Hidden London

Coppermills

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Waltham Forest

A watery quarter lying beside Walthamstow Marshes on the southern banks of the River Lea reservoirs. Nowadays, most of Coppermills is occupied by Thames Water’s filter beds and pumping stations, which replaced the Lea Bridge waterworks in 1972. A mill has existed here for many centuries. The present Coppermill building was erected two centuries ago, and copper coins were minted here during the Napoleonic Wars. It was converted to a pumping station by the East London Waterworks Company in the 1860s when the tower was added. Water from the New River arrives here after its journey south through Hertfordshire and Coppermills is a major supplier to the London Ring Water Main.

The neighbouring residential area lies on the western edge of Walthamstow. At Coppermill primary school, on Edward Road, nearly 60 per cent of children come from minority ethnic backgrounds, mainly African-Caribbean and Pakistani. Over a third of pupils have English as an additional language.

Birdshit Island
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Reservoir No. 5 at Coppermills. The island is covered, not in snow, but in bird feathers and guano.

Postal district: E17

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

 
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