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OS grid reference TQ385845
London borough Newham
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district E15
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament West Ham
London Assembly City and East
List of places: UK • England • London

Stratford, historically Stratford Langthorne, is a place in the London Borough of Newham in East London. Currently the focus of regeneration associated with the 2012 Summer Olympics, Stratford is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.[1]



Stratford Broadway

The name "Stratford" derives from the Old English word for "street" combined with "ford" (a river crossing). The name was originally applied to two adjacent villages, one on each side of a ford over the River Lea on the Roman road from London to Colchester. On the west bank, Stratford-atte-Bow was named after a bow-shaped bridge over the Lea, and is now known merely as Bow. On the east bank was Stratford Langthorne, now simply Stratford.

The Abbey of St Mary's, Stratford Langthorne was founded in 1135 and was a dominating influence until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1538. It was one of the largest of the Cistercian order, possessing 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) of local land. No traces of the abbey's buildings remain above ground, but archaeological investigation is ongoing (see links below).

An elaborate Martyrs' Memorial, designed by Edward Blore, can be found in St John churchyard in Stratford Broadway. It commemorates the Essex Protestants burnt in the Marian Persecutions, as documented by John Foxe.

St John's Church, Stratford

Until the arrival of the railways in 1839 much of Stratford was open countryside in the historic county of Essex. From 1889 to 1965 it was part of the County Borough of West Ham, which shared geographical boundaries with the ancient Parish of West Ham. With the formation of Greater London in 1965 Stratford became a part of the London Borough of Newham.

The old Stratford Market Station building

North of modern Stratford is Stratford New Town, initially called "Hudson Town" after George Hudson the railway entrepreneur, and it was the location of the Eastern Counties Railway's works at Temple Mills. The original works closed in 1963, but in recent years a modern maintenance facility for Eurostar trains has entered operation.

Stratford was home to a wholesale fruit and vegetable market whose former location is now occupied by the Jubilee Line workshops. Stratford Market railway station building is disused but was refurbished by the council in the 1990s. A retail street market in Angel Lane also traded, a remnant of which now trades under cover in the aisles of the shopping centre. The wholesale market's


Stratford has been a focus of regeneration for some years, and is the location of a number of major projects:

  • Westfield Stratford City is a multi-billion pound scheme to regenerate the 73-hectare brownfield railway lands to the north of the existing town centre. There will be a vast shopping centre similar in size to Bluewater, for which John Lewis, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer have already committed to provide anchor stores. Nearby will be a new purpose-built community of 5,000 homes, offices, schools, public spaces, municipal and other facilities destined to become a major metropolitan centre for East London.


UEL's Stratford Campus

The University of East London (UEL) has a major campus in Stratford, whose main building, University House, is a historic listed building dating from the 19th Century. The adjacent Passmore Edwards Building is also one of the area's most historic and beautiful buildings, with colourful frescoes and domed roof.

In addition, Birkbeck College, part of the University of London, has launched courses in the area, initially using space provided by UEL, with a view to constructing its own campus in Stratford.

A new university is planned on the Olympic Park following the 2012 Games.

For details of schools in Stratford see the List of schools in the London Borough of Newham

Other places of interest

Stratford Shopping Centre
Outdoor market stalls

Stratford's existing shopping centre is conveniently located opposite the station, and is popular for its range of accessibly-priced stores, its indoor and outdoor market stalls, and the 'inshops' network of small retail outlets.

The centre occupies much of the 'island site' created in the 1960s by the surrounding gyratory traffic system. When Stratford City's vast shopping destination opens on the other side of Stratford Station in 2011, a direct pedestrian bridge is planned to span the road and railway lines, connecting the two centres.

Theatre Royal Stratford East
Stratford Picture House

Stratford's Cultural Quarter, adjacent to the shopping centre, is home to several arts venues, bars and cafes:

Discover centre (the furthest left of this set of historic buildings on Stratford High Street)
Stratford Rex)
  • The Discover centre for children is a partner in the Cultural Quarter, but is located on Stratford High Street, on the other side of the shopping centre
  • The Stratford Rex nightclub occupies a grand building which opened in 1896 as the Borough Theatre and Opera House. It was known as the Rex Cinema from 1933 to 1969, before being converted to a live music venue.

Stratford in popular culture

Stratford has been the location for numerous films, notably 'Sparrows Can't Sing' (1963) and 'Bronco Bullfrog' (1970). The promotional film for the Beatles' 'Penny Lane' single was filmed in and around Angel Lane.


File:Tube sign.jpg
Stratford Tube logo

Nearest places

Notable people associated with Stratford

Note that the playwright William Shakespeare did not come from here but from Stratford-upon-Avon, which is known simply as "Stratford" to many people.

External links

Stratford Old Town Hall


Coordinates: 51°32′27″N 0°00′08″E / 51.5408°N 0.0021°E / 51.5408; 0.0021

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