London Walking Tours    with Joanna Moncrieff

The lost house in the woods

I started this blog post last September and for some reason it has languished in my drafts folder since then. In the past few weeks so many questions about this house have popped up on my Facebook timeline as a result of more than the usual amount of people stumbling across it, now seems the time to finish it.  Having said that the research has taken me much longer than anticipated and it probably won’t answer everyone’s questions but I hope it is of some use. If anyone has anything to add please comment below.

In September 2019 I joined in part of the Epping Forest Centenary Walk. This is an annual event (probably not this year) organised by the Epping Forest Heritage Trust and West Essex Ramblers along the whole length of the Forest from Manor Park in the south to just beyond Epping in the north. It was a very hot day and I managed half of it abandoning at the lunch stop which was 5 minutes’ walk from home.

Walking through the forest rather than the road can affect your sense of direction and more than once I was surprised to discover I was on home turf. I am ashamed to say that I never realised for instance that there was a forest path underneath Waterworks Roundabout!

Later in the walk I discovered an anomaly in Chingford which is the main subject for this post – a derelict house practically in the Forest close to Chingford Hatch which strangely comes under Redbridge Council not Waltham Forest. The boundary you can see here partly follows the course of the River Ching.

Site of Forest Cottage

Site of Forest Cottage on Redbridge borough map. Redbridge is to the right, Waltham Forest to the left.