Hidden London

Bakers Arms

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Waltham Forest

A crossroads on the Lea Bridge Road where High Road Leyton meets Walthamstow’s Hoe Street. Formerly known as Leyton Corner, the locality now shares the identity of its unprepossessing public house, which was named in honour of the neighbouring almshouses built in 1857 by the London Master Bakers’ Benevolent Institution. The almshouses fill three sides of a quadrangle facing a well-kept garden, set back from the north side of the Lea Bridge Road. The name of the Rank family of flour millers features prominently in the homes’ roll of honour. The Greater London Council later converted the almshouses into one-bedroom flats, after a change of heart over their demolition for road widening. Plans by Tesco to build a superstore on the site were also resisted, with the help of English Heritage, which has ensured that all renovations have been in keeping with the original design and materials. This included an insistence that stolen iron gates be replaced with craftsman-made replicas. However, some internal parts have since suffered from deterioration and would benefit from further investment in the preservation of this excellent group of buildings.

The Bakers Arms area has expanded to absorb the former hamlet of Knotts Green, just to the east, home for many years of the Barclays banking family. Leyton leisure lagoon is the principal local amenity. The rail users’ group for the Barking to Gospel Oak line is campaigning for a new station to be opened at Bakers Arms, but there is no sign of this eventuating.

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Interiors and exteriors of the almshouses built by the London Master Bakers' Benevolent Institution

Postal districts: E10 and E17
Websites: Leyton leisure lagoon, Barking to Gospel Oak line user group

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