Old inns and taverns of Brentford and Isleworth 2

Drum Inn, 319 High Street, Brentford

Drum Inn, Brentford. Watercolour by J.T.Wilson
Licensed by 1722, this stood at the corner of the High Street and Drum Lane (later Ealing Road). Census entries from 1841 to 1901 show that it was a lodging-house, with up to 30 lodgers listed, as well as the publican and his family.

To the left can be seen houses in Drum Lane. Out of picture, there was another pub, Red Lion, on the other corner of Drum Lane, and The Swan beerhouse and lodging house was across the High Street.

Drum Inn, Brentford - 1900 photo by Fred Turner

On the wall is a faint advertisement for  Fuller & Co.’s Chiswick Ales, which is more prominent in the photo from 1900. From about 1873 until 1907 the landlords were three members of the Gomm family.

Threatened with closure for several years, when the magistrates were closing down many pubs, the Drum’s licence was given up in 1907.  It was demolished in 1921 for the widening of Ealing Road.

The Drum, 1900 ( Hounslow Libraries Local Collection)

Half Moon and Seven Stars, 25 High Street, Brentford

Half Moon and Seven Stars, Brentford. Watercolour by J.T.Wilson
This pub was described as a beerhouse in the 1881 and 1901 censuses, but the watercolour shows that earlier it was selling spirits: ‘Dealer in spirituous liquors’ appears on the pediment above the door (clearer in the black and white version).

The long railing and gateway belong to land between the pub and the Royal Hotel, which slopes down to the river and is shown as garden on an 1865 map. Beyond can be seen trees on Brentford Ait.

Half Moon and Seven Stars, Brentford. Detail from Fred Turner's photograph of the J.T.Wilson watercolour


Unlike The Drum, where a high proportion of lodgers on the censuses were described as hawkers or travellers, some of those at the Half Moon and Seven Stars were evidently permanent lodgers working locally - the same names appear on consecutive censuses.
These include a surprising number of tailors.

In January 1900 the landlord, Samuel Ferris, appeared before the magistrates accused of discharging a gun at a man in his pub. The customer suffered minor facial injuries and brought a private prosecution of the landlord before the Brentford bench. The magistrates settled the case by ordering the landlord to pay his victim two pounds in compensation and three shillings and sixpence for the Police Doctor’s fee.

Half Moon and Seven Stars. Detail from Fred Turner’s photograph of the watercolour (Hounslow Libraries Local Collection)

London Apprentice, Church Street, Isleworth 

The London Apprentice, Isleworth. J.T.Wilson watercolour
Much has been written about the history of The London Apprentice, and the famous people who frequented it, which may not all be true. But we do know that it belonged to Henry Farnell in the 1816 enclosure, and continued in the ownership of the Isleworth Brewery until its takeover in 1924.

To the left are the backs of some houses in Church Street, but the flour mill is just out of view.

The London Apprentice, Isleworth. 1905 postcard



The mill can be seen on the left in the 1905 postcard view, which shows very little change to the pub building. A 1910 author wrote ”The view from its billiard-room window up stream and down is alone worth the journey.’ (H T Sheringham ‘An Open Creel’.)  The popularity of this waterside pub continues to this day.

The London Apprentice. 1905 postcard (Hounslow Libraries Local Collection)

Orange Tree, Church Street, Isleworth

Orange Tree, Isleworth. J.T.Wilson watercolour
In the watercolour the pub is advertising ‘Fuller & Co Chiswick Ales; good skittle ground; foreign wines & spirits’. This is the first of the paintings to help us to date it  by showing the landlord’s name - Thomas Cooper arrived in 1864/5 and was there until at least 1878. His daughter and even his 12-year-old son helped serve drinks – we know this as they gave evidence at an Old Bailey coin forgery trial in 1869, which can be read here

Tolson’s Almshouses can be seen to the right, and the mill bridge, a house & All Saints church to left, showing the cupola which is said to have been taken down in 1866.

The Orange Tree was later rebuilt, and is shown at the right of this 1907 postcard view, shortly before it closed.  In 1911 it was a private residence called Mill House, with the mill manager & foreman living there. Today the modern apartments of Riverside Mill House occupy the site.

Orange Tree, Isleworth - 1907 postcard



Orange Tree. 1907 postcard (Hounslow Libraries Local Collection)

Prince of Wales Public House, 346 High Street, Brentford 

Prince of Wales public house, Brentford. Watercolour by J.T.Wilson
This pub, formerly known as The Running Horses, was renamed The Prince of Wales by 1848, for Queen Victoria’s son, later King Edward VII. The licensee’s name Waters is above the door and on the inn sign – Thomas Waters was there by 1861, and was still listed in an 1867 directory.

By 1871 he had moved to Whitton.  Three of his children were born 1861-66 in Brentford, so the woman sitting in the doorway might be his wife Sarah with one of their children. The passage to the left led to the cottages in Running Horses Yard. This is another pub advertising Fuller & Co’s Entire Fine Ales, later Fuller, Smith & Turner. 

Prince of Wales public house, Brentford. Photo, c1902

The Prince of Wales closed in 1907, at the time when the magistrates were closing down many of the old pubs in Brentford. The last landlord,  Walter Hamblen, was fortunate enough to take over the Red Lion, unlike others who lost their livelihood.

The Prince of Wales. Photo c1902 (Hounslow Libraries Local Collection)

Rose and Crown Inn, London Road, Brentford End

Rose and Crown, Brentford End. Watercolour by J.T.Wilson
This mid-18th century coaching inn, with 19th century extension, is still standing, but closed as a pub in 2008.  The sign on the wall in the painting says  ‘Sutton from Holborn, livery & bait stables, lock-up coach house’, which can be seen more clearly in Fred Turner's photograph of the painting.  John Sutton, previously a carpenter and beerseller in Holborn, became landlord here sometime between 1867 and 1871 and stayed about 20 years.

Rose and Crown. Detail from Fred Turner photograph  (Hounslow Libraries Local Collection)

Rose and Crown, Brentford End. Detail from Fred Turner's photo of the Wilson watercolour

Rose and Crown in 2013, behind hoardings. If current planning applications succeed, it will be converted into housing. Only one of the two gazebo windows survives. (Photograph by Mary Marshall)







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