Blackhorse Road

Blackhorse Road, Waltham Forest

A station and commercial thoroughfare in west Walthamstow

geograph-4782785-by-Julian-Osley - The black horse of Walthamstow - 664

‘Black­horse’ is a cor­rup­tion of Black House, a man­sion that stood at the south­ern end of the road. Orig­i­nal­ly called Werde­strete and lat­er Black House Lane, the road came into exis­tence in Sax­on times as a route from the com­mon lands of High­am Hill to the near­est mills, at what is now Lea Bridge.

Local mag­nates the Warn­er fam­i­ly acquired the crum­bling Black House in 1813 and replaced it with a Regency vil­la called the Clock House. Per­haps to cre­ate a delib­er­ate con­trast with the ear­li­er prop­er­ty, the Warn­ers built their new home using white Suf­folk bricks. Com­mer­cial and indus­tri­al prop­er­ties began to line Black Horse Lane lat­er in the cen­tu­ry and its south­ern sec­tion was renamed Black Horse Road in 1888. Around this time Sir Courte­nay Warn­er began to lay out streets of ter­raced hous­ing on the family’s exten­sive estates in Waltham­stow and Ley­ton and he insti­gat­ed the cre­ation of the Tot­ten­ham and For­est Gate Rail­way to boost the pop­u­lar­i­ty of the project. The line opened in 1894, as did Black Horse Road sta­tion, sit­ed on the east­ern side of the road.

The Vic­to­ria line arrived here in 1968, pro­vid­ing the only inter­me­di­ate inter­change on the Gospel Oak to Bark­ing line. A new set of sur­face build­ings was con­struct­ed for its sta­tion, adorned with a fibre­glass relief of a black stal­lion by David McFall, shown in the pho­to above.* The new sta­tion adopt­ed the one-word spelling of ‘Black­horse’ that was by then in use for the road itself. The old main­line sta­tion was demol­ished in 1981 and its plat­forms were moved west to allow the use of a com­mon entrance for the two ser­vices.

Ferry Lane build-​​to-​​rent scheme [developers' CGI]
Fer­ry Lane build-​​to-​​rent scheme [devel­op­ers’ CGI]
In Octo­ber 2016 Waltham For­est coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee approved Legal & General’s pro­pos­al for a mixed-use, build-to-rent devel­op­ment on the site of the for­mer Fer­ry Lane indus­tri­al estate, north-west of Black­horse Road sta­tion.

If all goes to plan, the project is expect­ed to deliv­er 440 homes, as well as cafés, a food store, com­mu­nal work­ing spaces, open land­scaped areas and com­mu­nal leisure spaces for res­i­dents. Shown in the artist’s impres­sion on the right, the scheme will com­prise five gate­way build­ings along the edge of the so-called Waltham­stow Wet­lands.

For the pur­pos­es of Waltham Forest’s ‘mini-Hol­land’ anti-car pro­gramme, the pre­dom­i­nant­ly res­i­den­tial area south-east of Black­horse Road sta­tion (framed by For­est Road, Hoe Street, Sel­bourne Road and Black­horse Road) has been named ‘Black­horse Vil­lage’.

Postal district: E17
Station: Victoria line and London Overground (zone 3)
* The picture of the Blackhorse Road station mosaic and sculpture on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Julian Osley, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is hereby freely permitted under the terms of that licence.