Brentford’s historical heritage at risk
Brentford has lost so much of its rich historical heritage and Brentford Voice are determined to conserve and enhance what remains.
The listed Brentford Fountain was erected in 1877 and until 1974 it stood between the Express Tavern and Kew Bridge. It was then relocated to the Western International Market in Southall. We now have leave to relocate it in Brentford and we are now identifying sources for funding. We have identified several potential sites in Brentford and we would like to hear your ideas on where your favourite location would be.
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St. Lawrence’s Church, unused for almost 60 years, is another jewel in Brentford’s crown and the 15th century tower is our oldest surviving structure. The church is a listed building and it lies within the larger development to the south of the High Street where the developers have planning permission to convert and extend the church for a leisure and fitness centre. We are working to ensure that the church and the churchyard are treated in a sympathetic and respectful manner and that monuments and memorials are restored and returned to their home.
The establishment of a Brentford Museum has been considered at some length. An independent museum would almost certainly cost too much but we have exploring the possibility of working in partnership with Gunnersbury Museum. We are also examining the possibility of creating a “virtual museum”, using mobile technology, and installing more interpretive boards in Brentford.
These are exciting times for learning more about Brentford’s archaeological heritage. We are developing our relationships with Museum of London Archaeology and with the archaeological consultants retained by the developers. The site of Morrisons supermarket lies directly over a Roman road while to the south of the High Street, it is likely that excavations will reveal more of our prehistoric, Roman, medieval and industrial heritage.
We are also developing other ideas. These include celebration of Brentford’s relationship with the river and canal; the collection of more war memorials from the town; the introduction of new or restored street signs in the older style; and ways to celebrate the poem about Brentford’s 50 pubs.