A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 7, Acton, Chiswick, Ealing and Brentford, West Twyford, Willesden. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1982.
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In 1086 the canons of St. Paul's had 3 of their 5 hides in demesne and kept 2 ploughs and 2 serfs. There was meadow for 5 ploughs, pasture for the cattle of the vill, and woodland for 150 pigs, but the villeins had only 2 ploughs and the value had fallen from £10 T.R.E. to £8. The 40 tenants consisted of 8 villeins each with 1 virgate, 7 villeins each with ½ virgate, 7 bordars each with 5 a., and 16 cottars. (fn. 1)
In 1181 the three-hide manor of Sutton contained 330 a. of arable, 16 a. of meadow, and c. 30 a. of grown wood. There were 2 ploughs and there was pasture for 5 cows and 60 sheep. (fn. 2) In 1222 the demesne consisted of 210 a. of arable, 16 a. of meadow, c. 40 a. of wood, and enough pasture for 12 oxen, 4 stots, 10 cows, and 120 sheep. (fn. 3) The manor was leased and one of the tenants, John of Sutton, acted as assistant bailiff. Declining farms of grain were paid to St. Paul's c. 1300: the manor then owed for only 2 weeks, whereas in 1181 it was said to have owed for 16⅓ days in the time of Dean Wulman (fn. 4) (1086 x 1107).
In 1222 there were still c. 40 tenancies, including 7 of the demesne, on Sutton manor, whereas since 1086 the number had increased on most other estates of St. Paul's. (fn. 5) Services, not owed by all tenants, included ploughing in winter and Lent, sowing, harrowing, mowing, weeding, shearing, and carting. (fn. 6) In 1590 it was recommended that the demesne and parsonage should be leased out without the right to receive rents, many of which had decayed and which John Lane and other lessees of the manor had failed to collect. (fn. 7) Rents for freehold land remained negligible in 1649, (fn. 8) and some 40 tenants owed quitrents worth £13 in 1674. (fn. 9)
Copyhold lands on both Chiswick manors descended to the youngest son or brother (fn. 10) by Borough English. On Sutton Court, and presumably on the Prebend, manor copyholds were divided equally among daughters, in default of sons, and a widow was entitled to one third of her first husband's lands as dower. Tenants of Sutton Court in 1590 claimed to know nothing of heriots and to be able to sublet for 3 years without licence, but were told that heriots were payable, besides fines for underleases of more than a year, and that a full fine was due when an heir came of age, whatever his guardian might have paid. (fn. 11) In 1649 freeholders paid one year's quitrent as a relief and copyholders a sum to be agreed. (fn. 12)
A common field called Chiswick field, recorded in 1670, (fn. 13) stretched westward from the present Devonshire Road in 1746. (fn. 14) Fields of Sutton Court in 1590 included Long close northeast of the manor house and abutting Berygate (later Barrowgate) mead, Home field (unconnected with the existing open space), the Brache of 50 a., Broad field of 63 a., Little Sheeplease of 34 a. to the west abutting Great Sheeplease of 72 a., the 60-a. Strand field, apparently divided, Leylands, and Ley field. (fn. 15) Many of the fields had been divided into parcels, some of them 'now inclosed,' by 1649. (fn. 16) Names which survived in 1818 included the Brache, south-east of Burlington Lane, Leylands west of Sutton Place and Sutton Lane, and a small Strand field northwest of Grove House, with Ice House fields stretching north-eastward from Strand field towards Sutton Court. (fn. 17)
Apart from Prebend mead, c. 10 a. along the Thames south-west of the present Barnes bridge, the demesne lands of the Prebend manor lay in the north-eastern corner of the parish. In 1649 they included the 12-a. Home field north of College House at the south-east end of Chiswick Lane and adjoining the 33 a. of Thistly field, which stretched north to the London highway; Lords close and Barn close were part of Eighteen Acres on the west side of Chiswick Lane, with Churchlands to the north and, on the far side of the high road, Whitacres (Whittakers) and North field, stretching to Stamford brook on the parish boundary. (fn. 18) Both Prebend mead and Home field remained intact in 1747, when there were 5 closes in Isleworth (formerly Thistly) field, 8 in North close (formerly field), and several more around Manor Farm House in Chiswick Lane. The manor then contained c. 168 a., of which 134 a. were inclosures and c. 34 a. common, apparently excluding College House and its grounds, a riverside plot on the south side of Chiswick Mall, and Chiswick Eyot. (fn. 19) The demesne estate, apart from College House, was estimated at 120 a. in 1811, when the field-names survived, (fn. 20) and had been only slightly diminished at the time of its sale by Westminster in 1865. (fn. 21)
