Link to Brentford High Street Project

Home and Search
Site Guide
Brentford Basics
Privacy Policy
Contact Families
Photos of people
Name indexes incl WW1
Lists, Documents, News
Occupations Properties: High Street
Properties: non-High Street
1909/10 Valuation Index
Pub Hub Seeking...
Mystery photos A-Z list History
Beach's Jam
Nowell Parr
Turner the Artist
Queen Victoria 1840
Brentford Market
80 High Street
Clitherow of Boston House
Four Croxford Brothers They Said
Books etc.
Web Links

Site Technology

Home and Search

Not Brentford
Home -> Property Intro -> Section 15 -> Next Section  Previous Section

Numbers 171 - 180 High Street, New Brentford

This section of on the north side of the High Street, from Durham Wharf to Brent Wharf, includes the offices of a barge owner, the Dispensary, two beerhouses (the Ram?, later the Cystal Fountain) and The Watermans Arms. It lay opposite St Lawrence's Church and was badly affected by the 1841 flood: several tradesmen in this section were given compensation. (X)

In September 1967 archaeological excavations at the site of no. 175 (a 'vacant plot') were made and 'layers of Stuart domestic refuse' found (G19).

Maps from 1838 1894 show 8 properties in this stretch, 10 house numbers were allocated in 1876: numbers 171/2 occupied one property and no. 180 was part of the same building as no. 179 it was a lock-up shop just 7' wide.


Notes prepared for numbers 171-2, 173 , 174 , The Ram, later The Crystal Fountain beerhouse (175 ), The Dispensary (176), 177, 178, The Alton Arms, later the Waterman's Arms (179) and 180; also a list of photos, ephemera and maps

Number 171-2

171 & 172 were valued as one property in the 1909/10 valuation returns and on a map look more part of Durham Wharf than the High Street; the owners at the time of the valuation in 1913 were George Thompson of Esher and John James Clark of Thornton Heath (deceased)

Possibly an ancestor of John James Clark, John Clark coal merchant lived here in 1861; by 1871 George Clark lighterman & waterman lived here, employing 6 men; his wife Mrs. Emma Clark lighterman is listed in 1881, where the census describes the property as having a large yard and wharf. See the article in the Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society Journal, 2007, 'Bargemen of Brentford' by David Blomfield, for more about the Clark family.

William Buck from Boxmoor, Herts had taken over the premises by 1901. See details of one of his wide boats registered in 1894 and the Buck family tree.

In 1911 11 people were living at no. 171, Alfred Buck, 49 a lighterman, his wife Lydia, and children (Buck) and three stepdaughters (Riddle or Riddel), the latter including Ada (schoolteacher aged 25) and Gertrude (opera singer, 19). Also a servant Ethel Field and visitor Lillian Marks. Number 172 was described 'office', occupied by Mr Buck but not used as a dwelling.

Alfred Buck & Son tug & barge owners are listed in 1913, A & J Buck in 1920, 1928, 1933; by 1940 Alfred Buck is listed at just number 172, Frank Bennett (son in law, he married Alfred's daughter Emily Buck) living in number 171. Frank Bennett was related to the Buck family (Pam Marsh mentioned at the 2010 Local History Day). Francis, Edith, Beryl, Ivy and Kenneth Bennett were recorded at no. 171 in the 1952 electoral register.

Ann Podmore, descendant of Levi Buck, one of Alfred Buck's sons, remembers her great grandmother (Emma Edwards, married Levi Buck in 1880) collecting a weekly pension from the Buck's office next to the bridge in the mid to late 1940s. Pam Marsh's mother also remembers Alfred Buck.


Number 173

In 1841 Thomas Hopkins, slopseller, lived at this property on the corner of Durham Wharf. By 1851 Mrs Jemima Hopkins, clothier was living here, with nephews Thomas H and Frederick W 'Sarton'. Ten years later 'Frederick Sarterin, (son) clothier assistant, aged 20' headed the household: there is a note in the census that the head of the family was at Guildford Surrey. Number 173 remained a clothiers until at least 1920: run by Joseph Taylor in 1871, then George C Stone from Kent (1881 - 1920). He may be related to the man who founded Stones Menswear at no. 80 in the later C20?

