Inventory Site Record

Langthorne Park

Langthorne Park (Waltham Forest)

Brief Description

The site was formerly that of the West Ham Union Workhouse, which was built in 1842 in what was then a rural area. It later became Langthorne Hospital, named after Stratford Langthorne Abbey, which had owned much of the area in medieval times. After the hospital closed in the late 1980s the buildings were acquired for new housing, with the remainder of the site acquired to create a new public park. Langthorne Park was opened on 17 June 2000 and features a number of specially commissioned art features to enhance both the physical environment of the park as well as providing visual representations of the site's long history.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
West Ham Union Workhouse; Langthorne Hospital
Site location:
Birch Grove/Langthorne Road/High Road
E11 4YG
Type of site:
Public Park
Waltham Forest
Open to public?
Opening times:
9am - half hour before sunset
Special conditions:
Amphitheatre, ecology area, quiet garden, playscheme, multisport and basket ball, toilets
Public transport:
Tube: Leyton (Central). Rail: Maryland. London Overground: Leytonstone High Road then bus. Bus: 257

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2012
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

Stratford Langthorne Abbey was founded in 1135 and owned over 600 hectares (1500 acres) of local farmland. The West Ham Union Workhouse was built here in the 1842 to house paupers from Vestry House in Walthamstow and accommodated up to 1,000 inmates from Walthamstow, Leyton, Stratford and West Ham. When it was built the workhouse was surrounded by countryside, but by the 1880s the area was built over by housing. It later became a home for the chronic sick, aged and infirm known as the Central Home, run by West Ham Borough Council, and in 1948 it became Langthorne Hospital specialising in elderly care. By the late 1980s the hospital was closed, declared surplus to requirements. Waltham Forest Housing Action Trust acquired the main part of the original workhouse building for conversion into residential accommodation, with the rest of the site acquired by Waltham Forest Council in 1996 for the Langthorne Park development. In front of the main workhouse building, chapel and gatehouse is a partially landscaped area of roadway, with trees and shrubs separated by a low brick wall from Union Close. The old workhouse buildings behind are surrounded by brick walls and have been refurbished for private residences overlooking the new park.

Langthorne Park was opened on 17 June 2000, laid out with sports and play facilities as well as landscaped areas and gardens, with a sheltered garden for old and/or disabled people, and an ecology area. The park also incorporates a small grassed area of church land around Holy Trinity Church; it is adjacent to a Youth Technology Centre, and opposite Jubilee Gardens (q.v.).

Sources consulted:

LB Waltham Forest papers, listed buildings leaflet

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Waltham Forest
Site management:
Green Space Service, Environment and Regeneration; Friends of Langthorne Park
Hospital 1840s; park 2000
Listed structures:
LBII: Workhouse building, chapel, gatehouse lodge
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:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Premier Park

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