In Anglo-Saxon, Walthamstow means “A place where strangers are welcome”. It was part of the Royal Forest of Waltham, the remains of which are now Epping Forest.
The Domesday Book records that the parish was named Walthamstow Toni and owned by Ralph de Toni, William the Conqueror’s standard bearer. By the 15th century the forest had been cleared and the land was mainly agricultural and covered with small farms.
In the 19th century the Midland Railway put lines through the area and it became a heavily industrialised town. The first British car, the Brewer car, was manufactured in Walthamstow from 1892 onwards. The area became heavily built up, but in 1878 Parliament passed the Epping Forest Act to ensure that the forest was preserved and not built on. The town was severely damaged by bombing in the Second World War.
The most sought-after properties are in the conservation area of Walthamstow Village to the east of Hoe Street and the stations. Streets in the conservation area include Church Hill Road, Church Lane and Vestry Road. On the other side of Hoe Street near the station there are terraces of Victorian houses in the surrounding streets, with the largest in Cedars Avenue. Terraces of Victorian properties are also to be found in the St James area, further west, in the St James Park Estate and the Markhouse Road Estate.
On the other side of Blackhorse Road, there are “Warner homes” in the streets off Coppermill Lane. These are houses built by the Warner family, the original owners of the land, always to a high standard of construction which makes them popular with home owners. Separate pockets of Warner houses are to be found next to Lloyd Park, just north of Forest Road, in the area called Higham Hill. There are also council houses and flats.
There are also desirable houses to be had on the Epping Forest side of Walthamstow around Wood Street station, in what is called Upper Walthamstow. The large detached houses in streets such as Forest Rise and those off it.