WALTHAMSTOW (/ˈwɔːlθəmstoʊ/ or /ˈwɒlθəmstoʊ/ ) is the
principal town of the
London Borough of Waltham Forest in East London
, England. It is located 7.5 miles (12.1 km) northeast from Charing
Historically in the county of
Essex , it significantly increased in
population as part of the suburban growth of
London and was
incorporated as a municipal borough in 1929 before becoming part of
Greater London in 1965.
Walthamstow is a large town, situated between the North Circular Road
to the north,
Lee Valley and the
Walthamstow Reservoirs to the west,
Epping Forest to the east. The town centre consists of Walthamstow
Market , the longest single street market in Europe.
* 1 History
* 1.1 Toponymy
* 1.2 Early history
* 1.3 Urban development
* 1.4 Local government
* 1.5 Recent history
* 2 Governance
* 3 Geography
* 4 Demography
* 5 Economy
* 6 Transport
* 7 Culture
* 7.1 Cinema
* 7.2 Sports clubs
* 8 Education
* 9 Notable residents
* 10 Gallery
* 11 References
* 12 External links
Walthamstow is recorded c. 1075 as Wilcumestowe ("the Place of
Welcome") and in the
Domesday Book of 1086 as Wilcumestou.
WALATHAMSTOW (PARISH) POPULATION
# no census was held due to war
source: UK census
King John visited Shern Hall (Shernhall Street) in 1213; the building
survived until 1896. At one point
Walthamstow was just a culmination
of five small villages, and affairs were discussed at Vestry House ,
acting as the first town hall . In 1870 it had grown to the size of a
small suburb and a town hall was built in Orford Road from which
affairs of the village were run (which now takes place in Forest Road
- since 1941). Until the 19th century it was largely rural, with a
small village centre (now
Walthamstow Village — see below) and a
number of large estates.
The main route through the district was the aforementioned Hoe
Street. Additionally, there were various smaller lanes, crossing the
town. The road now known as Forest Road was originally called Clay
Street. Further south, the High Street was named Marsh Street, and
led from the original settlement out to the marshes . Shernhall Street
is an ancient route, as is Wood Street, to the east. In the 1660s Sir
William Batten , Surveyor of the Navy, and his wife Elizabeth
Woodcocke had a house here where, according to
Samuel Pepys , they
lived "like princes" and cultivated a vineyard . The Nag's Head
in Orford Road,
With the advent of the railways and the ensuing suburbanisation in
the late 19th century,
Walthamstow experienced a large growth in
population and speculative building. Hoe Street, looking north,
1955 The Lighthouse Methodist Church on Markhouse Road.
Grade II listed building
Grade II listed building of the former Jones's Butchers Shop in
Wood Street, dating back to the late 18th century
The Lighthouse Methodist Church which dates from 1893 which is
situated on Markhouse Road, on the corner of Downsfield Road. There is
a lantern at the top of the tower, which also contains a spiral
staircase. The church was erected because of the generosity of Captain
David King of the shipbuilding firm of Bullard King "> Warner
properties St Mary The Virgin, the oldest building in
Walthamstow, dating as far back as the 13th century
Walthamstow Central is the main town centre and includes Selborne
Road and the High Street.
Walthamstow Village conservation area is a peaceful and attractive
district to the east of what has become the commercial centre of
Walthamstow. The area is roughly defined as being south of Church
Hill, west of Shernhall Street, north of Grove Road and east of Hoe
Street. Orford Road is the main route through the district, though
even this is a quiet thoroughfare by the standards of London. The
village has a small selection of specialist shops, pubs and
restaurants, and house prices tend to be higher in the streets of this
neighbourhood. It was voted best urban village in
London by Time Out
magazine in 2004.
Upper Walthamstow is to the east of
Walthamstow Village . The area's
main thoroughfare is Wood Street, which has a good selection of shops
and local businesses, and is served by railway, with a railway station
on the Liverpool Street to
Wood Street is home to Wood Street Indoor Market. The market was the
site of a cinema from 1912 to 1955, operated by the Penny Picture
Theatre Co. It re-opened under new independent management in 1953 as
the Rio Cinema, but this was short lived and it closed in 1955. Now
the market is filled with quirky market traders, and was documented in
a short documentary made by Mark Windows.
Walthamstow has a wide variety of housing stock, but the vast
majority of residential property was built in the early 20th century.
