Great Eastern Raillway Liverpool Street to Ilford. Three Colt Lane

Great Eastern railway from Liverpool Street to Ilford
The Great Eastern Railway runs north eastwards from Bishopsgate

The Great Eastern Railway line to Chingford diverges northwards from the main line at the junction here.

Post to the west Mile End New Town
Post to the east Mile End
Post to the north Bethnal Green
Post to the south Whitechapel

Brady Street

Brady Street was originally Ducking Pond Lane.
37 Jews' Cemetery. This was a brickfield leased for burials by the New Synagogue in 1761 for 12 guineas a year, but subsequently used by the Great Synagogue too. It is a large walled enclosure, founded by the Ashkenazi community and crowded with 19th monuments, Buried there are several members of the Rothschild family, including Nathan Meyer Rothschild in 1836. Also buried is Miriam Levey, who opened the first soup kitchen in Whitechapel and Solomon Hirschel, Chief Rabbi 1802-1842. Changes in ground level reflect the requirements of rabbinical law. When the cemetery was full in the 1790's a four-foot thick layer of earth was put over part of the site to use it for further burials, leaving a flat-topped mound. Because of the two layers, headstones are placed back to back.   A hummocky area was used for those who did not belong to a particular congregation and was known as the Strangers Ground.  Although it was closed as a cemetery in 1858, the gardens are well maintained
Mocatta House. Tenement block by Joseph & Smithem for the Four Per Cent Industrial Dwellings Co., built in 1905. The entrance has tapered-stone buttresses with a motif, and Art Nouveau ironwork. It was built on the site of a Jewish almshouses;
180 Yorkshire Grey later called JJs Free House. Said to be on the site of 18th coaching inn.  Wooden beamed house.  Closed 1998, became flats, now demolished.
Buckhurst Street
Vicarage. The site was acquired by the church in 1841 and is now flats.
Collingwood Sure Start Centre. Built 2006
St Bartholomew’s Gardens. This was converted to a public garden by the Metropolitan Parks and Gardens Association and opened in 1885 by Princess Louise. It was laid out to the designs of Fanny Wilkinson, landscape gardener to the MPGA. Within two years later the paths needed to be asphalted because of the heavy use. The Gardens were maintained by the London County Council, and extended to the south in 1973. There is an obelisk to Tanner Lucas, 1840, but otherwise no gravestones remain. The garden is largely grass with perimeter planting and there is a children’s playground.  St Bartholomew's Path divides the ex church and the gardens, and some original 19th railings remain.

Collingwood Estate
Estate built from 1923 in an early interwar slum clearances programme by the London County Council under its Chief Architect, G. Topham Forrest, whose designs continues until 1939. The first block opened in 1923 and the estate was complete by 1930.

Coventry Road
This was Suffolk Street until at least 1877
St Bartholomew‘s Church. Built 1843-4 by William Railton. Gutted in the Second World War bombing but restored and reopened in 1955. In 1971 the parish united with St. John and St. Simon Zelotes. In 1983 the church was closed and under the Church Commission Scheme became residential. It was converted to flats in the 1993, as Steeple Court.
83 Vicar of Wakefield Pub. This was here in the 1870s and remained until the Second World War. Since demolished.
St. Bartholomew's Church of England Schools.  These were founded as a Sunday and day school   in 1841. The school was built in 1842 with Parliamentary and National Society grants.  They were passed to the National Society in 1844. In 1852 they were attended by children of artisans who paid 2d.–4d. A week to be taught book keeping, history, geography, and English and 'crammed to suffocation', children of lower classes paid 1d.–2d.  There was a teachers' house with a single-storey Board school and another building for girls and infants. A new elementary school was built to the north in 1853 and enlarged in 1858. It was offered to the School Board for London in 1874 but continued as a voluntary school. Both schools were bombed in the Second World War and not reopened

Cudworth Street
Businesses in railway arches along the north side of the street. Many of them connected to the London taxi trade.

