An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Middlesex. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1937.
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4 BRENTFORD, NEW (C.d.)
(O.S. 6 in. XX, N.E.)
New Brentford is a parish forming part of the borough of Chiswick and Brentford. Boston House is the principal monument.
(1) Parish Church of St. Lawrence, formerly a chapel of Hanwell, stands on the S. side of High Street. The walls of the tower are of Kentish rag-stone with dressings of Reigate stone. The West Tower was built in the 15th century, but the rest of the church was re-built in 1764.
Architectural Description—The West Tower (12 ft. square) is of three stages with a modern embattled parapet. The two-centred tower-arch is of two moulded orders, the outer continuous and the inner springing from attached shafts with moulded capitals; the base of the arch is covered, the floor-level being about 4 ft. above the original level. The W. doorway is modern; the W. window, partly restored and the lower part destroyed by the doorway, is of three cinque-foiled lights in a segmental-pointed head with a label. The second stage has a blocked opening in the E. wall; the N. and W. walls have each a square-headed light; in the S. wall is a blocked window, probably similar to the others. The bell-chamber has a blocked window in the E. wall. The other three walls have each a restored window, now without mullions.
Fittings—Bells: six; 3rd by William Culverden, c. 1510 and inscribed "Sancta Anna ora pro nobis." Brass: In nave—on W. wall, of Henry Redman, chief mason of the king's works, 1528 and Joan his wife, figure of man in civil costume (head missing), wife and two daughters, indent of Trinity above. Font (Plate 11): octagonal bowl with moulded upper and lower edge, sides quatre-foiled and two enclosing a rose and foliage-boss, octagonal stem with pointed panel in each face and moulded base, c. 1500. Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In chancel—on E. wall, (1) to Rachel (Paule), wife of Christopher Clitherow, 1714, and to her husband, 1727, curved white marble tablet with Corinthian side-columns, cornice, broken pediment and shield-of-arms; (2) to James Clitherow, 1682, and Elizabeth (Barker) his wife, 1688, black and white marble tablet with side-pilasters, entablature, broken pediment, achievement and shield-of-arms. In nave—on N. wall, (3) to Alice, wife of James Hawley, 1678, marble and slate tablet with enriched frame and achievement-of-arms; (4) to James, son of James Hawley, 1667–8, similar tablet to (3); (5) of John Middleton, 1624, alabaster and marble wall-monument with kneeling figures of man and wife, arched recesses at back, Corinthian side-columns, entablature, curved pediment, cartouche and two shields-of-arms; on W. wall, (6) to Curtis (Hawley), wife of Thomas Cullum, 1700–1, white marble oval tablet with scrolls and cartouche-of-arms; (7) to Henry Hawley, J.P., 1706, and Alice, his widow, 1714–5, draped and scrolled white marble tablet, with cartouche-of-arms; (8) to Henry, 1695 and two Annes, children of Henry Hawley, octagonal black marble tablet. In S. aisle— on S. wall, (9) white marble cartouche-of-arms from former monument, late 17th-century. Floor-slab: In tower—to Mary (Goldsmith), widow of Sir Edward Spenser, 1658–9, with two shields-of-arms. Plate: includes cup of 1689, with lozenge-of-arms, large cover-paten of the same date and arms, and flagon of 1709. Miscellanea: In nave—on W. wall, octofoiled and sub-cusped panel enclosing a shield of Berkeley quartering Brotherton, Arundel and Warenne, 15th-century, preserved from old church in 1764.
(2) Boston House and outbuilding ¾ m. N.N.W. of the church. The House (Plate 43) is of three storeys with cellars and attics; the walls are of brick with stone dressings and the roofs are tile and slate-covered. The property came into the possession of Mary, wife of Sir William Reade, in 1621, and the dates 1622 and 1623 on rainwater heads and ceiling indicate that it was re-built at that time. In 1670 the house passed to the Clitherow family and in 1671 various works were undertaken. These probably included the N. wing and outbuildings on the E. side. There is a modern addition in the angle between the main block and the N. wing.
The house is a good example of its period and the ceilings and staircase are noteworthy.
The Elevations of the main block have a stone entablature at the second-floor level and are finished with three gables on the long sides and two at the ends.
The windows have stone architraves, those on the ground floor surmounted by straight or curved pediments and those on the first floor each with three key-blocks; above each pair of second-floor windows on the E. and S. is a continuous cornice, but each second-floor window on the W. front has a separate cornice. The gables on the E. and S. sides have each a round-headed niche. The central stone porch on the E. front has a round outer archway with a curved keystone and carved spandrels and springs from panelled pilasters; flanking it are similar pilasters supporting an entablature continued along the sides of the porch, which are pierced by openings with flanking pilasters; at the outer angles of the porch between the pilasters are attached shafts with strap-ornament; the porch is finished with a pierced parapet. There are three rainwater heads with the date 1622 and the initials M.R. (for Mary Reade) and a fourth on the W. side with the date 1670. The original chimney-stacks have diagonal shafts.