From Coppermill Lane in the west (next to the marshes), to Wood Street
in the east, there are scores of terraced streets dating to the
Edwardian era and the 1920s. The area along Markhouse Road and St
James Street has many examples of Warner properties. These were
developed as affordable housing for the working classes in the early
part of the 20th century. Bombing raids in the
Second World War
Second World War and
urban redevelopment projects in the 1960s and 1970s have left areas
with more modern housing, mostly in the shape of low-rise concrete
The northern continuation of Markhouse Road is St James's Street to
which Blackhorse Road follows, served by underground and railway
stations, which in turn becomes Blackhorse Lane. This is bound on its
western side by industrial units and warehouses. The
London Borough of
Waltham Forest has proposed developing the area around Blackhorse Road
railway station to become a gateway to the town.
Highams Park and Hale End, though both in the E4 postcode, are
historically part of Walthamstow. Part of Lloyd Park, near Forest
Although bounded by the marshes to the west and parts of Epping
Forest to the east, there is little open space in the actual town.
There used to be two commons in the town, Church Common, adjacent to
St. Mary's Church in
Walthamstow Village and Markhouse Common, located
off Markhouse Lane (now Markhouse Road) and what is now the western
end of Queens Road. Both open spaces were lost in the 19th century,
when the land was sold to property developers. Lloyd Park has been
open to the public since 1900 and is located in Forest Road behind the
William Morris Gallery. It has a formal garden with a pond, and the
adjacent Aveling Field has facilities for bowling, tennis, basketball,
an outdoor gym, a skate park and a children's play area.
Walthamstow's large size and seven wards makes it difficult to obtain
demographics about the town as a whole. The wards that cover
Walthamstow are: Chapel End (northeastern part), Higham Hill
(northwestern part), High Street (western), Hoe Street (inner-eastern
Walthamstow Village ), Markhouse (southwestern), William Morris
(northern), and Wood Street (eastern and
Upper Walthamstow ).
As of the 2011 census, White British is the largest ethnicity in all
wards. Other White is the second largest in all wards except
Markhouse. The other double-digit ethnicities are Pakistani and Black
African. The highest White British ward is Chapel End (35%), whereas
the lowest is Markhouse (24%). Other White is largest in High Street
(18%) and lowest in Wood Street (14%). Pakistani is highest in
Markhouse (18%) and lowest in both Chapel End and
Higham Hill (9%).
Black African is largest in
Higham Hill (10%).
The High Street is dominated by
Walthamstow Market , which began in
1885, and occupies all but the last 100 yards of the street. It is
reputed to be a mile long, but in fact measures approximately ⅔ of a
mile. It is the longest street market in Europe. The market is open
five days a week (not Sunday or Monday), and there is a Sunday
farmers\' market . The street is lined with shops: a selection of high
street chains, but also many independent small shops specialising in
food, fabrics, and household goods, as well as cafés. The overall
tone is downmarket and unique. There are two patches of new-ish
development: at Sainsbury's, and the Mall Selborne Walk covered
shopping centre both of which have large multi-storey car parks.
Shopmobility Waltham Forest operates in the Mall, loaning mobility
scooters and wheelchairs, with volunteer helpers, to disabled and
The historic central library on the High Street was one of many built
with money donated by the Scottish-American businessman and
Andrew Carnegie , whose portrait bust can be seen on
the exterior of the building. It was modernised and expanded in
2006–07, although there were claims that this was at the expense of
book holdings. According to the
Waltham Forest Guardian , "almost a
quarter of a million books have gone missing from Waltham Forest
libraries amid claims they have been burned or pulped", and the
borough's library stock fell by 60% over the two previous years. At
the same time, a large plot at the corner of High Street and Hoe
Street was set for substantial redevelopment as a retail space. This
site was previously the location of the town's central post office and
a shopping arcade built in the 1960s. Plans for the redevelopment of
this site initially fell through in 2005, but work on a new cinema,
flats and restaurants started in April 2013 and was completed in
Walthamstow Central bus and train stations
Railway stations include:
Walthamstow Central (
Victoria line , London
* Blackhorse Road (
London Underground Victoria line, London
Walthamstow Queen\'s Road (
* Wood Street (
* St James Street (
Lea Bridge (Abellio Greater Anglia)
Lea Bridge is in the far southwestern edge of Walthamstow, near Upper
Clapton . The station was opened in 2016. All other stations in the
area are operated by Transport for
London (TfL) services.
