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Blackhorse Road

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Waltham Forest

A station and commercial thoroughfare in west Walthamstow. ‘Blackhorse’ is a corruption of Black House, a mansion that stood at the southern end of the road. Originally called Werdestrete and later Black House Lane, the road came into existence in Saxon times as a route from the common lands of Higham Hill to the nearest mills, at what is now Lea Bridge. Local magnates the Warner family acquired the crumbling Black House in 1813 and replaced it with a Regency villa called the Clock House. Perhaps to create a deliberate contrast with the earlier property, the Warners built their new home using white Suffolk bricks. Commercial and industrial properties began to line Black Horse Lane later in the century and its southern section was renamed Black Horse Road in 1888. Around this time Sir Courtenay Warner began to lay out streets of terraced housing on the family’s extensive estates in Walthamstow and Leyton and he instigated the creation of the Tottenham and Forest Gate Railway to boost the popularity of the project. The line opened in 1894, as did Black Horse Road station, sited on the eastern side of the road. The Victoria line arrived here in 1968, providing the only intermediate interchange on the Gospel Oak to Barking line. A new set of surface buildings was constructed for its station, which adopted the one-word spelling of ‘Blackhorse’ that was by then in use for the road itself. The old mainline station was demolished in 1981 and its platforms were moved west to allow the use of a common entrance for the two services.

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Blackhorse Road station, with a fibreglass relief of a black stallion by David McFall

Postal district: E17
Station: Victoria line and Silverlink Metro (zone 3)

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

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