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From 257-1 to 266 High Street, Old BrentfordThis section, on the northern side of the High Street, lies opposite the entrance to Town Meadow Road and Pump Alley. In 1909/10 several of these properties were described as 'old' or 'very old' so presumably date from before 1800. They were all 3-storeys. The Brentford British School (later renamed the Rothschild School) was in this section, attended by our Brentford ancestors.
Several households are listed between numbers 257 & 258 in 1841 & 1851. For the purpose of describing them they have been numbered 257-1, 257-2 & 257-3*. It seems likely that when the Brentford British School was built in the 1850s it was on the site of these properties.
*The 1839/1841 tithe map shows just two large properties on what was to become the site of the school, occupied by John Taylor & James Samson, then another 7 small houses (owned by John Grimault), which later became numbers 258 – 264: although on the tithe map there appear to be eight properties not seven. Having spent some time staring at various maps it was difficult to reach firm conclusions about exactly what lay between what was to become number 257 and 258, so I have assumed there were three properties in order to accommodate the no. of houses recorded in the 1841 and 1851 censuses.
The 1909/10 Valuation notes that there was a house behind numbers 261 and 262 and this may have been recorded in some censuses as part of the High Street.
By 1940 the Borough of Brentford & Chiswick Health Centre and Brentford & Chiswick Juvenile Employment Bureau at Alexandra House were the only buildings recorded between numbers 249 and 258.
People have contributed several images from the early 1900s onwards, see links.
Numbers 257-1, -2 & -3At least two buildings were in this part of the High Street when the tithe map was drawn up, and the 1841 census suggests there were three properties, occupied by
Brentford British School, later known as the Rothschild SchoolThe Brentford British School opened on this site in 1859 1859 and 'was considered to be one of the best in London in 1872' (Q103). The 1865 OS Map shows the school set back a little from the High Street and extending back (say) 100'.
It was renamed the Rothschild School by 1906, taken over by the Borough of Ealing in 1919 and closed in 1930 when Brentford Secondary Modern School was opened (Q103).
Following demolition of the school building, Alexandra House was built on the site as health centre and employment exchange in 1938 (Q103). The 1939 Register records George Wickers and his wife Ethel A Wickers living on the premises as caretakers of the School Clinic.
Number 258Occupants pre-1871 may have been Joseph Winter, barge master (1841); James McNamara, clothier from Ireland (1851); Edward Akerman, cow keeper (1861).
By 1871 Richard Meades, greengrocer was living at no. 258. He remained here at the time of the 1881 census. The page showing this property in the 1891 census was damaged but his wife Sarah was recorded here in the 1901 census, so continuous occupancy seems high likely.
Sarah Meades, greengrocer, was recorded at this address in a 1913 trade directory. In 1928 and 1933 directories: Alfred Lefley, confectioner. The 1939 Register records William Westerhoff, wife Elsie and family of five at this address, he was a 'tobacconist, confectionist dealer'. The following year 'William E Westman, confectioner' (perhaps a change of name as Westerhoff sounded Germanic?).
Number 259In the 1909/10 Valuation Returns number 259 included land to the rear of 261 & 262; it is described as having on the ground floor a ‘room with a loft over formerly used as a bakehouse but now disused’. Earlier census returns confirm there was a bakery here in 1839/1841 (run by Sarah Briggs) then in 1851 & 1861 (Charles Wild), 1871 – 1890 (Mrs Emma Elizabeth Wild). By 1913 A Lodge & Co, scale makers were based at no. 259; they remained here until 1933.
The 1939 Register shows John Cherrington, butcher shop keeper, and his wife Beatrice at no. 259.Top
Number 260One of three small terraced properties (260 – 262) which appear to have been built at the same time.
George Maberley, carpenter, lived here with his wife and three children in 1841 & 1851; in 1861 his married daughter Marianne Harcomb was visiting with two children.
William Charles Jones is recorded at this address in 1881 (bootmaker), 1891 & 1898 (verger, St George’s Church) and 1901 (umbrella maker). Mrs Wright lived at this address in 1928, 1933 & 1940. The 1939 Register provides more details: Jessie Wright was born 12 March 1871 and seven others made up her household, including two named Seabrook.Top
Number 261Numbers 261 & 2 had a property behind them and it is therefore not clear, prior to the numbering of the High Street, where the residents of this property were recorded in each census: before no. 260 from where the property could be accessed, or after 260, 261 or 262.
What is known is that a Thomas Dredge, pensioner of the excise service, lived here, or near here, in 1851 & 1861, by which time he was 78. He died in 1865 and in 1871 the property was occupied by Brentford-born Silvester Moles, lighterman, aged 28, who had a wife Harriott (nee Forrow) and one young daughter Harriott.
