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Goat Wharf

Goat Wharf is the name of both the wharf and the alley running down to it from the High Street.

In 2019 Liz Bryant provided the first view looking towards the Thames. There are several photos of Goat Wharf from the watery end of things, it is good to have this complementary town-end view. Her photo has a deckle edge, popular in the 1920s and 1930, and is one of several views of Brentford.

The second view was taken from the corner of no. 50 High Street by Herbert Felton around 1945/1946. The site has other Felton photos, mainly of High Street properties. This one shows the short terrace of cottages running up to the High Street. One has two small girls outside overseen by (possibly) their mother at the first floor window. The white on black poster starts 'Fire Service Static Supply', the others are just too small to make out.

The same (but different) view in 2019 is from Janet McNamara, local historian, taken August 2019.

View from High Street to Goat Wharf View from High Street of Goat Wharf
Liz Bryant's photo Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

The date of the second photo is known - 1945 or 1946 - and by that point an electrican's was at the corner building, 50 High Street. Prior to that no. 50 was the George IV pub whose signage is visible in Liz's photo, the date of which is uncertain.

View to Goat Wharf, 2019

Goat Wharf, 2019. Janet McNamara adds: Knowling Court on the left with Premier Inn on the right with Ferry Quays beyond.
The trees in the centre are across the Thames in Kew Gardens.


Notes for 50 High Street indicate the George IV was operating until around 1931 and by 1936 was a cycle dealers; this suggests the first photo was taken no later than 1936 and most probably (assuming the George IV signage was removed after closure) before 1932.

Kelly's 1938 trade directory records the following people and properties on Goat Wharf:

East Side
Carey, Harold George (Thames Bank House)
Clements, Knowling & Co. Ltd, contractors** (see below)
River Lighterage Co. Ltd., tug owners

West Side
1 Hollocks, Arthur Chas.
2 Farrington, James
3 Dutton, Ernest
4 Monk, Henry
Numbers 1 to 4 must be the properties shown above.

** Wiltshire & Swindon Record Office holds an agreement dated 1907 between James Clements & George Knowling (of Goat Wharf, trading as Clements Knowling & Co) and the Great Western Railway for tenancy of stables at High Street Brentford. James Clements was also the deputy superintendent of the Fire Brigade in 1913 and Charter Mayor of Brentford & Chiswick.

By the time the Ordnance Survey revised their map of this area in 1960 the cottages and 51 High Street had been cleared, see below (from the National Library of Scotland). The map marks Thames Bank House, home of William & Bridget Payne from around 1912, a base for Clements, Knowling & Co. Limited, tug owners in 1914 and home of James Clements in 1915.

OS map published 1961


View of the river end of things, 1974 and barges moored there, 1976.
More information about the George IV and properties to its east; numbers 51 to 60 High Street
Victory party at Thames Bank House, 1945
Old Brentford tithe map shows the George IV and Goat Wharf
1894 OS map of the same area
William & Bridget Payne and James Clements, two families who lived at Thames Bank House in the early 1900s

Published July 2019; updated August 2019