Chingford: Royals, Rogues and Retreats
Although bearing a London postcode (E4) and only 10.5 miles from Central London, North Chingford still has a semi-rural feel to it.
By 1863 when the world’s first underground railway had opened between Farringdon and Paddington the only access into London from Chingford was by twice weekly stagecoach. Unlike its historically more accessible neighbour Walthamstow, Chingford* was practically cut off from civilisation until the arrival of the railway ten years later.
More famously connected with Elizabeth I the hunting lodge in the picture below was built for another famous royal and some 340 years following this event on 6th May 1882 Chingford welcomed the country’s second longest-serving monarch to the town whilst celebrating another significant event in its history.
The walk includes hearing about a 19th Century swindler and the long-forgotten local cutlery industry and how the cutler broke the rules. We will hear about a famous composer’s misguided attempt to qualify as a pilot at Chingford Aerodrome and the man known as the forgotten father of English sport. We will also see the former pub built “in the wildest Loire style” and hear why it was known as the white elephant. The walk finishes at a 19th Century refreshment retreat on the edge of Epping Forest but only a 10 minute downhill walk back to the station.
*Chingford is no longer inaccessible. London Overground trains run from Liverpool Street (25 minutes) via Walthamstow (10 minutes) every 15 minutes. Chingford is in Zone 5.