Green Street is best known for the former Boleyn Ground, home to West Ham United from 1904–2016 and its wide range of shops and market outlets. It was also the site of Green Street House - also known as Boleyn Castle - for more than 400 years until demolished in 1955. Green Street House was located between the street and the Boleyn Ground.
Green Street runs from the originally Roman Romford Road, in the north, to the Barking Road in the south. The northern part, near the Romford Road was at one time also known as Gypsy Lane as it was often used by gypsies.. The junction with Barking Road, by the Boleyn Tavern, was known as Morley's Corner after the onetime owners of Green Street House.
The first surviving record of the street is from the 15th-century, but it is significantly older. The street was chosen as the boundary of East and West Ham when the territory of Ham was subdivided, sometime in the 12th-Century, so therefore pre-dates that partition. Many south Essex field patterns and associated roads date from the late Iron Age and early Roman period and the same may apply to Green Street.
On partition, Green Street came to form the most significant part of the boundary between East and West Ham with the boundary also extending to the north through a part of what was then Epping Forest and it also extended south through the marshes to the Thames.
Romford Road was long the southern limit of Epping Forest with a part called Hamfrith Wood lying just north of the junction with Green Street until 1700. The area south of Barking Road was largely part of the wide flood plain of the Thames. The area urbanised in the 19th century.
The north part of Green Street is in the informally defined district called Forest Gate which includes parts of both East and West Ham; in a similar way, southern Green Street is part of the Upton Park district which also includes parts of East and West Ham.
Near Upton Park Underground station, the road becomes a regional centre for retail in food, jewellery and fabrics, and the location of Queens Market. The road has an array of shops specialising in primarily South Asian goods, catering to those with strong cultural and familial ties to Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. The street also has a smaller yet prominent Afro-Caribbean community culture, reflected in its several food stores specialising in Caribbean and African foods.
The Green Street area is split between three electoral wards, Green Street East, Green Street West and Boleyn; between them they have a population of 46,980.
The Census data for these three wards showed this part of central Newham to be among the most culturally diverse in the UK.
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