Gospel Oak to Barking Railway. Forest Gate

Gospel Oak to Barking Railway. Forest Gate
The Gospel Oak to Barking Railway running from Leytonstone High Road goes south east to Wanstead Park Station and thenceforth eastwards

The Great Eastern Railway to Ilford runs north eastwards from Maryland Station, through Forest Gate Station and beyond.

Post to the north Wanstead Flats
Post to the east Manor Park
Post to the west Cann Hall
Post to the south Upton

Bignold Road
Bignold Hall. This began in the 1870s with an iron room.  In 1881 a hall was built in the corner with Station Road and this became the largest Brethren's meeting in West Ham. In the Second World War it was bombed, and a new hall was opened in 1958. It appears now to  be used by a variety of organisations many of them Christian.

Capel Road
Joseph Fry drinking fountain. This is near the corner with Centre Road. Joseph Fry was the son of Elizabeth Fry and  arranged provision of drinking fountains for people and horses.

Chapter Road
This road, which ran diagonally between Forest Road and Forest Street, now seems to be under the school buildings
Congregational Church. In 1856 a building to replace that in Forest Lane was erected here. In 1884–8 it was replaced by a new church, in Sebert Road. It was kept but sold in 1930. 

Chestnut Avenue
In the 19th the north end of the road was called ‘Chestnut Walk’ and led to an estate fronting onto what is now Capel Road.
20-24 Brettells. Wood turners. This specialist family business began in Haggerston in the 1820s and moved to this site in 1980

Cranmer Road
Godwin Primary School. Godwin Road board school was opened in 1885 and reorganised in 1945 for juniors and infants

Dames Road
98 Church of God. A Small plain brick building constructed in 1894-5 for Christian Israelites repaired after war damage, 1952, with further work in 2002. It had originated about 1884, when a Christian Israelite began preaching on Wanstead Flats. One of his followers, Robert Rosier left to the Branch Society of Christian Israelites houses and land, here where the church was erected. In 1959 the Society of Christian Israelites sought to affiliate the church, but it refused to accept their doctrines, and in 1962 took on the name of Church of God (Forest Gate)
Forest Glen pub. Closed 2010

Earlham Grove
93-95 West Ham Synagogue Communal Hall. Built in 1927-8 by Bertie Crewe, the theatre specialist. It had a Star of David window. West Ham Hebrew Congregation was founded in 1897 and  became known as West Ham Associate Synagogue in 1907, when it became an Associate member of the United Synagogue. In 1927, it was renamed West Ham District Synagogue and merged with Upton Park In 1972. It closed in 2004. The site is now flats.
Synagogue. This was a Romanesque building from in 1911 by Bertie Crowe. It was behind the hall but was burnt down in 1984. Crewe had designed a number of London theatres for the Abrahams family who were noted on the foundation stone.
Church of the Holy Carpenter. Built on the front lawn of Durning Hall in 1963,
Durning Hall Community Centre. Complex built 1957-64 by Shingler & Risdon Associates.  This is owned by the Aston Charities Trust (ACT) set up following charitable work of the Durning, Smith and Lawrence families, in the East End. The first Durning Hall which was built as a community resource for the Limehouse area in 1884. In 1948, it was hope to build a new Durning Hall and ACT took over the site of a bombed cinema and shops in Woodgrange Road and the hall opened in 1959. In 1964, ACT opened a hostel here through an early Housing Association. The building has the church at the front and the hall and residential block set behind at right angles.  There is an Aston Charities coat of arms on the gable end and a tiled mural on the front of the community centre.
175 Church of the Cherubim and Seraphim. The Holy Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church has its UK headquarters here. It dates from the 1970s and is one of the earliest African congregations to settle in Newham. The building used is Earlham Hall built in front of the music college in 1897.  It was used for musical events.
175 Rev John Curwen was a congregational minister in Plaistow. He became interested in the musical work of Sarah Glover and based on her work, developed the Tonic Sol-Fa system and set up a press in Plaistow in 1863 to publish literature and music. In 1864 he opened the Tonic Sol-Fa College here and this was later taken on by his son. In 1890 the College moved to Finsbury and this became the Forest Gate School of Music under Harding Bonner. In 1906 it was renamed the Metropolitan Academy of Music and by 1926 it was the largest music institution in the country.  It closed during the Second World War. The building still stands behind the church which now uses the hall but has been remodelled.
199 Royal Mail building.  There is a war memorial in the sorting hall saying “In memory of those who fought in the First and Second World Wars” and “In memory of our gallant comrades who fell in the Great War. 1939-1945  "Their memory long will live."

