through ‘upper homerton’ (0.7 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.

1/10 Start outside Sutton House, 2-4 Homerton High Street, E9 6JQ. This western part of Homerton was called ‘Upper Homerton’. Sutton House was built in 1535 by Ralph Sadleir. It was incorrectly named after wealthy Thomas Sutton who never lived there; he lived in a house close by where he died in 1611.

2/10 Turn right then right again down Isabella Road to the Chesham Arms in Mehetabel Road. These streets were named for the daughters of landowner John Ball who let the first leases for development here in 1865. The pub opened the same year; it is said to be  the only pub with this name. It closed in 2012 but reopened after Hackney Council decided it had to be a pub as an asset of community value.

3/10 Turn left and left again up Link Street; originally this was a steep road with no steps up to Homerton High Street, where walk right to Ponsford Street. This was the main route west out of Homerton. The street was originally named Bridge Street as it led down to a bridge across Hackney Brook. The North London Line, originally constructed in 1850, follows the course of the Hackney Brook.

4/10 Cross over and go down Ponsford Street to steps on the left leading up to Shepherd’ Lane. Imagine sheep grazing on grassy slopes leading down to the brook. Pocket Homes is on the site of The Deuragon Arms, there from 1937 to 1983, one of the best music pubs in the East End of the 1950s, popular for drag shows and a gay friendly pub when homosexuality was illegal.

5/10 At the top of the steps next to Pocket Homes, you are in Rosina Street. Turn left and then right at Homerton High Street. Cross Digby Road to Nos. 140-42. These are mid c18th houses with impressive pediments over Tuscan columns. They are Homerton’s second oldest buildings, a rare survivor of Georgian Homerton, which from 16th to the 18th centuries was the wealthiest part of Hackney.

6/10 Take care crossing Homerton High Street here to Bannister House estate. This was the site of Homerton College, moving here in 1769. It trained non-conformist Congregational Ministers then trained teachers before moving to Cambridge in 1892. By the end of the c19th Homerton was characterized by poverty. Banister House replaced slums of terraced housing on the west side of Bannister Road from 1935; the blocks on the east side went up after WW2.

7/10 Walk along the high street back towards Hackney to The Plough. The pub started in part of a two storey mansion, probably built as a merchant’s country house. The pub was noted in 1734 as being ‘a disorderly house.’ In 1785 it had a skittles ground. The pub was rebuilt in its current form at the end of the c19th. Take a right down Furrow (renamed from Plough) Lane to Homerton Row.

8/10 At Homerton Row can be seen to the right Homerton University Hospital, built in 1986 on the site, from 1869, of a Workhouse for the City of London (not for Hackney poor) and, from 1871, the Metropolitan Asylum Board’s smallpox and fever hospital. These two institutions amalgamated in 1921 as a general hospital for Hackney.

9/10 Originally Alderman’s Row, by the 1880s early 18thc Georgian houses in Homerton Row had disappeared. A small Baptist chapel was built here. Another chapel opened on the south side of the road. Both existed until the 1960s. Follow the road, a through road before it was pedestrianised, back to Homerton High Street.

10/10 This has been a school site extending up Urswick Road for over 140 years. The Ryder family’s home, Upton House, became a truant school in 1878. In 1916 it was Upton House Industrial School. It opened in 1982 as Homerton House boys’ secondary comprehensive, which closed in 2006. The City of London Academy opened on the rebuilt site in 2009.

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