Vestry House Museum

Vestry House Museum Vestry House Museum presents the history of Waltham Forest. Attractively located in the Grade II listed Vestry House, the Museum can be found in the historic area of Walthamstow Village.

Originally built as a workhouse in 1730, Vestry House has since been a police station and a private house, before it opened as a Museum in 1931. Vestry House Museum houses Waltham Forest Archives and Local Studies Library. It is also home to an award-winning public garden. Group visits and Schools: Vestry House Museum welcomes group bookings; guided tours can be arranged. The Museum has an active schools programme with a wealth of resources available, including activity sheets, loan boxes and object handling sessions. Please book in advance: www.walthamforest.gov.uk/vhm-schools.htm Shop Our shop offers small souvenirs, toys and games from the past and history books and maps of the area. Archives and Local Studies Library The Museum houses Waltham Forest Archives and Local Studies Library, which offer a wide range of resources relating to the history of Waltham Forest. Our extensive printed and manuscript holdings provide key sources for many research topics. By appointment only. Photographic Collection The Museum has an outstanding collection of photographs of Waltham Forest dating back to the 1860s. The collection provides a vivid record of the changing society and local life. Venue Hire Our community Room, complete with kitchen, is available for hire at reasonable rates Tuesday- Sunday 9am-10pm and can accommodate up to 80 people.

Operating as usual

This knitting pattern for a Fair Isle jumper was sold by Woolcrafts, a crafts supply store at 741 High Road Leytonstone....
11/12/2020

This knitting pattern for a Fair Isle jumper was sold by Woolcrafts, a crafts supply store at 741 High Road Leytonstone.
#ChristmasJumper #ArchiveAdventCalendar

Our image shows the parish church of St Michael and All Angels, Palmerston Road, Walthamstow, c.1907. Built in 1885, the...
10/12/2020

Our image shows the parish church of St Michael and All Angels, Palmerston Road, Walthamstow, c.1907. Built in 1885, the church was designed by J M Bignall.
#Angels #ArchiveAdventCalendar

Frances Greviile, Countess of Warwick, society hostess and committed socialist was born in London on 10 Dec 1861. The ma...
10/12/2020

Frances Greviile, Countess of Warwick, society hostess and committed socialist was born in London on 10 Dec 1861. The manor of Walthamstow Toni, held by the Maynard family since 1639, passed to her in childhood when the Maynard male line expired in 1865. Our image shows a wintry view of Shern Hall, manor house of Walthamstow Toni. Portrait: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Daisy_Greville,_Countess_of_Warwick.jpg

Work in progress at Britains Ltd, Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow. A well known manufacturer of metal toys, Britains Ltd op...
09/12/2020

Work in progress at Britains Ltd, Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow. A well known manufacturer of metal toys, Britains Ltd operated from a factory in Sutherland Road, Walthamstow before moving to Blackhorse Lane in 1968.
#Toys #ArchiveAdventCalendar

These are the hashtags which we're following for #ArchiveAdventCalendar, a social media challenge from ARA Scotland! Day...
08/12/2020

These are the hashtags which we're following for #ArchiveAdventCalendar, a social media challenge from ARA Scotland! Day 11 may defeat us - do you have any local history related Christmas jumpers?!! 😀

Festive fare recipes from our collections. #ChristmasFood #ArchiveAdventCalendar
08/12/2020

Festive fare recipes from our collections. #ChristmasFood #ArchiveAdventCalendar

Our image shows No 29 St John’s Ambulance Division HQ at Willow Walk, Walthamstow in 1914. We hope that duty staff were ...
07/12/2020

Our image shows No 29 St John’s Ambulance Division HQ at Willow Walk, Walthamstow in 1914. We hope that duty staff were allowed a #WarmFire! #ArchiveAdventCalendar

Christmas window display at Buck’s Bakers, Leytonstone. #Decorations #ArchiveAdventCalendar
06/12/2020

Christmas window display at Buck’s Bakers, Leytonstone. #Decorations #ArchiveAdventCalendar

Illuminations at Leyton Town Hall, Christmas 1918.#festivelights #ArchiveAdventCalendar
05/12/2020

Illuminations at Leyton Town Hall, Christmas 1918.
#festivelights #ArchiveAdventCalendar

Our photographs show Walthamstow St Mary's church and a portrait of Frederick Bremer, who was buried at St Mary’s church...
05/12/2020

Our photographs show Walthamstow St Mary's church and a portrait of Frederick Bremer, who was buried at St Mary’s churchyard #OTD 5 Dec 1941. Frederick Bremer was an engineer and inventor who lived in Walthamstow and built the first British four-wheeled car with an internal combustion engine in 1892. The Bremer car is on permanent display in our galleries.

