Chiswick High Road Conservation Area

Shown: Victorian postbox in Chiswick High Road. (Historic England): “Boxes from the reign of George V account for about 15% of the total. There are smaller numbers, in descending order, of boxes from the reigns of George VI, Victoria, and Edward VII. From 1879 onwards this box continues to be one of Britain’s most recognisable symbols.”


“Chiswick High Road follows the route of a Roman Road from Kensington and Hammersmith and was the main highway from London to the west of England until the construction of the A4 in the 1950’s. The road was known as the high road or Brentford Road in the late 18th century; there is reference to it under the Commissioners of the Turnpike Roads in the Neighbourhood of the Metropolis North of the River Thames in 1826 as ‘the great west road’ a description which was later to apply to a new route further south. It remained mainly market gardens with sporadic development including a number of coaching inns until the later part of the 19th century, when it was renamed Chiswick High Road.
The Battle of Turnham Green took place in this area on 13th November 1642 where the New Model Army managed to prevent the advance of the royalists. Although most of the battle field is now covered by urban development the area now known as Chiswick Common was part of the battlefield.
The road became a toll road in 1717 and was part of the stage coach route to Bath, Exeter and beyond and there were a number of inns along its length that provided travellers with places to stop. Many remain today, at least by name; many of the public houses along the High Road were rebuilt in the later part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. During the 17th and 18th centuries a number of large houses were built along the road (most of which were demolished either side of the 20th century), but much of the land was given over to market gardens.
The road was lit by gas in 1841 but in the 1860s open country still separated the three settlements at Old Chiswick, Turnham Green and Hammersmith.

Turnham Green Railway Station was opened in 1869. The historic maps show a huge increase in building along the high road after this date. After the First World War there was little room for building in the area, where almost all the market gardens had vanished and the existing commons had been preserved for recreation.”

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