In 1881 William Moles, aged 54, also a lighterman and likely to be a relative to Silvester, lived here with his wife and a son William aged 20. They shared the property with a second household, headed by Thomas Snelling, wife Sophia and two small children. See links to the Snelling family pages: it seems likely Thomas is related to this family.
Edward F Beale, labourer, occupied no. 261 in 1891 and Joseph Church, a 72 year old shoemaker born Wallingford, Berks, in 1901.
The 1909/10 Valuation describes numbers 261 and 262 as brick built houses with three floors and a basement, old and dilapidated. There were two rooms on each of the top and first floors, the ground floor had two rooms and a scullery and there were cellars in the basement. The annual rental was £26, ie 50p (or 10 shillings in old money) a week. 261 and 262 were both 11’ wide.
John William Tassell (1913, 1928, 1933) and Thomas Woodhouse (1940) had no occupations recorded in the trade directories. The 1939 Register gives a fuller picture: Thomas Woodhouse, born 1890, wife Nellie Woodhouse born 1891 and their four children born between 1920 and 1932, one a 'closed record'. Open records: Helen M Woodhouse (1920), ‘razor blade packing’ who later married a Stokes; Caroline E Woodhouse (1924) ‘general assistant labour…’ and Albert Woodhouse (132) at achool.. The father’s occupation ‘Steer barge or horse driver (heavy work), anotated water transport’Top
Number 262Thomas Moulds, waterman, headed a household of 11 including 3 boarders in 1841; he is listed in 1851 & 1861, by which time he was 73 and had become ‘Moles’ rather than ‘Moulds’; in 1871 Mrs Sarah Moles, aged 73, basket maker lived here and she is also included in the 1874 directory as a ‘fruit basket maker’; in 1881 Mrs Ellen Moles, basket maker lived here: her husband Thomas Sylvester Moles was a grandson of Thomas and Sarah Moles by their son Alexander; 1891 Thomas S Moles barge lighterman. By 1901 Alfred Harvey ran a refreshment house here.
In the 1909/10 Valuation Records numbers 258 - 262 were owned by Elizabeth Hamilton; no occupiers’ names were given for these properties and several of the five were described as ‘old’ or ‘old and dilapidated’. Notes for 261 include a description of the property.
From 1913 – 1940 Richard King is listed at number 262, no business mentioned. The 1939 Register fills in some detail: Richard King, born 1870,k was a grave digger retired and living with him was George R King, born 1913, builders labourer labourer and also in Brentford T Division Special Constabulary; plus a third person, 'officially closed'.Top
Number 263In 1851 George Baker, eating house keeper, lived here.
The Chaplin family then occupied no. 263 for over 40 years, although the ages recorded in successive censuses vary. In 1861 John Chaplin (60), a plumber, headed a household including his son John, a carver & gilder, aged 26, daughter Harriott 22. In 1871 their ages were 70, 33 & 31, John senior died in 1877, aged 76.
In 1881 John junior and his sister Harriott, both still unmarried, lived here, aged 40 and 33 respectively: both were born in Chelsea. A John Chaplain, carver and gilder, is recorded at this address in an 1890 trade directory. Unfortunately the page in the 1891 census is damaged, but it is possible to make out the name John Chaplin. The 1901 census shows John Chaplin, carver & gilder, aged 38. A John Chaplin death was registered in Brentford in 1903, aged 67.
Out of curiosity the 1851 census was checked and showed the Chaplin family in New Brentford, John junior aged 17 and Harriet aged 12. In 1841 the family was in Chelsea, John aged 7, Harriet aged 2.
The 1909/10 Valuation described no. 263 as having a frontage of 16’ 8” and having a ‘large back addition’. ‘Premises in good repair & comparatively of modern construction’.
By 1913 no. 263 had reverted to its original use, dining rooms, run by John Styles, then Albert Edward Smith (1928, 1933, 1940). 1939 Register: Albert E Smith, born 1884, restaurant owner and his wife Daisy B Smith born 1890, restaurant co-owner.Top
Number 264James Neville, cooper, is listed in the tithe return and Pigot’s 1839 directory and in each census up to and including 1861, by which time he was 66; the premises were unoccupied in 1871 but in 1881 Edwin Thomas Neville, cooper lived here, followed by Joseph James Neville in 1890. Alister Neville has kindly contributed details of the Neville family tree.