Arable predominated on the lands acquired by John de Bray between 1324 and 1337, (fn. 22) as on Sutton manor in 1470 and the Barkers' estate in 1537. (fn. 23) Pasture and arable together amounted to 364 a. on Sutton manor in 1590, when only c. 15 a. were meadow. (fn. 24) Much land which was arable in 1649, including Strand field and part of Leylands, (fn. 25) had been taken for market gardening by 1746; parkland also had increased, leaving Chiswick common field and the Prebend manor's Isleworth field and North close as the largest areas of arable. Lord Burlington's fields in the peninsular part of the parish south of Burlington Lane were meadow or pasture in 1746, (fn. 26) although many were arable in 1800, by which date gardens and parkland had made more inroads on agricultural grassland farther north. (fn. 27) Corn was still grown on c. 300 a. in 1795, when c. 200 a. were grassland and c. 280 a. were market gardens. (fn. 28) Arable accounted for only c. 136 a. in 1846, c. 349 a. being meadow or pasture, 336 a. market gardens, 97 a. plantations, and 71 a. osier beds. (fn. 29) As farmland dwindled in the early 20th century, field crops again predominated: permanent grass accounted for c. 100 a. in 1900, most of it being pasture, for 15 a. in 1910, and for 6½ a. in 1920, while crops were grown on 408 a. in 1900, c. 232 a. in 1910, and 215 a. in 1920. Cultivation, however, was of vegetables rather than corn. (fn. 30)
Grazing rights were enjoyed by all tenants in 1590 on the demesne of Sutton Court, except on gardens and orchards, (fn. 31) the fields being called Lammas lands in 1649. (fn. 32) Lammas grazing was said to impoverish the soil in 1794, necessitating heavy manuring. (fn. 33) The rights extended from Lammas to Candlemas on meadowland and from harvest time until resowing on arable in 1806, when an Act was passed to extinguish them on 68 a. of the duke of Devonshire. The Act, which was not to affect waste lands, (fn. 34) was apparently supplemented or superseded by another, for 141 a., in 1814. No award apparently has survived, (fn. 35) although one was made in 1840. (fn. 36)
Waste land called Turnham Green, along the highway from London, belonged to both manors. (fn. 37) By the mid 18th century roadside building had already divided it into northern and southern parts, (fn. 38) which increasingly came to be exploited for turf or loam and used for sand or dung heaps. (fn. 39) The northern or Back common covered c. 24 a. and the southern or Front common 12 a. in 1846. (fn. 40) Further encroachments, including the building of Christ Church, left Chiswick (formerly the Back) common with c. 11 a. and Turnham Green (formerly the Front) common with 7½ a. in 1911, when Stamford Brook common in the extreme north-east corner of the parish covered 2½ a. (fn. 41) Horses and geese still grazed on Turnham Green common c. 1885. (fn. 42) Under the Metropolitan Commons Act, 1866, (fn. 43) all waste lands were acquired by the local board (fn. 44) and thereafter preserved for recreation. (fn. 45)
Wheat, barley, and oats were due from Sutton manor in 1181, (fn. 46) and both were sold in 1407–8. (fn. 47) Wheat was sown on 37 a., rye and maslin on 18 a., oats on 18 a., and barley on 12 a., while 64 a. lay fallow, when Sir Thomas More leased the manor, also containing an unspecified amount of meadow, in 1524. (fn. 48) Crops were grown in almost the same amounts, although oats covered only 8 a., in 1590. (fn. 49) The crop rotation in 1794 was of vetches, or peas and beans, followed by turnips, sold to London cow-keepers, and then by wheat and barley or oats. The soil varied widely in richness: Chiswick, Fulham, and Chelsea produced exceptionally fine barley both for cattle food and, from its whiteness and thin skin, for malting, although it had recently become less profitable than vegetables. The Lammas lands had to be manured rather than restored by a clover lay, lest graziers take advantage of any clover crop, and riverside fields, often flooded and too level for easy drainage, produced poor hay. (fn. 50) Some 26 a. of grassland were mown and 74 a. used as pasture in 1900, when the only 'corn' crops were c. 16 a. of peas or beans; in 1917 37 a. were mown for hay and 74 a. for clover. (fn. 51) Osiers, cut by basket makers, were recommended for more widespread planting in 1794 (fn. 52) and were grown on Chiswick Eyot by 1800 and Prebend mead by 1811. (fn. 53) They fringed many of the riverside fields c. 1827, (fn. 54) grew inland east of Little Sutton in 1846, (fn. 55) and were still cut on the eyot in 1927. (fn. 56)
