Brentford Gas Works & the 'Wrecks' of Watermans Park

Two talks organised by the Friends of Watermans Park

Brentford Gas Works
The gas works in the 1950’s


Vandals Fail To Prevent Opening of Watermans Park Play Area

Watermans Park Reopens in Time for Spring

Update from the Friends of Watermans Park

Sign up for our Brentford newsletter

Comment on this story on the

February 3, 2023

Watermans Park occupies the site of what was once part of the Brentford Gas Works with the foreshore used for delivery of coal by barges. In 1820 an engineering firm Messrs J & G Barlow secured a contract to light the turnpike road between Kensington and Hounslow (hoping to deter highwaymen along the road) and acquired a quarter of an acre of land (1000 sqm) with 115ft (35m) of riverside in Brentford for their works. This was to become one of the very first gas works in the world.

The river by the park is split in two by Brentford Ait, with the main channel to the south of the Ait. After the gas works were demolished it became useful as an area where boats could exploit the public right of navigation yet be left without interfering with regular traffic on the river. A residential floating community developed from the 1970’s, interspersed with non-residential wrecks.

The Friends of Watermans Park have organised a couple of talks to explore the history of the gas works and some of the wrecks once moored at Watermans which they hope will be of general interest.

Wednesday 15 February at 7pm: Brentford Gas Co and Brentford Gas Works - 1820 to 1988

The talk will be given by David Shailes who is a local historian whose posters in Brentford, mostly along the High Street, last May as part of History Month were much appreciated.

Wednesday 22 March at 7pm: The 'Wrecks' of Watermans Park.

This talk is by Hilary Pereira, the Chair of the River Thames Society Upper Tideway Branch and a Friend.

Lilian – 1916 a gentleman’s yacht built at Södra Varvet, Stockholm. Pictured at Watermans in 1979 – now restored and possibly the world’s oldest surviving diesel yacht.
Lilian – 1916 a gentleman’s yacht built at Södra Varvet, Stockholm. Pictured at Watermans in 1979 – now restored and possibly the world’s oldest surviving diesel yacht

Both talks will be held at Studio Flox, Ground Floor, Watermans Park Office Building, 44a High Street, Brentford, TW8 0DS. Access is from Watermans Arts Centre car park and Smith Hill.

There’s no charge to attend but reserve your place(s) here.

If you’re interested in joining the Friends contact Philip Jones at

Value Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.


Bookmark and Share