London Local History - this lists street by street items of historical interest - public, industrial buildings & some environmental features in London and its immediate surroundings. Streets are given in OS grid squares - but numbering is not included (sorry!). Older squares give links to adjacent squares - but many are unfinished. Enter search words above right
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principal street lined on each side by mature plane trees.
Its proportions are commensurate with a formal grand avenue but it begins
oddly, off the minor Old Ford Road at the edge of the Green. Pennethorne had hoped to drive it through the open space of the
Green to provide a continuous street from Bethnal Green Road; even in 1874
efforts were still being made to achieve this by the MBW. In spite of later
rebuilding much of the avenue retains its 1860s terraces, The junction at the top of Approach Road where it enters the
park was ravaged by bombing (including the destruction of Bonner's Lodge) and
much rebuilt post-war, diminishing the strong axial layout of the original
The Approach Tavern. Became a gallery. by B. Hammock & Lambert, 1860, was in
matching style but was reconstructed above first floor, after bombing,
Raine's Foundation School.one of several institutions drawn to the area
near the park in the late c19. 1887 by T. Chatfeild Clarke. Built as the
Parmiter's Foundation School, established by Thomas Parmiter, a silk merchant,
in 1686. Hall
with timber hammer-beam roof. Contemporary iron electroliers. science block, 1962 by
Sidney Lowett. Brick with horizontal casement windows with concrete dressings.
Extension of c. 1985 for the Raine's Foundation School, previously in Arbour
Square . Set into alcoves are figures of charity children, copies of an
original pair taken from the first school in Wapping. Further extensions
behind, 1995 by Michael Madgwick.
Methodist Church, rebuilt 1959, large. By J. C. Prestwich & Sons. A modest
L-shaped group on a classical building of 1868 which was the largest Methodist
church in Bethnal Green.
In the angle of Approach Road and Bishop's Way. 1951-3 by Donald Hamilton,
Wakeford & Partners. Built as the Borough's contribution to the Festival of
The Bishops of London were lords of
the manor of Stepney,and their old
house wasnow partly within what is now
Victoria Park. no longer the grand thoroughfare to
Hackney Road, with much of its street frontage lost to inward-facing post-war
St Elizabeth Primary School. 1955 dull
St John the Baptist Primary School 1960s dull
Wellington Estate LCC built from the late 1930s on the site of the Waterloo Workhouse,
design for the bridge itself was rejected by the Canal Company as being too
elaborate and costly to maintain.
Superintendent's Lodge Pennethorne built an elaborate lodge which was bombed during the
Piers part of
superintendent’s lodge. Pennethorne’slarge and fanciful piers, which still mark the entrance to the Park across the
The Bishops of London were lords of
the manor of Stepney, and their old house wasnow partly within what is now Victoria Park. Named from Bonners Hall
1745, 1822, Bishop Bonners Hall 1808, earlier Bisshops Hall 1495, a former
house of the Bishops of London, lords of the manor of Stepney, one of whom.
Bishop Bonner, was here in the 16th.
Board School by
E.R. Robson and J.J. Stevenson. Built 1876, at a time when pressure was immense
for new schools in the dense East End parishes. It "bears the relief of
Knowledge Strangling Ignorance by Spencer Stanhope that appeared on some of the
earlier Robson schools,
two-storey weavers cottages. swept away in the 1960s,
former Brush Manufactory. became artists'
studios. an indicator of the area's quickly declining character.
London Chest Hospital.A large triangular
site built on the site of the manor house, where Pennethorne had originally
planned ornamental gardens.Founded
1848 by philanthropic City bankers and merchants; built 1851-5 by F W Ordish on
a site originally occupied, by the Stepney manor house,
demolished 1848. The scheme was promoted in 1851 for a 'crystal sanatarium' by
Joseph Paxton, a version of his hothouse at Chatsworth, and intended as an
air-conditioned pavilion of a type that Paxton had been promoting for all
hospitals. It was the first consumption hospitals in London after Francis's
Brompton Hospital, Kensington. figures, possibly Samaritans, and a later figure of a woman carrying flowers.
Keystone figure of Christ. The
original layout of wards was, on a corridor plan and ventilated
by a revolutionary system of regulating cold and hot air devised by W.Jeakes.