Field Road
95 this site was a food factory until the 1950s.
70 Camden Arms. Demolished in 2008 and now replaced by flats but a Watney pub sign remains free standing outside
62 Healing Church of God in Christ
Methodist Church. This began in 1861 and school chapel was built and then a large church in 1870. It was renovated in 1930. The congregation finally united with that of Woodgrange Road in 1956 and four other local societies. Scruffy flats now on the site.

Forest Lane
Forest Gate British School was founded around 1830 by Jabez Legg, as part of the original Congregational church which then stood on the corner with Woodgrange Road, the position occupied by the original Congregational church. It was taken over by the school board in 1872.
Congregational Church. In 1831 Jabez Legg, and William Strange, built a chapel at their own expense on the corner with Woodgrange Road. 1856 a larger building was erected in Chapter Street. The chapel in Forest Lane, was sold but was a glass-works in 1965
173 The Forest Tavern. This was The Railway Tavern
178 Fox and Hounds pub
Forest Gate Cinema was opened in 1912 designed by J. Groom & P.J. Groom. By 1922 it was called Forest Lane Cinema. IT closed in 1932 and re-opened as the Splendid Cinema. It was closed in 1939, and demolished.  The site is now under the school
Clock. This is on a traffic island at the junction with Woodgrange Road. It is combined with a drinking fountain and a Horse & cattle trough. There are also two rectangular stone mounting blocks. This was originally set up in the middle of the market.
Railway footbridge. There is a series of decorative panels on the footbridge over the railway from
Norwich Road

Forest Street
Forest Gate Community School. This is a co-operative sponsored academy on the site of what was Whitehall School. It was previously a comprehensive school which had itself been a secondary modern school. There are murals around the play area showing London skyline
Whitehall School. This opened in 1896 and was reorganized in 1926 for mixed seniors and mixed juniors. in 1945 it became Forest Gate mixed secondary modern school. In 1965 it was transferred to new buildings as Forest Gate high school after the site had been redeveloped. In the 1920s and 1930s the Shakespeare day-continuation institute used part of the site
Shakespeare Institute. In 1921 West Ham Council introduced compulsory attendance at day-continuation institutes, including Shakespeare  which was based in Green Street, The Shakespeare later moved to Whitehall Place school and closed in 1936.

Macdonald Road
St Saviour’s Church. Built in 1904 by F. Danby Smith. What is here is the hall to a now-demolished church.  It is an original building Arts and Crafts building. This was built next to the church. Along with a vicarage.
St. Saviour's Church was on the corner with Station Road. It had begun as a as a mission of Emmanuel, Forest Gate in 1880 and an iron building erected in Macdonald Road. In 1884 a permanent church was built to the designs of Edwin Clare. In 1944 the church was damaged by bombing and closed and not reopened until 1949.  It was however demolished in 1977 and flats built on the site

Odessa Road
Leggs Almshouses. Jabez Legg built three cottages, known as Forest Gate Retreat, - as homes for his retired family female servants. Three more cottages were added in 1863.  After Legg's death, aged his family offered accommodation to needy, usually local, women.  The Legg Charitable Trust merged in 1939 with a similar organisation, in Wimbledon. This subsequently joined Pathways - a not-for-profit organisation dealing mainly with sheltered housing projects, in 2012
Odessa Road Primary School. West Ham School Board was set up in 1871 and within three years a Board School was built in Odessa Road. In 1945 the school was reorganised, for mixed juniors and infants.
181 two cast iron notices on the side of the house, he lower one sayes: W.H.P. BOUNDARY IS NINE FEET N.W. OF THIS HOUSE
Odessa Road Open Space. This is playing fields with play equipment and sports pitches.