Walthamstow lost its rail link to Stratford with the removal of the
550 yards length of track known as the
Hall Farm Curve in 1970, and
there have been campaigns for its re-instatement.
London Buses routes 20, 34, 48, 58, 69, 97, 212, 215, 230, 257, 275,
357, 675, W12, W15, W19 and night route N26 serve the area. In
addition, route 69 provides a 24-hour service. Bus services include a
full infrastructure including a Hopper service and a multi point to
point network exists; serviced from and to its own main bus station
terminus situated near the train station, along with a cross network
passing through the centre and outskirts.
Walthamstodw was home to the popular 1990s boy band
East 17 , who
named themselves after the area's postal code E17, and titled their
Walthamstow . The indie rock band The Rifles are from the
area as was
Jimmy Ray . Ray grew up in the Lloyd Park area and
attended Winns primary, and Sidney Chaplin and McEntee secondary
schools. In the early 1990s he performed at various E17 venues,
including the Royal Standard, as part of local pop group 'The Cutting
Room'. Ray later had solo hits in the UK and US. It is home to the
The Bevis Frond .
Walthamstow is a major centre in London's grime music scene, with
many bedroom studios and underground music enterprises. Artists
Lethal Bizzle and his band Fire Camp.
Bromheads Jacket song "Poppy Bird" references
Walthamstow in the
Walthamstow is mentioned in the Paul McCartney and Wings song "Old
Siam, Sir " from the 1979 album
Back to the Egg .
"Long ago, outside a chip shop in Walthamstow" is the first line of a
song named "Ann and Joe", recorded by
The Barron Knights in the late
1970s. This was a spoof of "Long ago, high on a mountain in Mexico",
the opening words of Angelo , which was a UK number one hit in 1977
Brotherhood of Man .
"Waiting in Walthamstow" is a song by
The Cranberries from the album
The track the "Battle of Epping Forest" by Genesis on the album
England by the Pound has lyrics based in the area such as
"Along the Forest Road, there's hundreds of cars - luxury cars."
The artwork for Blur\'s
Parklife album featured photos of the band at
Walthamstow Stadium . The
Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum
Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum , a Grade
II listed building The newly restored historic neon sign of the
Walthamstow Stadium in 2016
Walthamstow Studios operated between 1914 and 1930. EMD (Granada)
Walthamstow on Hoe Street closed in 2003 when it was sold to the
Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) but permission for a
change of use to a place of worship was repeatedly refused. In 2014 it
was sold to a pub company who set up a bar in the grand foyer and
tentatively began bringing it back into use as a venue. The Empire
cinema opened in December 2014.
Waltham Forest F.C.
Walthamstow Avenue F.C. (defunct club located at Green Pond Road
Walthamstow Avenue & Pennant
* Haringey "> Former residence of Sir Robert Wigram , who died
here in 1830
One of its most famous residents was the writer, poet, designer and
William Morris , who was born there on 24 March 1834, and
lived there for several years. His former house in
Walthamstow is a
museum dedicated to his life and works, while the grounds of the house
are a public park (Lloyd Park in Forest Road).
Frederick Bremer , built the first motor car in
London between 1892 and 1894. In 1912
The Motor magazine, after much
debate, recognised the Bremer car as the first British built
petrol-driven car (now on display in the
Vestry House Museum
Vestry House Museum ).
Keith Albarn , manager of
Soft Machine and father of Damon Albarn
, taught art at
Walthamstow Art College in the 1960s
Clement Attlee , Member of Parliament for
Walthamstow while he was
William Batten (died 1667), Surveyor of the Navy, had a
"palatial" country house at Walthamstow; his son, who was in debt,
sold it off a few years after his death.
Stephen Bear reality TV star
Alonza Bevan , bass guitarist of
Kula Shaker .
Lethal Bizzle , Rap/Grime artist and associated rap collective
Fire Camp, Attended Holy Family Catholic School.
Denis Blackham , renowned music mastering engineer.
* Peter Blake , artist, painted sleeve cover of the Beatles Sgt.
Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band .
Mick Box , guitarist for Uriah Heep born in Walthamstow.