Extensions wing of 1863-5 by William wing of 1871-81 by Beck & Lee
was rebuilt 1983.Octagonal tower
1890—92 was part of the improved sanitary arrangements; a second tower was not
built. Open, cast-iron sun balconies added in 1900 have been enclosed.
Prominently linked to the wing, the Outpatients Department of 1972 by Charles
Tarling of Adams Holden and Pearson. Octagonal, concrete-framed three-storey
tower for day rooms and single-storey treatment wing. At the rear of the site a
long, two-storey Nurses' Home of 1905. The chapel by E.B. Lamb, 1858-60 was destroyed in 1941.
Church - When T.B. Stephenson was transferred to
Bethnal Green in 1871, he found a row of disused workshops next to the chapel,
a Victorian predecessor of the present church at the junction of Bonner Road
and Approach Road. These were converted to provide the premises he needed to
continue the work he had begun among children in need in Lambeth, and remained
the headquarters of the National Children's Home until 1913. Two snarling dogs given to London County Council and are the Dogs of
Three quarters of
an acre opened by Princess Louise in 1845.
Post-war clearance of fifteen acres of c19 terraces was
designed to reduce the population density to 136 persons per acre. 600 families
were to be housed in the estate a mixed development completed in 1961-8. This
was the last, and largest, of the three estates designed-for Bethnal Green by
Skinner Bailey & Lubetkin, of Tecton,
Fountain In the
centre of the green. Elevated and of overlapping stone sections
Statue of the
Blind Beggar and his dog by Elisabeth Frink. Commissioned by Bethnal Green
Council in 1957 and installed in 1963. The tense composition the much-loved
mythical subject in a rough, battered style that is both appealingly vulnerable
and serious.Her first commission.
by Pentarch, 1993, .
Cranbrook School late c19 school now flats
Works.1880 Lane and Reynolds.Who sold 8,000 engines in 1881?
Lauriston Studios 1990 Pankaj Patel
and Andrew Taylor conversion of former stabling set between rows of
19th-century terrace housing
crescent of the 1870s
and some infilling by John Spence & Partnersof
c. 1966, planned as low-rental housing for local professionals.
The 1949-51 by Donald Hamilton, Wakeford
& Partners standard five-storey balcony-access flats of the pre-war
type with blocks containing shops along the main road. refurbished by Levin Bernstein in the 1990s next phase was built 1956-9 by
Yorke Rosenberg & Mardall, architect in charge, J.S.P Vulliamy,
Sulkin House cluster blocks designed by Denys Lasdun of Fry Drew Drake & Lasdun, 1955-8.
Twin of Sulkin House.
the main approach to Victoria Park laid out in 1861 to
provide a continuous route between Limehouse and Hackney.
Small shopping centre.
Building like Liberty’s. incongruous addition to theNorth West quadrant, which must have been added when the Liberties
building, behind Regent's Street, was all the rage.
a coach house, was for a while occupied by the Metropolitan Tramway Company,
possibly as a rest room for drivers and conductors.
Crown Gates. park
entrance with regal lanterns on ironwork piers,
Linking Regents Canal and the Lea. 1¼ miles with three
locks.It was opened in 1830 by Sir George Duckett. It
provided a short cut for traffic from the Lee wishing to travel up the Regent's
Canal and the Grand Junction Canal to the Midlands. It is essentially a cut on
the Lea Navigation.It is a mile long.
Royal Victoria Place, houses of the 1980s with studio windows and balconies.
Bow Wharf was
Victoria Park Wharf. A group of former industrial buildings on the canal's
side, originally they comprised a three-storey warehouse of 1901 became Jongleurs
and the former Victoria Veneer Mills which has buildings of 1896-1912 became a
restaurant and fitness centre.
ground part of Hamburgh Synagogue and dating from 1788.Bottom end
Tavern which blocked the road. Crosswise, was subsequently moved
Sir John Cass
Brewery and tap.
going to Shore Road.
woman with a fish.Was a fountain on
1997 by Paul Irons.
Old Ford Road
Predominantly of the 1850s and 1860s, mostly erected in
the aftermath of the creation of Victoria Park. Two-storey terraces with paired
doorways in wide round-headed stucco architraves.
Bridge Wharf. Nurses' home for the London Chest Hospital by
Royal Cricketers. On banks of the canal. Cellar bar is Butty Bar after the canal
boats. c. 1850. Here the ancient shape of the road combines with views along
the canal and into the park in an unexpectedly attractive manner.
