Great Eastern Railway to Ilford - Mile End

Great Eastern Railway Line to Ilford
The Great Eastern Railway Line from Bethnal Green Station runs north eastwards

Post to the west Mile End
Post to the north Roman Road Bow
Post to the east Bromley By Bow
Post to the south Stepney

Benworth Street
Flats with a plaque for Poplar Borough Council 1932.

Bow Road
2a St.Clement’s Hospital. This was opened in 1849 by the Board of Guardians as the City of London Union Workhouse and became the Infirmary in 1874.  The design was by Richard Tress and included central heating, a dining- hall, Siberian marble pillars, and a chapel with stained glass windows and an organ. In 1911 it was renamed the Bow Infirmary for the long-term sick  and in 1936 renamed St Clement's Hospital. It was badly damaged by Second World War bombing and some buildings including the chapel were destroyed. It reopened in 1948 and a psychiatric wing was added in 1949. The earliest buildings are these facing Bow Road standing behind a wall. There is a tower over a two-storey block housing offices and a Board Room. On either side were the receiving wards. The boundary wall was added 1896 by Francis Hammond, Architect to the City of London Guardians. It became part of the London Hospital in 1968 and went through various organsational changes until closure in 2005. Following its closure the site was transferred eventually to the Greater London Authority. In June 2012 it was announced that St Clements would become the United Kingdom's first urban Community Land Trust, working in partnership with Linden Homes and Peabody Housing.
Nurses Home of 1937 by London Country Council Architects Department in a Moderne style. Demolished
Workhouse Infirmary this is in a corner of the site in yellow brick with octagonal sanitation towers added 
8 Kings Head Pub. Demolished in the 1970s.
3-23 Coborn Terrace survivors of the earlier suburb set back behind gardens. The first three terraces were built in 1822 on the Morgan and Coborn estates by the Ratcliffe builder, William Marshall. 
Mile End Nursery. This was on the site of 26 and was owned by James Gordon in the 18th. The nursery specialized in rare trees raised from cuttings and seeds brought from many parts of the world.  The first ginko in Britain was raised here in the 1750s.  Gordon also raised important varieties of camellias here. Loudon described many important and unusual trees flourishing here in the 1850s when the nursery was owned by R. Thompson
24 East London Rope Works Ltd. This was to the back of the site and appears to have been present from the 1890s until the Second World War. The firm may have thereafter moved to Hoddesden.
24 David Napthall, cigar manufacturer and insurance agent. He was on the site in the 1920s
24- 26 site of the Convent of the Sisters of Marie Auxiliatrice, who ran St Mary's Home for Working Girls from 1913 to 1923. The convent was destroyed in the Second World War Blitz.
26 Wellington House. Since the Second World War a variety of organisations seem to have been based here and a garage structure has been built in front of what appears to be an older house.   One in particular was Petrolene Oils who in the 1950s were refining and selling Power Petroleum
28 site of the Doric College where deaconesses were trained for missionary nursing as part of the Regions Beyond Missions, supported by the Shaftesbury Society and Dr Grattan Guinness.
25-33 Central Foundation School for Girls.  The schools origins derive from charity schools set up in the 17th and 18th in the City. the Central Foundation Schools of London dated from 1891 and incorporated existing City schools and a new school was based in Spital Square, were, apart from during the Second World War, they remained eventually becoming a Voluntary Aided Grammar School under the 1944 Education Act. In 1975 the Girls’ Grammar School moved from Spital Square to Bow to take over the Coborn Girls’ Grammar School and the Coopers’ Boys Grammar School buildings. The building has a brick and Portland stone fa├žade and a stair tower. There is lettering about the school and a number of plaques. Inside is a lit galleried hall with an open roof and classrooms wrapping round. A Gymnasium was added by George Elkington & Son. And a Laboratory in 1957.
The Coopers' Company's School. In 1536 Nicholas Gibson, Prime Warden of the Grocers' Company 1536-7 and Sheriff of London 1538-9, founded a boys school in Ratcliff Highway and after his death this devolved to the Coopers Company. The school was rebuilt here in the late 18th and the East India Company became involved. In the 1878 the Coopers' Company Girls' School was opened in Mile End Road. Following queries from the Charity Commission the boys moved from Ratcliffe Highway to the Coborn buildings in Tredegar Square, and the two charities merged. In 1975 the school moved to Upminster.
32 Dr.Barnardo lived here 1875-79.  It later became the Servants Free Registry Office and Training Home for Girls, opened in 1884 by Syrie Barnardo, Dr. Barnardo’s wife. This was for girls over 14 in domestic service. It was partly financed from a gift by George Sturge and so was called Sturge House. By 1900, the home and registry had moved to Burdett Road. Mrs Barnardo personally supervised every aspect of their training and kept all the accounts.
35 Connections.  London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Youth employment centre.  In the 1970s this was Croda Agricultural Offices – one of the many sub-companies of Croda, Yorkshire based multi national chemical company.
41-7 Council Offices. This block was built 1938-9 for Spratt's dog biscuit manufacturers probably by Andrews & Gale. Spratts were here between 1939 and 1964 and there is a plaque on the building recording this with their doggie made out of letters logo.  It became the Tower Hamlets Planning office.
49 Phoenix School. Modern additions to the school in Harley Grove.
51 Harley College. Much of the college site is to the rear and in Harley Grove.In 1873 Henry and Fanny Harley started the East London Missionary Training Institute. The school trained 1330 missionaries for 30 societies of 30 denominations. In 1883, it moved to Derbyshire.
Memorial to George Lansbury. This is at the corner with Harley Grove.. The stone describes him as "A great servant of the people." He was elected to parliament in 1911, but resigned his seat on the "Votes For Women" issue and failed to be elected. He was twice Mayor of Poplar. In 1921the council refused to levy high rates on the poor and council members marched to court in a procession, led by the mace-bearer, and accompanied by a band and a banner. 30 councillors were sent to prison for contempt of court. Lansbury was later elected MP and was a Privy Counsellor. He was leader of the Labour Party 1931-35.
Cherrywood Close
Site of J T Davies Ltd rope works entered from Coburn Road.