By 1891 William J Dennis, groom lived here, also listed in 1901 as a coachman – domestic, but the premises appear to have been run by Neville based on a photo reputedly dating ca 1905. The 1909/10 Valuation returns described number 264 as
‘a terrace club and premises of 3 storeys: top floor- 2 rooms; 1st floor – double card room, kitchen, scullery; ground floor – office, WC, large bar room, back billiard room, 2 WCs. Premises now in excellent repair. Note:- the premises were opened as a club in March 1909, before that date the billiard room, which is a separate building had recently been extended from the accommodation for 1 table to the accommodation for 2 tables, and is built of wood & corrugated iron’
In 1939 two people were living on the premises: Sidney Barrington, born 1888, Steward (Club) ('Con' has been crossed out) and wife Ada E Barrington, born 1885, as for most wives her occupation was 'unpaid domestic duties'.
Number 264 continued to be used by Brentford Conservative Club until at least 1940.Top
Number 265Robert Fox, saddler, lived here in 1841. By 1851 he had moved across the road to no. 65 and Mrs Mary Richardson, butcher, headed the household. In 1861 she remained, looking after a basket shop, aged 91.
1871: John Davis, tobacconist; 1881: Thomas Allkins, confectioner. By 1890 Henry Gilbert , tobacconist, lived here and he remained in 1891 and 1901, where he described himself as ‘mineral water manufacturer’. Presumably he was an offshoot of the Gilbert family at no. 68/69, the Rising Sun.
In the 1909/10 Valuation the property was described as ‘old and dilapidated’. In 1913 the occupier was I G Scott, tobacconist and in 1928 Edward Reed. The property was not recorded in the 1933 and 1940 directories directories but in 1939 there was a single resident: Nellie G M Aggett, born 21 May 1899, married, café, grocery, sweets shopkeeper. The enumerator has added Gertrude Ellen Mary, presumably her name registered at birth.Top
Number 266In 1839, 1841 & 1845 John Norman, tripe dresser lived & worked here. In 1851 Mrs Hester Poole, continued the tripe dressing business; by 1861 she had switched to being a pork butcher and was succeeded by Frederick Poole, a sawyer in 1871 but a tripe dresser in 1874, 1881 & 1890. In 1901 Frederick was a ‘neat foot oil merchant’ aged 74.
The 1909/10 Valuation returns describe this as ‘a terrace house and shop of 3 storeys’ with a right of way under part of the house to Cannon Alley. It is a ‘very old property’. By 1907 Henry Edwin Gulliver, tailor ran a business from here, succeeded by 1928 by Mrs Helen Hann, lampshade maker who remained here as an ‘artifical flower maker’ in 1933 & 1940.
In 1939 Helen Hann, born 1872, a widow, 'shopkeeper artificial florist' – I know what they mean but it sounds a bit odd – and her children Helen J Hann (1905), home worker; Minnie F Hann (1911) gasket maker handworker motor and aero; Charles Richard Hann (1895), married, wood machinist master ma…
The 1952 electoral register lists the following at 266: Charles R, Helen, Helen T and Minnie F Hann.Top
Photos/Ephemera/MapsLinks 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 (the navigation area to the left).
References such as '1899 (X11)' indicate the date of a photo (1899) and where it is published (X11). Details of 'X' are available: see Mainly paper sources page; '11' refers to the page no, or photo no. in the publication.Brentford British School early C20 also in (A46), (D20), (Q103); Trooping the colours, pre-1908; Form 1 in 1925 (A47); the site has a number of school photos dating from 1906 onwards
Alexandra House, photos from shortly after it was built and a view from 2019
259 A. Lodge & Co., scale makers early 20C? (A45), 1906 (K121); example of their work
260 Ca 1905 (A43); Early 20C? (A45); 1906 (K121); 1945/6 (H)
261 J Church ca 1905 (A43), early 20C? (A45); 1945/6 (H)
262 Ca 1905 (A43), early 20C? (A45); 1945/6 (H)
263 R. Ashley grocer c 1905, now grounds of Berkeley House (A43), opp. Rising Sun
264 Neville's Cooper c 1905 (A43); Brentford Conservative Club rowing team is pictured in 1913 (A44)
266 Henry Edwin Gulliver's shop, pre WW1
General view of properties east of the school, also appears in (S25)
Warning - download over 200k! 1839 Tithe map modern numbers 257_1 to 266 have tithe property refs 363 to 355
Warning - download over 170k! 1894 OS Map annotated with house numbers
Roads OffHardings Court (1841 & 1881 onwards) (apparently called Sweeps Alley (1851 - 1871) to the east of no. 257. The 1909/10 Valuation notes that numbers 1 – 10 Hardings Court were cottages when visited 30 April 1909, ‘since demolished’. The 1911 census records 'Harding Court' as four 'condemned' uninhabited private houses.
Cannon Alley between numbers 266 & 267, accessed through a 3’ passage
Published 2005; last updated August 2019