Great Eastern Railway to Chingford Cambridge Heath
The Great Eastern Railway continues northwards from Bethnal Green Station and East Junction.
TQ 34847 83496
Bethnal Green and south Hackney around the Regents Canal. This includes the old Bethnal Green civic centre around Patriot Square, many pubs, hospitals, gas works and churches. There were also many industrial sites of all sorts - in this area of course the furniture trade, but much else.
Post to the south Bethnal Green
Post to the north South Hackney
This post covers only the south east corner of this square
48-50 Beehive Works, James Hoyles and Son. This is a working iron foundry on the site of an old timber yard. They claim to have been founded in 1880
50-53 warehouses are the former Ashmore’s Furniture Works
15 George and Dragon Pub. Open by the 1860s and closed after the Second World War
Printing works north side behind houses
Some addresses in this street were once in Felix Street.
Peabody flats built in 1910
25 Duke of Cambridge. Pub now closed but latterly a Belhaven Brewery house.
Cambridge Heath Road
172 Odeon Cinema, This was close to the Bethnal Green Museum and opened as the Museum Cinema in 1912. It was closed in 1931 for internal re-construction by Leslie H. Kemp. It was taken over by the independent Eastern Cinemas Ltd in 1936 and in 1943 taken over by Oscar Deutsch’s Odeon Theatres Ltd. Chain and renamed in 1950. It closed in 1956. It was demolished and Mayfield House was built on the site
210-214 Allinson Ltd. Ever since the industrial revolution most flour was produced using roller mills which meant that many nutrients and fibre were lost. Dr. Thomas Allinson purchased his own stone-grinding flour mill in Bethnal Green, to produce whole meal flour. He set up The Natural Food Company under the slogan ‘Health without medicine’, and began baking bread. Because of his theories he was struck off the medical register, but Allinson Flour became successful and famous.
Cambridge Heath Road Infirmary. In 1882, the Local Government Board imposed restrictions of the
numbers of patients in Bethnal Green’s workhouse sick wards and thus created a need for a separate infirmary. A site was selected on Cambridge Heath Road and purchased from the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews, in 1896 the infirmary was commissioned from Giles, Gough and Trollope and built in brick Thomas Rowbotham of Birmingham and opened in 1900. It was intended mainly for the chronically ill. In 1915 the military authorities took over the building for wounded soldiers and it became the Bethnal Green Military Hospital under the London District Command. Patients and staff returned in 1920 and a wider range of services were added, including an Orthopaedic Clinic for ex-servicemen with damaged joints. There was also a VD clinic. The LCC took control in 1930 and in 1948 it joined the NHS as the Bethnal Green Hospital From 1977 it changed from acute to geriatric care. In 1990 the Hospital closed following protests and demonstrations from staff. All buildings have been demolished except for the administration block. The Victoria Park Housing Association redeveloped the site with houses and flats by Baily Garner, 1990-3.
Administration block. This is the only remaining building of Bethnal Green Hospital. The clock from
the demolished Chapel belonging to the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews was installed on the tower. This block once contained the medical officer's residence and office, the dispensary, the chaplain's office, matron's sitting room and bedroom, accommodation for 80 nurses and 12-14 female servants, along with the kitchen, staff dining room and storerooms. The basement was used for storage of coal, firewood and heavy goods.
220 Cambridge Court. Cambridge Heath Estate. Housing on the corner of Parminter Street designed by E.C.P. Monson in 1926-7 for Bethnal Green Council. The estate was originally called the Lenin Estate but the incoming liberal–progressive admin¬is-tration changed the name to the Cambridge Heath estate in 1928.
Cambridge Heath Station. This lies between London Fields and Bethnal Green stations on the Greater Anglia Railway. It was opened in 1870 south of the bridge over the Regent’s Canal with two platforms and has since been much remodelled. The original part, on the side of the line facing Clare Street, had blind windows and curved gables. Two more tracks were added on the viaduct in 1894 but there were no extra platforms here. A new street level building was added. It was closed as a wartime economy between 1916 and 1919. The downside platforms were removed in the 1960s. It was burnt down in 1984 and closed for two months and then closed again while it was rebuilt and reopened in 1986. Everything was then removed and replaced by small modern shelters. Currently Chingford bound trains do not stop here/
Signal Box. This was at the north end of the station platforms and closed in 1935.
222-226 Warehouse and factory building. The upper three storeys have big windows. This belonged
to L. Silberston & Sons, long established in Cambridge Heath Road, specialized in uniforms for a many military units including the Royal Horse Guards and the Air Ministry. They also supplied civilian uniforms including for the post office. Were there until early 1960s
234 Metropolis. This was The Arabian Arms pub established by 1869 and rebuilt in 1902. It was a Watney’s house. It was renamed Beachcomber by 1983, then called Martin’s and by 1993 was Metropolis, a ‘gentlemen’s club’.
236 this was the White Horse pub. It was a Whitbread pub, present by 1872 and rebuilt in 1888. It closed in 2005. .
