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Number 1 to the Salutation or St George's Almshouses, Old Brentford
This is at the far eastern end of the High Street on the southern side, to the east is Kew Bridge Road. This area was originally in Ealing parish, later St George's, Old Brentford and includes the St George's Almshouses at no. 6. Numbers 3 to 6 backed on to the Thames.
In the 1841 census what we now know as Kew Bridge Road was listed as part of the High Street, but in preparing these notes I've ignored Kew Bridge Road and concentrated on what became number 1 High Street onwards.
This section of the High Street was listed as 'Front Street' in the 1851 census, presumably in contrast to 'Back Lane'.
There are deeds at the LMA originating from London County Council relating to this property and others in London dated 1895 - 1938. Henry Wiseman, 'manager to dairy' lived here at the time of the 1891 census.
The Valuation Records (1909/10) describe the property as a house and corner shop on the East corner of The Hollows, with a washhouse in the yard for milk cans etc with a clearing yard at the side, the front wall of which was used as an 'advertising station' . There were cart gates to the yard and the premises were in 'fair repair'. The owner's name was altered from Messrs Pickfords Ltd to Mr Handsley, who lived in Chiswick. The occupiers were The National Dairy Co Ltd.
In 1911 Fred Brown and his wife Mary Ann lived here with their four children, the parents and eldest son being born in Lincolnshire, the remaining three children in Brentford. Fred Brown was a dairyman, a worker and one of his sons, Alfred Stokes Brown, age 18, was a 'milk carrier assist in business'. The property had 5 rooms. Living at the same address was Mrs Annie Kemish, a widow aged 62, who occupied one room.
The Oak Farm Dairy Co is listed here in the 1913 trade directory, then David Haywood in 1920, 1928, 1933 & 1940.
"Cutting natural gravels and, on the N side of the site, brickearth, were three small post-medieval pits, an 18th-c ditch aligned at right-angles to the High Street, and several brick structures. Of particular interest were the remains of a large building on the E side of the site, identified on 19th-c maps (dating back to 1839) as a malthouse. Walls abutting the malthouse were dated to the 19th c, as was a brick-lined soakaway."
This property lay on the western corner of The Hollows and is not recorded in trade directories or censuses after 1891. In 1881 the property was occupied by two households headed by Charles Pearce, waterman (wife Priscilla and hour children aged 1 to 11, all Brentford-born) and Jonathan Hawkes, gas labourer, 23 and his wife Susan and son John James aged 2.In 1890 and 1891 Alfred Ives, a shoemaker, lived here. The census shows he was 61, had a wife Elizabeth, stepson James(?Waren), labourer and widowed lodger Harriet Beesley, laundress.
In the 1909/10 Valuation I have not found a reference to no. 2 High Street yet. The Royal Tar (no. 3) is described as having a 32' frontage to the Hollows, suggesting that no. 2 had been demolished or incorporated into the Royal Tar Beerhouse by this date. The OS map published in 1961 shows changes in properties in this area and at this date no. 2 was a building behind no. 3, accessed via The Hollows.
Royal Tar Beerhouse - number 3
The Royal Tar beerhouse is listed in trade directories and censuses from 1841; it was run by Richard Pearce in 1841 (when he was also working as a waterman) through to 1861. In the tithe return (1839/1841) Richard Pearce is listed as the occupier, the owner was Joseph Napper, who also owned two adjacent houses & yards (see no. 4).
There were several changes of landlord from 1871: see Vic Rosewarne's list of licence transfers.
In summary, the Middlesex County Times of 01 April 1871 reported the Royal Tar licence transfer from Richard Pearce to his (un-named) son-in-law. The 1871 census shows Bristol-born Isaac Beese 'beerseller & boiler maker' ran the beerhouse. In the same household were his wife and daughter, both named Priscilla, and Richard Pearce, his wife's father, who ran the Royal Tar previously. Two nieces surname Marriner also lived here.
Surrey Advertiser 19 May 1877 reported on a court case heard at the County Court, Chertsey, Surrey regarding 'Wise' who had run the Royal Tar in Brentford and had borrowed £35 from Ashby & Co. the owners. There is no record of a licence transfer in the name Wise however.
Windsor and Eton Express 09 November 1878 reported the licence transfer for The Royal Tar from Ann Tredwell to William Brooks.
William Brooks, also a lighterman, was recorded here in the 1881 census: Trevor Mitchell advises William was the husband of Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Pearce and that another daughter, Jane Pearce, was working there as a waitress.
