Hale End

Hale End, Waltham Forest

A socially diverse locality situated south of (and also jumbled up with) Highams Park and separated from Woodford by a thin stretch of Epping Forest

Hale End Road - geograph-2648022-by-Richard-Dunn

There was a Wal­ter de la Hale liv­ing here in 1285 and a Thomas Hale in 1634. How­ev­er, either could have tak­en their name from the place rather than vice ver­sa, as a ‘hale’ meant a nook. An ‘end’ was an out­ly­ing place, and this was one of sev­er­al ‘ends’ around Waltham­stow.

There had been a clear­ing in the for­est here since the time of Domes­day Book and it was known as North End or Wood End until the present name estab­lished itself in the sec­ond half of the 17th cen­tu­ry.

Hale End was built up after the open­ing in 1873 of what is now High­ams Park sta­tion, which was orig­i­nal­ly called Hale End. Tot­ten­ham and For­est Gate Rail­way trains also began to serve the sta­tion in 1894, when it was renamed High­ams Park and Hale End to pub­li­cise devel­op­ments in the grounds of High­ams, and this has result­ed in a blur­ring of the iden­ti­ties of the two places.

With its improved com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Hale End gained an indus­tri­al base, with an empha­sis on what were then ‘high-tech’ prod­ucts. British Xylonite bought the 50-acre Jack’s Farm in 1897 and began to make plas­tics here, lat­er pio­neer­ing the man­u­fac­ture of cel­lu­loid in this coun­try. The company’s Halex-brand­ed goods came to dom­i­nate mar­kets as diverse as tooth­brush­es and table ten­nis balls. Oth­er Hale End firms spe­cialised in elec­tron­ic and sci­en­tif­ic prod­ucts.

After the First World War Waltham­stow coun­cil built the Hale estate, while indus­try was boost­ed by the arrival of the North Cir­cu­lar Road in the late 1920s and con­tin­ued to flour­ish into the ear­ly 1960s.

Marked with a big pink pin on the map below, Hale End library is the only civic ameni­ty in the neigh­bour­hood. Waltham For­est coun­cil has – so far – been per­suad­ed by a well-organ­ised res­i­dents’ cam­paign not to relo­cate and/or down­size the library or sell its pleas­ing build­ing.

Arse­nal FC’s youth acad­e­my is based at Hale End sports ground on Wad­ham Road and is often sim­ply called the Hale End acad­e­my. In 2015 the club announced plans to add three more pitch­es here, accom­pa­nied by new chang­ing rooms, edu­ca­tion areas, land­scap­ing and car park­ing. Click here for a Bing bird’s eye view of the site.

The Hale End area has a main­ly white pop­u­la­tion, with rel­a­tive­ly few young adults.

In 1909 two Latvian anarchists who had stolen wages from a factory in Tottenham were cornered in Hale End after a chase involving murders and tram and van hijackings. Both men shot themselves rather than surrender, one by the railway embankment beside Winchester Road and the other in a cottage on Oak Hill.

Postal district and postcode area: E4 and Woodford Green IG8
Population: 11,355 (Hale End and Highams Park ward, 2011 census)
Station: London Overground (Highams Park, zone 4)
* The photo of Hale End Road on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Richard Dunn, 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.