Coburn Road
Was known as Cut Throat Lane before 1800 and marked the division between the Coborn and Morgan estates: and later the parish and borough boundaries.
63 Vicarage – this is actually for the Bishop of Stepney.
8 The Coborn Arms. Spacious, mid-terrace pub in a residential area.  The open-plan single room is split up by a large bar. Taken over by Youngs in 1984
30 plaque saying that this was Dr. Barnardo's first lodging in London. According to Tom Ridge, the actual house No 33. 30 was once headquarters of the China Inland Mission.
Old Ford Station This was opened in 1865. Built by the Great Eastern Railway on the East side of Coburn Road, half way up.  Opened as ‘Old Ford’ and in 1879 renamed ‘Coburn Road (Old Ford)’ and in 1883 resited along with the widening of the railway.
Coborn Road (Old Ford) Station. This was opened in 1883 as a resiting of the previous Coburn Road (Old Ford) station. The Entrance was on the east side of Grove Road and on the west side of Coburn Road.  It only served the local lines and there were not platforms on the through lines. It closed 1916-1919 and finally closed in 1946 – it was supposed to have been closed earlier but the delay to the Shenfield Electrification also delayed its closure.  In the 1990s a bricked up doorway in Coburn Road and parts of the down platforms were still in place.
Coborn Road Signal Box. This was on a gantry above the tracks and dated from 1884

Coburn Street
The Kirtland Centre. This is the old Postal Sorting Office built in 1912 by the Office of Works.  It currently houses a ‘free school’ owned by the Constable Education Trust.  The Kirkland Centre was part of Tower Hamlets Mencap Society,
Malmesbury Primary Schools. School Board for London school opened as Malmesbury Road School in 1912. Renamed Malmesbury School in 1951

Eric Street
Telephone Exchange by the Office of Works
Electrodrome Cinema. This opened in the 1910’s as Forrest’s Electrodrome and was taken over by Sydney Bernstein in 1920. It closed in 1940