By 1891 John T Wilson, gas stoker lived here, in 1898 John Francis Wilson, beer retailer, and in 1901 William Atkinson from Knutsford in Cheshire. In 1907: Arthur Ernest Dodgson, in 1911: E. Britton.
The Valuation Records (1909/10) describe the property as brick built and slated, with 3 bedrooms, a club room and WC on the first floor; 2 main bars, a jug bar and kitchen on the ground floor. The small yard had a WC and urinal. The owner was Ashby's Staines Brewery and the frontage to the High Street was 34' 0", to The Hollows 32' 0".
In the 1911 census Henry Arthur Webb managed the Royal Tar. He had a one year old adopted daughter. The property had six rooms and four boarders: a mother, Constance Harvey, her married daughter Daisy O'Brien and sons John Nue, 18, (pointsman, electric tramway) and Thomas Nue, 15, errand boy for a corn chandler.
There were a number of changes of occupier after 1911: to Richard Evans by 1913, Henry George Spilling by 1921, Albert Charles Barber by 1928, George Charles Payne by 1933, Arthur Burrows (1937 & 1938) and Arthur Burrows (1937 & 1938).
The 1939 register shows Tom Hills, born in 1908, as the licensee; living with him were Percy and Mary A Hills, born in 1883 and 1878 respectively: parents to Tom? The final occupant was Winifred F Hills, born 1915, unmarried and presumably younger sister to Tom. Later annotations to the register 'Chunn Edwards' may indicate Winifred's married name(s). Tom Hills remained here in 1940.
By the 1990s the pub was O'Riordan's and continues in 2011 under this name (but during 2005 to 2008 it was known as Captain Morgan's).
Joseph Napper, a lighterman, was listed next door to the Royal Tar at number 4 in 1841; he died and left a PCC will in 1847. (The will transcript is followed by notes about his earlier life and includes a link to an account of a court case at the Court of Common Pleas in 1830 where Joseph was the defendant (although it appears his wife was the offender!).
In 1851 number 4 was occupied by his widow, Elizabeth Mary Napper, by then aged 70, a 'proprietor of houses', and her female servant. It seems likely Elizabeth remained here until her death in 1859; she left a will (total effects under £3000 - a large sum) and the probate index describes her as being 'late of High Street Old Brentford'; she died on 11 August and was buried at St Mary Ealing on the 17th August 1859, age 78.
Presumably the High Street properties held by Elizabeth were sold after her death and in 1861 George Winter, lighterman, lived at no. 4. Brentford & Chiswick Local History Journal 2007 notes 'The Winters ran the largest of the lighter fleets in 1841, and Thomas Winter ... was one of only four barge owners to receive compensation' (following the 1841 flood). George Winter may be related to Thomas Winter.
In 1871 William Becknell, barge builder, and William Bearman, blacksmith, shared the property; John William Smith, another barge builder, lived here in 1881, then John Wilson, carman, in 1891.
In 1901 a building was recorded between number 3 and the almshouses at no. 6.
In 1911 John Wilson, 52, was recorded in the census at 4 High Street in the enumerator's list, but he gave his address as 4 Victoria Wharf suggesting the two addresses were interchangeable. He was a yardsman, lime and cement merchants and the property has three rooms.
1913 - 1933 trade directories show Wiggins & Co, lime merchants at numbers 4 & 5, The 1909/10 Valuation records Wiggins & Co as occupiers, Fanny E Mann as the owner. The premises consisted of a house, stables, wharf & premises with a frontage of 18' 6" to the High Street, more at rear. The house was old, brick built and slated with one floor and basement. The ground floor had 1 room divided into two, a cart entrance at the side and a store room over. The basement included a stable with 4 stalls; there was a large brick built stores on two floors fronting the river. The annual rent was £60.
As no. 5 was two doors along from the Royal Tar at no. 3 and next to the Almshouses at no. 6, the occupants of no. 5 can be arrived at (assuming the enumerator kept on the straight and narrow). In 1861 Thomas Kent, auctioneer, 51 or 57 lived here with his wife, Sarah, daughter, sister and nephew, all born Northamptonshire.
By 1871 Thomas had died. His widow Sarah remained at no. 5 running a sweetshop. With her lived her widowed daughter, Catherine Burley or Bailey who assisted in the shop, granddaughter Susan Burley or Bailey, 8, nephew William Hathersley and a lodger Charles Matthew.
No reference has been found to no. 5 in the 1881 or 1891 census.
In a 1898 trade directory Wiggins & Co, lime, slate, tile, cement & drainpipe merchants, are listed at Victoria wharf, High Street and Lionel Road, Kew Bridge.
