Brentford was first formed in 1894 as as urban district in western Middlesex comprising the neighbouring parishes of Old Brentford and New Brentford. The urban district was abolished in 1927 when it was merged with neighbouring Chiswick Urban District to form Brentford and Chiswick Urban District. Brentford and Chiswick was made a Municipal Borough in 1932 and was abolished in 1965 to become part of the London Borough of Hounslow in Greater London.
Brentford is a town in the western part of Greater London, England and part of the London Borough of Hounslow, at the confluence of the River Brent and the Thames, 8 miles (13 km) west-by-southwest of Charing Cross (a point considered to be the centre of London from which distances are measured). It has formed part of Greater London since 1965.
Brentford developed around the ancient boundary between the parishes of Ealing and Hanwell. It was divided between the chapelry of Old Brentford to the east in Ealing and the chapelry of New Brentford in Hanwell to the west. Of the two areas, Old Brentford was significantly larger.
New Brentford was first described as the county town of Middlesex in 1789, on the basis that it was the location of elections of knights for the shire (or Members of Parliament) from 1701. In 1795 New Brentford (as it was then) was "considered as the county-town; but there is no town-hall or other public building". This has caused confusion that remains to this day.
Brentford was the name of the Registration District for the west of Middlesex from 1837 (the start of civil registration) until 1947.
Brentford Dock was a major trans-shipment point between the Great Western Railway (GWR) and barges on the River Thames. The construction of Brentford Dock, to a design by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was started in 1855 and it was formally opened in 1859. The former dock yard was redeveloped as a marina in 1972.
It was built by Great Western and Brentford Railway Company (later part of the GWR), to the south of the mouth of the River Brent and Grand Junction Canal, and opposite Kew Gardens. It was to the GWR main line at Southall. The original covered dock was destroyed by fire in 1920 and replaced by an iron and steel structure.
Traffic included coal, steel, timber, wood pulp, flour, animal feedstuffs, cork, general merchandise and in the 1950s Morris cars from Oxford. Coke from Southall Gas Works was carried from Southall to the dock.
After World War I the Thames frontage was adapted for boats of up to 300 tons. Craft using the dock included heavy river barges, canal boats and sailing barges. The dock included customs facilities. It has been claimed that 10% of Britain's trade passed through the dock.