The work was carried out sympathetically to retain the traditional atmosphere, while providing all of the amenities that a modern establishment requires whilst preserving the character of this beautiful listed building.
The highlights include: extension of the lounge bar, complete kitchen refit, vastly improved washroom facilites with enlargement of lounge bar toilets and demolition of external toilet block, improved disabled facilities, complete rewire, complete redecoration of both bars, completely new furniture throughout.
We also have an attractive beer garden. Children and pets are welcome.
Records of an inn standing on the current site of the Viaduct date back as far as the early eighteenth century.
The Middlesex County Record Office’s Licensed Victuallers’ Lists of 1730 record that the Coach and Horses stood “at the bottom of the hill down to the bridge” and was by then catering for the increasing traffic along what is now the Uxbridge Road, between London and the West Country. .
The heathland to the West of Hanwell was notorious for highwaymen, and travellers would spend the night in the inn so as to ensure being able to cross the heathland in daylight the next day. Parts of the old stable block are still visible today in the rooms below what is now the function room.
In 1836, work began in Brent Meadow, just to the North of the pub, on the Wharncliffe Viaduct, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s first major structural design and the first contract to be let on his Great Western Railway. Lord Wharncliffe, whose coat of arms can be seen at the top of the central pier on the South Side of the viaduct, was then chairman of the GWR.
The viaduct was completed in 1837, and on 4 June 1838, Brunel’s broad gauge trains crossed the viaduct for the first time on their way from London Paddington to Maidenhead (the remainder of the line, as far as Bristol, was not completed for another three years). In keeping with the spirit of the age, the name of the pub was quickly changed to embrace the new era, and, fittingly, the mode of transport that would signal its demise as a coaching inn.
It is rumoured that Queen Victoria so enjoyed the view from the viaduct that she would order the Royal train to be stopped as it passed, on its way to Windsor. Now a Grade I listed building, and on the UK tentative list for designation as a World Heritage Site as part of the historic Great Western Railway, the 900 foot long Wharncliffe Viaduct continues to carry the Paddington to Bristol mainline across Brent Meadow to this day. Although it may have changed a little since her day, the view to the north, of St Mary’s church and the Brent Valley, is still impressive, and just to the south its namesake, itself a locally listed building, continues to serve the residents of Hanwell nearly three centuries after it was built.