Darling Row
Follows the line of a track to one of the farms that occupied the land in the 18th
Grindall House. Built 1949 and utilitarian but angled slightly to follow the line of the street. A post Second World War addition to the core of the estate
Collingwood House like Grindall

Granary Road
The road is built between the Jewish Burial Ground and the rail line which once went to the Spitalfields coal drops at Whitechapel.

Selby Street
This was the approach road to the Spitalfields Coal Drop area from Vallance Road

Somerford Street
Stewart Headlam Primary School. The building was designed by E. R. Robson and opened in 1881 as Somerford Street Board School. The First London County Council day nursery was opened here in 1917.  It was renamed Stewart Headlam School in 1925. After the Second World War it was reorganised as a junior and infant school and also absorbed Wilmot Primary School in 1955/8. The building it makes maximum use of the tight site with a roof playground with characterful iron railings. Stewart Headlam, Christian Socialist and Radical Anglican, was curate at local St. Matthews Church in the 19th.
Ashington House. Built by Noel Moffett Associates in 1970-4 for the Greater London Council. They tried to meet the need for high-density housing and at the same time provide some character. There is an unusually high degree of privacy plus roof gardens.
46-48 were intended as flat-roofed houses for disabled tenants, with hexagonal units with wide angles for increased mobility.
Orion House. By the Greater London Council’s Architect Department 1964-70 with a ten-storey slab on piloti.

Tapp Street
Lion Pub. The Lion was a Truman's house dating from the 1870s closed and converted into housing in 2002. There is still a Truman's sign notice board on the north side of the building. In the 1960s it was known as the Widow's as it was run by the widow of the previous licensee and it had connections to the Kray family. It is said that the pub was a ‘no-go’ area for the police and in 1966 it was thought there was a weapons store there. The Krays raided Mr Smith’s club in Catford because they thought the Richardson gang were coming to the Lion, and a Kray gang member was killed as a result. Ronnie Kray was at the Lion when he heard that Richardson member George Cornell was in the Blind Beggar - and he left to get revenge.
Bethnal Green Station. The now demolished station entrance was at the corner with Three Colts Lane.
East Junction – this is the point at which the line to Hackney Downs diverges from the main Great Eastern Line