Sheep shearing was a service due from several tenants of Sutton manor in 1222. (fn. 57) Wool was sold in 1407–8, (fn. 58) there were 315 sheep and 125 lambs in 1535, (fn. 59) and Great Sheeplease in 1590 contained a 'long sheephouse'. (fn. 60) Stock on the manor included 9 oxen in 1524 (fn. 61) and 1590. (fn. 62) Fines were laid down for illicit pasturing of horses and cattle in 1650, when hogs were to be ringed, (fn. 63) and on the Prebend manor for a wide range of livestock in 1810, when stallions, hogs, goats, and geese were not commonable. (fn. 64) Hogs, which were to be ringed in 1650, became an increasing nuisance in the late 18th century. (fn. 65) There were 26 horses, 17 cattle, 159 pigs, and no sheep in 1900, as many as 290 pigs in 1910, and still 18 horses, 5 cattle, and 175 pigs in 1920, but only 1 horse and a few pigs by 1930. (fn. 66) A pound on the Prebend manor was decayed by 1810, when a new keeper was appointed, (fn. 67) and presumably was rebuilt in Home field by Chiswick Lane, where it survived, disused, in 1894. (fn. 68)
The buildings and layout of Sutton Court farm, apparently new, were considered a model in 1794. (fn. 69) Much the largest 19th-century agricultural holding was the Jessops' Grove farm. Its buildings stood east of Grove House, with 310 a. covering most of the parish south-west of Burlington Lane, in 1846, when Joseph Jessop, who recently had succeeded his father Joseph, was the duke of Devonshire's leading tenant in Chiswick. (fn. 70) Jessop employed 54 men at Grove farm in 1851. (fn. 71) Either he or a namesake was listed as a market gardener in 1862 (fn. 72) and was still at Grove Park farm, a more isolated farmhouse, in 1887. (fn. 73) Known as Smith's farm, (fn. 74) it was one of the parish's 17 agricultural holdings in 1900 and 5 in 1920, presumably the only one of more than 150 a. The fields had gone by 1930, when there were only 2 smallholdings, (fn. 75) but the farmhouse survived in 1948 (fn. 76) to be replaced by Chiswick school. (fn. 77)
Nurseries and market gardens.
Many people described as agricultural workers in the early 19th century were employed in horticulture, particularly in fruit growing, since Chiswick and neighbouring parishes to the east and west were then seen as the 'great garden' of London. (fn. 78) Gardens and orchards had covered most of the north-western part of the parish, between the high road and Sutton Lane, by 1746 (fn. 79) and had spread eastward, south of Turnham Green, by 1800, (fn. 80) when they included ground which was to be leased from 1821 to the Royal Horticultural Society. (fn. 81) Market gardeners were blamed for continual depredations on the common in 1811 (fn. 82) and their demand for baskets stimulated the planting of osiers. (fn. 83) Thefts of vegetables, recorded from 1798, caused many market gardeners to employ their own watchmen in 1827–8. (fn. 84)
At Strand-on-the-Green nurseries were occupied by George Masters before 1722 and by Nicholas Parker (d. 1726), who was noted for his fruit trees. Both gardens may have passed to Parker's relative Henry Woodman (d. 1758), whose widow stayed in business until 1780. At Turnham Green 8 a. near the later Thornton Avenue probably formed the nursery of James Scott c. 1740–60 and from 1785 that of Richard Williams, who specialized in heathers, introduced exotic plants, and marketed the improved 'William' pear. (fn. 85)
Twenty-three market gardeners or nurserymen were listed in 1826–7, most of them at Turnham Green or Strand-on-the-Green, (fn. 86) and in 1862, largely in Brentford (later Chiswick High) Road or around Acton Green common (later Chiswick common). (fn. 87) Long-lived firms included that of Richard Williams's successor Robert Glendinning, whose widow retained it in 1867, (fn. 88) of William Cock at Chiswick village by 1801 and until 1862 or later, (fn. 89) of the Jefferys family by 1826 and until 1890 or later at the corner of Gunnersbury Lane (later Avenue) and Chiswick High Road, (fn. 90) and of Edward Dean at Strand-on-the-Green by 1826 and until c. 1878. (fn. 91) The Sutton Court nursery of the Fromow family, at the corner of Wellesley Road and Sutton Lane, was established in 1828. As William Fromow & Sons, the firm moved its office to the north side of Wellesley Road in 1888, retaining its original nursery ground until 1932 and land in Acton Lane, acquired by 1887, until 1970. (fn. 92)