Post Office Approach
1 Donald Hunter House. Built as Telephone House, a nine storey building for Post Office office use in 1958. It was previously the site of Forest Gate post office and of massive Second World War bombing. It was converted from offices in 2001 by the Peabody Trust and reclad with pink panels and a wavy-roofed single-storey block in front.  It is now student accommodation managed by the Unite Students Foundation. Donald Hunter was a doctor specializing in industrial medicine who was born locally. The ground floor is used for shops and other facilities

Romford Road
350-360- Police Station. This was built in 1992 by Property Services Department of the Met. Huge corner building.
342 Simpsons. Pub. This was previously the Freemasons Arms and is now closed
329 The Princess Alice, by Donald Hamilton, Wakeford & Partners built in. 1951 to replace an earlier pub destroyed by bombing.  Sadly it was named after the disaster of the Princess Alice’s sinking. It has a curved brickwork facade and is seen as being in Festival of Britain style. In 2007 it was renamed The Monastery and has since been closed.
328 Imamia Mission. Shia Mosque and Bab ul Ilm School
Emmanuel Church.  Built for the suburb between East and West Ham in 1850-2 by George Gilbert Scott. It is in ragstone, with a timber steeple. It was subdivided in 1980 with a suspended ceiling. 
Churchyard.  This is surrounded by plain cast iron railings and Tombs are set among grass with some mature trees including lime and sycamore.
333 Destiny Apostolic Church International.  Is this in the Emmanuel Institute?
Emmanuel Institute. Built in 1882 by Habershon & McDonall opposite the church, a library and reading room although these were never built. The building was sold in 1982
306 Barclays Bank. Modern building replacing a grand and gothic predecessor.
302 The Queen’s Cinema opened in 1913 designed by architect W.R. Jackson. It was operated by Forest Gate Estates Ltd. In 1926 it was taken over by Abraham’s Super Suburban Cinemas, who closed it in May 1928 and it reopened in with changes by Leathart & Granger. It was re-named the New Queen’s Cinema and could stage variety shows. It had a Christie 2Manual theatre organ. In 1929 it was taken over by Associated British Cinemas but in 1941 it had a direct hit from a German parachute mine and was destroyed beyond repair, the organ was salvaged and used in the Regal, Halifax.  It was replaced with shops and offices.
300 Natwest Bank was built as the London and County Bank in 1900, by Zephaniah King and Co.  It is in buff lime stone with classical motifs to convey a feeling of stability and probity. The bank’s insignia is on the front. It is the sole survivor of the late Victorian development here.
292-296 Minhaj-Al-Quran Mosque and Cultural Centre., Minhaj-ul-Quran is a broad-based Islamic organisation representing a moderate vision of Islam, working for peace and integration. Its first British base was this building. The organisation promotes education of classical Islam and modern Islam. The building was an Odeon Art Deco styled cinema by Andrew Mother which opened in 1937 and survived wartime bombing although damaged. It was operated by Oscar Deutsch’s Odeon Theatres Ltd. Chain but is unlike other Odeons of that date.  Brick with grey ashlar facing. Some of the original decoration, including a figure of Pan, have been removed and destroyed. It was closed by the Rank Organisation in 1975 and converted into a snooker club. That closed in 1994.
Woodgrange Baptist Church. This began about 1880, with services in a hut lent by the builder of the Woodgrange estate. In 1882 a church was built with J. H. French as pastor. In 1899 the Richmond hall was built behind the church and later renamed the French Memorial Hall. French, was president of the London Baptist Association . The buildings were damaged by bombing in the Second World War but were repaired