Inside the main block the Entrance Hall has an original plaster ceiling with an elaborate geometrical design with moulded ribs; the panels enclose conventional designs of foliage and flowers, fleurs-de-lys, masks and cherub-heads. At the W. end there is an original wooden screen of three bays divided and flanked by diminishing Ionic pilasters with carved pedestals and enrichments and supporting a continuous entablature with an elliptical arch over the middle bay; the side bays have plain openings and a panelled dado. The Ground Floor rooms have been modernised, but the N.W. room retains some original moulded panelling and a cupboard with cocks-head hinges. The original staircase has moulded strings and rails, square newels surmounted by lions holding shields, and balusters in the form of diminishing pilasters with arched heads between them. On the First Floor the large S.E. room has an elaborate plaster ceiling (Plates 40, 45) with a geometrical design, the panels being formed by broad enriched bands; the minor panels have strapwork ornament and the major panels scrolled cartouches in addition enclosing allegorical and other figures including Cupid, Time, Pelican, the four Elements, Peace and War, the Senses, Faith, Hope and Charity, Plenty, various birds and beasts and the date and initials 1623 M.R. The fireplace (Plate 44) is flanked by enriched diminishing pilasters with Ionic caps supporting a gadrooned shelf; the overmantel is flanked by enriched terminal pilasters supporting an enriched cornice with three heads; between the pilasters is a plaster panel with scrolled ornament, hippocamps, figures and dogs and a central oval panel with a representation of the sacrifice of Isaac; below it is the motto "Loyal yet free"; some of this ornament is closely similar to that on the fire-place of the S.E. Bedroom on the 2nd floor at Charlton House. The doorways of this room have enriched architraves and panelled doors with strapwork orna ment; there is similar panelling in the window-recesses. The S.W. Room has an original plaster ceiling of similar general character to that last described, but the panels all have strapwork ornament except the central one, which has a cartouche with a figure of Hope. The walls are lined with late 17th-century panelling; the fireplace has a bolection-moulded surround and a large panel above with a frame carved with flowers and cherub-heads; it formerly contained a picture and the opening now shows part of an original strapwork-frieze of plaster. The staircase landing has three doorways surmounted by repainted shields with a strapwork surround. On the second floor two rooms have late 17th-century surrounds to the fireplaces one of which has a moulded overmantel and cornice. The balustrade at the top of the staircase to the attics has turned balusters. The late 17th-century N. wing has been largely refaced; on the W. side are some original windows with solid frames.
The square building, N.E. of the N. wing, was probably a pigeon-house. It is of brick with a pyramidal roof and was built c. 1671. It is of three storeys and has small square-headed windows with solid frames.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of late 17th or early 18th-century date and of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tile or slate-covered. Some of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
(3) House (Plate 32), No. 1 on the E. side of Upper Butts 350 yards N. of the church, has an original modillioned eaves-cornice and a brick band between the storeys. Inside the building the hall has some bolection-moulded panelling and the staircase has turned balusters, close strings and panelled dadoes.
(4) House, now Beaufort House and Chatham House on the N.W. side of the Butts 50 yards S.E. of (3), has an original modillioned eaves-cornice. Inside the building is some original panelling and the staircase in Beaufort House has turned balusters and close strings.
(5) House, No. 19, 20 yards S.W. of (4), has an original modillioned eaves-cornice and retains some original panelling and the upper flights of the original staircase with turned balusters and close strings.
(6) House, now Linden House and Cobden House, adjoining (5) on the S.W., has been partly refronted but retains part of its original eaves-cornice.
(7) Range of houses Nos. 16 and 18 and stable on the S.E. side of the Butts 40 yards S.E. of (4), has been much altered and refaced and only the stable retains its eaves-cornice. The W. chimney-stack has two diagonal shafts. The staircase of No. 16 has turned balusters and close strings.
(8) House, two tenements, Nos. 20 and 22, immediately S.W. of (7), has a band between the storeys and a modillioned eaves-cornice. The S. side retains its original doors and door-frames. Inside the building there are some original moulded surrounds to the fireplaces and both staircases have turned balusters and moulded rails.
(9) House, two tenements, 70 yards S.W. of (8), retains its original modillioned eaves-cornice and some plain original panelling.
(10) House, with shop, No. 222 on the N. side of High Street, 10 yards W. of Half Acre retains its modillioned eaves-cornice.
(11) House, with shop, No. 218, 15 yards W. of (10), has been much altered.
(12) House, with shop, No. 211, 40 yards W. of (11).
(13) House, now two tenements and shops, Nos. 182–3, 25 yards N.E. of the church, retains its original modillioned eaves-cornice.
(14) Range of houses and shops, Nos. 153–6 on the S. side of High Street, 100 yards W. of the church.
(15) Range of houses and shops, Nos. 142–6, 40 yards E. of (14), has been much altered.
(16) House with shop, No. 119, 120 yards E.N.E. of the church, is of three storeys and has been refronted.
(17) House with shop, No. 118 adjoining (16) on the E. is a 17th-century building of three storeys largely reconstructed early in the 18th century.
(18) House with shop, No. 114, 20 yards E. of (17), is of three storeys, largely re-built early in the 18th century.
(19) Old England, site on the Thames bank, bordering on Isleworth parish, has yielded finds dating from the Bronze Age downwards. A small excavation, made in 1928, revealed remains of a Romano-British hut of rectangular form and underlying it numerous sherds of Hallstatt pottery. The quantity of this pottery, together with numerous finds made in dredging the adjacent river-bed, have been held to indicate a Hallstart settlement of some size. (R. E. M. Wheeler in Antiquity, iii, p. 20.)