Market gardeners catered mainly for London until Brentford market was established to serve local growers in 1890. By that date building had reduced the number of businesses to c. 8, and in 1894 Chiswick was no longer among Middlesex's ten leading horticultural parishes, (fn. 93) although there were still 110 a. of orchard in 1900, in addition to 38 a. of small fruit, and 100 a. in 1920. (fn. 94) Two holdings, covering 3 a., survived in 1947, (fn. 95) one of them probably the Jersey nursery, in Bolton Road, which closed in 1958. (fn. 96)
Some woodland of Sutton manor had been assarted by 1181 and more by 1222, when there was a woodward. (fn. 97) Old Holt wood was leased with Sutton in 1524 (fn. 98) and was thought to belong entirely to that manor in 1590, although claimed by the prebendary of Chiswick. In 1590 it covered c. 200 a., extending from Acton into Willesden, and had been so thinned of great trees as to consist of 'scrubbed oaks full of thorns, bushes, and furze'. Copyholders were then felling trees and grubbing up the undergrowth without licence. (fn. 99) Timber and pollards in Sutton manor were valued at £120 in 1649, more than a quarter of the improved value of the copyholds, and all woods were reserved by St. Paul's, the lessee being allowed firebote, cartbote, ploughbote, and hedgebote for his own fires and for repairs. (fn. 100) Woods were still reserved, with similar rights for the lessee, in the 18th century. (fn. 101)
Timber in the Prebend manor, apart from trees around Home field, was said in 1760 to have been regularly reserved to Westminster in underleases of the manor. Westminster's own right, however, had not been made clear in a lease by the prebendary of Chiswick, who objected when Susanna Sharp, as underlessee, claimed the right to make repairs and felled some decayed elms, only to sell them for more seasoned timber. By that date there was no woodland in the parish, except ornamental groves, and the felled trees were in hedgerows or along the roadside. (fn. 102)
Sutton Court manor had a mill, presumably a watermill, 'next Sutton' in 1458 but none in 1590. (fn. 103) A windmill and cottage stood on part of the waste of the Prebend manor at Turnham Green c. 1650, (fn. 104) presumably north of the high road as c. 1677, (fn. 105) near the later Windmill Road.
The canons of St. Paul's were entitled to 5s. a year for the fishery or to every tenth fish of Sutton manor in 1181. (fn. 106) By an agreement of 1234 with the prior of Merton (Surr.), who had enjoyed fishing rights at Brentford since c. 1170, (fn. 107) the men of Sutton and Chiswick could place 40 weirs for catching barbels and lamperns, paying 23s. a year to the prior. (fn. 108) In 1458 tithes of fish were owed by four farmers of the water (fn. 109) and in 1590 the underlessee of the fishing rights, with a house and Corney or Cornhithe acres, owed 30s. and 3 salmon a year. (fn. 110) The farmer still derived a royalty of 4 salmon, worth 40s., in 1649 (fn. 111) and 2 salmon and £5 a year in 1674. (fn. 112)
No weir was maintained by Sutton manor in 1590, although one was then mentioned as having been at Strand-on-the-Green when St. Paul's had made its agreement with the prior of Merton. (fn. 113) Presumably it was at Strand-on-theGreen that Thomas Holgill of the Grove erected weirs to the detriment of local fishermen c. 1412 (fn. 114) and that the Barkers acquired free fishing with their estate in 1537. (fn. 115)
Chiswick village had many fishermen and watermen in Bowack's time. Strand-on-theGreen, seen purely as a fishing hamlet until the late 18th century, (fn. 116) furnished fishermen as models for Zoffany's painting of the Last Supper in St. George's church, Brentford. (fn. 117) Fishing was precarious in 1821, when apprenticing was discouraged, (fn. 118) and presumably suffered from the pollution experienced at Brentford. (fn. 119) At Strandon-the-Green there were at least 15 fishermen and 2 others who were paupers in 1851. At Chiswick village there were then 4 fishermen in Fisherman's Place, (fn. 120) which was soon to be replaced by Thornycrofts' yard.
