Inventory Site Record

Walthamstow Town Hall Complex and Chestnuts Sports Ground

Walthamstow Town Hall Complex and Chestnuts Sports Ground (Waltham Forest)

Brief Description

The sites of Walthamstow Town Hall and Assembly Hall, as well as the adjacent technical college, magistrates court and Monoux Sixth Form College, were all originally part of the Chestnuts Farm Estate. The Town Hall and Assembly Hall were built when Walthamstow moved its administrative headquarters from the old Victorian Town Hall in Orford Road. The buildings are fronted by a centrally placed fountain within a large circular basin; originally a pond, the fountain was installed in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation and had red, white and blue underwater lighting. Beyond this are sloping lawns laid out with ornamental beds on either side of the driveway that leading from the entrance gates on Forest Road.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Chestnuts Farm Estate
Site location:
Forest Road
Postcode:
E17
Type of site:
Public Gardens;, Public Open Land
Borough:
Waltham Forest
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events:
Assembly Hall - numerous events; Chestnuts Showground - summer events, fireworks etc.
Public transport:
Tube: Walthamstow Central (Victoria). Rail: Walthamstow Central; Wood Street. Bus: 123, 275

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 20/03/2008
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.walthamforest.gov.uk

Full Site Description

The Chestnuts Farm Estate was owned in the C17th by Anthony Lowther, brother-in-law of William Penn who founded Pennsylvania. The name is kept alive by Chestnuts Sports Ground, the open space behind the Town Hall, which is used for a variety of events throughout the year, such as the Council's fireworks display. The Town Hall and Assembly Hall, built between 1938 and 1941, were designed by P.D. Hepworth in the classical style that was then popular, particularly for civic buildings of this sort.

Behind the Town Hall is a group of five sculptures by the Irish sculptor, John F Kavanagh, which represent motherhood, work, recreation, education either side of the central figure of fellowship. The latter figure was modelled on William Morris who spent part of his early life in the Water House, which is now the William Morris Museum in nearby Lloyd Park (q.v.). Morris's words are also emblazoned on the front of the Assembly Hall: 'Fellowship is Life and the Lack of Fellowship is Death'.

Sources consulted:

LB Waltham Forest leaflets

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ376898
Size in hectares:
4.76 Town Hall/3.63 Showground
Site ownership:
LB Waltham Forest
Site management:
Chestnuts Sports Ground; Green Space Service, Environment and Regeneration (Town Hall Gardens not managed by Greenspace Group)
Date(s):
1938-41
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
LBII: Town Hall, Assembly Hall; gates, gate piers, railings to Civic Centre, pair of flagpoles in front of Civic Centre, 8 gate piers in forecourt to south of Civic Centre
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

No
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

No
Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

No

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:
No
In Conservation Area:
No
Tree Preservation Order:
No
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
None

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