St James Street

St James Street, Waltham Forest

A station and street situated at the southern end of Blackhorse Road in west Walthamstow

Hidden London: the rear of houses in St James Street, seen from the station
The rear of hous­es in St James Street

Walthamstow’s first St James’s church was erect­ed in 1842. A replace­ment was built in 1902 and demol­ished six­ty years lat­er. The site is now occu­pied by a health clin­ic.

Much of the area was devel­oped by the local builder Sir TCT Warn­er dur­ing the 1890s. It was called the Clock House estate after the Warn­er fam­i­ly home, a Regency style vil­la erect­ed in 1813, part of which is still stand­ing at the cor­ner of Mis­sion Grove and Pre­to­ria Avenue, near the top of the map below. Warner’s hous­es were built to a high stan­dard with dis­tinc­tive exter­nal fea­tures, includ­ing a let­ter ‘W’ on many of the prop­er­ties. Some of the estate was acquired by the coun­cil in the 1960s and Leucha Road is now a con­ser­va­tion area.

Low Hall sports ground and St James Park lie to the south and south-west of the sta­tion, respec­tive­ly. The for­mer has a grade II list­ed Vic­to­ri­an engine house that was remod­elled in 1897 to take a pair of Mar­shall steam engines, which are still in work­ing order. The Pump­house is cur­rent­ly revamped as a steam and trans­port muse­um, “inter­pret­ing the nation­al­ly impor­tant steam and trans­port first achieve­ments of the Lea Val­ley Cor­ri­dor.” It is open to the pub­lic every Sun­day, and admis­sion is free (which is a rar­i­ty for small muse­ums nowa­days).

The for­mer St James Street library at 7–11 Cop­per­mill Lane is now The Mill, a vibrant, com­mu­ni­ty-run cen­tre for a wide range of local groups, events and activ­i­ties.

Postal district: E17
Station: London Overground (zone 3)