Charles Stone, clothier, aged 70 born Dover was the head of household in 1911; his wife Mary and unmarried daughter Florence, 41, draper's assistant, completed the household.

In 1914 the property was described 'The house is angular & inconveniently planned, but in very fair condition. The garden runs to canal at rear but there is no additional value on this account'. It also mentions the cellar: 'often waterlogged' and two and one storey additions at the back. It had a High Street frontage of 25' and was owned by Miss Maria Blatch, 'now deceased, successor: James Arthur Bradbury, 108-109 High Street'.

The Ordnance Survey map surveyed 1959 published 1960 (TQ1777SE) shows number 173 as a large property which ran behind numbers 172 and 174.

See Photos/Ephemera/Maps for a link to a 1945/6 photo of this property.


Number 174

Abraham Best, originally from Elsdon in Northumberland, lived at this property on the corner of Ram Alley in 1841 and 1851. He was a grocer and cheesemonger in 1839, 1841 and 1845, a fundholder in 1851. Living with him in 1851 was his son William, aged 32 and 'About to proceed to New Zealand, therefore property realized in cash'.

William Rich, pewterer, followed by 1861. His wife Maria and daughter Maria were both called as witnesses following a brawl between William Parsons, their next-door neighbour at 175, and Andrews, see below for more details. The daughter Maria had been to her father's stable to called her brother when she came upon the two men at around 10.30pm. In 1881 Joseph Goddard,china and earthenware dealer lived here: he moved on to no. 277 by 1890.

Christine Kershaw writes (2011) 'My husband's great Grandfather lived and ran Furniture Dealing business from 174 High Street, Brentford in 1891. Name Charles Allen (same person as Hairdresser at 144 High St in 1881) with wife Winifred and 5 children 13 down to 9 months.'

Frank Mealand, ham and beef dealer, is recorded at no. 174 in an 1898 trade directory. In 1907 James Robinson greengrocer traded from here.

At the time of the 1909/10 Valuation, 'Butler' lived here and the property was owned by Frederick Francis Poole of 187 High Street. The Valuation Records include notes that the property had been sold in 1907 for 580, then in 1920 for 600.

Charles Butler, oilman born Poplar, headed a household of 6 in 1911. The property was described as a shop. Trade directories from 1913 to 1940 list Charles Butler, ironmonger, at this address.

See Photos/Ephemera/Maps for a link to a 1945/6 photo of this property.


Number 175: The Ram, later The Crystal Fountain

No. 175 was a beerhouse (the Ram, which the nearby Ram Alley took its name from ?) and in 1861 William Parsons, born Salisbury, Wiltshire, was a brewer & beerhouse keeper here, with his wife, two daughters and five lodgers.

The beerhouse was later named the Crystal Fountain: Vic Rosewarne has researched its history and his piece includes some colourful reportage. This was the site of an altercation between Parsons and William Andrews, a nearby beershop owner, the former saying 'I would not be seen in a nine-acre field with you'. The article notes the two men lived within a few doors of each other, and Parsons described his beerhouse as 'just opposite the church', which fits the location of 175 High Street. (Middlesex Chronicle, Saturday October 17 1863).

In 1871 number 175 was simply a 'beerhouse uninhabited'.

In 1881 and until at least 1898 Charles Clarkson was using the premises at 175 as a marine store; he was succeeeded by 1901 by Frederick Clarkson, oilman & shopkeeper; in 1907 Charles Butler, ironmonger; no. 175 was not included in the 1911 or 1913 directories. The property was owned by T Pocklington, 20 Lansdowne Road, Holland Park at the time of the 1909/10 Valuation; he also owned no. 176.