Harley Grove
Harley Grove was the site of Harley House and Harley College where the Regions Beyond Missionary Union trained its missionaries for Africa and the Far East. Harley College also taught foreign languages. Deaconesses were trained as nurses for both local and missionary
Central Foundation Girls School. Harley Grove site. This part of the site was where Coborn School had been.  The main building is now new build from 1997 by Tower Hamlets Building Services in pale brick. It has a linear plan with a curved two-storey centre with a circular atrium inside. The former Coborn Girls School was the late 19th successor to a charity school founded at Bow. Coburn School was designed and built by George Elkinton the surveyor to Bermondsey vestry. The Central Foundation School moved here in 1975 from Spital Square, and took over the site when the Spitalfields when the Coopers' & Coborn Schools moved to Upminster. Lively and striking Neo-Jacobean.  Prisca Coborn (or Coburne) nee Forster, who inherited a fortune from her husband, Thomas Coborn, a wealthy brewer of Bow.
49 Phoenix School. Built 1951-2 by Farquharson & McMorran as a London County Council open-air school, and now used for special needs children. Copper-roofed brick buildings set in peaceful, green surroundings and linked by covered walkways. There are reliefs of the Four Seasons by Steven Sykes.  To the rear is an assembly hall opening into a garden, with an Italian stone well-head. Additions of 1996 by Lister, Grillet and Hording,
Bow Open Air School was previously on the site of Phoenix School and had been built in the grounds of Harley House for delicate children. The building was wood and had no heating. It was destroyed by Second World War bombing.
Wara Sikh Sangat. This is a Sikh temple in a former chapel of 1854-5. In 1927 it became Mile End and Bow Great Synagogue and a Sikh temple in 1979. Inside The Gallery, is on slim iron columns, and was rebuilt by the synagogue as a ladies' gallery in 1927, with named and numbered seats. A place for the Ark remains inside.
Church Hall – this was enlarged in 1876 as a Sunday school and later became a Talmud Torah.

Merchant Street
Takes its name from the Merchant Seamen's Orphanage Asylum, which was on this site. The Asylum dated from a public meeting in 1827 and the establishment of two houses for the orphaned children of merchant seamen. In 1834 financial problems led to it being re-launched as a Church of England foundation and a house in Bow was acquired and a fund raising campaign began. By 1852 they were housing 116 children although many more were applying to enter. The lease of the house expired in 1862 and the landlord would neither renew it nor sell the house to the Foundation. After more fund raising a new house was built at Snaresbrook.
Bow Road Methodist Church. This is a modern church building sits on the foundations of an earlier church destroyed by bombing.  It dates from 1951 by Alick Gavin of Paul Mauger & Partners and was the first bombed Methodist church to be rebuilt after the Second World War.
Bow Road Wesleyan Methodist Church was founded by the Reverend Alexander McAulay, who began preaching from his home in 1861. The church was built to look like a Roman temple by W. W. Pocock, was opened in 1865. It suffered bomb damage in 1940, and was subsequently rebuilt,
Wesley Hall and Macaulay Memorial Schools. Built in 1891 by B.J. Capell of Whitechapel. This is now a doctors' surgery with an entrance at the side,
Chapel keeper's house
Mural called 'Community Fragments. This one of only a few murals which have survived from the late 1970s and are quite faded. It was begun in 1978 when Richard Smith of the Bow Mission approached Ray Walker to paint a mural to ‘brighten up a drab wall which faces a new estate’. The resulting mural shows people working, playing, feeding, visiting the doctor and attending school. It has been repaired once by artist David Bratby in the 1980s but hasn’t been touched otherwise.

