Gallows Bridge

Gallows Bridge

Bridge 207
Grand Union Canal

Bridge built in 1820

Grade II Statutory Listed.

In Grand Union Canal and Boston Manor Conservation Area.

English Heritage Listing

Probably by Thomas Telford.

Single span iron footbridge with yellow brick abutments. Dated 1820 and cast at Horseley Iron Works near Birmingham

Further Information

Carries the Grand Union Canal towpath from the west to the eastern bank at the northern end of the Boston Manor Estate.

The bridge, with Grand Union Canal insignia, has a rough surface to enable canal horses to grip it. It may have taken its name from a man found hanged in Boston Manor woods, c. 17th century.

Bridge on Canal Plan

Gallows Bridge

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Gallows Bridge 51.491671, -0.326178 Gallows Bridge
Boatmen's Institute

Boatmen’s Institute

The Butts

Built in 1904 as a community centre for canal families, now a private residence.

Grade II statutory listed.

In Butts Conservation Area.

English Heritage Listing

Boatman’s institute, later house. Built in 1904 for The London City Mission by architect Noel Parr. Arts and Crafts style. Comprised two schoolrooms on the ground floor with living accommodation above.  Continue reading

Overhanging Warehouse

Overhanging Warehouse

Grand Union Canal, Brentford

Built in 1960s as a warehouse, currently derelict and being re-developed.

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


This is a piece of industrial history from the 1960s, formerly known as the Brentford Depot. A freight terminal at which barges and carriers (called lighters) from the Thames and docks, which were too wide for the canals of central England, transferred their loads onto narrow boats, to be taken up the canal as far as Birmingham. Even into the early 20th century, 20,000 narrow boats loaded up here each year.

There are still remains of the moving cranes and entry to the warehouse above the concrete wall into the building that opens on to Commerce Road. Change and redevelopment approaching 2013.

Overhanging Warehouse

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Overhanging Warehouse 51.485766, -0.314355 Overhanging Warehouse
Bradshaw Yard

Bradshaw’s Yard

Bradshaw’s Yard / Workhouse Dock

Built in 1800s as docks and remain so.

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


Early wharfs along this stretch on Moses Glover map (1645) were called Ye Pye Wharf, Ye Wolfe Wharf and Ye Whele Wharf. Workhouse Dock is marked on Boston Manor map c.1800.

Slipway of particular interest.

Bradshaw's Yard and Workhouse Dock

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Bradshaw\'s Yard and Workhouse Dock 51.482345, -0.307950 Bradshaw Yard
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. Continue reading

Lots Ait

Lots AitLots Ait,
41 High Street

Island and Dock

In Thames Policy Area


Remains of boat building and repair wharves with dry dock.
2012 restoration with moorings and new bridge.

Further Information

See John’s Boat Works who currently occupy the ait and Lot’s Ait

Lot's Ait

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Lot\'s Ait 51.484830, -0.298691 Watermans Park see full page article



Toll House

Toll House

Gauging Lock, Brentford, TW8

Built as a toll house in 1911, this is now a museum.

Grade II statutory listed

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


In the 18th century at the time of early canal travel, goods were carried from the Midlands to London covering 230 miles via the Oxford Canal and the Thames,  meeting hold ups of fishing weirs and often floods or droughts on the Thames.

In 1793/4 the Grand Junction Canal Company built a canal to cut down this distance  (as the crow flies it’s only 100 miles). Continue reading

Watermen at War


Friday May 29th 1942


Barges and Canal Boats are Vital Links in Supply Chain


Through Fires and Bombs Up River in London Blitz

On the late afternoon of September 6th 1940 a solitary pair of boats, frail river craft, moved steadily up the Thames between banks of blazing warehouses, flying masonry, and under a sky noisy with ‘planes and the crash of anti-aircraft fire. The boats’ crew of five, including two Brentford men, were maintaining the slogan ‘Keep Moving’, which river and canal workers have nailed to their masts for the duration. Continue reading

Brook Road South – The Brook

1841 Tithe Map of Brentford

1841 Tithe Map of Brentford

The Tithe Map of Brentford in 1841 shows that the area of the town west of Drum Lane (now Ealing Road) was tightly packed buildings between the High Street and Albany Road with open ground beyond. Running north to south is a blue line marking the route of the brook. Parallel with the water course is a narrow road and at a sharp bend there are four cottages later called Brook Terrace. Continue reading