SKIRTING LONDON FIELDS (1.9 miles)

When following this route, please remember to:

    • Keep to the 2 metre social distancing from people you pass by;
    • Take care crossing roads – use controlled crossings where possible.

1/17 Start outside London Fields Station built in 1872 on the Great Eastern Line, which was the third train line to cross Hackney. By the 17th century this area was part of gardens of big houses built as Hackney spread south down Mare St.

2/17 Take a right down Mentmore Terrace and then right into Lamb Lane. Note on the left remains of a stone wall of the church school. St Michael & All Angels Church was built in 1864 on the left at the end of Lamb Lane overlooking the Fields on what had been the grounds of Pembroke House, an asylum for the mentally ill staff of the East India Company.

3/17 The church was demolished after it was damaged by bombing in WW2. The  former vicarage, now flats, is on the opposite corner. A new church was built in 1960 on the other side of the Fields. Turn left and pass early 19th century houses to the end of London Fields East facing Warburton House which was built in 1938, as a slum clearance of 158 houses in Warburton Square

4/17 Warburton House and Road are named after Thomas Warburton, (d. 1836) who made his money looking after the mentally ill. His most famous institution was Whitmore House in de Beauvoir. He also ran an asylum in this vicinity. The nearby Martello Hall pub in Mare Street was formerly the Warburton Arms.

5/17 Turn right and briefly entering London Fields turn left at Darcy House built in 1904 on the site of Pacifico almshouse for 7 elderly Jews. Pass the Porters Statues put up by Free Form Arts 1980s with local schools recalling people who walked through London Fields to take their produce to market in London

6/17 Go straight on to Westgate St, opposite London Fields school founded in 1874. When the current 1920s building opened it was the first opportunity for many local children to see electric light. Cross the road and go down Sheep Lane and left into Beck Road, laid out in 1891 on the grounds of Providence House

7/17 Beck Road is named for Joseph Beck, a Stoke Newington optician manufacturer and London politician who led the campaign to create Clissold Park. The road was saved from demolition in the 1970s by artist residents. Opposite the end of the road is St Joseph’s Hospice founded by 5 Irish nuns in 1900

8/17 The hospice opened in 1900 in Cambridge Villas, a former home (1865-8) of Salvation Army founder William Booth. Turn right to go down Mare St. On the left pass Victoria Park Road, which was not laid out until 1850s giving access to South Hackney. On the right pass Ada Grove Bus Garage, established here in 1981. Turn right at Andrews Road.

9/17 Follow Andrews Road beside the Regent’s Canal. On the right is the Firmback Works building. In 1842 it was home to the British Penitent Female Refuge which helped former prostitutes. Later it was a Cintique furniture factory. Plans to expand the bus garage behind threaten this building, the area’s only surviving early c19th big house.

10/17 Walk on to Sheep Lane. On the other side of the canal are two gas holders erected in 1866 and 1889. They stored gas from the Imperial Gas Works main site further west, now forming the north part of Haggerston Park. Go up Sheep Lane. On the left before Regent Studios was put up in 1965, the bombed site was a cycle speedway track

11/17 Turn left at Westgate St. Pass the Cat and Mutton, a pub since 1723 at the end of Broadway Market. Walk on to pass on the left early 19th century houses opposite London Fields which were formerly common land named because they were on the way to London. They have been a park since 1872 when most of Hackney’s common land was bought up by the local authority of the day.

12/17 Go straight up Lansdowne Drive. Pass terraced Lansdowne Place one of the first buildings put up on the Rhodes family’s Lamb Farm estate, stretching from Dalston Junction; built by 1827 amidst open fields. Carry on up the road passing the church built in 1960 to replace the bombed St Michael’s and All Angels on the other side of the Fields.

13/17 At the end of Lansdowne Drive turn right. On the corner is Morland Estate built on the site of houses destroyed by a V1 rocket on 7 July 1944, killing 4 people. The Robin mural was put up in February 2020 to celebrate London’s National Park City bid. The estate opposite replaced houses demolished in the 1970s.

14/17 On the corner with London Fields West Side is the former Duke of Marlborough pub of 1851. Pubs were often the first building of a development put up, on a corner site. The road is named for Richmond, Yorkshire as Mr Rhodes was convalescing there when asked to name the road to be laid out across his Dalston land.

15/17 Carry on to Eleanor Rd, passing on the left post-war Wayman Court built in 1964. On the right from the tennis courts to Eleanor Road, Richmond Rd was lined with houses destroyed in the blitz, so extending the park. The lower ground and line of plane trees mark where the houses stood.

16/17 Turn right into Eleanor Road which originally continued to the right of The Pub on the Park, formerly the Queen Eleanor from 1855. The road had houses on either side. A school on the right side facing the Fields was bombed in September 1940. Carry on up the path and take a right into Martello, formerly, Tower Street.

17/17 The area east of London Fields was built up with terraced streets from the 1850s. After WW2 it was rezoned for industrial use. Lately the area has changed again with industrial buildings replaced by blocks of apartments, artisan food shops, clubs, breweries, cinemas, restaurants, gyms.

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