The boundaries of Brentry are not well defined. The settlement grew around the junction of two roads, where a public house, the Old Crow, has long been established. The north-south road, Passage Road (now the A4018), was a turnpike road from Bristol to South Wales via New Passage or the Old Passage at Aust Ferry. When the new Filton By-Pass (now part of the M5 motorway) was opened in 1962, the route became an arterial road linking the new road to the centre of Bristol. The east-west route (B4057) is now of only local importance, but in the 1930s it carried A38 traffic by-passing Bristol. The through route was cut by the runway for the giant Bristol Brabazon aircraft built in 1949.
The area east of the junction was developed in the 20th century, and Brentry is now sometimes considered to extend as far as the Filton Golf Course, south of Filton Aerodrome, including an area east of Charlton Road known as Charlton Mead, named from the former hamlet of Charlton.
Pen Park Hole is a large cavern, to which access is strictly limited, near Brentry at the edge of Filton Golf Course.
Brentry was once well known for its hospital, founded in 1898 as the Brentry Certified Inebriate Reformatory. In 1922 it became an institution for the mentally ill, and was renamed Brentry Certified Institution. It was renamed the Brentry Colony in 1930. In 1948, under the National Health Service, it became Brentry Hospital. It closed in 2000.
Brentry House, a grade II listed building built in 1802, was used as the administration building for Brentry Hospital. This building was designed by James and Humphry Repton. Now known as Repton Hall, it has been converted into residential apartments.
Brentry is a predominantly residential area. There are however pockets of industry and commerce namely Charlton Road, Charlton Lane and Wyck Beck Road. A former hospital laundry site just off Charlton Road now sees the Pieminister Pie Factory. On Charlton Road there is a typical row of shops with a hairdresser, convenience grocery store and take-aways. On Wyck Beck Road there is a car repair garage, blue glass retailer and car hire business.
The closest major commercial and industrial hubs are Avonmouth Docks where there is light and heavy industry. Cribbs Causeway is the nearest major retail hub. There are also major employment sites in nearby Filton where a significant regional aerospace presence can be found.
- "Psychiatric hospital was built during Victorian times". Bristol Post. 11 April 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- The Motorway Archive, M5 J8 to J22 Archived 16 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- Brentry Primary School
- J. Jancar (1987). "The History of Mental Handicap in Bristol and Bath" (PDF). Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- Glenside Museum website Archived 3 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- Historic England. "Repton Hall, Charlton Road (Grade II) (1202057)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- "Brentry Conservation Area, Bristol Local Plan" (PDF). Bristol City Council. 1997. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 January 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
- Historic England. "Royal Victoria Park (formerly Brentry House) (Grade II) (1000360)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- "Pieminister". 192. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
- "Charlton Road". Bristol.org. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
- "Beaufort Motor Co.Ltd". Yell. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
- "Bristol Blue Glass (Henbury) Limited". 192. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
- "Bristol North Car & Van Hire". Enterprise. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
- "Welcome". Filton Town Council. Retrieved 2 October 2017.