Goathouse Tree Ford
Goathouse Tree Ford was a ford on the Duke of Northumberland’s river - an artificial channel constructed in the mid 16th century.

The river was diverted south in 1944 to build Heathrow Airport and this scene disappeared under airport tarmac

Credit: User unknown/public domain
Before 1944, Goathouse Tree Ford marked where High Tree Lane crossed the Duke of Northumberland’s river.

The Duke of Northumberland’s river was an artificial channel constructed in the mid 16th century. Its purpose was to increase the amount of water driving Isleworth Mill and also to provide water to Syon House, running from the Colne at West Drayton to Isleworth.

When construction of Heathrow Airport began in 1944, the river was diverted to a more southerly route.

While Goathouse Tree Ford was the official name, the local name was High Tree River. The banks were wooded and on the south side started a riverside walk to Longford - about two miles away. Children could safely paddle in the water and fish for tiddlers and so the location, as a local beauty spot, was very popular for picnics. It was also popular with courting couples.

Although vehicle traffic had to use the ford, there was also a footbridge across the river.

Goathouse Road ran some 750 yards south from the ford to Long Lane. It may have been named after an enclosure called Goathouse Close.

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