Number 176: The Dispensary

The site of 'The Dispensary', which was founded in 1818 (D10). 1839 Pigot Directory includes refs to: John Farrell, surgeon & Cooper & Farrell surgeons, the Dispensary, New Brentford. An advertisement appeared in October 1841 which describes both the Dispensary and adjoining properties:

Morning Advertiser 14 October 1841
FREEHOLD HOUSES at New Brentford,
to be DISPOSED OF, by Private Contract, either in one lot, or separately, consisting of a House and Yard, occupied as a Savings Bank and Dispensary, and situate in High Street, New Brentford, facing the church, let for 25 per annum. A House adjoining the above, occupied as a Wheelwright's shop, with a washhouse and Large yard attached, let at 20 a year. A House adjoining the last, with a detached garden rental 25. A House in Ram Alley adjoining the above, let at 10. All the above in good condition. Also a Small Tenement out of repair in Ram Alley, unoccupied, worth 10 per year when in repair. For particulars apply to Mr G Wilkins, Solicitor, No. 11, St Benets Place, Gracechurch Street, City.

As to Cooper & Farrell, although they worked from the Dispensary in 1839, they lived elsewhere; George Cooper, surgeon, lived further to the east at no. 209 High Street in 1841 1861. No Sign of Farrell on the High Street in this period.

In 1841 1861 Sarah Harris lived here: in 1841 she is a housekeeper at 'Savings Bank', in 1851 and 1861 a housekeeper at 'The Dispensary'.

In his research into the beerhouse next door at no. 175, Vic Rosewarne found a sale advertisement dating from 1869 which describes no. 176 as 'a coach maker's shop, yard, and premises to Mr. Dowden: house adjoining, with yard, &c., for many years known as the Dispensary'.

By 1890 the property was occupied by a dairyman, John Sheate; in the 1891 and 1901 censuses a Mrs Ellen Sheate (from Charlton, Somerset) lived & ran a dairy / confectionary shop here. There are account books for the Dispensary from 1852 1895 held at LMA (I).

No trader recorded at no. 176 in 1907 or 1911.

The 1909/10 Valuation returns include a note dated 26 February 1915 stating that this was 'The sites of two shops which were demolished about 1911 and new buildings erected thereon. The adjoining plot (no 177) was purchased by the owners & a terrace of three shops have been erected, and the old boundaries do not now exist.' I conclude from this that the site of two properties was used to build three properties in 1911, but it is not clear if or how this affected the numbering of the houses in the area.


Number 177

Dining rooms run by Mrs Adelaide Tucker in 1898 and 1907, then John William Tassell in 1911. The 1909/10 Valuation refers to a house and premises owned by James Mortlock and occupied by George 'Yassell' - probably should be Tassell - a sale in 1911 (70) and leasing in 1912 and 1919 (30 per annum) and notes the premises 'pulled down for rebuilding, understand they were condemned by local authorities some months back, valuation of site only'. The plot was 13' wide by 48' deep.

A series of confections traded from no. 177 in the following 30 years: James Denham 1913; Frank W Bolton 1920/1; Frank Gurr, 1928; Ernest Henry Lord 1933; Walter Layzell 1940; Leslie and Nellie Layzell 1952 (electoral register).

Number 178

John Baldry, fishmonger in 1898 trade diry.; Mrs Ellen Baldry, fishmonger in 1901 census and 1907 trade directory. Henry Ruff ' fried fish shop' in 1911, 'fishmonger' in the 1911 census.

The 1909/10 Valuation describes no. 178 as a house and shop, lessees Crowley & Co Ltd, as no. 179 next door to which it was a 'similar single shop and house'. It was on a plot narrowing to the rear and had 'no stable, the only outhouse being a small washhouse. Fair condition'.


The Watermans Arms, formerly the Alton Arms, no. 179

Read about number 179 during its time as a beerhouse in Vic Rosewarne's detailed account, a brief summary follows.

The Alton Arms beerhouse is known to have been established here by January 1841 as newspaper account mentions it as one of the properties flooded; Henry Marden received 1 assistance (X) and he is recorded here in the 1841 census.

George Dimmock, who combined beerhouse keeping and horse dealing, headed a household of 9 here in 1851. In Mason's 1853 directory George Dimmock was recorded as a horse dealer at the 'Alton Arms', High Street.

The Era 08 March 1857 reported that a billiards licence had been granted to Mr Thomas Baker for the Alton Arms, Old Brentford: as 179 High Street was in New Brentford there may have been two beerhouses of this name. The West London Observer of 5 March 1859 reported the transfer of the billiards licence from Mr Thomas Baker to Mr George Holmes again referring to the Alton Arms in Old Brentford.

