Brentford Aits


Part of PLA chart

Brentford Aits

Brentford Ait has a gap in the middle known as Hog Hole which is apparent at higher tides.
In the 18th century there was a notorious pub on Brentford Ait called the Swan or Three Swans- its trade was ended in 1796.
The Swan Steps lead down to the river at the east end of the long and narrow riverside park, Waterman's Park, at the site of the crossing to this pub.
The ait was planted with trees in the 1920s to screen Brentford's gasworks from the view of Kew Gardens. The ait is covered by willows and alder and is a bird sanctuary with a significant heronry. For historic reasons unknown the parish of Kew in Surrey included Brentford in its history.

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1859: The Thames, Mr & Mrs Hall

Brentford commences at the end of the walls of the park at Sion; but the greater part of the town is happily hidden by a long island thickly covered with trees. It is one of the most unpicturesque towns on the river, abounding in gas-works, factories, and distilleries; its streets presenting an appearance of dirt and neglect, heightened by alleys, the abodes of squalid poverty. A large part of the population are employed in the extensive market-gardens in the neighbourhood. The town takes its name from the small river Brent, which here flows into the Thames, rising in the adjoining county of Hertford, and pursuing a tortuous course through the centre of Middlesex. It is a small stream, but its junction with the Thames at an important locality led to the foundation, in very early times, of a village here, the establishment of a large nunnery on the opposite side of the ford materially aiding its growth.