Trade and industry.
Tradesmen or craftsmen of Chiswick included tailors, a baker, a butcher, a bricklayer, and a cobbler between 1612 and 1618. (fn. 121) More people lived by trade, craft, or manufacture than off the land by 1801, when those in the first three categories were twice as numerous as agricultural workers in Old Chiswick and numbers were almost equal in Turnham Green. (fn. 122) Those in trade or manufacture, which presumably included fishermen and watermen, rose from 287 families in 1811 to 531 by 1831, while those employed chiefly in agriculture rose only from 274 to 277. (fn. 123) By 1832–4 the parish had a wide range of shopkeepers and craftsmen: 22 grocers or dealers in sundries and 5 grocers and cheesemongers, 11 carpenters and undertakers, 8 bricklayers or plasterers, 8 bakers, 7 coal merchants, 6 butchers, 6 cobblers, and 6 blacksmiths. There were more businesses at Turnham Green, including most of those connected with transport, than at Old Chiswick or Strand-on-the-Green. Less common services included those of a bookseller and stationer, a dancing teacher, and a greengrocer at Turnham Green, a drawing master at Old Chiswick, and a hairdresser at both places. (fn. 124)
Brickearth, plentiful in the northern half of Chiswick, was the subject of special payments to St. Paul's in a lease of Sutton Court manor in 1731. (fn. 125) Its extraction, however, was more important in neighbouring parishes: the 18th- and 19th-century brick and tile kilns of the Trimmer family, near Kew bridge, were approached from Brentford, (fn. 126) and there were large brick fields near Stamford brook, in Hammersmith. (fn. 127)
Brewing, in 1979 perhaps still the best known local activity, was among the earliest. Payments for making malt (maltsilver) were owed by nearly half of the tenants of Sutton manor in 1222. (fn. 128) The Russells owned a brewhouse in 1588, (fn. 129) the manor house had a long malthouse in 1589 (fn. 130) and retained its own brewery in 1725, (fn. 131) and Edward Russell had a new brewhouse behind Bedford House in 1661. (fn. 132) The river, providing access and an outlet for waste, played a large part in the growth of brewing and of later factory industries. A brewer of Chiswick was recorded in 1617 (fn. 133) and a malthouse at Strand-on-the-Green was burnt down in or before 1708. (fn. 134) By 1736 there were at least 5 malthouses, 2 of them at Strand-on-theGreen and one at Turnham Green. (fn. 135) At Strandon-the-Green there was a large one in Back Lane, rebuilt after 1708 and with three kilns c. 1827, which had access to the Thames through Grove Row, and another on the site of nos. 46–7, with two kilns. (fn. 136) In 1826–7 the parish's three maltsters were all at Strand-on-the-Green, (fn. 137) where William Jupp of Brentford had extensive maltings by 1862. Two kilns behind the former barley house at nos. 46–7 were the last relics of brewing there in 1980. (fn. 138)
The Griffin brewery at Old Chiswick of Fuller, Smith & Turner has grown around the brewhouse behind Bedford House, acquired in 1680 by Thomas Plukenett, and a nearby copyhold of the Prebend manor, converted into a brewhouse by the undertenant Thomas Urlin or Erland (d. 1682) between 1664 and 1671. Thomas Mawson (d. 1714), in Chiswick by 1685, became undertenant and in 1699 tenant of Urlin's premises, acquiring the George inn, later the George and Devonshire, in 1700 and the Bedford House brewhouse in 1701. The business was probably managed by his eldest son Thomas before its lease in 1740 to William Harvest of Brentford and later to Matthew Graves, who also leased many local inns. (fn. 139) Known as the Griffin Hock brewery in 1745, it eventually helped to enrich Thomas Mawson's younger son Matthias (1683–1770), bishop of Ely and benefactor of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. (fn. 140) Matthias's niece Amy married Charles Purvis, who in 1791 sold the brewery to John Thompson of Chiswick, whose sons Douglas and Henry in 1829 took another partner, Wood, and secured new capital from John Fuller of Neston Park (Wilts.). Control passed to Fuller's son John Bird Fuller, who in 1846 recruited Henry Smith, formerly of Ind & Smith of Romford (Essex), and Smith's head brewer John Turner. (fn. 141) Thereafter the three families remained in partnership, forming the existing limited company in 1929. By 1978 Fuller's had 110 public houses, mostly within 15 miles of Chiswick, in addition to offlicence shops, and sold over a wide area as one of London's two surviving independent brewers. (fn. 142) Some 300 people were employed by the company in 1979. (fn. 143)
