Nearest Tube: Walthamstow Central
This district of east London is located about 6 miles to the north-east of The City, between Chingford and Leyton.
The area was originally densely forested and there is evidence that it has been settled since Roman times. More recently the district had the well-used route between London and Waltham Abbey running through it, and the name of the district is said to mean "a place which welcomes strangers".
By the 15th century the forests had been largely cleared (except for the area that is today known as Epping Forest) and the district was populated by small farms and villages.
By the 16th century Walthamstow was attracting wealthy residents. Over the next 200 years several large manor houses were built, including Water House Manor which is now home to the William Morris Gallery.
In the 18th century Walthamstow was still a predominantly rural district, but by the 19th century it had become industrialised and the population had increased dramatically.
The railway was the major employer in Walthamstow but the district is remembered for the fact that the first British car boasting an internal combustion engine was produced here in 1895.
Walthamstow still reflects its industrial heritage, but now it is a predominantly residential district. Since 1965 it has been part of the borough of Waltham Forest.
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