Stamford BrookResidents' Association

Early History

People have been living in Stamford Brook for thousands of years and evidence of ancient settlements have been found all over Chiswick. The Romans laid out what became the Bath Road, establishing Stamford Brook and Turnham Green as key points on the link between and the West. When the Romans left, the Saxons moved into the area, leaving settlements in Acton ('OakTown' in Old Saxon) and Chiswick ('Cheese Town').  Historians believe that Stamford comes from a Saxon name meaning 'stone ford' referencing a crossing over the Stamford Brook.  A crossing point alway became the focal point for development in a community.  Stamford Brook has a long heritage.

Stamford Brook sits on the main Roman Road through London to Bath in the West, which followed the same straight line as today’s Oxford Street through what is now Acton Green.  Until the 19th century, Stamford Brook and its surrounding area were made up of market gardens and small hamlets. By the 16th century, a small cluster of cottages had emerged around Stamford Brook Common. 


The John Rocques Map of 1742

In 1742 the map maker John Rocques captured the still rural feel of the local area (above) with fields running from South Parade down to the river. A few years earlier in 1722 William Stukeley had ridden to London attempting to follow the old Roman Road:  ‘... between Turnham Green and the Acton Road (Uxbridge Road junction at Shepherds Bush) .. it is still a narrow straight way, keeping its original direction, but full of dangerous sloughs, being clayey soil and never repaired.’

Further down the road, the area of land that eventually became Bedford Park previously had a number of large villas occupied by eminent people including Melbourne House, one of three Georgian houses built by John Bedford in 1793.  The others were Sydney House (on the site of the flats in Woodstock Road of the same name) and Bedford House which was the home of Dr John Lindley, the botanist and later, the father-in-law of Bedford Park's developer Jonathan Carr.


Stamford Brook eventually became the location for a series of large country houses over looking the Common. By the 18th century, four large houses dominated this part of Stamford Brook, including 'The Brook', where artist Lucien Pissarro lived, and Stamford Brook House.  At this point, Stamford Brook Common was an extension of the common land of Turnham Green. However, by the nineteenth century, the space between these two open areas began to be developed, and Stamford Brook became firmly connected to Turnham Green and Chiswick by the Bath Road and Stamford Brook Road.

As the map of 1865 shows, by that point the railway line that is now the District line had already laid its tracks across Stamford Brook and Acton Green. At this time it was still called the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR). Turnham Green station opened the following year. See: 'The Railway Arrives' here) and our own Stamford Brook Station opened in 1912.

Published on January 01