Matthew Bourne OBE, choreographer and dancer, was born in
Theodore Ronald Brailey pianist on the
Frederick Bremer , inventor, built the first petrol driven car in
Great Britain in 1892
* David Cairns guitarist with
Secret Affair was born in Walthamstow
* Alexander Champion Founder of British whaling - died 1795 in
Anjem Choudary , Radical
Islamist hate preacher
Phil Collen , lead guitarist of
Def Leppard .
Stella Creasy , Labour MP
Johnny Dankworth , jazz musician, who attended Sir George Monoux
Grammar School .
* Paul Di\'Anno , lead singer of
Iron Maiden 1978–81.
Adam Devlin , guitarist for the Bluetones lives in Walthamstow.
Benjamin Disraeli , former British Prime Minister, attended Higham
Hall School in Walthamstow, as did William Shore, later father of
Ian Dury , singer and songwriter, studied at
Fleur East , singer and The X Factor Finalist (Runners-up),
Attended Holy Family Catholic school
East 17 , British pop boy band, including singer/songwriter Brian
* Sir George Edwards , designer of Concorde
Lucian Ercolani Founder of furniture company
Ercol , was living at
27 Claremont Road,
Walthamstow in the 1911 census
* Air Marshal Sir Kenneth Charles
Michael Giddings CB OBE DFC AFC
and Bar, born in
Walthamstow in 1920
Maurice Glasman , social theorist and Labour life peer
Eleanor Graham , book editor and children's book author, born in
Peter Greenaway , film director,studied at
Walthamstow College of
Fitz Hall , English footballer currently playing for Watford was
born in Walthamstow
Darren Hayman , singer and songwriter
Helen Hollick , writer, born in
* James Hilton , author, attended
George Monoux Grammar School
Peter Hennessy of Nympsfield, former journalist with The
Times ; historian, academic and author
Mick Hume , journalist
Countess Judith , wife of Earl Waltheof, prominent post-Conquest
Harry Kane , footballer, attended
Chingford Foundation School
Colin Kazim-Richards , footballer, was born in
schooled in Walthamstow
Agnes Marshall , English culinary entrepreneur, born in
Walthamstow in 1855
George Monoux , Lord Mayor of
London in 1514 and local
benefactor; founded the grammar school and almshouses
William Morris , designer, socialist and artist
Fabrice Muamba , footballer, attended Kelmscott School
Denis Payton , saxophonist for the Dave Clark Five , was born in
Grayson Perry , ceramicist and 2003
Turner Prize winner, had his
Walthamstow until 2014. He referred to
Walthamstow in his
2013 Reith lectures, naming it 'Awesomestow'
* Pascale Petit , poet, nominated twice for the TS Eliot poetry
DJ Rap (Charissa Saverio) grew up in
Walthamstow and lived there
until recently, was born in Singapore
Jimmy Ray , recording artist, born
Ken Russell , film director, studied at
Nick Saloman , progressive rock musician
June Sarpong , television presenter, born
Baroness Scotland , Attorney General, grew up in
Walthamstow School for Girls
Vivian Stanshall , musician, painter, singer, broadcaster,
songwriter, poet and writer, best known for his work with the Bonzo
Dog Doo-Dah Band , grew up in Grove Road, Walthamstow.
John Kemp Starley , inventor, born
Colin Stinton , Canadian-born actor
Thomas Griffith Taylor (1890–1963) Antarctic explorer
Lawrence Trent , international chess master and commentator
Peter Waterfield Olympic diver
Dorothy Wedderburn Principal of Bedford College and Royal Holloway
and Bedford New College , both
London University , was born in
Danniella Westbrook , Actress
Geoffrey Wellum , RAF fighter pilot in the
Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain was
Walthamstow in 1921
* Timothy Williams , bilingual novelist of crime fiction, lived at
Peter Winch , philosopher
Adam Woodyatt , English actor who plays
Ian Beale in
Lutalo Muhammad , British taekwondo athlete, attended Holy Family
St Mary's Parish Church dates from the 12th century
15th century "Ancient House" in
Monoux Almshouses in the village
Vestry House Museum
Vestry House Museum
William Morris Gallery
Longitude Zero marker in
Upper Walthamstow Road
Walthamstow Central Library
Selborne Walk Shopping Centre
St. Peter's-in-the-Forest church, near Woodford New Road in the
southern edge of
Front of the bus and train station interchange
View of the A406
North Circular Road
North Circular Road from a footbridge in eastern
Walthamstow, near Woodford
The filter beds at Coppermills Treatment Works
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