The Former Grounds of Brentford FC (1 Viewer)

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No mention of Benn's field here, or it's earlier name of Stone's Meadow.

"Leys" are "pieces of land put down to grass, clover, etc., for a single season or a limited number of years, in contrast to permanent pasture." and there would appear to be a collection of them north of The Plough.

Northfield Ave is aligned to emerge onto Uxbridge Road at The Green Man (via what is Seaford Road today)
Frog Lane is now Churchfield Rd

The footpath "Broom Fields Path" is the same footpath shown in later maps above

The Piccadilly line now runs across the top of Hobbins Heath and Broomfields on their border with Little North Fields.



1605611595196.png
 
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No change 50 years later except for the realignment of Northfield Ave

Only another 90 years to go....

1605614357886.png
 
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50 years later and not much had changed except the alignment of Northfield Ave

1605615077080.png
 

Bill Benn

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Charles A Benn was the younger brother of James William Benn. Both were Market Gardeners before 1890.

It looks like Charles A Benn moved to Aldershot by the 1891 Census and was married to Mary Jane Whiting. Noted as a farmer.
I picked up a Charles Benn too. Not sure where from though, maybe the 100y of GP book? I didn’t check it either.

Looking at the 1891 census, it is James W Benn at The Plough Inn.

The Plough Inn, Laurel Court, Twyford Abbey Ealing, Brentford, Middlesex, England.

James WBennHeadMarriedMale361855Licensed VictuallerEaling, Middlesex, England
JuliaBennWifeMarriedFemale311860-London, Middlesex, England
FrederickBennSonSingleMale71884ScholarEaling, Middlesex, England
RosettaBennDaughter-Female61885ScholarEaling, Middlesex, England
MaudBennDaughter-Female51886ScholarEaling, Middlesex, England
VictoriaBennDaughter-Female41887ScholarEaling, Middlesex, England
TeddieBennSon-Male11890-Ealing, Middlesex, England
-Cobbler-SingleFemale161875General ServantBrentford, Middlesex, England
CharlesAvery-WidowerMale601831PotmanTemple Bar
Just checked out the family tree and this is correct it shows my great grandad Charles was the brother of James William Benn (listed as William James Benn on family tree) and worked at the pub.My dad William Ronald Bennwas born in the cottage next door which his dad William Charles Benn rented although it seems he spent most of his time next door in the pub.
 

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Lovely stuff. Many thanks to all contributors.

As a kid, I used to wonder why so many clubs were called ‘Wanderers’, ‘Rovers’, ‘Rangers’ etc. Finding somewhere to play has always been a problem...
 

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This Thread is fantastic, and my thanks go to all the contributors. It is so interesting to see how a part of Brentford has developed over the years in addition to the location of the former Ground. As an aside the stream that is running alongside what is now Northfields Avenue looks as if it is on course to to line up with Brook Road so it could well be the now underground brook running past that end of Griffin Park.
 
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This Thread is fantastic, and my thanks go to all the contributors. It is so interesting to see how a part of Brentford has developed over the years in addition to the location of the former Ground. As an aside the stream that is running alongside what is now Northfields Avenue looks as if it is on course to to line up with Brook Road so it could well be the now underground brook running past that end of Griffin Park.
The above plans are from Perambulation_in_Ealing.PDF which was assembled in 1960 as a writing created from various contempary documents

It states the below as a footnote, so yes it is the same water course

1605726365459.png
 
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I've been looking at some other interesting data. Below is a LIDAR map of Ealing and Brentford. LIDAR brings out elevation changes. As you can see the railways are easily visible due to the amount of earthworks that was performed during their creation which was necessary in order to keep the railway more or less level.

In the area indicated with a "1" (top left), there are railway embankments from West Ealing Station, through Hanwell, over the Warncliffe Viaduct (the missing bit in the middle of the indicated area), more embankment, over the Iron Bridge (another missing sliver), and then more embankments.

Area 2 is Ealing Broadway station with the district line diverting in an arc initially towards the north of the Great Western line in a cutting before rising to cross the GW line and join the Piccadilly line. It soon enters a cutting again (running north to south now) before arriving at Acton Town station (3).

The railway from Acton Town to Northfield Station (4) runs in a some pretty deep cuttings for most of the way. That is until just before Northfields station when it is level with the land on either side for a moment. The Piccadilly line then continues towards Hounslow again in a cutting before it raises on an embankment in order to cross the River Brent valley.

For reference the triangle of railway lines surrounding the new stadium can be seen to the left of 6.

1605755474003.png

All very interesting, but that earth from the cuttings has to go somewhere. Ideally the volume of land cut from the formation of cuttings can go to make the required embankments. However as you can see, there are more cutting than embankments. so where does the excess earth go?

