Isleworth Ait

Ait means small island.


Moses Glover’s Map 1635 shows the Ait as four islands.
John Rocque’s Map 1741 – 1745 shows the Ait as two islands
John Cary’s Atlas 1786 shows the Ait as three islands
The Ordnance Survey Map 1865 also show the Ait as three Islands.

Swimming Pool

A pool is shown on the OS Map 1865 which is believed to have been used for swimming by a local school. The Health and Safety laws were obviously less stringent in those days.


Barges at Lion Wharf Isleworth Ait behind

Three Islands to One

The three islands appear now to be one and the gaps were probably filled in when the waste pipes for the Mogden Sewage Works were installed.

Osiers and basket making

The Ait is now covered by dense collection of tall poplar, sycamore, willow trees and undergrowth which is in contrast to its appearance a hundred years ago when photographs show low level growth probably willow osiers.
At low tide it is possible to walk to the Ait


The Ait was used for farming of willow osiers which were used for making baskets which could have been used for containing local grown products from the many orchards and market gardens in the area.


Many birds (herons, comorants, kingfishers) have made their home on the Ait and also rare molusks such as the two lipped door snail and German hairy snail.

Mogden Sewage Works

Mogden Sewage Works was built in 1936 and the purified waste is pumped to Isleworth Ait in underground pipes and the outlets can be seen on the Surrey side of the Island.


Isleworth Ait behind crane


There has been a boatyard on the site as long as I can remember.
The present organisation is advertised as B J Woods & Sons.


Isleworth Ait behind floating boatyard

Some of the residents of the new town houses opposite attempted to clamp down on the operations of the boat yard due to the arrival of a new floating dry dock, the noise of works being carried out and the industrial look of the site.

An appeal was lodged and the local government inspector agreed the the boatyard was indeed unsightly but not unkeeping with a working river and the floating dry dock remains.

You can view more scenes of Isleworth, surrounding areas and historic London on this link Isleworth images