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Not Brentford

The Pubs, Inns and Beer Houses of Brentford

The following two sections are taken from a document prepared by Jim Storrar in 2017 which he has generously shared. The document is 83 pages long and rather too complex to break down into units for publication here. However you can download the PDF: be aware that it is 8MB so may take a few minutes - download.

The Introduction follows and also a list of the establishments which are mentioned in Jim's piece; some have more than a page devoted to them, with illustrations, in other cases a solitary reference captures the existence of a particular pub or beer house. The document also includes maps showing the location of each place and source references: it is planned to add the maps to this site in the future.

This site has a range of information about Brentford's pubs, see Occupations section - landlord for further links.


The general history of the development of public houses has been well documented elsewhere. Although ale had been drunk since the Bronze Age, formal drinking establishments probably originated when tabernae (taverns) were set up at points along the road network built by the Romans from the 1st century.

As well as providing facilities for travellers and pilgrims, inns traditionally acted as community gathering places. In Brentford the heyday of inns such as The Three Pigeons and The Coach and Horses was during the 18th and early 19th centuries when travel on horseback and in horse-drawn coaches was at its height.

The consumption of gin, introduced from Holland in 1586, eventually gave rise to a new kind of establishment where customers were served at a bar and they drank standing up. Partly to discourage the drinking of gin the Beerhouse Act of 1830 allowed any householder to sell beer and cider on the payment of a two guinea fee to the Excise. The number of beer shops then grew very rapidly in areas such as Brentford and concern about this situation led to the passing of the 1869 Wine and Beerhouse Act which was designed to curtail the number of outlets. All drinking establishments, including beer shops were then brought under the control of local magistrates.

However many houses that did not obtain a full licence managed to continue in business providing that the house conformed to all legislation and was kept orderly. These continued to simply sell beer and cider. Despite the 1869 Act the number of pubs increased during the latter part of the 19th century and this was when many of the ornate and lavishly furnished Victorian pubs were built. In the early years of the 20th century, alcohol consumption grew at a much slower rate and many establishments went out of business. By 1915 the brewers owned 95% of all the pubs.

In more recent years many of Brentford’s drinking establishments have disappeared, the victims of changing social habits, alternative sources of cheaper alcohol, and the value of many sites for redevelopment, particularly for flats.

Brentford had long been notorious for its large number of drinking establishments and the deleterious effects on both residents and visitors. In 1776 it was noted that Brentford "is extremely full of inns and public houses". In 1863 the Bishop of London said that "he was riding through Old Brentford the other day; and his son, who was with him, counted forty-two public house on one street". [The Church of England Temperance Magazine, March 1863]

In 1870 a commentator wrote of Brentford that "an overwhelming wretchedness, unsurpassed even in the east of London, pervades the whole town, mainly attributable, it must be acknowledged, to an almost universal habit of intemperance … I have it on the authority of the chief manager of the gas factory that the weekly beer bill of not a few, whose average wage is about 35 shillings, amounts to 25 shillings". [A New Display of the Beauties of England, Robert Goadby, 1776; Journal of the Society of Arts, Volume 18, 1870]

In 1873 another visitor to Brentford wrote that "the number of public-houses seems something astounding. I was told that some hundreds of pounds are left in the town every Saturday night by the topers from this and surrounding parishes … no modern bench of licensing magistrates would sanction the existing state of things in Brentford, which in respect of the number of drinking-places is a disgrace to the county". [The Leisure Hour, Volume 22, printed by W. Stevens, 1873]

In 1874 the total combined population of Old Brentford, New Brentford and Brentford End was less than 11,000 and yet there were 96 licensed and unlicensed drinking premises in this area and a small adjoining part of Ealing. "In Old Brentford £20,220 is spent annually on drink and only £1,000 on education, the average per head being £3 on drink and 3 shillings on education". [The Temperance Record, No. 926, 3rd January 1874]


Brentford pubs A-Z

Arranged in alphabetical order, the pubs that are still operating today are highlighted in red.

