On my last visit to London for some time, with Jonny I went to visit the gym premises set up by Sam Village. Sam is friend of Jonny’s and a professional trainer involved in keeping Formula One drivers fit. See https://www.kotwf.co.uk/high-performance .
It is on a wonderful site at Brentford, in what was Middlesex, where the Brent flows from the north to an oblique, and presumably in the past changing, confluence with the Thames. The ford referred to in the place name is over the Brent, although there is reference to this being the lowest fordable point on the tidewater Thames. Looking up the local word “ait”( or eyat) for river islet, Wikipedia quotes Brentford as the case example.
Immediately inland, flats and a Holiday Inn have been installed at what was the terminal barge pool of the Grand Junction Canal (completed 1804). The Brentford Lock site sits below the gauging lock and beside the Thames Lock on the Brent. The site is being developed for luxury flats, but includes presumably listed sites and unuseable, brownfield land on what were aits between the Thames and Brent. As it is at present, it is a hidden gem, well worth the visit. There is a lovely café/ restaurant/ bakery, a Victorian pub, barge moorings and rickety artists’ premises accessible only across bridge routes over lock gates (in varying states of disrepair).
You are reminded of Penelope Fitzgerald’s wonderful novel, “Offshore”; not offshore in the sense we use it now, but a story of eccentrics and the downtrodden living on barges on the Thames at Battersea in the 1960s, just the sort of place since redeveloped for expensive “riverside” living. Maybe with the present crisis the Brentford Lock site will be left for longer than we feared in its present dishevelled but intriguing state.