Highams Park

Highams Park, Waltham Forest

A residential district, public park(s) and a small industrial estate situated south of Chingford Hatch, all taking their name from a mansion on the edge of Woodford Green

Woodford County High School

Shown in the pho­to above,* the manor house of High­ams is locat­ed at the far right edge of the map below, well to the east of the local­i­ty called High­ams Park, fac­ing Wood­ford Green. Built in 1768 for Antho­ny Bacon MP, the house was next occu­pied by a for­mer gov­er­nor of Bom­bay.

High­ams’ third own­er, John Har­man, called in Humphry Rep­ton to land­scape the grounds, and Harman’s son Jere­mi­ah sold the estate to Edward Warn­er in 1849. The Warn­ers were a promi­nent fam­i­ly in the area and prime min­is­ter William Glad­stone was among their guests here.

When the sta­tion opened in 1873 (orig­i­nal­ly as Hale End) the Warn­er fam­i­ly began to devel­op the grounds, mak­ing this one of the first parts of the wider dis­trict to be built up. The hous­es were gen­er­al­ly more sub­stan­tial than the family’s projects fur­ther south-west in Waltham­stow.

The Cor­po­ra­tion of Lon­don acquired 30 acres of High­ams’ grounds in 1891 to pre­serve them as part of Epping For­est. The High­ams Park wood­land is still owned and main­tained by the City of Lon­don. It has a six-acre lake with fish­ing for carp, pike and tench.

The sta­tion was rebuilt in 1900 and High­ams Park con­tin­ued to grow dur­ing the ear­ly decades of the 20th cen­tu­ry, gain­ing fac­to­ries, schools, church­es and some Arts and Crafts ameni­ty build­ings. The Elec­tric cin­e­ma was built in 1911.

The house called High­ams (which was also var­i­ous­ly known as High­ams Park and High­am Hill, House and Hall) served as a mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal dur­ing the First World War and after­wards became a school, now Wood­ford coun­ty high school for girls. The house was stuc­coed and much extend­ed to the north and south, main­ly between 1928 and 1938.

In the 1930s Essex coun­ty coun­cil built High­ams Park school and Waltham­stow coun­cil cre­at­ed the open space called The High­ams Park, which is locat­ed near the upper right cor­ner of the map below.

Level crossing and disused but preserved signal box south of Highams Park station
Lev­el cross­ing and dis­used but pre­served sig­nal box

Adding fur­ther con­fu­sion to the use of the High­ams name, the gen­er­ous­ly pro­por­tioned semi-detached hous­es to the imme­di­ate east of The High­ams Park con­sti­tute the High­ams estate, which has been des­ig­nat­ed an area of spe­cial char­ac­ter.

Con­sid­er­ing that it is not on a main through route and is close to Waltham­stow, Wood­ford and Ching­ford, High­ams Park has a sur­pris­ing­ly large shop­ping cen­tre around the sta­tion, although many of the out­lets are pound shops and fast-food take­aways.

For­mer indus­tri­al land off Lark­shall Road has recent­ly been rede­vel­oped with ter­raced hous­es, flats, live–work units and shops, includ­ing a flag­ship Tesco super­store.

Postal district and postcode area: E4 and Woodford Green IG8
Population: 11,355 (Hale End and Highams Park ward, 2011 census)
Station: London Overground (zone 4)
Website: Highams Park Forum
* The picture of Woodford county high school at the top of this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Fay1982, at Wikimedia Commons, made available under the Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence. Any subsequent reuse is hereby freely permitted under the terms of that licence. The picture of the level crossing and signal box, Highams Park, is cropped from a photograph, copyright Robin Webster and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.