Three Colts Lane
Bethnal Green Station.  Opened in 1872 it now lies between Cambridge Heath and Liverpool Street Stations. It was built by the Great Eastern Railway and was the first station out of Liverpool Street. It is there because a junction was being built for a line to Hackney Downs and this was to be the junction station with two side platforms and a central island.  A complex of sidings on the south west of the lines was part of the lines which served the Spitalfields depot. A station was planned at Bethnal Green on the Central Line under the New Works programme of the 1930s and this was implemented in 1946. Thus from 1946 Stratford line services stopped calling here and the up suburban platform was closed.  A stone drinking fountain in the middle of the platform was there until the 1960s. The station was rebuilt in 1985 with two platforms and all old buildings removed. There is a small waiting room on the down side.
Bethnal Green West Signal box dates from 1891 and was taken out of use in 1947 and removed.
Bethnal Green signal box. This was a box put in 1949 at the time of the electrification to Shenfield. It closed in 1989 and was demolished in 1997.
Waterlow Buildings. There is a plaque on the buildings on the Three Colt Lane frontage. The Improved Industrial Dwellings Company Ltd. was set up by Sir Sydney Waterlow in 1863. They were designed by builder Matthew Allen.  Bethnal Green's Waterlow Estate was built between 1869  1890 and flats are along Ainsley, Wilmot and Corfield Streets. This block includes ground-floor shops: an uncommon feature only repeated again once in the Company's estates. The estate was sold off and partly demolished in the 1980s.
The Good Shepherd Mission.  In 1856, A Sunday School resulting from a closure in another church became known as ‘The Good Shepherd School’. New school was built in Mape Street in 1866, and a day school was opened. The Mape Street School was compulsorily purchased by The Great Eastern Railway and a new school built in Three Colts Lane in 1872. In 1873 the day school was transferred to the School Board for London. The building was later extended and amalgamated with King Edward Institution, George Yard Mission, and Darby Street Mission. In the Second World War the Mission provided temporary shelter and supervised large air raid shelters in the area. In 1980 a team of volunteers, opened a youth club, which was followed soon after by a girls club and a junior club. A new registered charity was set up ’The Good Shepherd Mission’, in 1995 and a Church Leadership Team was formed in 1997. The Mission runs a programme of early years activities, a children’s club, youth clubs for boys and girls as well as with vulnerable adults, and this includes a winter night shelter
Greenheath Business area. This was the site of the Allen and Hanbury Works while retaining their office at Plough Court in the City. This dated to 1878 when part of what was then Letchford’s Buildings was leased and used for purifying cod liver oil. Adjacent buildings were also leased so More and more departments moved to this site, printing, publicity and surgical instrument manufacture – up to and including operating tables... A research department produced their later very successful milk foods – but these were eventually made in Ware, as too were lozenges from the 1920s.  Manufacture of Battleys Solution of Opium was moved here and in the early 1920s a large new factory was built to replace buildings lost in Great War air raids. Here specialist laboratories made insulin and similar products in sterile conditions - The factory produced a vast selection of drugs and pharmaceuticals – syrups, lozenges, specialist foods, pastilles, and tinctures, pills, tablets, in 1958 the firm was taken over by Glaxo and the whole operation moved to Ware and newer plant. Where they still and as SmithKlineGlaxo a major world pharmaceutical company.
29 Duke of Wellington. This pub dates from the early 19th and until at least 1851 was called the Lord Wellington. It closed before 1983 and was demolished in 2010.
Letchford’s Buildings.  This had been built as a match factory in Camden’s Gardens. R.Letchford made ‘wax vestas’ matches and paraffin matches in the 1860s.A major explosion in the early 1860s killed several workers and damaged the factory.  Despite this Letchfords said that their matches ignited only on the box, and never failed
Sanitas factory in the 1890s. One of the building taken over by Allan and Hanburys and used as their surgical instrument factory.
Rucker bicycle factory. In 6 Letchford's Buildings. 1881 – 1885. 1884 The Company introduced what may have been the first tandem cycle that bears resemblance to today’s tandem bicycles, be that the two wheels were much larger, being 56” in diameter. Although they sold ordinaries and tricycles as well.

Wilmott Street
Sydney Waterlow's Improved Industrial Dwellings Co.  Built in 1870.  Some are grander than others and possibly designed for better-off artisans.
Hague Primary School. The school here was opened in 1873 as Wilmot Street Board School in a building designed by Giles & Gough on a site bought from the Industrial Dwellings Co. It was damaged by rioting in 1877. It was reorganised in 1930 and became a secondary school. After the Second World War it was reorganised again as primary and secondary girls’ school. In 1955 the primary school amalgamated with Stewart Headlam School and the school was closed in 1965. The building was then used by Hague Primary School which had originally opened in 1883 in the building now used by the Drapers’ City Foyer.

British History online. Bethnal Green. Web site
CAMRA City and East London Beer Guide
Clarke. Glimpses of Ancient Hackney and Stoke Newington
Closed Pubs. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London

Connor. Liverpool Street to Chingford
Connor. Liverpool Street to Ilford.
East London History Society. Newsletter
GLIAS Newsletter
Good Shepherd Mission. Web site
Grace’s Guide. Web site
Great Eastern Railway Journal special; summer 1989
International Jewish Cemetery Project. Web site.
London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Web site
London Gardens Online. Web site
London Enyclopdiea
Nairn.  Nairn’s London
Pevsner and Cherry. East London
Crips. Plough Court
Robins. North London Railway
TBIAGC A Survey of Industrial Monuments of Greater London
The Green


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