Brentford Dock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Brentford Dock lock gates and Justin Close Brentford Dock (housing estate) is a basin off the Thames, with modern housing around it.
Brentford Dock (the new marina), 6 November 2007(2007-11-06).
Moored boats at low tide in the old Brentford docks (the old marina).
Water qualities monitor with solar cell by Brentford Dock. The Port of London Authority has about 20 water quality monitoring stations along the river from Richmond to Purfleet.[1] quoting from a 2003 account in The Guardian [2]

Brentford Dock in Brentford, west London, was a major trans-shipment point between the Great Western Railway (GWR) and barges on the River Thames. The building of Brentford Dock was started in 1855 [3] and it was formally opened in 1859. The former dock yard was redeveloped in 1972 and is now Brentford Dock Marina and Brentford Dock Estate.[4]

History before 1855[edit]

The dock was built on a large island between the River Thames and both the mouths of the River Brent.[5] Part of the land was owned by timber merchant James Montgomrey.[6] The local herons still fish here to this day.

History from 1855 to 1972[edit]

Brentford Dock[edit]

Brentford Dock was built by Great Western and Brentford Railway Company (later part of the GWR), to the south of the mouth of the River Brent and Grand Junction Canal, and opposite Kew Gardens. James Montgomrey had sold part of his Montgomrey’s Wharf premises to the company in 1855, including a corridor crossing the canal and river that enabled road access from the High Street (called Dock Road).[6] The dock was constructed to a design by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The company also built the Brentford Branch Line to it from the GWR main line at Southall, which was originally at 7 ft gauge and terminated at the dock.[7] Construction began in 1855 and was completed in 1859. Brunel's original covered dock was destroyed by fire in 1920 and replaced by an iron and steel structure.[8]

The dock provided a trans-shipment point for goods between the railway network and barges operating on the Thames to the Port of London.[9]

After World War I the Thames frontage was adapted for boats of up to 300 tons. Craft using the dock included heavy river barges, canal boats and sailing barges. The dock included customs facilities. It has been claimed that 10% of Britain's trade passed through the dock.[10]

Traffic included coal, steel, timber, wood pulp, flour, animal feedstuffs, cork, general merchandise and in the 1950s Morris cars from Oxford. Coke from Southall Gas Works was carried in daily block trains from Southall to the dock.[11]

The dock closed in 1964. It was redeveloped as housing and a marina in 1972 by the Greater London Council, to a design by architect Sir Roger Walters completed in 1968.

History after 1972[edit]

Brentford Dock Estate[edit]

Construction work for the Brentford Dock (housing) Estate housing estate began in 1972 and was the project was completed in 1978.[12][13]

Brentford Dock Marina[edit]

The construction of Brentford Dock Marina started in 1978 and the official opening was on 7 August 1980. Sir Horace Cutler, head of what was then the GLC (Greater London Council), sailed up river from County Hall on the boat Princess Freda.[12]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 June 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Jha, Alok (14 August 2003). "It may not look very inviting". The Guardian. London.
  3. ^ [1] Archived 11 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ [2] Archived 6 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Old maps of Britain and Europe from A Vision of Britain Through Time". Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b Ronalds, B.F. (2018). "The Montgomrey Family of Brentford: Timber Merchants and Benefactors". London’s Industrial Archaeology. 16: 57–69.
  7. ^ "Old Ordnance Survey Maps". 22 February 1999. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Acton, Chiswick, Ealing and Brentford, West Twyford, Willesden". A History of the County of Middlesex, Volume 7. pp. 131–144. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  9. ^ Civil Engineering Heritage: London & The Thames Valley. London: Thomas Telford Ltd for Institution of Civil Engineers. 2001. ISBN 0-7277-2876-8.
  10. ^ "Brentford Dock History". Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  11. ^ "The Brentford Branch". Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  12. ^ a b [3] Archived 11 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Brentford Dock". Retrieved 30 July 2015.

Coordinates: 51°28′54″N 0°18′08″W / 51.48179°N 0.30223°W / 51.48179; -0.30223

External links and mapping[edit]