New Layton Book Goes on Sale

A fascinating read for those interested in Brentford's history

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A new book on Thomas Layton (1819-1911), one of Brentford’s most prominent Victorian businessmen and a very long-serving local councillor, is now available. Written by Mike Galer, who was the co-ordinator of the Layton’s Legacy project during 2005 and 2006, it covers Layton’s life, the remarkable collection he made, his political activity and its impact on the town of Brentford.

Layton’s intention was to create a museum for the people of Brentford in his home beside Kew Bridge, but complications over his will meant that the collection had to be moved out of the house and some items were sold. Today books, maps and prints are in Hounslow’s Treaty Centre Library and the objects are housed in the Museum of London and at Gunnersbury Park Museum.

The Layton’s Legacy project was supported by a £50,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and came to an end in June 2007. It was designed to raise the profile of the man and his collection and to make sense of what he collected. The project produced three exhibitions, a new web-site, at,uk and still being developed, and this publication. In addition, a small team of trained volunteers is now working on the books, maps and prints at Hounslow library.

Anyone interested in the history of collecting and museums or in the history of Brentford will find this book a fascinating read.

Copies are on sale at £4.50 at Brentford and Chiswick public libraries. Copies can be ordered by post at £5.25 (please provide a cheque made out to the Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society) from B&CLHS, 25 Hartington Road, London W4 3TL.

July 20, 2007