River Lea - Temple Mills

River Lea

The Old River Lea continues to flow south. The Channelsea rises in this area and flows south. The Dagenham Brook flows south east/north west. The lead mill stream flows south

This page contains a very substantial part of the Olympic park – it is proposed at this stage to ignore this, so the page reflects the area before this work started.

Post to the north Leyton




Post to the west Hackney Marshes
Post to the south Hackney Wick

The Channelsea River

The river branches south-east from Waterworks River in the Temple Mills Area.  The river is known to have existed in the 8th
Potters Ditch - waterway joining the Channelsea to the Waterworks River. It was a medieval leat

Clays Lane
The name seems to be associated with Samuel Clay & Co, artificial manure and blood boiling, using blood from local slaughterhouses between 1864 and 1900. Clay was farmer from Colchester. This was one of two such works in the area to the north and west of the lane.  The southern extension of the lane was in the area of what was a brickfield
Clays Lane Estate was the UK’s largest purpose built housing co-operative. There were 57 shared houses, 40 flats and 10 bungalows built in 1977.  It was on top of a hill next to the Eastway Cycle Circuit.  Demolished for the Olympic Village 2007
Travellers' site. There since 1971.  Cleared for the Olympics
Park Village. Student accommodation for the University of East London, cleared for the Olympics

East Cross Route and A12
The East Cross Route was originally part of a London Ringway scheme developed under the Greater London Plan of the 1940s.  In the 1990s the 'A12 Hackney to M11 link road', south of the Hackney Marshes and to connect with Eastway. This was designated the A12

This is the road to Temple Mills from what was the Gainsborough Road crossing of the Lea Navigation
S.Straker and Sons, Lea Mills. Straker's were taken over by Oyez in 1979.  The building was later Park Communications Holdings printers. Now demolished
Hoo Hing. Chinese and Oriental Cash and Carry. Building demolished for the Olympics
Goldbart Brothers, ladies coat manufacturers. In the factory later used by Hoo Hing.
Eastway Works. Setright. Henry Setright from Australia patented a ticket machine in 1922 which could print any ticket from a plain paper roll. He set up Setright Registers Ltd. to make them manufacture them. The company was in Eastway 1955- 1967 bit moved to Belfast in 1965
Cabinet Works
Shoe Factory
59 BOC Oxygen and Acetylene Gases.  On site until the mid-2000s
Lesney Matchbox Toy Factory – Lesney maintained a bus fleet on this part of their sites
Zinc Alloy Co Ltd. An associate company selling mainly to Lesney
Arena Field. Playing fields and wildlife area – now demolished for the Olympics

Hackney Marshes
The area once known as East Marsh. East Marsh is part of Hackney Marshes. On the east bank of the Old River Lea. These were once Lammas Lands purchased in 1894 for local people ‘in perpetuity’. The grassland of East Marsh is laid out for football in the winter, cricket and athletics in the summer and is used by local amateurs and schools. Gulls move in once the footballers have gone. Trees, were planted when the Marshes came into public ownership in 1894, including three black poplars.

Homerton Road
Wick Community Woodland. In 1894 when the marsh came into public ownership this was planted with trees. Up until 1990 it was used for football but has since become wooded.
St.Theresa’s Close.  Travellers' site to which families have been relocated when their previous sites were destroyed for the Olympics

Old River Lea
Along its length by East Marsh, the Old River Lea is tidal and sometimes floods
After the Second World War, rubble from bombed out buildings was dumped on Hackney Marshes. Some of the resulting rubble can be seen along the banks of the River.
The White House Pub was at Lea Fishery up river from the Ruckholt Road/Temple Mill Lane Bridge. This pub was in Clapton although it was east of the Lea.  It was there in 1745– at a time before the River Lea became polluted.   Dick Turpin is said to have stayed there. It was owned by the Beresford family in the 19th and was a Beskin's of Watford’s house. In 1911 it lost its licence because of late-night drinking and was demolished in 1913.
White House Fishery. This was a subscription fishery very popular in the early 19th. . Izaak Walton in the ‘Compleat Angler’ praised its quality as a river for fishing. There are records of trout, barbel, chub, bream and a monster 221b 7oz freshwater eel.
Tyler’s Ferry. Near the White House – and also at one time called ‘Pank’s Ferry’.

