Dr Johnson's Island

Dr Johnson’s Island

Originally used as a dock, this is now an artists studio and boatyard.

In Grand Union & Boston Manor Conservation Area; Thames Policy Area.


At the confluence of the Rivers Thames and Brent and the Grand Union Canal, the area was important historically for the barges that had carried goods to and from Birmingham.

Boat building has been happening in the area since the 1700s.

Also known as Staffordshire Wharf. A Dr Johnson who made soaps, dyes and starches in the area lived in a “Staffordshire House”. Dr Johnson lived in the Butts in the late 18th century and owned property in Catherine Wheel Yard before the canal was built. There he had a steam mill, starch house, lofts, a laboratory, piggeries, yards and a counting house (office). One of his tenants had a turpentine works, warehouse and a laboratory.

Further Information

Brentford Gallery and Studios