by Stephen Bird, Assistant Curator, Gunnersbury Park Museum
Brentford & Chiswick Local History Journal 1 (1980)
Over the last year there has been no major work at Brentford, though a few trial trenches have been dug. Under the supervision of Jon Cotton, the West London Archaeological Field Officer based in Brentford, there have been two other digs in the area. At Sipson Lane near Heathrow the working out of a gravel pit has been postponed to allow the excavation of a Neolithic site. We are awaiting the interpretation of the results from this.
At West Drayton the Canons of St Paul’s Cathedral held a manor through most of the Middle Ages. Under Henry VIII it was taken over by one of Henry’s chief officers of state – William Paget – who enlarged and extended the manor house. It stayed in his family for 200 years and was eventually demolished in the 1750s, to be replaced by nurseries. This could therefore be an undisturbed and very informative site.
At Gunnersbury Park Museum the archaeology displays have been reorganised to tell the story of the area in a modern way. Many of the objects in these new displays are from the Layton Collection. This year has also seen attention focussed on the destruction that treasure hunters with metal detectors can do to archaeological sites. If anyone digs up objects of interest it is advisable to take them to Gunnersbury Park Museum where the staff will be happy to try and identify them for you; at the same time you will be providing the museum with useful information about chance archaeological finds.