Mawson's copyhold brewhouse abutted on a passageway behind Chiswick Mall leading westward from Chiswick Lane to Bedford House, (fn. 144) where the brewery has always had its main entrance. A slip of land between the copyhold brewhouse and the freehold one behind Bedford House was bought in 1707. (fn. 145) The property thereafter expanded to form a square block bounded on the north by Mawson Lane and containing in Chiswick Lane the early 18thcentury terrace called Mawson Row, which included the surviving Fox and Hounds. A block to the south, including the Red Lion in Chiswick Mall and some cottages, was later acquired and used mainly for bottling and storage. (fn. 146) In 1978 rebuilding and re-equipment were in progress at the Griffin brewery. From 1924 the company maintained a 5-a. sports ground which it leased from the council in Riverside Drive. (fn. 147)
The Lamb brewery at Old Chiswick was leased in 1790 to John Sich and William Thrale, brewers who already had acquired the Feathers inn, and conveyed in 1795 to Sich. (fn. 148) In 1809 he formed a partnership with John Sich the younger and Henry Sich, who in 1819 also became coal merchants (fn. 149) and whose brewery in 1832 was considered comparable in scale to that of Fuller. (fn. 150) Their premises, copyhold of the Prebend manor, lay north of the Vicarage on the east side of Church Street and in 1887 included the Burlington Arms, with the Lamb to the north next to the brewery itself. (fn. 151) The firm had acquired several inns before it was taken over in 1920 by the Isleworth Brewery Co., which itself soon passed to Watney, Combe, Reid & Co. (fn. 152) The Lamb and, in 1923, the Burlington Arms lost their licences, (fn. 153) the first becoming known as Burlington Corner and later as Lamb Cottage, the second as the Old Burlington. (fn. 154) The Sich family, whose members occupied many large houses in Old Chiswick in the 19th century, (fn. 155) was still represented there in 1977 by Sir Rupert Sich of Norfolk House. (fn. 156)
The origins of the Chiswick Press lay in a paper-pulp factory started in 1809 by the printer Charles Whittingham (1767–1840), (fn. 157) who had bought a patent for extracting the tar from old ropes. (fn. 158) By 1816 his was the 'principal manufactory' in the parish, with claims to produce material for the finest paper in the country. (fn. 159) Meanwhile the neighbouring High House in Chiswick Mall had been leased to Whittingham in 1810 and equipped as a printing works, from which the first imprint of the Chiswick Press was issued in 1811. Whittingham moved to the larger College House in 1818 and on his death there was succeeded by his nephew and namesake (1795– 1876). Books were printed from 1840 to 1848 at Chiswick and at Took's Court, off Chancery Lane (London), where the nephew had started his own press, and from 1849 at Chiswick alone. The Chiswick Press retained its name after a final move to Chancery Lane in 1852 and the younger Charles Whittingham's retirement in 1860. (fn. 160) The books, which set a new standard in English printing, were noted in particular for their engravings of woodcuts and soon became collectors' pieces. (fn. 161) They were produced on iron hand presses, of which probably the earliest example in England, from Chiswick, is at Gunnersbury Park Museum. (fn. 162)
A laundry was opened by a French immigrant, Camille Simon, on the river's edge at the west end of Strand-on-the-Green in 1860, moving to the north side of Thames Road in 1905 and 1914. As Pier House Laundry it became one of the largest in London, managed by the Simon family, with 200 employees before the introduction of automation and 19 collection shops at the time of its closure in 1973. (fn. 163) The premises, covering 1½ a., were then sold (fn. 164) and in 1980 were being cleared for new offices and craft industries, although the brick façade of the main building was preserved. (fn. 165) A chemical manufacturing plant called Camille Simon, which had been started as a subsidiary business on the same site, moved in 1973 to the north of England. (fn. 166) Most of the other laundries advertised in 1890 as being in Chiswick lay beyond the boundary, in and around Acton Lane. Three in British Grove, on the Hammersmith boundary, included the Royal Chiswick Laundry, (fn. 167) which closed between 1964 and 1975. (fn. 168)
