Some Account of the Life and Writings of Mrs Trimmer, with Original Letters and Meditations and Prayers, Selected from her Journal, Sarah Trimmer (1816)

Sarah Trimmer (1741-1810) was a children’s writer, critic and educational reformer. She was the daughter of artist and architect Joshua Kirby, who in 1759 was appointed Clerk of Works to the Royal Household at Kew Palace. In 1762, Sarah married James Trimmer, a wealthy brick and tile manufacturer from Brentford and together they had twelve children. Whilst educating her children at home Trimmer became interested in children’s education more broadly and read widely on the subject. In 1780, encouraged by friends, she began her writing career, basing her work on her own teaching experience as wel...

The Collection

Thomas Layton collected books, coins, and archaeological items (usually described as ‘antiquities’) for 70 years. In that time he had accumulated what has been described as “probably the largest collection of London antiquities ever amassed by a single individual”.

The vast majority of items are believed to have been bought at auctions. Some came to him from his men working on the river. His businesses provided opportunities for finds from dredging, building of bridges and embankments along the banks of the Thames, for which Layton paid good money. Even by the standards of the day Layton kept poor records of where items were found. Despite this, the collection is considered highly important particularly to archaeologists and pre-historians.


Thomas Layton bequeathed his collection to the people of Brentford to create a museum. Difficulties with his will thwarted his plan and parts of the collection were dispersed. The Thomas Layton Trust is bringing his bequest back together on this website as our Virtual Museum.

Archaeology & Ethnography

Medals and Coins 5,200 archaeological and ethnographic artifacts including items from UK, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Peru and N. America.

Medals & Coins

Medals and Coins A remarkable collection of 3,500 coins, tokens and medals - Roman, Greek, Indian, American and British.

Maps & Prints

Medals and Coins 4,000 maps and prints and 150 framed prints, maps and paintings.

Books & Manuscripts

Medals and Coins 8,000 from the 16th century to 19th century, remain in the collection, together with a small collection of manuscripts and some of Layton's personal papers.


Thomas Layton lived in Brentford, Middlesex between 1826 and more


Download a walk through Victorian Brentford and discover some of Layton's legacy



Purchase a beautifully illustrated book by Mike Galer, called Layton's Legacy.

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