Christmas greetings from 1934! The traders of Leyton and Leytonstone urged local people to shop early, certain that 'the...
04/12/2020

Christmas greetings from 1934! The traders of Leyton and Leytonstone urged local people to shop early, certain that 'there was not the slightest necessity for anyone to go outside the Borough for anything they required'. #ArchiveAdventCalendar #shopping

Star Radio, 35 Old Church Road Chingford. #ArchiveAdventCalendar #star
03/12/2020

Star Radio, 35 Old Church Road Chingford. #ArchiveAdventCalendar #star

Snow in Highams Park 1924, and Warren and Co coal merchant, Church Lane, Leytonstone 1937. A belated post for #ArchiveAd...
03/12/2020

Snow in Highams Park 1924, and Warren and Co coal merchant, Church Lane, Leytonstone 1937. A belated post for #ArchiveAdventCalendar days one and two! #snow #coal #betterlatethannever

For International Day of Persons with Disabilities we remember John Stanley (1712–1786), acclaimed composer and organist...
03/12/2020

For International Day of Persons with Disabilities we remember John Stanley (1712–1786), acclaimed composer and organist. Blinded by a childhood accident, in 1729 he became the youngest person to graduate BMus at Oxford. His exceptional talent enabled him to recall and play any piece of music after hearing it just once. John Stanley lived at Forest Rise, Walthamstow, seen in our image from early 1900s. Portrait image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:J.Stanley.jpg
#IDPD

On International Day for the Abolition of Slavery we remember Priscilla Johnston, née Buxton (1808-1852), slavery abolit...
02/12/2020

On International Day for the Abolition of Slavery we remember Priscilla Johnston, née Buxton (1808-1852), slavery abolitionist. Co-secretary of the London Female Anti-Slavery Society, she organised the national ladies’ anti-slavery petition in 1833. In 1851 she was living at Leytonstone House, then home to the Buxton family. Our photo shows Leytonstone House c.1910. Portrait image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Priscilla_Buxton.jpg

Our image shows St John’s church Leytonstone, built in 1833 as a chapel within Leyton parish, and subsequently the paris...
01/12/2020

Our image shows St John’s church Leytonstone, built in 1833 as a chapel within Leyton parish, and subsequently the parish church of the new parish of Leytonstone, St John from 1845. William Cotton of Wallwood House was a major subscriber to the Leytonstone church building fund, and also a co-founder of the national Incorporated Church Building Society in 1818. He was governor of the Bank of England from 1842-1845. Cotton died #OTD 1 Dec 1866, and was buried at St John’s churchyard. Portrait image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:William_Cotton_by_Matthew_Noble_1855.JPG

The Winns, Walthamstow, now the William Morris Gallery, is shown in this detail from an Ordnance Survey map c.1870 from ...
30/11/2020

The Winns, Walthamstow, now the William Morris Gallery, is shown in this detail from an Ordnance Survey map c.1870 from our Local Studies Library. At this time Forest Road retained its earlier name of Clay Street. #mapmonday

The fabulous Art Deco light fittings at Electric House, Church Hill, Walthamstow in 1937. From our Local Studies Library...
29/11/2020

The fabulous Art Deco light fittings at Electric House, Church Hill, Walthamstow in 1937. From our Local Studies Library.
#exploreyourarchive #light

Our photograph shows a ward at Chingford Hospital, Larkshall Road. This opened in 1901 as Walthamstow Isolation Hospital...
28/11/2020

Our photograph shows a ward at Chingford Hospital, Larkshall Road. This opened in 1901 as Walthamstow Isolation Hospital. In 1938 Leyton Borough Council bought a half share and it became the Leyton and Walthamstow Joint Hospital. Taken over by the newly formed NHS in 1948, by 1953 it was operating as a general hospital and was renamed Chingford Hospital.
#exploreyourarchive #health

Our photo shows High Road, Leyton in the early 1900s. Rosa Lewis (née Ovenden) was born in Leyton in 1867, and lived at ...
28/11/2020