Houses. In the centre, infill built
in 1987 on the site of the Royal Victoria Music Hall (demolished 1983).
Crown Hotel.Crown property ornate curved front one of the typical large 'hotels'
which sprang up around the entrances to the park in the 1860s.
Horris House in
old people’s flats was almshouses for widows thrown out of Mongers’ Almshouses.
Lock.Joe Acton was the land through
which it was dug.
Bishop Bonner’s fields.The canal was
through land previously known asBishop Bonner s
Fields' in which once stood the residence of Bishop Bonner duringthe reign of King Henry VIII. The unpopularity of the
Bishop may be gauged fromallusions to him
such as "Bishop Bonner, the sworn enemy of Protestantthe awful Bonner exercised his tyrannical
and cruel sway’
Bridge was the main entrance to the park.the
bridge across the canal was the main entrance to the Park and iscalled Bonner Hall Bridge - the elegant brick columns,
up on the right of Thisused to carry the
Old Ford Lock
different from Old Ford Locks, was Longford lock.
station and stables for change of horses
Access to canal
from Old Ford road.
basin storage warehouse of North Met.Tramway Company, now Lower East Side Restaurant on Old Ford Road there and
the barge basin provides a reception area for lunches and meetings.
Hertford Union.Entrance to Hertford Union or Duckett’s Cut. Notice the widening of the canal opposite the
entrance to Ducketts to allow narrow boats to turn when entering or leaving the
cast-iron stop-lock Bridge, designed to carry the towpath of the Regent's Canal s across the
mouth of the Hertford Union Canal.
with wharves on canal now gone,
Twig Folly Bridge
for Roman Road
The Regent's Canal forms the south-west boundary of Victoria Park
Health Centre and Sheltered Housing of the early 1990s by D. Y. Davies .
Park View Estate LCC. 1950-3 by de Metz & Birks, whoretained the c19 street pattern
Community Centre and Laundry
Pomeroy House a single block of flats over shops,
Mark and Sidney Houses. two L-shaped six- storey blocks.
Rosebery House. In
the centre of the estate on the side, stands, a long four-storey block in
brick, staggered in plan to allow views.
interceptory sewer beneath it
Drift Road until
19th.With suggestions that
it was a Roman road to Colchester.Also
Green Street at west end.F
James the Less, 1842 by Lewis Vulliamy, reconstructed
by J. Anthony Lewis after war damage, 1960-1 his third remodelling in Bethnal
vaguely Norman, with three storeys of round-arched
windows under a steep gable, and linked chimneystacks.
Church Schools and Hall 1890 by Elijah Hoole, extended 1901; symmetrical centre
to Sewardstone Road with angular doorheads either end or bold tracery within
Straddles the border between Hackney and Tower Hamlets.It was created after a petition was presented
to the government in 1840, and belongs to the general movement to bring
amenities to the labouring classes of East London; it was the first and largest
of the new London parks of the c19 designed in 1842 by James Pennethorne of the
Office of Works Nash’s assistant, and opened in 1845.Bounded by the Regent's Canal, and by a canal
of 1826 linking the Regent's Canal with the Lee Navigation.There was an 1840
Act to buy York House and turn it into a park for the east end.Site of Bishop Bonner’s House demolished
1850.Site of Chartist demonstrations in
1848.Area called Botany Bay.Full of very poor people.Had been common land area in the past.1861 Some land in the original act was kept
for building purposes.1871 land was got
under the act.After a lot of aggro.Not a royal park but Queen Victoria visited
it in 1873.And gave bells to St.Mark's
church.Poor’s Land included in it.10 trees planted there, lake, deer, etc.217 acres.Landscaped
with perimeter drives and clumps of trees.Gym, aviary, goats in 1890.Maintained by Office of Works until 1887 then given to Metropolitan
Board of Works.House of Commons refused
to pay for the upkeep of London Parks in 1886.Therefore London Parks and Works Act. The park is now much simpler than
it was in the later c19, when its numerous attractions were much appreciated.
Planting by John Gibson introduced sub-tropical vegetation, there were
celebrated bedding displays and several ornamental buildings, including a
Hispano-Moorish arcaded shelter, designed by Pennethorne. These were damaged in
the Second World War and demolished. A bandstand was added in 1865, a
greenhouse in 1892.In the 1980s the
park was one of the first to benefit from government funding to encourage
revival of interest in open spaces. New railings, lamp standards and entrance
gates were provided, also a new cafe by the main lake and other improvements.