Quartermile Lane
This road is now vanished under the Olympic site
Lee Valley Sports Centre. This included a multi-sports hall with badminton, basketball, trampolining and a squash court complex. There was also a gym and health suite with sauna, jacuzzi and steam rooms. There was also a memorial to the young men of Hackney killed in the Second World War. Demolished for the Olympics
Lee Valley Cycle Circuit.  A purpose built 1 mile road circuit for casual and competitive cycling and skating in a safe environment. There were also mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross courses. Demolished for the Olympics
Site of the West Ham Tip

Ruckholt Road
Leyton and Essex County Council built the road
A row of 24 ash trees thought to be unique to this area
White Hart field. Triangular area of Hackney Marsh on the south side of the road. Landscaped and planted when the A12 was built – but now under the Olympic park.

Sherrin Road
New Spitalfields Market. Built on part of the site of the marshalling yard and the Wagon Works. Designed by EPR in 1987-91 it is a steel-framed market hall with internal roadways, for the fruit and vegetable market which moved here from Spitalfields where it had been set up under a Royal Charter granted in 1682 and managed by the City of London. It is said to be Europe's leading horticultural market specialising in exotic fruit and vegetables.

Temple Mill Lane
The mills here were called ‘temple’ as having belonged to the Knights Templar. Between 1185 and 1287, they built a water mill here and a second mill in 1208 on the opposite side of the stream. The estate was appropriated by the Crown at the Reformation. Further mills were constructed at in the 16th and 17th. During the 17th and 18th these mills were used for grinding seed for oil, processing leather, brass and manufacturing sheet lead as well as calico and dyeworks. This collection of industries was known as Temple Mills. Gunpowder production at the mills led to a tragedy on the night before Easter 1690, with two of the mills, three stone houses, and a vast quantity of gunpowder blew up.  A Peter Pain killed in this incident may have been an ancestor of the Pain Firework making dynasty.   In 1834 their lease was transferred to the East London Water Co. The mills were finally demolished in the mid 1850s
Temple Mills cottages were alongside the mills, probably 18th and demolished in the 1950s.
White Hart pub. The pub is known to have been there in 1513 but had been rebuilt at least once. Until the 19th there was a toll bar outside charging for horses to pass through. There was alas a pollarded poplar with a platform on it. It Demolished in the 1990s but closed much earlier than that.
Cycle speedway track south of the pub.  In 1950 this was used by Whipps Cross Comets. The Club disbanded in 1971, with Newham Hammers taking over the track next
Pictures on the brick wall round the sports ground used by Leyton Orient B team. Twenty pictures of sports in the gaps formed by the vertical metal bars.

Waterden Crescent
Travellers site cleared for the Olympics

Waterden Road
Morris and Weekes Fields. Areas of common land now under the Olympic development
Hackney Stadium. This was opened in 1932 and used for dog racing and later speedway. Said to be ‘the finest’ dog track in Britain. It was used by a series of speedway race teams and the British Grand Prix was held there in the 1990s. In 1994 it was refurbished and renamed but in 1997 closed. The site was used as a bus park and for a horrific boot sale area.  It has now been demolished for the Olympic site.
Clarinco Confectionary works. Opened there in 1955 and moved, as Trebor Sharps, in 1975.  They were the largest confectionary manufacturer in Britain. A war memorial plaque was given to Newham Museums.
57 Kingsway International Christian Centre. Miracle centre opened in 1998 in disused warehouse became the largest church in Western Europe, where they had opened a magnificent auditorium. Demolished for the Olympics

Waterworks River
The Waterworks River has had a number of names. North of Temple Mills it has been known as the Temple Mills Stream or the Shire Stream, or the Lead Mills River. It branched from the east bank of the Old River Lea south of the rail depot. The stream ran along the edge of East Marsh but here the only sign of the stream is a sluice gate opening on to the Old River Lea. It was so important that it was the boundary between Hackney and Waltham Forest.
Tumbling Bay Stream – probably a weir channel to allow water from the Temple Mills Stream to bypass eastern Mill

City of London Corporation web site
Clarke. Ancient Hackney and Stoke Newington
Clays Lane Housing Co-op Wikipedia web site
Clubplan web site
GLIAS Newsletter
Gunpowder Mills Study Group Newsletter
Make the Most of the Lea Valley leaflet
Museum of London web site
Lost pubs web site
Pevsner and Cherry. London North
Victoria County History


Goldbart said…
Hello, I'm a direct descendant of the Goldbart Brothers, and while searching for the coat business, I came across this post. Thanks for the help! So sad to see the building's gone, but it was so damaged in the war it never really bounced back, I guess. Thank you!

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