Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge and Fairmead Park, including Chingford Golf Course (Waltham Forest)
Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge overlooks common and ancient woodland, part of the site of Fairmead Park, a short-lived deer park created in 1543/44 by Henry VIII as one of a series of linked areas of forest running from Walthamstow to Havering. The name survives in Fairmead Bottom, although the area is generally known as Chingford Plain. The Hunting Lodge and surrounding lands were acquired by the Corporation of the City of London in 1878, when Epping Forest was saved from further enclosure for the public. The Lodge opened as Epping Forest Museum in 1895. The landscape is largely preserved, only partially developed for the hotel and car park adjacent to the Hunting Lodge, and for what is now called Chingford Golf Course, originally the Royal Epping Forest Golf Course laid out in 1888, the first public course in Essex.
- Previous / Other name:
- Fairmead Bottom, Epping Forest
- Site location:
- Rangers Road, Chingford
- E4 7QH
- Type of site:
- Public Open Land
- Waltham Forest
- Open to public?
- Opening times:
- Hunting Lodge: summer (end March - end Sept) 12 noon-5pm Wed-Sun; winter 10am-3pm Fri-Sun. Epping Forest unrestricted
- Special conditions:
- Hunting Lodge: museum, shop, toilets. Nearby: refreshments, parking
- For events and activities see website
- Public transport:
- Rail: Chingford. Bus: 97, 179, 212, 313, 379, 444
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/07/2011
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/epping
Full Site Description
It is not known whether Fairmead Park was ever completed but it was no longer a park by 1553. Originally referred to as the Great Standing and built in 1543, Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge is one of probably two 'standings' built for Henry VIII in Fairmead Park, designed to enable royal visitors and their guests to shoot the deer that were driven in front of the building by hounds. It is an unusually elaborate 2-storey timber-framed building, which would have originally had open sides for shooting and living quarters beneath. Queen Elizabeth I is said to have often used the Lodge after Henry VIII's death in 1547 and to have carried out repairs to it in 1589; it was converted into a dwelling in 1666. Its naming as Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge dates from at least the late C18th. Chapman and Andre's map of 1777 shows open grassland to the north and forest land with rides beyond.
The Hunting Lodge and surrounding lands were acquired by the Corporation of the City of London in 1878, and the Lodge opened to the public as Epping Forest Museum in 1895. Although Fairmead Park was short-lived as a park, the name survives in Fairmead Bottom, although the area is generally known as Chingford Plain.
The landscape is largely preserved, only partially developed for the hotel and car park adjacent to the Hunting Lodge, and for what is now Chingford Golf Course, originally called the Royal Epping Golf Course, which was laid out in 1888 and was the first public course in Essex. During World War II part of the golf course was used as a prisoner of war camp and anti-aircraft battery. The Royal Forest Hotel adjacent to the Lodge was built in the 1880s/90s and provides evidence of the great popularity of this spot from the late C19th onwards, encouraged by the coming of the railway and opening of Chingford Station in 1878. The large influx of visitors brought into being numerous 'retreats' such as the still-surviving Butler's Retreat near the Lodge, a C19th timber-framed barn that was converted in 1891 by the Butler family to serve teas and non-alcoholic refreshments; it was open up until 1971. In 2012 it was restored as part of 'Branching Out', an HLF-funded project to
Victoria County History of Essex; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); Guy Williams 'London and the Countryside, The Growth of Suburbia', Hamish Hamilton 1975; Stephen Pewsey, 'Images of England: Chingford' (Tempus Publishing, 1996)
Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
- Grid ref:
- Size in hectares:
- Site ownership:
- Corporation of the City of London
- Site management:
- Corporation of the City of London
- Listed structures:
- LBII*: Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge. LBII: Butler's Retreat
- 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:
- Yes - Metropolitan Importance
- Green Belt:
- Metropolitan Open Land:
- Special Policy Area:
- Yes - Chingford Plain and surrounding woodland: SSSI (part) and Special Area of Conservation
- Other LA designation:
- Local List of Historic Parks and Gardens (Fairmead Park)
Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge, December 2019. Photograph Sally Williams
Click photo to enlarge.
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