Mile End Road
This is the A11 – the ancient route from London into Essex
560 Electric Theatre. This was opened in 1910 designed by Saville & Martin and was operated by United Electric Theatres Ltd. In 1918, it was re-named La Boheme Cinema, and there was a banqueting suite and cafe in an adjoining building - by 1937, this was a dance hall. The cinema was taken over by Capitol & Provincial News Theatres Ltd. And it was re-named Vogue Cinema in 1940. It was badly damaged by bombing in 1942 and its ruins were removed in a road widening scheme. The dance hall remained to the mid-1990’s was a gay disco named Benjys and is still a nightclub.
562 Suede -night club and shisha bar.
568 betting shop in old Barclays Bank branch
580 Mile End Station. Opened in 1902 it now lies between Bethnal Green and Stratford on the Central Line and between Bow Road and Stepney Green on the District and Hammersmith and City Lines. It opened as part of the ‘Whitechapel and Bow’ railway on a line serving as a link between the Metropolitan District Line services, which had previously terminated at Whitechapel,  and overground rail services that operated from Bromley By Bow. It was then to be called ‘Burdett Road’ but changed to Mile End because it was thought to be confusing. These original tracks are now used by the District and Hammersmith and City Line services from the station  In 1930 it was rebuilt as art of the Central Line works and in 1946 the Central Line Station opened having started before the Second World War. The surface station was rebuilt for the Central Line in the flat Portland stone style based on Holden's designs of the early 1930s. The Central Line comes to the surface here to give an easy interchange with the District.  
588 Zains Restaurant. This was previously a pub which appears to have been originally called the Cornucopia. A pub here dates from at least the 1880s and in the 1940s was a Taylor Walker of Limehouse house. The current building appears to be part of the development of the Eric Estate in the late 1960s. It was renamed several more times.  By 1974 it had been rebuilt as part of the development of the adjoining Eric Estate.  By 1983 it was called the Horn of Plenty, later the Flautist & Firkin as one of the Firkin chain.  For a while it was A Matter of Time, in 2007 it was Virtue and in 2008 Milestone.  In 2010 it closed to become a restaurant.
403 Support Company 4th Battalion, The Royal Green Jackets, TA Centre. The TA in Tower Hamlets has its origins in the Trained Bands of 1643. In 1794 the Trained Bands were reorganised and each hamlet had its own company. In 1874 the various Tower Hamlets Volunteers amalgamated to form the Tower Hamlets Volunteer Brigade, and finally became the Territorial Army in 1908
403-405 site of Deaconess House in 1879, opened by Dr and Mrs Barnardo. The Deaconesses were Evangelical ladies who resided at Barnardo's Deaconess House which was here from 1879 to 1898.
405 Gateway `Housing Association.
Gateway Homes began as Bethnal Green Housing Association in 1926 and works predominately in Tower Hamlets. Their main offices here have an entrance in Rhondda Grove.
Morgan Street
Central Foundation Girls School (Upper School). This was built as the Coopers' Company Boys School in 1909 by Figgis & Munby.  It was built on the site of the Stepney Grammar School of c. 1878 which was inherited by the Coopers Company when they amalgamated in 1891 with the Coborn Girls School as the Stepney & Bow Foundation. The facade to College Terrace has a carved frieze by E. Whimey Smith. The stair towers have stained glass with the Coopers' Company arms
43 Morgan Arms rebuilt by Hammock & Lambert in 1891 with red -terracotta detail. It has considerable pretensions

Tredegar Square
The square was built as part a development from the late 18th on the land of Sir Charles Morgan of Tredegar. It was begun in 1822 when Morgan leased 45 acres to a local bricklayer Daniel Austin for a housing development. Tredegar Square was laid in 1828 out Austin was bankrupt in 1829 and the rest of the square was sub.
Gardens. In 1888 the central garden was only a simple system of paths round a rectangle but it was later laid out with a large central circle. A grant of £830 came from King George's Fields Foundation and the gateposts on the north side have plaques which reflect this grant. There are some trees including lime, locust, sycamore and London planes.
14 home of Alexander McAulay who set up the Bow Mission and came to live here
24 this was St Philip's House, the first Catholic settlement in the East End which later moved to Essex House.
25-26 In the 1830s this was the home of William Ephraim   Snow, surgeon to the Spanish and Portuguese Jews Hospital

Ackroyd. Dickens’ London
Bow Heritage Trail. Bow Planning.
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London,
Connor. Liverpool Street to Ilford.
Day. London’s Underground
East London’s Free Art. Web site
GLIAS Newsletter
London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
London Gardens On line. Web site
London Mural Preservation Society. Web site
Lost Pubs Project. Web site
Merchant Seamen’s Educational Foundation. Web site
Nairn. Nairn’s London,
National Archives. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. London East
Smythe. Citywildspace,
St.Clement’s  Hospital. Wikipedia. Web site
Thomas, Ben’s Limehouse.


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