The most momentous industrial achievements at Chiswick were those of the naval architect John Isaac Thornycroft (1843–1928). (fn. 169) Launch building started in 1864, (fn. 170) when his father Thomas Thornycroft (1815–85), the sculptor and amateur engineer, (fn. 171) was first admitted to a site south of the churchyard which was to become Church wharf. (fn. 172) There J. I. Thornycroft designed and, in partnership with his brotherin-law John Donaldson from 1873, produced high-speed launches, including the Sir Arthur Cotton, claimed in 1874 to be the fastest vessel in the world. Torpedo-boats formed the main output in the 1880s, 222 being built for the British and foreign navies between 1874 and 1891, followed from 1893–4 by the first torpedo-boat destroyers. Trials and launchings were a popular sight until difficulties in negotiating bridges downstream led to a decision to acquire a yard at Woolston, near Southampton, in 1904. (fn. 173) Thornycrofts, a limited company from 1901, built its last naval vessels at Chiswick in 1905–6 and had finally left by 1909. (fn. 174) A small factory making steam waggons for the company had already moved in 1899, to Basingstoke, although experimental work on diesel and petrol engines continued at the Chiswick yard until its closure. (fn. 175) Church wharf was occupied by Gwynne's Engineering Co., afterwards Gwynne Cars, in the 1920s (fn. 176) and later was divided and used partly for storage. The original buildings were bombed in the Second World War (fn. 177) and were replaced by Reckitt & Colman. (fn. 178) Thomas Thornycroft was buried in the nearby churchyard (fn. 179) and J. I. Thornycroft, knighted in 1902, lived for many years at Eyot Villa in Chiswick Mall. (fn. 180)
Traditional boat building was already carried on mainly at Strand-on-the-Green, before Thornycrofts' expansion at Old Chiswick. (fn. 181) Strand-on-the-Green in 1851 had at least 10 barge builders or shipwrights. (fn. 182) In 1890 there were still 4 boat builders there, besides Robert Talbot & Sons, (fn. 183) who built c. 300 barges between 1858 and 1908. Talbots by 1908 were working for the Maritime Lighterage Co., (fn. 184) a London firm whose Magnolia wharf at Strand-on-the-Green was closed in the 1950s (fn. 185) and sold for building in 1961. (fn. 186) A 'grid' for boat repairs survived in 1980 by the river bank opposite Picton House, no. 45 Strand-on-the-Green. (fn. 187)
The Army & Navy Stores depository was built in 1871 at the south-east corner of Turnham Green common, on the site of one of three blocks of buildings formerly used by the militia. A computer centre was opened in 1969 on one floor of the depository, which had been recently modernized, and the rest was still used for storage in 1980. The militia's other blocks, destroyed in the Second World War, were rebuilt as a post office and as a warehouse, leased from 1966 to the Pantechnicon. (fn. 188)
Arthur Sanderson & Sons had a paper staining works by 1884, (fn. 189) presumably in Heathfield Terrace, Turnham Green, where it still existed in 1890, when the firm also had a wallpaper factory near by in Barley Mow Lane. (fn. 190) A new factory was built on the north side of the lane in 1902; partly faced with glazed white bricks, it was the only factory designed by C. F. A. Voysey. (fn. 191) There were c. 250 employees by 1896 and 700–800 by 1928, when there was a fire, (fn. 192) followed by Sandersons' move to Perivale. (fn. 193) Their former building on the south side of Barley Mow Lane, known as the Devonshire works, was used for light engineering in the 1960s by Evershed & Vignoles of Acton Lane. From 1971 it stood empty until restored by the Cornhill Insurance Co. as the Barley Mow Workspace, for individuals or small firms of designers or craftsmen, the first of whom arrived in 1976. (fn. 194) Their building on the north side of Barley Mow Passage, Voysey House, was acquired from the Sun Alliance Insurance Group by the National Transit Insurance Co. in 1969. (fn. 195)