Later directories give an address of 4&5 High Street: see no. 4 for details.
Salutation Almshouses, number 6
A 1945/6 photo shows the almshouses in a derelict state.
In 1953 an essay Old Brentford Almshouses, a Retrospect was prepared by Charles Turner, Honorary Secretary to the Trustees; an excerpt follows:
The 5 feet to the mile OS map published in 1895 confirms each almshouse was 14' square with a small extension to the rear around 3 feet deep (stairways; or possibly coal cupboards referred to in the 1909/10 Valuation).
The eight lady occupants are listed from the 1841 census through to the 1939 register. They were mainly widows and a few still worked; otherwise they were variously described as almswomen or parochial pensioners. There is a more detailed review of the occupants here.
Most of the census returns group the women in pairs; this may be due to recording each pair of rooms on each floor as a unit; each woman occupying one of the rooms. This arrangement is confirmed by the 1911 census, which records 7 women each occupying one room.
Those whose names are in bold below were also recorded in the following census:
1841: eight women were listed in pairs
1851: the almshouses were listed as Almshouse no. 1 through to 8:
In 1861 the ladies were recorded as four units of two:
In 1871 the Almshouses were recorded as four houses, each occupied by two households; the enumerator was working from west to east:
The 1881 census listed 1 Alsmhouse, room 1, room 2; 2 Almshouse room 3, room 4 etc:
In 1891 the occupants of the almshouses were listed as two groups of four, I think the first four lived in the western block, the next four in the eastern block:
In 1901 the Almshouses were recorded in the following sequence: number 8, 7, 3, 4, 2, 1, 6 and 5. The occupants, who were all 'parochial pensioner', bar one lady who was still working, lived in numbers 1 to 8 as follows:
The Valuation Records (1909/10) describe the almshouses as 'consisting of 2 small blocks of rooms, each block containing on the top floor 2 rooms and on the ground floor 2 rooms, the ground floor rooms have a coal cupboard each'. In the West block the numbers upstairs were 1 & 3, downstairs 2 & 4. In the East block 5 & 7 upstairs, 6 & 8 downstairs. At the rear was a small garden, a common washing house and 2 WCs. The premises were repaired in 1871. The trustees, who paid the insurance and were liable for repairs were:
In the 1911 census the almswomen were each recorded separately and occupied numbers 1 to 7 St George's Alms Houses, Old Brentford (no. 8 was uninhabited). In each case the individual occupied one room:
As in 1911, the 1921 almswomen were recorded separately and occupied numbers 1 to 8 St George's Alms Houses, 6 High Street, Old Brentford (no return was filed for no. 5); ages were recorded in years and months:
The Marylebone Mercury, March 25 1939, reported that the Town Council of the Borough of Brentford 'under section 26 of the Housing Act, 1936, on the 22nd day of February, 1939, made a clearance order which is about to be submitted for confirmation by the Minister of Health ordering the demolition of the St George's Almshouses.'
Three months later, 24 June 1939, the same newspaper reported John Skinner, the Town Clerk, had confirmed the clearance order adding 'The order will become operative at the expiration of six weeks from the date of publication of this notice' unless proceedings were instituted in the High Court within that period.
Perhaps this did go to the High Court; or perhaps the start of WW2 on the 1st September brought other priorities. Four weeks later when the 1939 Register was taken, 29th September, the St George's Almshouses still had seven occupants. The were recorded in the sequence numbers 4, 1, 2, 6, 5, 7 and 8:
In 1941 the Charity Commission notified of the sale of the Almshouses and the land behind them for the sum of £1350 (unless a higher offer was made): 'further particulars may be obtained from Charles Turner Esq, of Clifden Corner, 13 Boston Manor Road, Brentford'.
The 1945/6 photo shows the building was no longer occupied.
According to Gillian Clegg in Brentford Past when the almshouses closed the inhabitants were re-housed and money from the sale of the site used to establish a pension fund for them.
The OS map published in 1961 shows the site had been redeveloped and a new building was allocated numbers 4-6 High Street.
Links 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 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.
3 The Royal Tar (1937); O'Riordan's 1990s (Y98)
Salutation or St George's Almshouses (D26); 1945 photo and notes (Q86); 1945/6 H Felton photo
1839/41 Tithe Map modern numbers 1 - 6 have tithe property refs 123 - 113
1894 Ordnance Survey Map annotated with house numbers
The Hollows between numbers 1 & 2
Published 2005; last updated February 2023