Great Eastern Railway to Chingford. London Fields

Great Eastern Railway Line to Chingford
The Line running from Cambridge Heath Station goes northwards

Post to the south South Hackney
Post to the north Hackney Central

This posting covers only the south east corner of this square

Bayford Mews
Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association and a blue plaque which says they were founded here in 1959.

Bayford Street
Bayford Street Industrial Centre
Site of Pembroke House which has been built in the 17th by William Parker.  In 1799 it became a school for the deaf and dumb founded by Thomas Braidwood who had moved here from Edinburgh in 1783. It continued here by his family until 1810. In 1818 the house was used by an institution to house East India Company employees who had become insane in India. It remained here until 1880 when the area was acquired by the Great Eastern Railway.  Warburton was involved and managed this as he did with other insane asylums in east London and it was later known as Dr. Warburton's House.

Exmouth Place
On the site of what was Flying Horse Yard.

Gransden Avenue
5a Seasonal Disorder. Art Gallery

Helmsley Place
Helmsley Piano Works. This works was owned by Broadwood, White & Co.  in the 1920s. They made quality upright pianos.  It was later an office equipment store,

Lamb Lane
This was once Tower Street, after a house at the east end which had a tower like structure.
St.Michael and All Angels. Built in 1864 on the site of a brickfield. It was destroyed in Second World War bombing and rebuilt on a different site.
Vicarage. House of ragstone, built in 1873 as the vicarage for St Michael and All Angels which stood opposite. Probably designed by Hakewell
School. This was a National School opened in 1873 on part of the site of Pembroke House which had been purchased in 1871 from the Great Eastern Railway.  It was attached to the church, despite the board school being adjacent.  It was also the church hall. It closed after 1939.
Lamb Lane Board School. This was opened in 1873 but later became a school for special instruction
Pembroke Hall. Headquarters of the Rifle Volunteers of Tower Hamlets. East of the church.  The Tower Hamlets Rifle Volunteers dated from 1864 and there were 12 corps.  This was the 2nd corps and was here from 1860 having previously been in Richmond Road. Joseph Samuda, the shipbuilder, was one of the officers. By 1868 they had amalgamated with another corps and moved.
Charismatic for Christ Ministries, Hackney Branch

London Fields
In 1275 the area of London Fields was common pastureland but the name of London Field is not found until the 1540s.  It was one of several areas in Hackney with Lammas Rights. It is thought to have been called London Field because the paths with the most direct rotes to the City ran alongside it.   Some surrounding roads have names connected with sheep and this might indicated sheep grazing or being driven across here. By the mid 19th the area was being dug for brick earth and developers were eying it up and local people began to object. Under the Metropolitan Commons Act, 1866, the Hackney District Board petitioned for the inclosure of a group of local commons of which London Fields was one. The manorial rights were purchased by the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1881. Once it had become a park lines of plane trees were planted. A bandstand built which was later demolished and replaced by one to the southeast, which itself was removed after the Second World War – three oaks remain of the eight which originally surrounded it.  The area was heavily bombed in 1940 and as a result the park was increased to cover the areas of demolished buildings. The lines of London plane trees surrounding the cricket pitch to the north and east mark the old park boundary. The war left many people without homes and 18 prefabs were built in 2 rows on the west side o the field. Another 21 were built on what had been the south end of Eleanor Road. These were removed by 1951 but the west side ones lasted into the 1960’s.  After the war the netball pitches were removed and the hard tennis courts were moved the site of demolished houses in Richmond Road. The grass tennis courts were removed in the 1970’s.
Facilities include The park keepers’ service yard, with manager’s office, storage and rest room which have been next to the Lido since the 1960s.
Lido. The outdoor pool was built in 1930 by agreement between the London County Council and the Metropolitan Borough of Hackney, The original pool was different from what had gone before. It was the earliest to have an   advanced filtration plant, a tiered fountain, a large sunbathing area, a refreshment kiosk and a first aid room. It was designed in house by the London County Council probably by Rowbotham & Smithson. The Lido opened in 1932 and remained open until 1939 to reopen 1951 and then close in 1988 following cut backs in council funding and the abolition of the Greater London Council. After many years of local campaigning by local people it re-opened in 2006 and is now managed by Greenwich Leisure Ld..

