Stratford, London

Stratford, London

Infobox UK place
official_name= Stratford
map_type= Greater London
region= London
country= England
london_borough= Newham
constituency_westminster= West Ham
post_town= LONDON
postcode_area= E
postcode_district= E15
dial_code= 020
os_grid_reference= TQ385845
latitude= 51.542339
longitude= -0.001835

Stratford, historically Stratford Langthorne, is a place in the London Borough of Newham in East London. It will be the major location of the 2012 Summer Olympics.


The name "Stratford" derives from the Old English word for "street" combined with "ford" (a river crossing). It was originally the name of two adjacent villages, one on each side of such a ford over the River Lea on the Roman road from London to Colchester. Stratford-atte-Bow, on the west bank, was named after a bow-shaped bridge over the Lea, and is now known merely as Bow. On the east bank was Stratford Langthorne, now simply Stratford.

The Abbey of St Mary's, Stratford Langthorne was founded in 1135 and was a dominating influence until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1538. It was one of the largest of the Cistercian order, possessing convert|1500|acre|km2 of local land. None of the abbey's buildings remain, but archaeological investigation is ongoing (see links below).

Until the arrival of the railways in 1839 much of Stratford was open countryside in the historic county of Essex. From 1889 to 1965 it was part of the County Borough of West Ham, which shared geographical boundaries with the ancient Parish of West Ham. With the formation of Greater London in 1965 Stratford became a part of the London Borough of Newham.

North of modern Stratford is Stratford New Town, initially called "Hudson Town" after George Hudson the railway entrepreneur, and it was the location of the Eastern Counties Railway's works at Temple Mills. The works closed in 1963, but a small depot still exists.

Stratford was home to a fruit and vegetable market, the remnant of which now trades under cover in the aisles of the shopping centre. Its former location is marked by the Stratford Market railway station building, disused but refurbished by the council in the 1990s.

The church of St John in Stratford Broadway, designed by Edward Blore, contains in the churchyard the elaborate Martyrs' Memorial to those Essex Protestants burnt in the Marian Persecutions as documented by John Foxe.


Stratford has been a focus of regeneration for some years, and is the location of a number of major projects:

*Stratford International station on High Speed 1 (the Channel Tunnel Rail Link) has now been constructed, though it cannot be opened until the surrounding infrastructure has been completed. The station will be served, not only by trains to and from the continent, but also by high-speed commuter trains between Kent and London, and by a new DLR line running via Stratford Regional station and Stratford High Street DLR station, to destinations including Woolwich via London City Airport and Beckton via the ExCeL Exhibition Centre.

*Stratford City is a multi-billion pound scheme to regenerate the 73-hectare brownfield railway lands to the north of the town centre. There will be a vast shopping centre similar in size to Bluewater, for which John Lewis, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer have already committed to provide anchor stores. Adjacent will be a new purpose-built community of 5,000 homes, offices, schools, public spaces, municipal and other facilities destined to become a major metropolitan centre for East London. Plans include several residential and office skyscrapers, including a 55-storey tower designed by architects Allies and Morrison opposite Stratford station. New superstores are being built in the Stratford area, with completion expected in 2009.

*The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will have their main base at the Olympic Park, which will contain a significant number of venues including the Olympic Stadium, Aquatics Centre, and London Velopark. Some of the new Stratford City accommodation will serve as the Olympic Village housing athletes before being re-configured for the property market. After the Olympics the 'legacy' plans include the largest new urban park in Europe for over a century.

*Crossrail, a new rail line through central London connecting Heathrow Airport and Maidenhead in the west, will serve both Stratford and Maryland stations.


The University of East London (UEL) has a major campus in Stratford, whose main building, University House, is a historic listed building dating from the 19th Century. The adjacent Passmore Edwards Building, is one of the area's most beautiful buildings, with its striking architecture, colourful frescoes and domed roof.

In addition, Birkbeck College, part of the University of London, has launched courses in the area, initially using space provided by UEL, with a view to constructing its own campus in Stratford.

:"For details of schools in Stratford see the List of schools in the London Borough of Newham"

Places of interest

Stratford's existing shopping centre is conveniently located opposite the station, and is popular for its range of accessibly-priced stores, its indoor and outdoor market stalls, and the 'inshops' network of small retail outlets.

The centre occupies much of the 'island site' created in the 1960s by the surrounding gyratory traffic system. When Stratford City's vast shopping destination opens on the other side of Stratford Station in 2011, a direct pedestrian bridge is planned to span the road and railway lines, connecting the two centres.