Our photo shows High Road, Leyton in the early 1900s. Rosa Lewis (née Ovenden) was born in Leyton in 1867, and lived at the Ovenden family home in the High Road [exact location uncertain]. She became an eminent society cook and hotel proprietor, purchasing the Cavendish in Jermyn Street, London in 1902. Her life inspired the popular 1970s TV series ‘The Duchess of Duke Street’. Rosa Lewis died #OTD 28 November 1952. Portrait image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Lewis#/media/File:Rosa_lewis.jpg

Leyton and Leytonstone Eisteddfod 1928. Programme cover from our Local Studies collections. #exploreyourarchive #celebra...
27/11/2020

Leyton and Leytonstone Eisteddfod 1928. Programme cover from our Local Studies collections.
#exploreyourarchive #celebration

The Pumphouse at Chingford Reservoir in 1913. Four Humphrey pumps were installed here during construction in 1912, each ...
26/11/2020

The Pumphouse at Chingford Reservoir in 1913. Four Humphrey pumps were installed here during construction in 1912, each one able to pump 40,000,000 gallons of water each day. The Humphrey gas pump was invented by Herbert Alfred Humphrey, mechanical engineer. Image from our Local Studies Library.
#exploreyourarchive #science

Our photo shows packaging labels being applied at the Britains Ltd toy factory in Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow. #explore...
25/11/2020

Our photo shows packaging labels being applied at the Britains Ltd toy factory in Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow.
#exploreyourarchive #labels

Queen's Road School Laundry Centre, Walthamstow in 1903. From our Local Studies Library. #exploreyourarchive #education
24/11/2020

Queen's Road School Laundry Centre, Walthamstow in 1903. From our Local Studies Library.
#exploreyourarchive #education

Cinema listings for the Empire, Bell Corner and Scala, Bakers' Arms. from the Walthamstow, Leyton and Chingford Guardian...
24/11/2020

Cinema listings for the Empire, Bell Corner and Scala, Bakers' Arms. from the Walthamstow, Leyton and Chingford Guardian #OTD 24 November 1916.

Our photograph of Forest School, Walthamstow was taken in 1906 by local photographer Alfred Wire. This view would have b...
23/11/2020

Our photograph of Forest School, Walthamstow was taken in 1906 by local photographer Alfred Wire. This view would have been familiar to former pupil Edward Atkinson, born #OTD 23 November 1881 at St. Vincent in the Windward Islands. Atkinson was a naval medical officer and explorer. He joined Captain Scott’s Antarctic expedition of 1910 and led the search party for Scott in 1912. Portrait image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_L._Atkinson#/media/File:Edward_Atkinson.jpg

Cover of the Chingford Tenants' Handbook: a reference book for municipal tenants. From our Local Studies Library.#Explor...
22/11/2020

Cover of the Chingford Tenants' Handbook: a reference book for municipal tenants. From our Local Studies Library.
#ExploreYourArchive #home

A page from the Leyton UDC register for the National Scale of Voluntary Rations, implemented in response to national foo...
19/11/2020

A page from the Leyton UDC register for the National Scale of Voluntary Rations, implemented in response to national food shortages during World War One. An interesting record of the local impact of national emergency, this register is also an excellent resource for family history research, recording the names, signatures and family relationships of household members. From Waltham Forest Archives.

William Morris Senior School, Gainsford Road, Walthamstow, captured in our 1989 photo. Joan Lestor, Baroness Lestor of E...
13/11/2020

William Morris Senior School, Gainsford Road, Walthamstow, captured in our 1989 photo. Joan Lestor, Baroness Lestor of Eccles was a former pupil. Joan Lestor was born #OTD 13 November 1927 in Vancouver, Canada, but grew up in Walthamstow, where her family lived at 12 Clifford Road. Lestor was a long serving Labour MP, for Eton and Slough from 1966-1983 and for Eccles from 1987-1997.

For Armistice Day, an image from our programme for the unveiling of the War Memorial fountain at Coronation Gardens, Ley...
11/11/2020

For Armistice Day, an image from our programme for the unveiling of the War Memorial fountain at Coronation Gardens, Leyton in September 1922.

Sir John Dankworth, jazz musician and composer, was born on 20 September 1927 at 38 Beech Hall Road, Highams Park. He gr...
20/09/2020

Sir John Dankworth, jazz musician and composer, was born on 20 September 1927 at 38 Beech Hall Road, Highams Park. He grew up at 16 Hollywood Way, Woodford Green where he is commemorated by a Waltham Forest heritage plaque. He was educated at Sir George Monoux Grammar School, seen here in our photo from c.1930.