London Fields East Side
Part of this was once London Place. The road consists of a row of early 19th houses overlooking the park

London Lane
The Lady Eve Community Garden. This is a guerrilla garden on the corner with Mentmore Terrace. It is currently maintained by Carlsson & Co. with a community group. It has herbs, vegetables and flowers and some attractive graffiti.

Mare Street
146 St. Mungo’s Hostel for the Homeless in a converted police section house. This was originally designed by McMorran and Whitby in 1950-51
149 Flying Horse.  This pub was long-established and may have been present as early as 1593.  It was closed in 1914 and demolished in the 1930s. 
150 ABC Cinema. This was The Regal Cinema built for Associated British Cinemas and designed by their in-house architect William R. Glen on a difficult triangular site. It opened in 1936. It was re-named ABC in82 and closed in 1975. In 1977 an Independent operator re-opened it as the Mayfair Cinema and this closed in 1981. The stalls area was converted into a snooker club which closed in 1994. It was 1998 and there is now housing on the site.
155 originally a National Provincial Bank. This is now a betting shop
165 The Dolphin.  Pub. Built around 1850 but might have an earlier core. There may be an earlier pot house at the back. Inside the back bar has a dolphin decorated on the end. There is an old dining room with a screen decorated with dolphins in coloured glass. There are tiled walls with patterns of birds and foliage in blue and white. On either side of the entrances are painted panels over coloured tiled dados. A picture in the saloon shows Airon with his lyre summoning a dolphin to his rescue painted by W B Simpson and Son of St Martin’s Lane.
St Thomas's Square. This was a development built by Robert Collins in 1771/2 on land leased from St Thomas's Hospital.  By the late 19th ‘the centre was a field with an irregular fence around it’, but a little interest attaches itself to some of the inhabitants of the Square.' In 1892 Hackney District Board leased the laid it out as public gardens through grants from the Metropolitan Board of Works, Metropolitan Public Gardens Association and the London County Council.. Hackney Borough Council purchased it in 1915 for £50, by 1928 it was 'laid out as an attractive ornamental garden”. Housing around it was bombed in the Second World War and then compulsorily purchased by the London County Council and flats as the Frampton Park estate. The garden now has lawns with flower beds, shrub planting and mature trees along perimeter beds.
Drinking fountain. This is in pink and grey granite and dates from 1912. Taps are screened by columns with capitals carrying a circular cup. The inscription reads: 'presented to the Hackney Borough Council by Morris Nelson Esq in memory of his wife Esther. Unveiled by Councillor William Hammer Mayor of Hackney 31st October 1912'.
St Thomas's Chapel on the south west corner of St Thomas Square built in 1771. This related to a group of Presbyterians established before 1636. Following a dispute a faction formed the Old Gravel Pit Chapel; the other faction moved across the street and built this chapel, naming after the landowner, St.Thomas's Hospital and enlarging it in 1824.
184 Essoldo Cinema. This was an adaption of the Chapel. In 1912 it was converted into the Empress Electric Theatre.  A ‘straight’ organ was installed, and it has been conjectured that this was a new installation or the original Chapel organ. In early-1933 it was closed and George Coles re-designed it as an Art Deco styled cinema, A Compton 3Manual/5Ranks organ was installed. It re-opened as Empress Electric Theatre. It remained independently operated until 1955 when it was purchased by the Essoldo Circuit and re-named. It closed in 1967. It was converted into a Bingo Hall Latterly as a Top Rank Bingo Club which closed in 1993. The building was demolished in 1995.
Gateway to St Thomas Chapel burial ground.
182 This was built in 1877 as Lady Eleanor Holles School, an independent school founded in 1710. It is in red brick with Portland stone dressings.  With a relief of a castle and scrolls as well as ‘Founded AD 1710’ and ‘Erected AD 1877’. The centre was added, with the rear wing, in 1905 by F. S. Hammond. The school had moved here in 1878 but in 1935 it moved to Hampton. In 1946 Cordwainers' Technical College moved to the site from Bethnal Green. The college had begun as the Leather Trades School, established in 1887 helped by the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers and they took responsibility for this trade school from 1913. It became known as the Cordwainers' Technical College but in 1989 it changed its name to Cordwainers' College; and in 2000 became part of the London College of Fashion, part of the University of the Arts, London and runs specialist courses in shoes and footwear. There is also anew student residence block for Cordwainers' College.
184 St.John the Theologian.  This is now a Greek Orthodox Church but it was built in 1873 for the Catholic Apostolic Church By John Drake of Rochester. This church was formerly known as the Catholic Apostolic Church. It is a Gothic church built in polychrome brick and stone.
195 18th house and the second oldest house in Hackney.  Originally a family home. From 1860 - 1913 it housed the Elizabeth Fry Institute for Reformation of Women Prisoners to which there is a commemorative plaque on the gatepost. Thos was set up after her death in 1845 and continued until 1913 when it moved to Limington.   It then became a working men’s club, the Lansdowne Liberal and Radical Club, then the New Lansdowne Social Club, which closed in 2003. It then became derelict and squatted.  It is set back from the street in Brown brick.
201 Cyntra Place. Site of the Tre-Wint Industrial Home for Girls in the 1870s moving to Hampstead by 1902.  A large laundry was attached where girls could be trained to work.  By the 1920s Turney Turbines, turbine manufactures
206 this corner building was a Liberal club by 1880 and later became Hackney Conservative club. However it appears to have been use by many local organisations including freemasons and photographic societies. It is now a take away restaurant.
208 site of Madras House, 19th school. It was named for Madras system whereby monitors took responsibility for younger boys. It was claimed that the school dated from 1796 but Allen first took pupils in Mare Street in 1817, moving to larger premises in 1821. The school produced a number of distinguished alumni - the lexicographer Sir William Smith, John Curwen , writer on music, and Sir Charles Reed chairman of the London school board. Madras House passed to Thomas Garland, who ran it in 1861, and to Messrs. W. Paine and Wilson, who described it as a grammar school in 1869 and also took boarders until 1879. From 1892 the buildings were used by the Essex Volunteer Regiment in 1892.
215 Nam. This is a Vietnamese fashion company and community hub.  Before the Great War this address was that of the London Aircraft Co. taken over by Jackson Aircraft in 1917. Then it became a furniture manufacturers
219 Methodist Church. The church was built in 2000 in a development with Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association. Inside it was influenced by Le Corbusier's 1955 church in Ronchamp. The windows have colours and shapes similar to the shapes of recesses at the front of the church.  They reflect the style of buildings in middle eastern countries and the catacombs of the early church. The outside) was designed by FreeForm, a community arts project and children’s pictures are etched into the windows
229 Nags Head. This pub may have been present as early as 1593. It was rebuilt in 1875, but is now demolished. The site was on the south side of the London Lane junction.  It was a traditional meeting place for cricketers from London fields
255 This was the Horse & Groom pub which closed in 2013 after a stabbing. It was then known as Maddigan's, also the V Bar and/or The Heart of Hackney.
257 Richmond Court. Flats over shops built 1937 in art deco style. It was offices and workshops for the Berkeley Piano Co, in the 1920s.
Victor House is accessed through a passage under Richmond Court and is made up of trading units and studios.