Below is a zoom in around the area we are interested in.

1. Is the present day Northfield Station
2. Is South Ealing

At the time we played at Benn's field there was no Northfield Station. There was a station at South Ealing and one at Boston Manor but no intermediary stop. When a station was built a Northfield it was built on the other side of Northfields Ave. It was moved to the current location in the early 1930s when it had to be moved in order to make way for the Depot on the previously location that is still there today - this explains why the stations at Northfields and South Ealing are so close to each other.

I have also drawn on two arrows which indicate how the land falls. It falls from South Ealing Station in the direction of Northfield and falls from Northfield down towards Little Ealing Lane.

So where did that excess earth go (are you ahead of me yet?). Some of it would have gone on the embankments required to make the approaches to the road bridge to carry Northfields Station over the railway. You can clearly see this on the north side of the railway to the right of the "1". Likewise there's a similar approach on the south side. However there's also a bloody great big pile of earth dumped on the corner of Northfields Ave and what is now Bramley Road (you can see the road running just under the pile of earth.


1605756057902.png

When the Steel's developed this area, they didn't develop this bit of land despite maximising the number of houses elsewhere. Why? Probably because either i) it was the loose earth cut from a cutting dumped there and therefore unsuitable for building houses on or ii) it served as a convenient place to move more earth onto in order to provide a more level area for development (i.e. moving more earth on top of the previous mound)

On the current day satellite below it can be seen that most of the houses are tightly packed terraces. However looking at Bramley Road you can see that there is a break in the style of housing on the north side. Terraced houses appear near the bridge in the top right with what appear to be semi-detached houses nearer Northfields. Anyway, I am just wondering if the embankment continued in the space where they are now and the embankment was cleared later than the main Steel developments and new developments made there?

1605756806853.png


Transposing the above hypothesis onto the "Field Numbers Map" we get the below.


1605758010314.png

So IF IF IF the above is correct then the pitch or pitches may have been to the south of the embankment(s). Or they were on field 226 in the area that would include the "possible embankment". Field 226 looks the more likely to me and I think we can discount the impact of footpath usage which is documented elsewhere only really being used on Sundays for residents of Little Ealing to get to St Mary's Church.

However, the embankment marking are shown against Northfields Ave itself rather than around the red area. The current earth mound may have been created by earthworks during the housebuilding era but the land is pretty flat there, so I think we can discount that.

At the end of the day though, that earth that is there today had to come from somewhere. I can't see any rationale for justifying that it came from anywhere else other than the spoil from the railway cuttings.
 

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I picked up a Charles Benn too. Not sure where from though, maybe the 100y of GP book? I didn’t check it either.

Looking at the 1891 census, it is James W Benn at The Plough Inn.

The Plough Inn, Laurel Court, Twyford Abbey Ealing, Brentford, Middlesex, England.

James WBennHeadMarriedMale361855Licensed VictuallerEaling, Middlesex, England
JuliaBennWifeMarriedFemale311860-London, Middlesex, England
FrederickBennSonSingleMale71884ScholarEaling, Middlesex, England
RosettaBennDaughter-Female61885ScholarEaling, Middlesex, England
MaudBennDaughter-Female51886ScholarEaling, Middlesex, England
VictoriaBennDaughter-Female41887ScholarEaling, Middlesex, England
TeddieBennSon-Male11890-Ealing, Middlesex, England
-Cobbler-SingleFemale161875General ServantBrentford, Middlesex, England
CharlesAvery-WidowerMale601831PotmanTemple Bar
It would be interesting to see who the occupants of the Plough were at the time of the 1901 Census? Maybe Charles had by then moved back perhaps to the cottage next door. Perhaps you have already done that and found no significant change.
 

wanderer paul

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It would be interesting to see who the occupants of the Plough were at the time of the 1901 Census? Maybe Charles had by then moved back perhaps to the cottage next door. Perhaps you have already done that and found no significant change.
No. Charles Benn had left the area with his family to Hampshire.

James Benn died in 1898. His wife took over the license of The Plough.
 

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On my family tree my dad has put Rossetta and Maud Benn as owning the plough as their Dad James died at 42
His wife took it on after, as shown in Banana’s post earlier.

Census 1901

Plough Inn, Little Ealing, Ealing, Brentford, Middlesex, England


Julia ABennHeadWidowFemale401861PublicansLondon, Middlesex, England
FrederickBennSonSingleMale171884-Ealing, Middlesex, England
RosettaBennDaughterSingleFemale161885-Ealing, Middlesex, England
MaudieBennDaughterSingleFemale151886-Ealing, Middlesex, England
EdwinBennSonSingleMale111890-Ealing, Middlesex, England
ElzColeServantSingleFemale421859General ServantEaling, Middlesex
 

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The 1911 Census, Julia Ann Benn is still the licensee.

