:"This article is about a town. For the album by East 17 see
Walthamstow (album)."Infobox UK place
map_type= Greater London
london_borough= Waltham Forest
Walthamstow is a town in the
London Borough of Waltham Forest, North East London, England, located convert|6.4|mi|km|1|lk=on north east of Charing Cross. Walthamstow is bordered to the north by Chingford, south by Leytonand Leytonstone, east by the southern reaches of Epping Forestat Woodfordand west by Tottenhamand the River Leavalley. Leyton High Road, Hoe Street, Chingford Road, Chingford Mount (passing south-north through Walthamstow and its neighbouring towns) form part of an ancient route from Londonto Waltham Abbey.
Walthamstow is recorded circa 1075 as "Wilcumestowe" ("The Place of Welcome") and in the
Domesday Bookof 1086 as "Wilcumestou". [Mills, A., "Oxford Dictionary of London Place Names", (2001)] 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 named 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.
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. [" [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=42775 Walthamstow: Introduction and domestic buildings] ", A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6 (1973), pp. 240-50. Date accessed: 1 April 2007.] From 1894 Walthamstow was an urban districtand from 1926 a municipal boroughin Essex. In 1931 the population of the borough, covering an area of convert|4342|acre|km2, peaked at 132,972. [Vision of Britain - Walthamstow UD/MB - [http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/data_cube_chart_page.jsp?data_theme=T_POP&data_cube=N_TPop&u_id=10135679&c_id=10001043&add=N total population] and [http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/data_cube_table_page.jsp?data_theme=T_POP&data_cube=N_AREA_A&u_id=10135679&c_id=10001043&add=Y area] ] In 1965 the borough was abolished and its former area merged with that of the Municipal Borough of Chingfordand the Municipal Borough of Leytonto form the London Borough of Waltham Forest in Greater London. [ [http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/relationships.jsp?u_id=10061751&c_id=10001043 Vision of Britain] - Walthamstow LB] Other places in East London formerly of the county of Essex, such as Ilfordand Romfordwere placed into London Boroughs along with Walthamstow. The postal codesfor those districts failed to change, however.
One of its most famous residents was the writer, poet, designer and socialist
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. This car is one of the claimants to being the first British built petrol driven car and in 1912 the "Motor" Magazine, after much debate, recognised the Bremer Car as the first British built petrol driven car.
The LGOC X-type and B-type were built at Blackhorse Lane from October 1908 onwards. The B-type is considered one of the first mass-production buses. The manufacturing operation later became AEC, famous as the manufacturer of many of London's buses.
Walthamstow saw lively involvement in the General Strike of 1926, with
Winston Churchill's coach reportedly being overturned on Walthamstow High Street.Fact|date=February 2007 Churchill was also given a hostile reception when he visited Walthamstow Stadiumduring the general electioncampaign of 1945.
Places of interest
Walthamstow has three museums: the
William Morris Gallery, dedicated to designer and socialist William Morris, the Pump House Museum, which covers transport history, and the Vestry House Museum, the museum of local history. The latter celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2006.
The ancient part of the town, called Walthamstow Village, is a designated
conservation area. It centres around St. Mary's Church, which was founded in the 12th century. Across the road from this is a 15th century timber-framed "hall" house which locals have dubbed "The Ancient House". Nearby are almshouses dating from the 16th and 18th centuries, and Vestry House, which has been used as a workhouseand police station, but has been a museum since 1931.
Walthamstow marsh was the location of
Alliot Verdon Roe's later attempts to build and fly his early aeroplanes. Despite many failed attempts, Roe continued his experiments and there is now a blue plaque commemorating his first successful flight (in July 1909) on one of the railway arches he worked from. The marsh is now a designated Site of Special Scientific Interestand is one of the last remaining examples of semi-natural wetlandin Greater London. Nearby is the Copper Mill. Mills of various types have stood at this location since at least the 14th century, and the current buildings date from the early 19th century. In the mid-19th century the mill was converted to a water pumping station.
Walthamstow EMD Cinemaon Hoe Street, designed by Cecil Maseywith fine Art Decointeriors in the Moorish style by Theodore Komisarjevskyand a Christie organ. Originally named the Walthamstow Granada when it opened in 1930, it closed in January 2003after being bought by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God(UCKG), which intended transforming it into a church and conference centre. However, their planning application was dismissed in 2003, and the UCKG announced in September 2005that the cinema would be put up for sale. The cinema is Grade II* listed, however, English Heritagehas put the cinema on its Buildings At Risk Register, and has described the overall condition of the cinema as poor. As of October 2007, its future remains uncertain. The [http://www.mcguffin.info/ McGuffin Film & Television Society] is campaigning to restore the cinema to its intended use. This was the only cinema in Walthamstow (indeed, the whole borough of Waltham Forest) at the time of its closure.