19/09/2020
Open House 2020: Virtual Tour of Vestry House Museum

Sadly we can't offer physical tours for Open House this year so we've created this virtual tour to view in the comfort of your own home. Discover the fascinating history of Vestry House and learn about the lives of its inhabitants. Special thanks to Sam Gibbs - our fabulous front of house manager - for the narration!

Join us for a series of walks exploring the development of Waltham Forest into the multi-faith, multi-ethnic community i...
17/09/2020
Vestry House Museum

Join us for a series of walks exploring the development of Waltham Forest into the multi-faith, multi-ethnic community it is today.

Led by Peter Ashan, author of Freedom Walk: The Roots Of Diversity In Waltham Forest, these walks will celebrate those that have contributed to the diversity of the borough from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade to the present day.

For three consecutive Sundays from October 11. Find out more and book: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/vestry-house-museum-11389158923

Owned and managed by Waltham Forest Council, Vestry House Museum is the local history museum for Waltham Forest and home of Waltham Forest Archives and Local Studies Library. Set in an 18th century former workhouse in the heart of historic Walthamstow Village, the Museum tells the story of the borou...

Some of the residents of Hazelwood Road, Walthamstow celebrated VJ Day by wearing homemade costumes to this victory part...
15/08/2020

Some of the residents of Hazelwood Road, Walthamstow celebrated VJ Day by wearing homemade costumes to this victory party. One of the children in this image is wearing a ‘Peace’ sash in celebration of Imperial Japan’s surrender and the final end of the war.

Text by Ainsley Vinall, Assistant Curator. #VJDay75

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Vestry Road
London
E17 9NH

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Comments

My book about my grandfather, the controversial minister of Trinity Church, Walthamstow, is out on 2 November 2020. "Between Heaven and Earth" by Robert Nurden is my biography of my colourful relative, Stanley James, pastor of the Walthamstow Congregational church 1906-16. He both charmed and alienated his congregation with his feminism, communism and pacifism during the First World War. He also, as a husband and father of seven, scandalised his congregation by conducting passionate affairs with women in his congregation. Before that, as a young man in Canada, he was a cowboy, navvy, hobo, soldier in the US army, newspaper reporter and actor. After being sacked from his Walthamstow church, he joined pacifist organisations, worked alongside Bertrand Russell and eventually converted to Catholicism, counting GK Chesterton among his friends. A colourful life, indeed! You can buy this page-turner of a biography on Amazon.com after 2 November.
I have just noticed the madhatter event is sold out. I was planning to take my 3 years old with his little Peter rabbit costume along with my friend. I am gutted is sold out. Is there any waiting list or anyway to get an extra ticket? I would feel so bad my little boy misses out on this, he would love it so much!
Can you help? Do you know anyone who has/had a corner shop or worked at one in East London? As part of a heritage project for The National Trust we would like to arrange oral history interviews and collect photographs to capture the story of migration and the importance of the corner shop in the community. These will be archived with The British Library. The types of shops included will be newsagents, general stores, post offices and grocery shops in East London. If you know someone who can take part then please DM me or comment below.
There was recently a very interesting post by members of the group walthamstow memories. There are so many photographs of couples married at st Mary’s church. If this has not been done before it’s a wonderful idea for a future exhibition
Thank you for hosting a Honey Pot Theatre Company. Knitting Bee seemed to go down a storm and we had a great time too.
I remember going to local history talks at the Vestry House in the late 70s given by Mr Tonkin.
CGS were working in Shernhall Street today and were amazed to uncover this little beauty. Our clients have lived here since 1952 and had no idea the boiler was there. Amazing find indeed. Tel: 07816 504 352
Vestry House Museum aparfrom the santa thing, do you have to pay for the other christmas stuff such as the performances. or is it free to get in.
We had an awesome time visiting the wonderful Vestry House. Thank you to our local residents and Councillor Berberi for sharing your time with me.
Please look at the comments I’ve posted about the film nights! Can someone get back to me please?
My grandfather was a h simpkins who had the mineral water factory in the 1930’s. I believe my uncle donated labels etc which I believe are in your archives. It is not easy for me to get to London is there any way of photographs being taken for me and I’m happy to pay. Thank you
Hi there. Who do i contact re private hire of the space please? Many thanks.