Martello Street
Was previously Tower Street.  
19 Pub on the Park. This used to be called The Queen Eleanor

Mentmore Terrace
London Fields Station. Built in 1872 this now lies between Hackney Downs and Cambridge Heath. It was opened by the Great Eastern Railway to serve south Hackney. In the Great War it was closed from 1916 to 1919.  Electrification was instituted in 1960. It was burnt down in 1981 and subsequently closed. It reopened in 1986 with all old structures removed and replaced by something minimalist but new upside buildings had been put in place. The Chingford trains used to serve the station as well as the current Lea Valley Line but they now pass through on the eastern pair of tracks and stop at Hackney Downs instead.
Signal Box.  This was north of the station and closed in 1935.
5 City Co.Seals.  Makers of company and other official seals.

British History online. Hackney. Web site
CAMRA . Real Beer in London
Carlsson and Co. Web site
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Clarke. Glimpses of Ancient Hackney and Stoke Newington
Clunn. The Face of London
Connor. Liverpool Street to Chingford
Grace’s Guide. Web site
Hackney Methodist Church. Web site
London Borough of Hackney. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
London Fields User Group. Web site
London Gardens On line. Web site
London Railway Record
Pevsner and Cherry.  London North
Robinson.  Lost Hackney
Robins. North London Railway
St. Michael and All Angels. Web site
Watson. Gentlemen in the Building Line
Watson. Hackney and Stoke Newington Past


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