Walthamstow greyhound racing stadium - technically in
Chingford- was established in 1933 and closed in August 2008 having been run by the Chandler family for the duration of its existence. It reportedly had the largest attendance and income from gambling in the UK. [ [http://www.wsgreyhound.co.uk/history.asp Walthamstow Stadium] - History] It has a distinctive Art Deco facade, which was given Grade II listedstatus in 2007.The stadium hosted speedwayracing in 1934and again from 1949to 1951when it was the home of the Walthamstow Wolves. Controversy about the sale of the land the track stands on to property developers currently abounds, with a consortium currently trying to buy the stadium back from the developers to continue using the property as a stadium [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7560329.stm |title= Is there life in the old dog yet? |accessdate=2008-08-28 |author=Vanessa Barford |publisher=BBC |date=2008-08-17 ] .
hops and Walthamstow Market
The High Street is dominated by
Walthamstow Market, which began in 1885, and occupies all but the last 100 metres of the street. It is reputed to be a mile long, but in fact measures approximately one kilometre. The market is open six days a week (not Sunday), and there is currently 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, household goods etc. as well as cafés. The overall tone is downmarket and unique. There are two patches of new-ish development: at Sainsburys, and The Mall Selborne Walk covered shopping centre [ [http://www.themall.co.uk/?mall=SelborneWalk The Mall] - Selborne Walk] both of which have large multi-storey car parks.
The historic central library on the High Street was modernised and expanded in 2006 - 2007, 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. [ [http://www.walthamforestguardian.co.uk/display.var.1850222.0.waltham_forest_were_250_000_library_books_burned.php WALTHAM FOREST: Were 250,000 library books burned?] , Sarah Cosgrove, Waltham Forest Guardian, 22 November 2007] 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 previously contained the town's central Post Officeand a shopping arcade, originally built in the 1960s. Plans for the redevelopment of this site fell through in 2005 and are currently in abeyance.
Districts and neighbourhoods
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 Walthamstowis 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 station on the Liverpool Street to Chingford line.
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
Edwardianand 1920s terraced streets. 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 World War IIand urban redevelopment projects in the 1960s and 1970s have left areas with more modern housing, mostly in the shape of low-rise concrete blocks.
The northern continuation of Markhouse Road is Blackhorse Road, served by both 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 station to become a gateway to the town.
Highams Parkand Hale End, though both in the E4 postcode, are historically part of Walthamstow.
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 were originally two
commonsin 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 eastern end of Queens Road. Both open spaces were lost in the 19th century, when the land was sold to property developers.
Walthamstow in popular music
The artwork for British Band
Blur's Parklife album featured photos of the band at Walthamstow Stadium.
Walthamstow was home to the popular 1990s boy band
East 17, who named their debut album "Walthamstow" in its honour, the group are also named after the area's postal code E17. Walthamstow is also home to The Bevis Frond.
Walthamstow is a major centre in London's grime music scene, with many bedroom studios and underground music enterprises.
Bromheads Jacketsong "Poppy Bird" references Walthamstow in the chorus.
Walthamstow schools include:
Aveling Park School
Forest School (Walthamstow)
Walthamstow Academy, a secondary school, which holds specialist status as a Mathematics and Computing College, Science College, and Business and Enterprise College.
Walthamstow School for Girls
Willowfield School, a specialist Humanities College.
* Keith Albarn, manager of
Soft Machineand father of Damon Albarn, taught art at Walthamstow Art College in the 1960s
Alonza Bevan, bass guitarist of Kula Shaker.
Lethal Bizzle, rap artist [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/06/12/do1204.xml/ Article in the Telegraph] ] and associated rap collective Fire Camp.
Matthew Bourne, choreographer and dancer, was born in Walthamstow.
Phil Collen, bass guitarist of Def Leppard.
Paul Di'Anno, lead singer of Iron Maiden1978-1981.
Ian Dury, singer and songwriter, studied at Walthamstow Art College.
East 17, British pop boy band, including singer/song writer Brian Harvey.
Fitz Hall, English footballer currently playing for Queens Park Rangerswas born in Walthamstow
Peter Hennessy, historian.
David Hill, former Downing Street Communications Director to Tony Blair.
Mick Hume, journalist.
William Morris, philosopher and designer.
Grayson Perry, ceramicist and 2003 Turner Prizewinner, has his studio in Walthamstow.
Nick Saloman, progressive rock musician.
June Sarpong, television presenter.
Baroness Scotland, Attorney General, grew up in Walthamstow and attended 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.
Thomas Griffith Taylor(1890-1963) Antarctic explorer
David Tibet, artist and musician, lived in Walthamstow between 1992 and 2005.
Adam Woodyatt, English actor who plays Ian Bealein EastEnders, born in Walthamstow 1968.
Waltham Forest F.C.
Walthamstow Avenue F.C.(defunct club located at Green Pond Road Stadium)
Walthamstow Avenue & Pennant
* Walthamstow Cricket Club [http://walthamstowcc.hitscricket.com/default.aspx]
Nearest tube and railway stations
Walthamstow Central station
Walthamstow Queens Road railway station
Wood Street railway station
Highams Park railway station
St James Street railway station
Blackhorse Road station
* [http://walthamstowcc.hitscricket.com Walthamstow Cricket Club]
* [http://www.stowcc.org Walthamstow Cricket,Tennis and Squash Club]
* [http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/index/community/regeneration/walthamstow-regeneration.htm Waltham Forest London Borough Council] - Regeneration of Walthamstow town centre
* [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/source.asp?pubid=283 British History Online] - A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6
* [http://www.musicland26.freeserve.co.uk/walthamstow.htm Richard Dunn] - A brief history of Walthamstow
* [http://www.walthamstowmemories.net An oral history of Walthamstow containing the memories of past and present residents.]
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