244-254 Cambridge House. London Essex International College. Also snooker hall in what appears to be an old industrial building.
260 Bestway. This is a large site comprising frontages and addresses in surrounding road. In the 19th and early 20th this was a saw mill but was later a haulage depot and a printer.
349 Tower Hamlets Labour Party
393 This was the Red Deer Pub opened before 1817. This was a Watney’s house but is now Homefinders Estate Agents since closure in 2006
505 The Hare. This pub is said to have been present by 1800
Obelisk - there was once an obelisk at the junction with the end of Hackney Road. This had been erected to mark the site of Cambridge Heath tollgate.
This is the Regent's Canal which runs just north of central London to provide a link from the Paddington arm of the Grand Union Cana to Limehouse Basin and the Thames.
Gas Holders for The Imperial Gas Company together with a wharf. The holders are in Marion Street. An inlet ran into the site from the canal.
National Grid Pumping Station. In 1979 the Central Electricity Generating Board installed underground 400 kV cables in a trough below the towpath and they now form part of the National Grid. Pumped canal water is circulated as a coolant for the high-voltage cables and there is a pumping station on the towpath here.
Railway Bridge on the line leaving Cambridge Heath station over the canal
Oblique brick arch on the south side of the canal between the two bridges was the entrance to a basin which served a timber yard running south west from the canal.
Mare Street Bridge. Road bridge over the canal
Keeling House. Rising assertively, belongs to the post-war age. It was built in 1955-9 by Denys Lasdun of Fry, Drew, Drake & Lasdun, and is a sixteen-storey 'cluster' block. Two-storey maisonettes are in four stacks linked at angles by bridges to a service core. By 1993 Tower Hamlets had evacuated the block, for structural reasons ad it was refurbished for private owners in 1999-2001 by Munkenbeck & Marshall, with Lasdun as consultant; they added a penthouse and a glass entrance with a bridge over a pond and stream.
Bradley House. This was a slab block by Denys Lasdun & Partners, with purple tile facings. It has been replaced by a mix of new housing by Designed by Karakusevic Carson Architects,
Claredale House. Council housing, by E.C.P Monson, 1931-2. This is now student accommodation.
5-10 Containerville. Upcycled shipping containers to turn into offices
3 Empress Coach Hire. Founded in 1922 and here with ‘extravagantly derelict premises’. Edward Thomas Stanton was a bus driver who bought his bus in 1923 and created a fleet operating from a yard in London Fields. In 1927, he bought the property in Corbridge Crescent but when the buses were nationalised in 1933, he made £35,000 from the sale and changed the business from buses to coaches. At first, the bodies of the vehicles were removed in the winter to convert to flat trucks out of season. They were requisitioned in the Second World War to drive personnel around airfields in Norfolk. There were six beanos every Saturday in the summer but there are very few now.
Corbridge Works. Socialist Worker Printers and Publishers
Royal Mail. Bethnal Green delivery office.
Lewis Milk Supplies. Dairy and delivery service
Appears at least in part to have been pre-Roman,
501/505 Chandler's Wiltshire Brewery. Charles Porter and William Henry Dieseldorff, trading as Chandler & Co, operated the brewery in Hackney. A 120 foot chimney was added in 1895. Closed in 1911 with 35 tied houses and a half share went to Charringtons. The buildings are still standing, in other use, and front onto Grove Passage.
408 Durham Arms. Pub dating from at least 1814. Closed 2007. This was a Trueman’s house and features some Trueman’s signage.
460 Norfolk Arms. This pub closed 2007 and is now a restaurant.
Pritchards Road Day Centre. Local authority centre for those with mental health issues.
Imperial Gas Light and Coke Co. Gas holders here are on a site used as a holder station for the Imperial Gas Company’s Haggerston works. It is still in British Gas use but the holders have been decommissioned. The site here was purchased in 1853 and originally contained a large pond, and an inlet with a lime wharf alongside. There were originally four holders here but the oldest now was built in 1865-6 by Joseph Dark, the company's engineer. The ironwork was cast by the Staveley Co. of Derbyshire. It has Two tiers of girders and 16 cast-iron columns It’s much taller neighbour was built in 1888-9 by after the Imperial had been taken over by the Gas Light and Coke Co., by their engineer, George Trewby in lattice steelwork.
Peabody Estate. This estate is crammed into a wedge of land of which Minerva Street is one of the constituent streets. The estate has eight blocks, inward facing to a courtyard later used as a playground. It dates from 1910 and said to be the first by Peabody Estate with large 'numbers of self-contained flats. It continues the radiation of the simple elevations developed by Darbishire in the Trust's buildings of the 1860s, albeit in a red brick. The stair towers go above the roofline with ironwork surrounds. An extension is in the next generation of Peabody Trust's design, by Victor Wilkins, 1915-16.
Estate office added in matching style, in 1998.
Industrial premises many of which are now in use as art galleries of various sorts.
