Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society and William Hogarth Trust have co-created In Georgian Footsteps, a guided trail of 18th Century Chiswick.
In Georgian times what we now know as Chiswick was three villages: Chiswick Town, Strand on the Green and Turnham Green, with fields, nursery gardens and orchards between them. The ancient Bath Rd, which today is Chiswick High Rd, ran east-west across common land on which Turnham Green grew up as a settlement with blacksmiths, farriers and inns to serve travellers. Burlington Lane linked the two riverside villages, which were fishing communities but also served that other important transport route, the River Thames.
There were several big estates: The Grove, Sutton Court and Chiswick House. Richard Boyle, 3rd earl of Burlington, built his new villa in the grounds of the old Chiswick House, in 1727-9.
Image above: Powell’s Walk; photograph Nick Raikes
Powell’s walk is a footpath with high brick walls which is one of several older footpaths enclosed at about the same time. It leads to St Nicholas Church, where there are many interesting graves, among them the artist William Hogarth’s.
In Georgian footsteps leads you along Chiswick Mall, where every house has a story to tell, many of them pre-dating the eighteenth century. There were two breweries here: Thomas Mawson’s brewery, which became the Griffin Brewery, and the domestic brewhouse of Bedford House.
Image above: Hogarth’s tomb; photograph Nick Raikes
There was a passenger ferry which left from the bottom of Church St and the shingle bank, sheltered by Chiswick eyot, was used as a drawdock where flat-bottomed barges could load and unload at any state of the tide. There was a pub here, the Red Lion, which no longer exists.
Also lost was quite a lot of the old Chiswick Town, obliterated by the modern A4 and Hogarth roundabout. The Mawson Arms and the George and Devonshire remain. What was the Lamb pub is now a private house.
Hogarth’s House was built in 1717. It had several well-known tenants before the famous artist, but William Hogarth lived here from 1749 until his death. He bought it as a weekend and summer home, away from the noise of his other home in what is now Leicester Square.
Image above: Entrance to Hogarth’s house; photograph Nick Raikes
This is a walk that you can do at your leisure; just download the map to print it out and follow it, while reading up on Chiswick’s Georgian society.
DOWNLOAD HERE: In Georgian footsteps – Chiswick walking trail map
Explore the cultural history of Chiswick online and on foot.
SEE ALSO: Our This is Chiswick features about the history of Chiswick House Gardens.
SEE ALSO: Our This is Chiswick feature on Alexander Pope in Chiswick
SEE ALSO: Our This Is Chiswick profile of the artist Johann Zoffany
See our events listings of all the events happening in Chiswick here:
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