top of page
Stratford Broadway from WH Town Hall roof. August 1973.jpg
8. St John's Church, Stratford Broadway. 1910.jpg

The 19th Century

 St John's Parish was originally part of the ancient Parish of West Ham which covered an area from the River Lea on the West to Green Street (or White Post Lane) on the East, and from the River Thames in the South to Leyton and Wanstead in the North. It was in the diocese of London; in the Archdeaconry of Essex, which stretched from the Lea to the East coast; and in the ancient deanery of Barking, covering the modern London Boroughs of Waltham Forest, Newham and Redbridge, and the Barking half of Barking and Dagenham.

In 1828 Rev. Hugh Chambres-Jones, the Vicar of West Ham (who was also the Archdeacon of Essex), seeing how fast the area was growing, said that there was now an urgent need for a Church building at the centre of Stratford and was granted permission to build a chapel, construction began in 1832.

The land was given by Lord Wellesley-Pole of Wanstead, elder brother of the Duke of Wellington and of Hon. and Rev. Gerald Valerian Wellesley, Chaplain of the Royal Household, and previously Vicar of West Ham, and Thomas Humphreys, Lord of The Manor of West Ham. The building cost £23,000 to build, of which £5,000 was granted by the church commissioners and much of the rest of the money was given by local people, in 1834 it was opened as a Chapel of Ease for West Ham Parish.

St John's was designed by Edward Blore who was one of the leading architects of his day. Blore was given the job of finishing off Buckingham Palace after John Nash was sacked for being too extravagant. St John's was designed in the Early English style with a tall, ornate south western spire. Interesting architectural features are, externally, the lancets (like stone bridges) and internally the moulded piers (grooves in the pillars) and depressed arches (the tops of the arches are flatter than usual). Edward Blore's original designs are in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Originally there was a gallery at the back of the Church, which was removed in 1887, and building work in the mid 1990s revealed the bricked-up door which lead from the tower on to the gallery.

The railways reached Stratford in 1839 and five years later London forced its smellier industries to move across the Lea into West Ham, boosting the population of the area tremendously.

  • Facebook
  • X
  • Instagram
bottom of page