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Chingford Essay, Research Paper

Chingford

is on the western bank of the River Lea, on the valley slope which quickly

rises by 250 feet here. The high ground gives panoramic views across two large

reservoirs to North London and an obelisk was built on Pole Hill in 1824 as a

marker for the former Greenwich Observatory.——————————————————————————– ? There

were early villages at Chingford Green (North Chingford) and Chingford

Hatch,? but only the occupants on the

bank of the river (today’s Sewardstone Road) saw much in the way of traffic,

being on the route from Waltham Abbey to Stratford via Walthamstow.? The development of Chingford into a London

Suburb was therefore rather late, as these small villages and farms were until

the latter part of the 19th century rather isolated, not being on any major

highways.? All this changed very rapidly

though when the Epping Forest Act of 1878 gave the Corporation of London

responsibility for the forest and in 1882 Queen Victoria arrived to officially

open it up to the public. Even more importantly in the development of

Chingford, was the extension of the railway from Walthamstow in 1873, which

encouraged the building of large new houses, especially around the area known

as Chingford Green. Mains water and gas arrived around the same time and

another London suburb was born. ——————————————————————————– ?? ? In 1890

the impressive Royal Forest Hotel was opened on top of a hill to the east of

the station.? When built it was taller

than it is today, but was reduced in height after a fire in 1912.? Next to this an old hunting lodge, built by

Henry VIII to observe and shoot deer and game in the forest, it was first

opened to the public in 1895 as a museum.?

Today it is known as the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge and is still the

Epping Forest Museum, attracting many visitors to the area. ——————————————————————————– ? Prior

to this there had been some new buildings in Chingford during the 1800’s,

noteably Friday Hill House built in 1839 and the new parish church, St. Peter

and St. Paul, in 1844. Both were designed by Lewis Vulliamy.?? Friday Hill was the local manor house,

built for R B Heathcote to replace an earlier one on the site, and survives

today as a community centre.? The church

was also a replacement of sorts, as the old parish church, All Saints, saw

little use after the new one was built and gradually fell into disrepair.? As if to admit defeat completely, following

additions to the new church in 1903, the roof of the old one collapsed the

following year!?? ——————————————————————————– ? All

Saints was restored in 1930, around the same time as a new Roman Catholic

church was built directly opposite St Peter and St. Paul a mile away.? The population of Chingford was now growing

at a rapid rate, rising from about 9,000 in 1914 to over 48,000 in 1951 (in

1801 it was just 612).?? One of the

facilities available to the new residents was Larkswood open air swimming pool,

built in 1936 and a popular summer attraction during the 50’s and 60’s. ——————————————————————————– ? Expansion

continued after the war with the London County Council’s Friday Hill Estate and

nearby Heathcote School in 1950.? In

1965 Chingford, which was originally part of Essex, became part of the London

Borough of Waltham Forest.? This status

continues today.? Local Information for

the borough can be found on the council’s web site at: www.lbwf.gov.uk. ——————————————————————————– ?


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