Sebert Road
West Ham Hall, a large house that stood on the site now occupied by Woodgrange School. This was earlier called Hamfrith Farm and its fields were the site of what is the Godwin and Sebert Road Estate and Manor Park Cemetery. In 1787 it belonged to John Greenhill who built Hamfrith House here about 1800. In about 1890 it was bought by the Tottenham & Forest Gate Junction Railway, who sold it to West Ham School Board who demolished the house, some time after 1893. In 1966 the site was a depot belonging to Newham Council. It was then used as the site for Woodgrange Primary school in 1986. The gates to the house remain as the gates to the school.
Woodgrange Infants School. Built in 1970
Congregational Church. Built 1884 by Francis J. Sturdy in brick.   It has two octagonal towers, one with a dome. It has a grand interior with galleries on three sides, on iron columns. The church orignated in 1825 in a chapel in Forest Lane and later in Chapter Street. In the 1880s William Skinner built a new church here for what was then a new housing estate. It is now in use by other churches - Has since been Miracle Ministry Mission and is now AEC4UK – A Radical Church.

Station Road
Field Point. Local authority tower block.
147 Field Community Centre. Providing a range of activities.
16 Earl of Derby. closed and now a nursery and flats. Saved from demolition pre-1980.

Wanstead Flats
This is shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1883, but on the 1805 map it is called Epping Forest. Thus the area is the southern-most portion of Epping Forest and often called Lower Forest. Some of the southern sections are in West Ham and have been managed, by them since 1894
Bandstand Pond.  Originally called Angel Pond after Lewis Angell surveyor and engineer who planned it.  In the early 20th century there were paddle boats for children,
Near the pond is a circle of trees where the bandstand stood which was used for open air concerts. 

Woodford Road
1 Forest Gate Learning Zone and Adult Education Centre
1 Forest Gate Youth Centre