The Albany Arms, 17 Albany Road
The Alexandra, 307 High Street
The Anchor, Old Brentford
The Angel, Old Brentford
The Angel Inn / The Park Tavern, 105 London Road
The Barge Aground / The Prince George, 362 High Street
The Barley Corn, 98 High Street
The Beehive, 227 High Street
The Bell
The Black Boy and Still, 87 High Street
The Boar’s Head, south of the High Street, New Brentford
The Brewery Tap, 42 Catherine Wheel Road
The Brewery Tap, 22 High Street
The Bricklayers Arms, 67-69 Ealing Road
The Britannia, High Street, Old Brentford
The Bull, 350 High Street
The Bunch of Grapes / The Ferry Hotel, Ferry Lane
The Cannon Inn, 267 High Street
The Carpenters Arms, 74 New Road
The Castle Inn / Castle Hotel, 208 High Street
The Catherine Wheel, 94 High Street
The Coach and Horses, 183 London Road
The Crown
The Crown and Anchor, 224 High Street
The Crown and Thistle, New Brentford
The Crystal Fountain, 175 High Street
The Drum Inn, 319 High Street
The Duke of Cambridge, 247 High Street
The Duke of York, corner of York Road and Brook Road North
The Express Tavern, 56 Kew Bridge Road
The Feathers, 232 High Street
The Fox and Hounds/The Queens Head, 384 High Street
The Fox and Hounds was on the current site of Holland Gardens opposite Watermans Park.
The Gardener’s Arms, Back Lane (now Albany Road)
The George and Dragon, 29 London Road
The George III
The George IV, 50 High Street
The Globe, 104 Windmill Road
The Goat Inn, Ferry Lane
The Grand Junction Arms, 12 High Street
The Grand Junction Arms, 166 High Street
The Green Dragon, Green Dragon Lane
The Griffin, 57 Brook Road South
The Half Moon and Crown, 55 London Road
The Half Moon and Seven Stars, 25 High Street
The Half Way House, Old Brentford
The Hand and Flower / Wilkes’s Head, 378 High Street
The Harp Inn, 79 Albany Road
The Hope and Anchor, Layton Road (Brookshot Road)
The Horseshoe
The Jolly Gardener, 13 Ealing Road (Drum Lane)
The Jolly Gardeners, Windmill Road (Windmill Lane)
The Kings Arms, 19 Boston Manor Road
The Kings Arms, 273 High Street
The Lamb, 409 High Street
The Lord Nelson, 154 High Street
The Lord Nelson, 9–11 Enfield Road
The Magnet, 152 High Street
The Magpie and Crown, 128 High Street
The Magpie and Stump, 124 High Street
The Marquis of Granby, 369 High Street
The Mermaid, Old Brentford
The Moon Raker
The New Inn, 1 New Road
The North Star was located at 82 and 84 North Road, at the corner with Netley Road
The Northumberland Arms, 11 London Road
The Old Fire Station, 55 High Street
One Over the Ait, 8 Kew Bridge Road
The One Tun, 254 High Street
The Oxford and Cambridge / The Poplar Inn, 18 Kew Bridge Road
The Plough, 24 Kew Bridge Road
The Plough, south of the High Street, New Brentford
The Pottery Arms, 25 Clayponds Lane
The Princess Royal, 107 Ealing Road
The Prince of Wales / The Running Horses, 346 High Street
The Queens Arms, 366 High Street
The Red Lion, 318 High Street
The Red Lion, 197 High Street
The Retort / The Eight Bells, 376 High Street
The Rising Sun, 68-69 High Street
The Rose and Crown, about 101 High Street
The Royal Horseguardsman, 23 Ealing Road
The Royal Hotel, 26-27 High Street
The Royal Oak, Market Place, New Brentford
The Royal Oak, 38/39 New Road
The Royal Tar / O’Riordans, 3 High Street
The Running Deer, New Brentford
The Salutation Inn, 401 High Street
The Seven Stars, 32 Half Acre
The Shovel and Hoe, Back Lane (now Albany Road)
The Six Bells, 149 High Street
The Standard Inn, 15 Half Acre
The Star and Garter, Kew Bridge Road
The Strawberry House / The Patriot, 33 New Road
Stripes Bar, under the main stand, Brentford Football Club, Braemar Road
The Swan, at the corner of Smith Hill and 35 High Street
The Tackle Block
The Three Pigeons, 195 High Street
The Three Swans/ The Swan Tavern, Brentford Ait
The Three Tuns, south of High Street, New Brentford
The Tumble-Down Dick
The Two Black Boys, 140 High Street
The Volunteer, 32 Ealing Road
The Waggon and Horses, 26 Kew Bridge Road
The Waterman’s Arms / The Alton Arms, 179 High Street
The Waterman's Arms, 42 Catherine Wheel Road
The Waterman’s Arms, 1 Ferry Lane
The White Hart / The Plough, 46 Windmill Road
The White Hart, south eastern corner of Market Place
The White Horse / The Weir, 24 Market Place
The Windmill, at the corner of Orchard Road and Windmill Road
The Wolf Inn


Page published May 2018