not so susceptible to flooding, being a little more elevated. There are references to 'High Ground' in both a trade directory from 1853 and the 1871 census.

Quiet street scene titled 'The High Ground'

The block of buildings to the left of the red one is numbers 290 - 294. Number 296 is set back a little from the High Street and the red building is no. 297.

Enlargment showing face at windowThe properties in the foreground are in the low 300s: the one nearest the photographer, no. 303 has a cellar which was let at 10 shillings a week (1909/10 Valuation). A face is visible at the window above the front door, could this be Mrs Kate Saunders, the owner in 1909/10? See no. 303 after WW2, with the railings removed and a more derelict appearance.

Howard Webb provided a high resolution scan of the same postcard in 2011, which showed:

  • House no. plate '302' is visible and the name 'Humphrey': Henry Humphrey, picture frame maker occupied no. 302 in 1901
  • No. 301: in 1901 was occupied by Mrs. Mary Cartman
  • Nos. 298, 299 & 300: signs include 'Howard & Son, wholesale and retail ironmongers'
  • Phillips Cosy Refreshment Rooms sign is at no. 293
  • The three balls sign marks Rattenburys pawnbrokers at 288/289

Further along the High Street a turret of the Brentford Cinema, which opened in 1912 (S30), is just visible - to the right of the trolleybus.

See details of the properties on the left and nearer the photographer.


Published July 2010; updated June 2011