Features in films 'High Heels and Low
Bishops Hall 'manor house of the
bishop'. The Bishops of London were lords of the manor of Stepney and the site
of the old house is now partly within Victoria Park, but the history of the
area is marked by Bishop's Way and Bonner Road.After Bishop Bonner in the 16th themanor passed into lay hands
Lido gone, of 1936, which replaced earlier swimming pools.
Bronze fountain in the flower garden, by Bainbridge
Copnall of 1950, moved to Golders Hill Park.
The smaller part was given the more elaborate
treatment, embellished in 1849 by a large lake, with waterfall islands, made in
former gravel workings. There was once a pagoda on an island in the main lake
acquired in 1847 from a Chinese exhibition in Knightsbridge.Smaller lakes were provided in the other
part. – were four now only two.’.
BonnerGate. Pennethorne's Jacobethan gatepiers.Brick and stone.Manor House posh
gates from Bishop Bonner’s Palace as was. The chief survival. Pennethorne's
elaborate Tudor Lodge at Bonner Gate demolished in the war.
The housing estate on the right, facing the park, has recently been opened up
to the canal with brightly paintedsigns.
Stone dogs. Presented by Lady Regnant in 1912.
Alsatian type heads with ruffs. Copied from Greek Myron originals at Dunscombe
from old London Bridge. According to a Bow Heritage plaquethese artifacts "were removed from the old LondonBridge in 1860 at the behest of Benjamin DixonMP for the enjoyment of the public and presented toHM Queen Victoria by order of the Rt Hon. W.Cowper, First Commissioner of HM Works &Public Buildings."
Post to the south Woodside Post to the east Birkbeck Post to the north Anerley Albert Road This road is the earliest built here, first listed in 1855, and although the Croydon Canal was no longer in use it influenced the alignment of the road. From the junction with Portland Road looking the curve of the road reflects the line of the old canal which was to the north of the houses. It is named after Albert, the Prince Consort. 74-76 Stanleybury . Very large three-storey semis. Built for William Stanley, who moved to 74 in 1867. William Stanley’s works in South Norwood was complimented by his local philanthropy. His site is now a close of modern flats. Accidentally demolished. 67 small trading estate and MOT centre . At one time this was home to a theatre transport specialist. St.Mark . This was the first church in the area and is the parish church by G. H. Lewis. The nave was built in 1852 and the church was extended in 1862 and in successive years until 1890. It is in Kentis
Post to the west (north west quarter) Mile End Post to the west (north east quarter) Post to the east Bromley by Bow Post to the north Old Ford Addington Road Addington Arms . Pub dating from the 1860s. It does not appear to be still there. Police stables . From 1938 twenty horses were located here. These stables were built in moderne style white concrete by police surveyor Gilbert Mackenzie Trench. There is a stable at the back as well as tack rooms and a chimney for the forge – there was a full time farrier. Above are two flats for married police officers. The white concrete wall is original. Alfred Street 1-5 Inland Revenue Office . Sold off 1981. Has been used as a college an as offices Almshouses Way, This was once called Priscilla Street. 1 Drapers' Almshouses . These were built in 1706. What remains is a brick group of four tenements with central raised and pedimented chapel. They were restored in 1982 but were originally part of a larger group funded by
River Lea/Bow Creek The Lea winds itself generally southwards towards the Thames TQ 39505 81448 Canning Town on the Essex bank of Lea/Bow Creek. This was, and is, a heavily industrialised area together with a very down market housing area with markets, shops, cinemas, pubs and many charitable and missionary organisations. In the 2000s public transport has been transformed and much housing renewed, and it is an area in a great deal of change. Post to the west Poplar Post to the south Leamouth and Dome Post to the east Canning Town, Butchers Road Post to the north West Ham Station Appleby Road The road is named after a local ARP warden who was killed during the Blitz. A pre-war suburban ideal is demonstrated in this West Ham estate. Barking Road It was built by the Commercial Road Turnpike Trust from the East India Docks eastwards. Now the A124 it formed part of the original A13 before the building so the East Ham and Barking Bypass in 1928. It was widened as part o