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The London Borough of Waltham Forest is a London borough in East London and forms part of Outer London. It is a mix of built-up residential development and a fifth of the borough is made up of forestland, reservoirs, open space, parks and playing fields. It is located between part of Epping Forest in the east and the River Lee in the west which form two green corridors, passing into London from the surrounding countryside. It is sometimes confused with the adjoining Epping Forest district, which is not in Greater London.


Many Stone Age remains are found in the area. Roman remains have also been found scattered around the borough proving it was a significant area of Roman occupation. The borough was formed in 1965, by the London Government Act 1963, from the area of the former Municipal Borough of Chingford, Municipal Borough of Leyton and Municipal Borough of Walthamstow which was transferred to Greater London from Essex. The borough was named Waltham Forest after the forest the area used to reside in, now known as Epping Forest. The Epping Forest Act of 1878 not only assisted in preserving the forest but also helped develop the towns around it: Chingford, Walthamstow and Leyton. The borough's location between the City of London and Epping Forest encouraged the large scale urban development of much of the borough.


The main centres of population in the borough are Chingford in the north, Walthamstow in the centre (and the administrative hub including the council offices) and Leyton and Leytonstone to the south. Waltham Forest has the fifth largest Muslim population in England and the third largest in London (coming after its neighbouring boroughs, Newham and Tower Hamlets).


Out of the 376 local government districts in England and Wales, Waltham Forest has the 11th largest non-white minority ethnic population. The largest minority ethnic group are black Afro-Caribbeans/Africans with a population of 30,300, followed by Pakistanis who number over 17,000. Out of the 376 local government districts in England and Wales, it ranks 19th for over-crowded housing conditions, 29th for unemployment and 17th for number of single-parent households.

Arts, Culture & Leisure[]

Waltham Forest is home to many musicians who have made it on the UK charts in many years including East 17 and Blazin' Squad. Waltham Forest is one of the two boroughs in London which brought the music scene grime the new up and coming genre formed in 2000. Many grime acts hail from this borough such as More Fire Crew, Lethal Bizzle, Neeko, Jammer, Ozzie B and many more underground artists. Already well known as the seat of the Arts & Crafts movement under the stewardship of the great William Morris, Waltham Forest has continued to succour many contemporary artists & art groups. Most notably the North East London Independent Artists (NELIA) based at the Changing Room Gallery in Lloyd Park, the 491 Gallery in Leytonstone and a plethora of independent artists mainly in the Leytonstone area. The annual Waltham Forest Arts Trail, where local artists open their studios to the public, has proven to be a real success story. Eamon Everall founder member of the influential Stuckism Art Movement is a long-time resident in the borough where he also maintains a studio. Sally Moore, Welsh Artist of the Year 2005, also lives in the borough.

The only theatre in the borough, The Waltham Forest Theatre, was situated in Lloyds Park. Though a local campaign was launched to save it in 2008 the theatre was demolished in 2011.


Infants & primary schools[]

  • Ainslie Wood Primary School
  • Barclay Primary School
  • Barn Croft School
  • Beaumont Primary School
  • Cann Hall Primary School
  • Chapel End Infants' School
  • Chapel End Junior School
  • Chase Lane Primary School
  • Chingford CofE Infant School
  • Chingford CofE Junior School
  • Chingford Hall Community Primary School
  • Coppermill Primary School
  • Davies Lane Primary School
  • Dawlish Primary School
  • Downsell Primary School
  • Edinburgh Primary School
  • George Tomlinson Primary School
  • Greenleaf Primary School
  • Gwyn Jones Primary School
  • Handsworth Primary School
  • Henry Maynard Infants' School
  • Henry Maynard Junior School
  • Hillyfield Primary School
  • Jenny Hammond School
  • Larkswood Primary School
  • Leytonstone Business and Enterprise Specialist Secondary School
  • Longshaw Primary School
  • Mayville Primary School
  • Mission Grove Primary School
  • Newport School
  • Oakhill Primary School
  • Riverley Primary (formerly Church Mead Infants)
  • Roger Ascham Primary School
  • Selwyn Primary School
  • South Grove Primary School
  • St Helen's Catholic Infant School
  • St Joseph's Catholic Infant School
  • St Joseph's Catholic Junior School
  • St Mary's Catholic Junior School
  • St Mary's Catholic Primary School
  • St Mary's CofE VA Primary School
  • St Patrick's Catholic Primary School
  • St Saviour's CofE Voluntary Aided Primary School
  • Stoneydown Park Primary School
  • Sybourn Infants' School
  • Sybourn Junior School
  • The Woodside School
  • Thomas Gamuel Primary School
  • Thorpe Hall Primary School
  • Wellington Primary School
  • Whitehall Primary School
  • Whittingham Community Primary School
  • Willow Brook Primary (formerly Church Mead Juniors)
  • Winns Primary School
  • Woodford Green Primary School
  • Yardley Primary School




E4, E5, E7, E10, E11, E15, E17 & IG8


The Central line of the London Underground serves the south of the borough, running alongside the A12 road with stations at Leyton and Leytonstone. The Victoria Line runs roughly through the middle of the borough with stations at Walthamstow Central and Blackhorse Road. The Gospel Oak to Barking line of London Overground has stations at Walthamstow Queens Road, Blackhorse Road, Leyton Midland Road and Leytonstone High Road. National Express East Anglia services from Liverpool Street Station in the City of London serve stations at St James Street, Walthamstow Central, Wood Street, Highams Park and Chingford.

Notable residents[]

Waltham Forest is the birthplace of William Morris, best known as one of the principal founders of the British Arts and Crafts Movement. Morris was a designer of wallpaper and patterned fabrics, a writer of poetry and fiction, and a pioneer of the socialist movement in Britain.

Other notable people such as Footballer and former England Captain David Beckham, I, Claudius star Derek Jacobi, former Essex and England Cricket Captain Graham Gooch and film director and producer Alfred Hitchcock were also born in the borough.

Sport teams[]

See also List of Mayors of Waltham Forest

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