Mowlem Street School. Originally the school fronted onto Mowlem Street. It opened in 1887 as Mowlem Street Board School and has been extended and altered since. After the Second World War it was reorganised for juniors and with nursery s class by. A new single-storeyed building was opened in 1971.
Old Bethnal Green Road
Minerva Estate. This was the London County Council’s first large deelopment in 1946- after the Second World War. It had 253 dwellings in long, three- and four-storey blocks, named after Greek heroes. It was built by the London County Council Valuer's Department under Cyril H. Walker, based on plans by J.H, Forshaw. It used a rapid construction technique of concrete slabs laid on load-bearing concrete walls. The blocks were refurbished in 2003 with pitched roofs and lift towers.
The Bethnal Green hospital was built on land purchased from the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews. The site had previously contained a chapel - the Episcopal Jews' Chapel - and had been known as Palestine Place.
This was once called Gloucester Street
Almshouses. In his will of 1682, Thomas Parmiter left money for six almshouses in Bethnal Green and for the building a school. The first Parmiter's Almshouses were off Brick Lane in 1722 but in 1839, the Almshouses moved here. They were destroyed by a V2 rocket in 1945. The almshouses were rebuilt in Clacton.
Town Hall Hotel. This was as Bethnal Green Town Hall and is in two sections. The old Town Hall was opened in 1910 for the new borough of Bethnal Green the wing fronting Patriot Square was opened in 1939. It remained the Town Hall when London Borough of Tower Hamlets was set up but moved to Mulberry Place in 1993. The original building was designed by Percy Robinson and W Alban Jones offices, council chamber, mayor's parlour and committee rooms. The 1939 extension it was to the designs of E C P Monson and was never completed. There is a seated female figure and cherubs by Henry Poole to represent the Council protecting the industries of the Borough and there is also is a figure of Justice with sword and scales. The 1930s extension has a relief of the Blind Beggar over the entrance. Inside the hall and staircase is in green, grey and white marble. The council chamber has heraldic glass including the arms of Middlesex, Gresham, the City of London and De Bathonia and rhere are Pillars with motifs of Truth and Happiness, Industry and Temperance, also by Poole. It is now a hotel.
Road running alongside railway arches which house small businesses, workshops and the ubiquitous art galleries
Beatrice Tate School. This began as a voluntary enterprise in Bethnal Green Godsends. A new building for handicapped children here was authorized in 1967 and designed by John D. Hume, Tower Hamlets Borough Architect. It opened in 1970 as Junior Training Centre by Tower Hamlets Social Services and later transferred to the Inner London Education Authority. It is single storey with timber shell-dome over the hall and there is also, coloured tile work on the theme of 'the Silk Road' by Freeform Arts Trust 1997. The school has moved in 2013 to Southern Grove and to a new building
Four-storey dwellings of the type erected by philanthropic companies with open stair- cases, cast-iron balustrades and two self-contained dwellings per unit,
Lithuanian Church St Casimir's Roman Catholic. This was first established in 1899 in Cable Street and moved here in 1912. It has a: four-storey presbytery above it. The front has large circular windows over the entrances. There are capitals painted in pale green and cream with Lithuanian folk patterns and the fittings reflect the Lithuanian tradition, of Catholic Baroque art. There is a painted altarpiece given to the church in 1912 and said to be Tyrolean. There are many other statues and wooden Lithuanian candelabra
7-8 Place of Victory. The Redeemed Christian Church of God was founded in 1952 in Nigeria. Previously H.F. Greenfield, Leather goods
29-32 Oval Space. Office, art gallery and what have you. The building also includes some furriers, and was used by A.J.Cope for the storage of scientific instruments. Cope however made wooden furniture here before 1981.
13-14 Pickle Factory. For arts professionals, pop up school, films, etc. It was Baron’s Crown Pickle Works.
R.H,Barratt. Bottle works. This was close to the canal on the west side.
Reliance Safes. There is a large concrete sign on the wall advertising these. Edward Tann was a smith of Old Street in 1790. In 1814, with his son Edward they occupied a factory in what is now Treadway Street. The advertisement incised in the gable dates from around 1890. In 1843 Edward's company designed and patented their "Reliance" lock, which was to become the company's trademark. In 1845 Edward transferred the business to his son becoming John Tann Ltd. An example of their 'fire-proof ' safe was shown at the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1851 and by 1900 the factory had moved to Old Ford.
Housing. An example of speculative development of 1899-1904 by Charles Winkley, a Hackney builder. He replaced four existing streets with a planned area which included shops, houses, warehouses and workshops. The homes were Four-storey flats similar to those built by philanthropic companies.
Brewery History Society. Web site
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
Empress Coaches. Web site
Essex Lopresti. The Regents Canal
Friends of the Earth. Gas works sites in London
Grace’s Guide. Web site.
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Lost Pubs. Web site
Morris. Archives of the Chemical Industry
Municipal Dreams. Web site
Parmiters Charity. Wikipedia. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. London North
Spitalfields Life. Web site
Stewart. Gas Works in the North Thames Area