Census 1911

The Plough Little Ealing W, Ealing, Middlesex
Julia AnnBennHeadWidowFemale511860Licensed VictuallerLondon Notting Hill
James FrederickBennSonMarriedMale281883Cartage ContractorMiddlesex Ealing
RoseliaBennDaughter-Female271884BarmaidMiddlesex Ealing
EdwardBennSonSingleMale221889BarmanMiddlesex Ealing
FlorenceBennDaughterSingleFemale191892BarmaidMiddlesex Ealing
Alice KiziahBennDaughter In LawMarriedFemale281883BarmaidMiddlesex Ealing
James FrederickBennGrandson-Male71904-Middlesex Isleworth
 
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If I can get this to work, pic of old Plough with entrance to pleasure grounds sent to me by a mate. This would have given access to Benn's field?
Not necessarily, but I reckon would have given access to the Bowling Green and Pleasure Grounds. :cool:

Change the sign for "Beer Garden" and I reckon you've got the modern equivalent.
 

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If I can get this to work, pic of old Plough with entrance to pleasure grounds sent to me by a mate. This would have given access to Benn's field?View attachment 23184
Now that is pretty cool! 😎

Never seen that picture of The Plough Inn and the entrance to the pleasure grounds before. Brilliant!

I’ve read through again this morning, the reports and jottings from the years 1892 to 1894. It does mention “Northfield Lane”, several times, as to where the pitches are.

The belief that it is more likely the fields on the east side of Northfield Lane, as the place for Benn’s Field, grow even stronger!

Love that picture! 😁👍
 

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Just checked out the family tree and this is correct it shows my great grandad Charles was the brother of James William Benn (listed as William James Benn on family tree) and worked at the pub.My dad William Ronald Bennwas born in the cottage next door which his dad William Charles Benn rented although it seems he spent most of his time next door in the pub.
How did your family cease to own/run the plough ?

How far back did Benn connection go with the battle cruiser ?
 

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20 Jan 2011, The Gazette

View attachment 23189
Perhaps I should explain the relevance of this. Above I conjectured on way Steel hadn't developed the north side of Bramley Road. The reason is that it was owned by the council. That also makes it unlikely that any material earthworks happen that piled excess earth in what is now the "Bramley Road Open Space". Consequently, it is more likely that it was this embankment from which matches at Benn's Field could be observed without paying.

Wanderer, what do you have about Northfield Lane that you mentioned above?
 

wanderer paul

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Perhaps I should explain the relevance of this. Above I conjectured on way Steel hadn't developed the north side of Bramley Road. The reason is that it was owned by the council. That also makes it unlikely that any material earthworks happen that piled excess earth in what is now the "Bramley Road Open Space". Consequently, it is more likely that it was this embankment from which matches at Benn's Field could be observed without paying.

Wanderer, what do you have about Northfield Lane that you mentioned above?
Just notes in the local newspaper regarding where the pitches are said to be, Northfield Lane.

Middlesex Independent 15 February 1893.JPG
 

wanderer paul

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I've asked around to see if anyone, by any chance, has ever copied the rates book for those fields (if they survive?!). If so, would they share!? :)
 

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Ah, I had a look in local papers but didn't find this.

Was QPR the last match at Benn's Field?
The last first XI match at Benn’s Field took place on 15 December 1894 versus Darfield in a Middlesex Senior Cup tie. Brentford winning five goals to nil.

Benn’s Field was used, as I mentioned above, into the 20thC. Brentford FC used the ground for trials and a club called Brentford Wanderers FC used it too! :)
 

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The last first XI match at Benn’s Field took place on 15 December 1894 versus Darfield in a Middlesex Senior Cup tie. Brentford winning five goals to nil.

Benn’s Field was used, as I mentioned above, into the 20thC. Brentford FC used the ground for trials and a club called Brentford Wanderers FC used it too! :)
Another Brentford club
 

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Another Brentford club
There were quite a few in the 1880’s to 1900’s;

Brentford Gas Works (Southall) FC
Brentford FC (1st XI, Res XI, “B” XI and “C” XI)
Brentford Gas Works FC
St Paul’s (Brentford) FC
St Lawrence’s (Brentford) FC
Brentford Celtic FC
Brentford Thursday FC
Brentford Early Closing Assoc. FC
Brentford Melrose FC
Brentford Wanderers FC

Just off my head!
 
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wanderer paul

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Another mention of Northfield Lane.

