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History of Walthamstow

History of Walthamstow
  • council: Waltham Forest
  • population: approx. 80,000
  • phone code: 020
  • postcode area: E17
  • county: Greater London

A welcome by the Town Centre Manager for Walthamstow.
Its time to take a fresh look at Walthamstow, E17, you will find it a Town that respects its past, lives in the present and has an eye on a bright future

So what's Walthamstow famous for?

Walthamstow is famous for its colourful market, with over 400 stalls, every Monday to Saturday, stretched the length of High Street it boasts being the longest street market in Europe.

Walthamstow Stadium has brought fame and fortune to the area, a recent "Evening Standard" article titled "Diamond night" called the famous dog track "Las Vegas at the end of the Victoria line".


Are there any famous people we should know about?

William Morris
(1834 - 1896) is often the first name to come to mind, Morris was born in Walthamstow, his boyhood home, the fine Georgian House in Lloyd Park is now a wonderful (free) museum dedicated to his life as a designer, craftsman, writer and socialist.

Local engineer, Frederick Bremer, is another name to reckon with, he built the first motorcar in London between 1892 and 1894, you can see it in the (free) Vestry House Museum.

Master of the thriller, Alfred Hitchcock was born in nearby Leytonstone in 1899, in his teens; he enjoyed exploring the Waltham Forest area by public transport.

Local schoolboys, Brian Harvey, John Hendy and Terry Coldwell took the postcode E17 to the top of the charts and around the World in 1992. The title of their first album, naturally, Walthamstow.

And lets not forget the 80,000 people who call Walthamstow home, they're a friendly crowd and always happy to give to directions to Walthamstow's many attractions.

Know of any more famous people from Walthamstow?
Click here.


What's the town like for shop-a-holics?
Almost all of the main High Street names can be found in Walthamstow in either the all weather comfort of the Selborne Centre or along High Street or Hoe Street. Choose from fashion and hi-fi to holidays and fresh food over 300 enticing shops and 400 colourful market stalls will truly help you "shop till you drop". Authentic local pubs and friendly restaurants complete the Market atmosphere.

A survey carried out in 1890 listed fascinating shops such as a tripe dresser, Wardrobe dealer, a boxing booth, lots of cheese mongers and even more shoemakers, people often walked miles to work in those days and the cobbler was always busy. The Pawnbrokers, Fish's, is still there to this day.

In High Street and the Selborne Centre, we can't quite match that interesting list today but can offer a superb range of stores including: Dixons, Top Shop, River Island, Clinton Cards and many more!

Is there anything you'd recommend seeing or doing in Walthamstow this month?

There is something interesting to see or do the whole year round. A good starting point is to pick up from the Library a copy of

"What's on & Where - Waltham Forest", or to click on to their website

It lists everything from market days, dog racing nights, craft fairs, and events for children in the school holidays. And beyond, plus a huge range of keep fit.


What is there for a family to do? Walthamstow makes an interesting and very low cost day out, come by car or public transport and make your way around the following places.

A good starting point is the William Morris Gallery in Lloyd Park on Forest Road. The Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm plus the first Sunday of each month. Admission is free. After you have enjoyed the interesting exhibits leave plenty of time to discover lovingly maintained Lloyd Park, it's quite compact but has a host of exciting features, a pond with ducks and a well-kept aviary. There is a good range of interesting plants for the gardener to enjoy plus plenty of features for the children.

Walk down Hoe Street and make directly for the Walthamstow Village Conservation Area, it's well signposted off of Hoe Street. Make straight for the Vestry House Museum (Admission Free), it tells the fascinating story of Walthamstow and its people, features The Bremer Car and one of the original police cells constructed in 1840. There is a small but very interesting shop plus a superb range of free literature about the area, make certain that you pick up a free guide to the Conservation Area and continue your visit by Following the historic route back to Hoe Street.

Then comes your first big decision of the day, whether you visit the Selborne shopping Centre or the market first. Both are an absolute must and a well-earned opportunity to spend the money you have saved taking the children to Walthamstow's free attractions.


Buses link Walthamstow with almost everywhere, there is even a direct bus service to Dockland's London City Airport; you can easily have breakfast at a Market Cafe in Walthamstow and lunch at the Ritz in Paris.


How about the nightlife? Walthamstow has a huge range of genuine character pubs to meet your friends and spend the evening. The "Evening Standard" also rated the facilities at Walthamstow Stadium very highly, either the Paddock Grill, with Tote betting at the table or the self-service Goodwood Lounge. They recommend finishing the night at Charlie Chans.

But remember to "watch-this-space" as there are big plans for a livelier nightime Walthamstow. If you're around after dusk is sure to take a look at the wonderful illuminated fountain in the grounds of the Town Hall - you will be impressed.


Walthamstow on the www. London Borough of Waltham Forest www.lbwf.gov.uk. This is a huge site and will answer most of your questions. What's on & Where Guide http://wwevents.com

I haven't been to Walthamstow for years. What's new?
Walthamstow is in the midst of a massive regeneration programme. 14m of government regeneration cash is being pumped into the area with a further 42m investment from the public and private sectors. Stall canopies, improved street furniture, better lighting and a state-of-the art library the Walthamstow of the future begins to take shape. There is one thing for sure, we will make certain that Walthamstow's links with the past are carefully preserved and made available to the public.

Where can I park? Can I get there easily by public transport?

A credit card size, Parking Guide lists 2350 parking spaces around the Town with full details of locations and cost. Or you can enquire on the Car Parking Help line 020 8503 6888

Walthamstow is well served by public transport with fast rail links to. And the convenience of the Victoria line's rapid tube link to Central London.

The plans include new open spaces, a better transport interchange, a cafe culture and more places to go at night. When you add this to a colourful new market, it's the place to be seen!

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