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One of London’s finest hidden gems, Brentham garden estate was laid out in north Ealing during the early years of the last century. The estate backs onto Pitshanger Park, beside the River Brent – from which it takes its name. The earliest roads, those with the Woodfield name, were a co-operative creation but their architecture was not so different from speculatively built terraces that were going up elsewhere around this time. The tenants’ association bought more land in 1905 and 1907 and its leader, Henry Vivian, pushed through more innovative principles of street layout and house design. Architects Parker and Unwin were brought in to create Britain’s first ‘co-partnership garden suburb’, intended to provide cottage homes for working people who invested their savings in the scheme and received dividends for keeping their property in good repair. The Arts and Crafts architecture exhibits a delightful variety of stylistic detail while retaining a thematic harmony. The community’s focal point is the Brentham Club on Meadvale Road, which organises a wide range of activities. Unlike many such centres – at least those of such quality – it is not a conversion of some pre-existing gentleman’s home but was built for the purpose, in 1911. From that year until 1947 the estate had its own railway halt between on the line between Westbourne Park and Greenford. Brentham’s identity is no longer widely recognised beyond the immediate neighbourhood: it is often considered part of what estate agents call Pitshanger Village.

click for area map (opens in a new window)
Brentham has 680 houses styled in the Arts and Crafts tradition

Postal district W5
Further reading Aileen Reid, Brentham: A History of the Pioneer Garden Suburb 1901-2001, Brentham Heritage Society, 2001

Brentham Heritage Society

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

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