The Chiswick Soap Co., founded by the Mason family, (fn. 196) had a works on the north side of Burlington Lane, opposite Chiswick Square, by 1878. (fn. 197) The firm, well known for its 'Cherry Blossom' and other shoe and household polishes, became a public company in 1916, with some directors from Reckitts of Hull. It was called the Chiswick Polish Co. by 1926 (fn. 198) and Chiswick Products from 1930, on amalgamation with the Nugget Polish Co., (fn. 199) until its acquisition by Reckitts' successor, Reckitt & Colman, in 1954. (fn. 200) Eventually it occupied a large site in the triangle between Burlington Lane (later Great Chertsey Road) and Hogarth Lane, stretching west across the grounds of the Cedars, which survived in 1916, to the backs of the houses in Paxton Road. (fn. 201) Buildings included an administrative block of the 1920s, extended eastward in 1958, in Great Chertsey Road, a central polish works of c. 1930, demolished in 1976, and an engineer's shop, offices, manufacturing area, and warehouses of the 1960s along Hogarth Lane. Boston House was bought for the female staff in 1922 (fn. 202) and a printing works and cardboard box factory, with its chimney disguised as a clock tower, had been built by 1930 in Duke's Meadows. (fn. 203) At Church wharf, where imported waxes were brought by barge, a new warehouse was built after the Second World War. Reckitt & Colman employed some 1,500 people in Chiswick, mainly in making polishes, shortly before it moved all production to Hull in 1972. The printing works was then sold to Hounslow L.B., which replaced it with a housing estate. The industrial premises stood empty in 1979, although c. 250 were still employed there and in the offices, which the company retained as its corporate headquarters.
West Metropolitan Tramways from 1887 had its main depot at Chiswick, (fn. 204) where in 1901 London United Tramways opened its headquarters, with a large power house and tram depot, on 4 a. north of the high road. The power house was built of brick with elaborate freestone dressings, to the design of W. Curtis Green, and had a 260-ft. high steel smoke-stack (fn. 205) which was later demolished. Although largely superseded by Lots Road (Chelsea) power station from 1919, the Chiswick installation remained in use as Goldhawk substation until 1962 (fn. 206) and the building itself was to be preserved by London Transport in 1976. Coaches of British European Airways had then been using the depot at least since 1947 but were to make way for motorbuses from Belmont Road, Turnham Green, (fn. 207) where the London General Omnibus Co. had owned a stable, later a garage, since c. 1900. (fn. 208)
Off the western end of Chiswick High Road, in Gunnersbury, the London General Omnibus Co. opened its central overhaul works, to employ 2,000 men, in 1921–2. (fn. 209) Originally designed to maintain 4,000 vehicles, the factory included a training school from 1925 and was restricted to engineering after London Transport opened its Aldenham works, for maintenance, near Elstree in 1956. (fn. 210) In 1979 London Transport employed over 2,680 at its Chiswick works and adjoining departments and c. 200 at the Turnham Green garage. (fn. 211)
A covered market was opened by the U.D.C. in 1926, to accommodate street traders in Chiswick High Road. It stood on the south side, next to Linden House, and was used by the fire services from 1937. (fn. 212)
After the Second World War companies included J. Coales & Son, transport contractors, in Chiswick Common Road, and LEP Transport, London cargo agents, with wharves in Corney Road from 1922. (fn. 213) In 1978 much employment was provided by offices and by shops, many of them still small family businesses, in and around Chiswick High Road. (fn. 214)
Office blocks included Empire House, first occupied in 1961, on the site of the Chiswick Empire. (fn. 215) The largest was an L-shaped 18storeyed block of granite-faced concrete, erected for the British Transport Commission over Gunnersbury station, which itself was rebuilt, between 1964 and 1966. Designed to hold 1,500 workers, it became the headquarters of IBM United Kingdom, the computer manufacturers. (fn. 216)