Returning to George Dimmock, he suffered a nasty accident in January 1857 when taking his horse and cart down to the Thames at Staines to allow the horse to drink; he ended up in the river and his horse drowned. He was described as a horse dealer of New Brentford (West Middlesex Herald 24 January 1857).

Having survived this incident George died within three years, aged 44, and was buried at St Mary's Ealing on the 22nd December 1859; although buried at the parish church covering Old Brentford the entry notes he was of New Brentford. It seems his widow Sarah Dimmock soon married Henry Day at St Lawrence, New Brentford (19 March 1860). The marriage entry shows Sarah was a widow and the daughter of William Andrew, labourer; both she and Henry Day were of New Brentford and Henry was a labourer.

A year later the 1861 census shows Henry Day had two lodgers staying at the beerhouse and his household included Dimmock stepchildren.

In 1871 Richard Littleboy, waterman & lighterman lived here. The beerhouse was named as The Watermans Arms in this census.

He was succeeded by Henry Littleboy in 1881 (also recorded in a trade directory from 1882).

Charles Nelms was a 'beerhouse keeper and fishmonger' at no. 178 in 1891 and a 'beer retailer' at no. 179 in 1890. The census enumerator may have made made a numbering mistake in 1891. Walter Henry Hubbuck took over the licence for the Waterman's Arms in November 1891.

Robert Hubbuck ran the Waterman's Arms at some point in the 1890s / early 1900s. His descendant, Bob Hubbuck has sent a photo showing the beer and boarding house with a sign 'R Hubbuck'. The 1901 census records William Hubbuck (age 59 born Brentford) and his wife Emily occupied 4 rooms in a cottage at the back of no. 180, another small household (Jupp) occupied the other 3 rooms.

The inappropriately named William Drinkwater ran the Waterman's Arms in 1898, 1901, then his wife Mrs Asenath Drinkwater, beer retailer, in 1907.

At the time of the 1909/10 Valuation the property was described as a 3 storey stock brick built & tiled shop with a one-storey lockup shop at the side, no. 180. In the 'subordinate interests' section of the return, lessees Crowley & Co Ltd, the Brewery, Alton, Hants are named for 21 years from 24 June 1897 @ 65 per annum for numbers 178 & 179.

The 1911 trade directory confirms that no. 179 was no longer a beerhouse, recording John Franklin, wardrobe dealer; William Turner, fruiterer and James Smith, timber merchant all at no. 179. The census from the same year lists 10 occupants, John Franklin heading the household including six other Franklins and two boarders (Hopkins) plus a visitor (Ethel Prosser aged 11).

In 1911 number 179a was recorded between numbers 179 and 181 and was described as a shop (lockup) not used as a dwelling.

The 1939 Register records Elizabeth Allen at this address. The entry for the head of household is redacted and as Elizabeth was single, born in 1883, it is possible she was a housekeeper for the (unknown) household head.


Number 180

In 1898 Nurdin & Peacock, egg merchants had a shop at 180 High Street.

The 1909/10 Valuation describes no. 180 as a lock-up shop with a frontage to the High Street of just 7'. No residents were recorded in the 1911 census but in 1901 a cottage 'at the back' of 180 and containing at least 7 rooms was enumerated, see no. 179 for details.



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 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.

171 1950s (S60), 1961 (A70)
172 1950s (S60), 1961 (A70)
173/174 1945/6 photo (H), 1950s photo (S60)
179 1890s/early 1900s photo (Bob Hubbuck)
180 as above
Photo of area, 2006 (S60)
Buck register of canal boat entries from 1894, 1925 & 1927
1838 Tithe map: modern numbers 171 to 180 are tithe property refs 285 to 292
1894 Ordnance Survey Map annotated with house numbers

Roads Off

Durham Wharf Lay between numbers 170 and 171

Ram Alley or Percy Cottages ran between 174 and 175: known as Ram Alley up to and including 1913 trade directory, Percy Cottages by 1920

Brent Wharf lay between numbers 180 and 181


Published 2006; last updated December 2020