Middlesex Independent; March 1893.
A95A8A76-BA77-45E0-B3F8-13B2A8AF2080.jpeg
 
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The last first XI match at Benn’s Field took place on 15 December 1894 versus Darfield in a Middlesex Senior Cup tie. Brentford winning five goals to nil.
Ah so when that report says the "last Alliance Fixture to be played on the home ground", it doesn't mean the last ever. Got it :doh:

Have you got any clipping mentioning where the spectators that didn't pay were watching from: e.g. the railway embankment and the bridge?

p.s. I couldn't find those newspaper clips online, where are you getting them from?
 

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The newspapers are from The BNA via FindMyPast.
 

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Middlesex Independent: March 1894.

Brentford v QPR. Note the mention of two pitches. Brentford played this first XI match on the second pitch.

BAC758EA-8C07-440D-BA0E-A8EDC25622CA.jpeg
 

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Middlesex Independent: February 1894.

Brentford v Uxbridge MJC 4.

Note the supporters as being on “the cheap gallery on the railway bridge.”

559A42A3-D0D7-464E-8CD4-FD77FFD12CC9.jpeg
 
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Interesting that people could clearly see from the bridge. I wonder if that means the bridge itself (which I presuming to be the Northfields Ave bridge), or does it mean from the higher parts of Northfield Ave on the Brentford side of the bridge? Probably the latter I'd thought.

I wonder if there are any pics of the bridge as it was at the timeanywhere
 

wanderer paul

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I wonder if there are any pics of the bridge as it was at the timeanywhere
Possibly one, but this picture is said to be from the other side of Northfield Lane looking south.

Therefore the pitches would be beyond the trees to the left.

1606037906956.jpeg
 
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wanderer paul

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An idea as to where the two pitches were likely to have been situated is shown below. (Having measured, approx., the area on the map.)

Field 228 could be marked out with two pitches (marked out in Blue), likely to be 100yds x 55yds (as an example).

The Plough Inn is noted and it is approx 120yds to the pitches along Northfield Lane (shown in Red).

The Bowling Green & Pleasure Grounds probably occupied an area behind the Plough as marked out in Green. (as Banana suggests)

The two Yellow lines mark; Wellington Road (Southern line) and Bramley Road & Gardens (Northern Line).

The suggestion that spectators could watch home matches from Northfield Lane Bridge, as written in match reports shown above, is quite feasable. If the pitches were in Field 228, and were in the position shown, then viewing from a stand point on the Bridge or the slope of Northfield Lane is possible (they could also, in theory, be the other way around. However, there's mention of a slope on the pitches, which must prove the pitches were orientated north to south).

This is our theory anyway! :)

Field 228 Northfield Lane plus pitches.JPG
 
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I agree, except that Pitch 1 and Pitch 2 were the other way around 😇

The only question-mark to me is how far north were the pitches. If the earth mound at the junction of Bramley Road and Northfield Ave was created from spoil from the railway cuttings, then the pitches would be about where they are marked above (and perhaps a bit further south). However none of the OS maps show that mound and continue to show embankment marking against Northfield Ave itself and adjacent to the current Northfields Station site. So if the earth mound wasn't there at the time then the pitches would be located further north giving an even better view of the pitch from the bridge (and "bridge" would extend to the tops of the embankments I suppose).

However if that earth didn't come from the cuttings, then where did it come from???

Anyway, I think we have narrowed-down the two pitches into a space no larger than 4 pitches.
 

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This thread is fascinating.

I'd always thought that the pitches were further East, rather than North.

Thanks to @Banana and @wanderer paul for you investigative research.
 
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Here's an earlier map, before the railway. But with the railway marked on it. You can also see that Northfields Ave is being re-aligned. Maybe to keep the embankments required from not impinging on Benn's Field for some reason.

I am now coming to the unproven opinion that the earth mount at the junction of Bramley Road and Northfield Ave was made in the 1930s. This would be when the cutting was widened between Northfields and Acton Town to accommodate 4 tracks. This is when the Piccadilly Line started running to the Northfields. It is also when the current station at Northfields was built in its new position.

"The coming of the Piccadilly line in 1932 was a very major undertaking involving additional tracks adjacent to the District Line with the consequent rebuilding of road bridges and stations."
"In the meantime the original South Ealing station had been demolished to enable the widening of the tracks and a temporary station entrance had been built on the opposite south side of the railway line. Because of funding difficulties building the new station had to be put into abeyance. When London Underground in 1935 conducted a survey they found that most people preferred their station to be nearer where they shopped than where they lived. In addition far more passengers were now found to be using South Ealing because Brentford FC had been promoted to the first division of the football league – halcyon days!"

So all this would indicate that the pitches were slightly more north than indicated by Paul above.

To wrap-up this would probably require delving into LU archives. However we are within 40 yards I reckon. That should be good enough.


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