Leytonstone is shown on maps dating back to 1545, but its history and name is thought to date back further to Roman times. The name comes from a distance marker placed by the Roman 10th Legion on a pathway that almost certainly dates back to prehistoric times, giving ‘Leyton Stone’ or ‘Leyton-atte-Stone’.
The marker stone is now sited just on the edge of Leytonstone on the junction of Hollybush Hill and New Wanstead Road. See the excellent Leytonstone Festival website for more about Leytonstone’s past. King Harold is supposed to have been Leyton’s most famous resident, whilst Leytonstone’s celebrities include Sir Alfred Hitchcock, Fanny Cradock, Jonathan and Paul Ross, Derek Jacobi, Damon Albarn, Meera Syal, Tony Robinson and David Beckham. A longer list is on Facebook.
This distinctive house by the Green Man roundabout was the home of Edward Buxton, a former MP and conservationist who, with his brother, played a major part in protecting Epping, Hainault and Hatfield forests.
An excellent resource on local history is provided by the University of London and History of Parliament Trust at British History Online. This link will take you to one of the pages about Leyton (historically Leytonstone was part of Leyton and is therefore included there), but at the bottom of the page you will see links to more pages too.
- British History Online, Leyton
- Leyton and Leytonstone History Society www.leytonhistorysociety.org.uk
- East London History Society
- Vestry House Museum London Borough of Waltham Forest’s local history museum in Walthamstow Village
- Cottage homes, scattered homes and boarding out: read about the origins of what is now the Tesco site
- London Borough of Waltham Forest Heritage Plaques in Waltham Forest
- Leytonstone Bellringers site has a history of St John’s Church
- There’s an interesting film about Leytonstone trams on YouTube, see the link from the Map and Resource centre page
- A Vision of Britain Through Time
- Museum of London and search under ‘Leytonstone’