Stratford's Cultural Quarter, adjacent to the shopping centre, is home to several arts venues, bars and cafes:
* Theatre Royal Stratford East
* Stratford Circus
* [ Stratford Picture House]
* [ Caribbean Scene restaurant]
* [ Pizza Express]
* [ Free comedy, music and poetry nights at the Theatre Royal Bar]
* [ The Fox @ Stratford]

* [| The Discover centre for children] is a partner in the Cultural Quarter, but is located on Stratford High Street, on the other side of the shopping centre
* [ The Stratford Rex] nightclub occupies a grand building which opened in 1896 as the Borough Theatre and Opera House. It was known as the Rex Cinema from 1933 to 1969, before being converted to a live music venue.

* Three Mills Studios
* 2012 Olympic Park


* Stratford station is a major transport hub consisting of:
**Two London Underground lines:
***Central Line
***Jubilee Line
**London Overground
**Several National Rail lines:
***National Express East Anglia (formerly 'One Railway')
***occasional late night c2c services
***future Crossrail services
***existing services to Lewisham via Canary Wharf
***future services to Stratford International station, Woolwich via London City Airport, and Beckton via the ExCeL Exhibition Centre
**A Bus Station served by the following routes:
*** 25, 69, 86, 104, 108, 158, 238, 241, 257, 262, 276, 308, 425, 473 and D8
*** night buses N8 and N86 (additionally routes 25, 69 and 108 are 24hrs)
*** National Express Coaches A9 (to Stansted Airport) and 010 (to Cambridge)

* Maryland railway station
**National Express East Anglia trains
**future Crossrail services

* Stratford International station "(under construction)"
* Stratford High Street DLR station "(under construction)"

Nearest places

*Forest Gate
*West Ham
*Canning Town
*Hackney Wick

Notable people associated with Stratford

*Jim Barrett, footballer
*Tony Banks, Labour Party politician
*Crazy Titch, rapper
*Stan Earle, footballer
*Bryan Forbes, actor, screenwriter, film producer
*Ernie Gregory, footballer
*Peter Grotier, footballer
*Walter Hancock, inventor
*Luke Howard, meteorologist
*Gerard Manley Hopkins, poet
*Anna Kingsford, theosophist & author
*Nina Frances Layard, archaeologist and poet
*Joan Littlewood, director of the Theatre Workshop at the Theatre Royal
*Dawn Neesom, journalist
*David Webb, footballer

External links


** [ History and art on public view in Stratford]
** [ How Stratford became Stratford Langthorne and Stratford-atte-Bow]
** [ Description of Stratford in 1876]
** [ Archaeology at the Olympic site]
** [ History of Stratford site with links to historic Post Office directories]
** [ Stratford Historical Trade Directories & Pubs from 100 years ago]

*Stratford Langthorne Abbey
** [ The history of Stratford Langthorne Abbey]
** [ 'West Ham Abbey' as known to the locals]
** [ Cisterian Abbeys: Stratford Langthorne]
** [ Notes on the excavation of Stratford Langthorne Abbey]
** [ Ongoing excavations near Abbey Road]
** [ Discovery of the Abbey's "Great Gate" in February 2008]

Entertainment, shopping and accommodation

*Entertainment & leisure
** [ Theatre Royal Stratford East]
** [ Free entertainment at the Theatre Royal Bar]
** [ Stratford Circus]
** [ Stratford Picture House]
** [ Stratford Rex]
** [ Discover - the story-making centre for children aged 0-9]
** [ Atherton Leisure Centre]
** [ Stratford Library]

** [ Stratford Shopping Centre official site] (see [ here] for a list of stores)
** [ 'InShops Selections' indoor market shops and stalls] (see [ photos] and [ site plan] )
** [ Morrisons supermarket]
** [ Sainsbury's Supermarket (inside the shopping centre)]

** [ Ibis Hotel, Stratford]
** [ Express by Holiday Inn, Stratford]
** [ Forest View Hotel]
** [ The Railway Tavern Hotel]
** [ Lodge 51]

** [ St Johns Church Website]
** [ St Matthews Church Website]


* [ UEL - University of East London's Stratford Campus]
* [ Birkbeck College (University of London) in Stratford]
* [ Newham College]
* [ NewVIc - Newham Sixth Form College]

tratford's future

* [ Stratford City] - the official website from Westfield
* [ Stratford-Renaissance] Stratford Renaissance Partnership
* [ Skyscrapercity] Stratford City Forum on Skyscrapercity
* [ Stratford Aerial View]


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