Woodgrange Road
Forest Gate gets its name from a put up in the 17th century to stop straying from Wanstead Flats. It is first mentioned in 1693. In 1851 the Lord of Woodgrange Manor erected a new five-bar gate cross Woodgrange Road. and this was there until about 1883. It was situated near the Eagle & Child pub. The area was part of ‘Hamforth Wood’ until 1700. 
Woodgrange Farm was recorded in 1189 as a holding of the Cistercian Abbey at Stratford. It was leased out to tenant farmers until the dissolution in 1538.  It stood on the west side of the road. It and its land were developed by Thomas and Cameron Corbett between 1877 and 1892. They built 1,160 good quality houses of four to six bedrooms, many with attached servant’s quarters for city business men, and professionals.
4-20 The Library and Local Service Centre is at The Gate and is a multi-purpose community facility where people can access a range of library and council services. The building was opened in 2003 and replaced the older library further along Woodgrange Road. It is now in the ground floor of Donald Hunter House
13 Kings Cinema. This was designed by J. Baker and Co., as the Forest Gate Public Hall and opened in 1902. It was set back from the road and it included inside stage facilities and a ballroom. In 1907 it was renamed Grand Theatre, in 1908 the People’s Picture Palace and in 1910 the Public Hall. It Closed in 1920, and re-opened as the Grand Cinema.  Operated by London & Provincial Cinemas Ltd. It closed in 1932 until 1935 and again until 1937, when it re-opened as the King’s Cinema. This closed in around 1940. It was later used as a roller skating rink, a clothing factory, a nightclub and an electrical store until 2000. The building was demolished in 2005.
Wanstead Park Station. This opened in 1894 and now lies between Woodgrange Park and Leytonstone High Road stations. It was built by the Tottenham & Forest Gate railway and the line runs on a brick viaduct through Forest Gate about which there were lots of protests. Before opening it was known as Forest Gate Station. There was no goods yard.  The original platform buildings were removed in 1970 and brick shelters built. At the same time the booking office was replaced by a portacabin.  Later access was proved from Woodgrange Road instead of Station Approach.
Signal Box. This dated from the opening of the line and closed in 1965.
14-39 shops built in the late 1890s on the site of the Pawnbrokers' Almshouses built in 1847 by the Pawnbrokers Charitable Institution. They were in 'Elizabethan' style set back behind landscaped gardens.
55 the Forest Gate Electric Theatre opened in 1910 designed by G.J. Valentine. It was re-named Imperial Playhouse and owned by Smithers & Spindler. In 1922 it was taken over by London and Provincial Cinemas Ltd.  It closed for alterations in 1932 by Gledhall & Wigmore and it re-opened in 1935 as the Regal Cinema, operated by Abraham’s Suburban Cinemas Ltd.  It closed in 1938 and re-opened as Rio Cinema.   It was closed in early-1944.The building has been demolished and there are new shops on the site.
59 was one of the shops bought up as part of Durning Hall but used by them until the hall was built. It was used by the Busby Scouts add remained a scout shop for some years
79 Congregational chapel. In 1831 Legg and William Strange built a chapel in Woodgrange Road near its junction with Forest Lane. The Kings Hall Cinema opened in 1910 in a building of the Forest Gate British School. It closed in 1914. The building was occupied by W.J. Biles glaziers in the 1990’s. In 2009, it is a discount shop called Pound Plaza.
112 Eagle and Child. The pub dated from the 1740s and is shown on the Roque plan, and at the entrance to “The Lower Forest” on the Chapman and Andres map of 1777 but had been rebuilt 1896. On the ground floor fa├žade are five, carved wooden reliefs of drinkers, musicians, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.  It is thought thse date from the 1920s. The name comes from the storey that Sir Thomas Latham, who had no natural heir, adopted a baby boy that was found on his estate under a tree guarded by an eagle. The child inherited the estate and his daughter married into the Stanley family who became the Earls of Derby and the eagle and child are on their coat of arms. The pub and a neighbouring print works have been converted to Raymond Chadburn flats, with a pharmacy on the ground floor.
A gate with a toll-house was built across the Road close to the pub.
121 Lord Lister Health centre
176 Gatsby pub, Short lived pub, also known as Mickey Finns. It closed in 1993
Compass points in the pavement on the corner of Sebert and Woodgrange Roads. This is a circle 14 /metres in diameter. It is surrounded by four seats and has a large cross in the centre whose arms point to the cardinal points.
The Bijou Theatre was opened before to 1908 and was part of Gales Bioscope Theatres chain. It was closed by the local council in February 1909, because of safety concerns.
Forest Gate Station. Opened in 1854 on the line to Tilbury it now lies bBetween Manor Park and Maryland. It was opened by the Eastern Counties Railway. The original entrance was in Forest Lane but from 1870 it was in Woodgrange Road. Soon after platforms were lengthened and siding provided for terminating trains.  It was then rebuilt in the early 1890s.
Florist’s kiosk in front of Forest Gate Station. The dome was a feature of the railway station, but was removed when the station was Therefurbished. It was originally on the corner of the main building.
Market Place – these words are above the shops on the corner with Sebert Road. This is the site of the old local market.
Forest Gate Methodist Church and Hall.  The church began in 1878 when the Stratford circuit built an iron church here. In 1881-2 a permanent church was built but this was bombed in the Second World War. In 1956 a dual purpose hall was built on the Woodgrange and in 1962 a new church was built by Paul Mauger to show his ideas that Methodist churches should be more explicitly community minded. It replaced a large church of 1890. The hall opened in 1956.  The church is simple, with a  sculpture "The Preacher', modelled in 'Pericrete' by Peter Peri. It is held in this position because it is counterbalanced by the church organ. There is also a foundation stone with the five local uniting societies involved named
Drinking fountain in granite, donated by A.C. Corbett in 1890 who developed the Woodgrange Estate.  In the centre is a cast-iron column supporting a clock, by James Rowly and Parkes Co. of Clerkenwell.
Emmanuel (later St. Saviour's) National school, was built in 1853 on a site, given by Samuel Gurney, at the corner  with Forest Street.. it was closed in 1894.

AIM. Web site
Brettells. Web site
British History On line. West Ham. Web site
Cinema Theatres Association Newsletter
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Connor. Liverpool Street to Ilford
Connor. St.Pancras to Barking
East London Old and New
Exploring East London. Web site
Field. London Place Names
London Borough of Newham. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
Newham Story. Web site
Victoria County History. West Ham
Wanstead Wildlife. Web site


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