Inventory Site Record

Knotts Green

Knotts Green (Waltham Forest)

Brief Description

Knotts Green was a hamlet along the route between Snaresbrook and Leyton, previously called Low Leyton. The area was rural until it was developed in the C20th. The Green has long remained public open space and today, somewhat encroached, it consists of a strip of grass and some trees. A former resident of the hamlet in the 1880s was Mr Gurney Barclay whose gardens and grounds here were admired and were famous for the observatory he built.

Practical Information
Site location:
Knotts Green/Leyton Green Road
Type of site:
Public Open Land
Waltham Forest
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Rail/Tube (Victoria): Walthamstow Central. London Overground: Leyton Midland Road. Bus: 38, 48, 55,

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/03/2003
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

Joseph Gurney Barclay, FRAS (1816-98) was from a Quaker family and for many years he was head of Barclay's Bank. In c1854, he became interested in astronomy and later that year he set up an observatory at his home, Knott's Green House. In c1883, Edward Walford referred to the house 'surrounded by gardens and grounds which have attained a local celebrity, and which has become famous for its observatory.’ The Illustrated London News of 15 July 1865 shows the property captioned: 'Entertainment given by Mr Gurney Barclay, at Leytonstone, to the agents of the London City Mission.' The house later fell into disrepair and was demolished in the 1960s to make way for Livingstone College.

Sources consulted:

Edward Walford, 'Village London, the Story of Greater London, Part 2 - North and East', first published 1883/4 (1985 ed., The Alderman Press); for information on Joseph Barclay's Observatory, see

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Waltham Forest
Site management:
Green Space Service, Environment and Regeneration
Listed structures:
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Yes - Archaeological Priority Zone
Other LA designation:

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