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Brentwood, New Hampshire
Mary E. Bartlett Library
Mary E. Bartlett Library
Official seal of Brentwood, New Hampshire
Location in Rockingham County and the state of New Hampshire.
Location in Rockingham County and the state of New Hampshire.
Country United States
State New Hampshire
County Rockingham
Incorporated 1742
Villages Brentwood
Brentwood Corners
Marshall Corner
 • Total 17.0 sq mi (44.0 km2)
 • Land 16.8 sq mi (43.6 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)  0.93%
115 ft (35 m)
 • Total 4,490
 • Density 267/sq mi (103.1/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 603
FIPS code 33-07220
GNIS feature ID 0873550

Brentwood is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. As of the 2020 census, its population was 4,490. Brentwood has been the county seat of Rockingham County since 1997.


Long before Europeans settled the area, Brentwood was home to the Pennacook Abenaki tribes which farmed, fished and hunted there. Two main foot trails ran through the town, one along the Exeter River, where arrowheads and other stone and wooden artifacts have been found. At Pickpocket Dam, this pathway joined with the historic Pentucket Trail leading to Haverhill, Massachusetts, or points north.

The town was once a part of Exeter known as Brentwood Parish. It was named after Brentwood, Essex, originally called "Burnt Wood", where, in 1177, King Henry II granted permission for 40 acres (160,000 m2) of the king's forest to be cut, burned and cultivated. As early as 1738, residents living in the southwestern portion of Exeter, now Brentwood and Fremont, petitioned to be set off, but were denied. On 26 June 1742, however, permission was granted, and Brentwood was incorporated by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth.

But almost from the beginning, a dispute arose between districts regarding the placement of a meetinghouse. It divided the community. Consequently, Gov. Wentworth, acting without approval of the General Assembly, in 1744 issued a King's Patent to establish a new town within Brentwood called Keeneborough Parish, named after his friend, Sir Benjamin Keene (1697–1757), English minister to Spain. Factions reconciled in 1750, when Keeneborough reunited with Brentwood.

Mills along the rivers produced lumber and manufactured goods in the early days, although the community would shift towards the cultivation of agriculture. It is now predominantly residential.

Brentwood was marginally involved in the Exeter incident, a UFO sighting in 1965. While the main incident was reported in nearby Kensington, a young Brentwood couple, Jack Sidoway and Lindsey Webb, also reported having seen lights while parked out in a field. They claimed that these lights followed them as they got out of their car and ran through a field in order to "try to get away from the lights." It is thought that their claims were not taken seriously due to their age. Also as this account is from Brentwood and not Exeter it was not included in the official Exeter documents, and as such were overlooked.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 17.0 square miles (44.0 km2), of which 16.8 square miles (43.4 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km2) is water, comprising 1.30% of the town. The highest point in Brentwood is Great Hill, at 275 feet (84 m) above sea level, whose summit is in the southeast corner of the town. The town is drained by the Exeter River and its tributaries. Brentwood lies fully within the Piscataqua River (Coastal) watershed.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 976
1800 899 −7.9%
1810 905 0.7%
1820 892 −1.4%
1830 891 −0.1%
1840 888 −0.3%
1850 923 3.9%
1860 887 −3.9%
1870 895 0.9%
1880 999 11.6%
1890 967 −3.2%
1900 957 −1.0%
1910 759 −20.7%
1920 685 −9.7%
1930 725 5.8%
1940 720 −0.7%
1950 819 13.8%
1960 1,072 30.9%
1970 1,468 36.9%
1980 2,004 36.5%
1990 2,590 29.2%
2000 3,197 23.4%
2010 4,486 40.3%
2020 4,490 0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 4,486 people, 1,319 households, and 1,087 families residing in the town. The population density was 267.0 people per square mile (103.4/km2). There were 1,350 housing units at an average density of 80.4 per square mile (31.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.3% White, 0.7% African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.5% some other race, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.

There were 1,319 households, out of which 46.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 71.6% were headed by married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.6% were non-families. 14.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.9% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.02, and the average family size was 3.33.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 26.6% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 28.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 106.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 106.6 males.

For the period 2007–2011, the estimated median annual income for a household in the town was $110,250, and the median income for a family was $111,650. Male full-time workers had a median income of $69,565 versus $55,000 for females. The per capita income for the town was $37,385. About 1.0% of families and 2.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 0.4% of those age 65 or over.


NH 101 exits serving Brentwood
Exit 7 NH 125 (Calef Road)
Exit 8 North Road to NH 27

Middle Road (Route 111A) runs east/west and bisects the town. Other east/west roads are North Road and South Road. Calef Road (Route 125) is the principal north/south road.

The expressway Route 101 approximately follows Brentwood's northern boundary. It provides access to Manchester and to the Seacoast. Route 101 crosses into northeast Brentwood, as does Route 27 (old 101) beyond it. Part of New England Dragway is in Brentwood.

Route 111A east to Exeter gains access to Route 7 of the COAST bus system, and to a train station served by the Amtrak Downeaster. At the park and ride lot off Calef Road just north of Brentwood, there is bus service to Boston, Massachusetts and its Logan Airport. Shuttle bus service can be arranged to Manchester Boston Regional Airport.

Notable people

  • Ted King (born 1983), professional cyclist
  • Joshua Smith (1760–1795), author, minister
  • William Morrill Wadley (1813–1882), railroad superintendent
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