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Walthamstow

This article is about a town. For the album by East 17 see Walthamstow (album).

Walthamstow is a district of northeast London, England, located in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. It is situated north-east of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.[1]

Walthamstow is bordered to the north by Chingford, south by Leyton and Leytonstone, east by the southern reaches of Epping Forest at Woodford and west by Tottenham and the River Lea valley. 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 London to Waltham Abbey.

Contents


History

Walthamstow is recorded c. 1075 as Wilcumestowe ("The Place of Welcome") and in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Wilcumestou.[2] 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 Villagesee 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.

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.[3] From 1894 Walthamstow was an urban district and from 1926 a municipal borough in Essex. In 1931 the population of the borough, covering an area of , peaked at 132,972.[4] In 1965 the borough was abolished and its former area merged with that of the Municipal Borough of Chingford and the Municipal Borough of Leyton to form the London Borough of Waltham Forest in Greater London.[5] Other places in east London formerly of the county of Essex, such as Ilford and Romford were placed into London Boroughs along with Walthamstow. The postal codes for 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).

Local engineer, 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).

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 & Co which also ran the Natal Direct Shipping Line, which ran ships direct from London to Durban without stopping at the Cape.

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.

On 13 June 1909, A. V. Roe's aircraft took to the air from Walthamstow Marshes. It was the first all-British aircraft and was given the ominous nickname of the "Yellow Terror" but officially carried the name Avro1. Roe later founded the Avro aircraft company, which later built the acclaimed Avro Lancaster.

Walthamstow saw lively involvement in the General Strike of 1926, with Winston Churchill's coach reportedly being overturned on Walthamstow High Street. Churchill was also given a hostile reception when he visited Walthamstow Stadium during the general election campaign of 1945.

The William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park, Forest Road.
The William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park, Forest Road.

Shops 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 five days a week (not Sunday or Monday), and there is currently a Sunday farmers' market. Occasionally, a 'French' market takes place although the stalls are not necessarily French. 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 caf s. 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[6] both of which have large multi-storey car parks.

The historic Central Library on the High Street was one of many built with money donated by the Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, whose portrait bust can be seen on the exterior of the building. It 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.[7] 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, originally built in the 1960s. Plans for the redevelopment of this site fell through in 2005. It is now a pedestrianised area and is occasionally used as a site for funfairs, charity events, the council's Christmas tree and various other activities.

Districts and neighbourhoods

Warner properties
Warner properties
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 station on the Liverpool Street to Chingford line.

Wood Street is also home to Wood Street Indoor Market.[8] The Market was originally 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.[9] Now the market is filled with quirky market traders, and was documented in a short documentary made by Mark Windows.[10]

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 World War II and 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 St James's Street to which Blackhorse Road follows, 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 Park and 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 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 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.

Recording artist Jimmy Ray was born in Walthamstow on 3/10/1970. He grew up in the Lloyds park area and attended Winns Junior & Primary, Sidney Chaplin Senior High & McEntee High schools. In the early 1990s Ray performed at various E17 venues, including the Royal Standard pub & venue as part of local pop group 'The Cutting Room'. Ray later went on to score solo hits in the UK & US.

Home to indie rock band The Rifles.

Walthamstow is a major centre in London's grime music scene, with many bedroom studios and underground music enterprises. With artists including the like of Lethal Bizzle and his band named Fire Camp.

The Bromheads Jacket song "Poppy Bird" references Walthamstow in the chorus.

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 for Brotherhood of Man.

"Waiting in Walthamstow" is a song by The Cranberries from the album Roses.

Cinema

EMD (Granada) Walthamstow on Hoe Street closed in 2003 and remains unused.[11]

Education

Walthamstow Secondary schools include:

Notable residents

Sports clubs

Nearest areas

Transport Services

National Rail and London Underground Stations

Bus services

A full infrastructure including a Hopper service and a multi point to point network exists; serviced from and to its own main bus terminus situated at Walthamstow Central, along with a cross network passing through the center and outskirts.

References

External links

fr:Walthamstow ga:Walthamstow it:Walthamstow nl:Walthamstow nn:Walthamstow ro:Walthamstow ru: simple:Walthamstow sv:Walthamstow






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