West Ham Park Primitive Methodist Church
sat on the north side of Stratford Road, opposite the entrance to
Maud Road. The meeting originated in open-air services in 1876. A
school chapel was built in 1877. Two houses were built next door
in 1883 to fund the next work - the erection of an expensive new
church in 1896. The cost had still not been paid off when it was
destroyed by bombing in 1940-1941. Portway Junior School (pictured)
was later built on the site.
The site of Langthorne Abbey is now
under Abbey Mills Pumping Station and the factory sites between
that and Manor Road to the east. St Richard's Chapel, near
the Great Gate (shown here), was probably identical with a chapel
there mentioned in 1334. It seems to have disappeared by 1576. When
the abbey was dissolved in 1538 several of its buildings were
occupied by lay persons. Later they were gradually robbed of stone
while the gate lasted until about 1825.
All Saints West Ham sits between Church
Street North and Church Street, just to the east of West Ham Lane.
The original building was Norman, but this was generally rebuilt
around 1180 by Gilbert de Montfichet, under the ownership of
Langthorne Abbey (see above). The church's original size can be seen
from the three blocked-up clerestory Norman round windows on each
side of the nave. That version was considerably altered in the 1200s
and again in the 1400s.
Early in the 1400s the tower, 22.5m high, was
added, being similar to the contemporary versions that were erected
for the Bow and Barking parish churches (see links). The north chapel
was rebuilt about 1547. In 1803 the south chapel and east wall were
refaced with yellow brick. During the 1700s north, south, and west
galleries were added thanks to temporary prosperity, but were all
removed in the nineteenth century. The vestries were built in
West Ham Baptist Tabernacle is on the west
side of West Ham Lane, sixty metres north of Church Street. A stable
loft was hired in 1839 for services and nicknamed the Granary. The
tabernacle replaced it in 1844. In 1847 it became Strict Baptist.
The building was enlarged in 1850, and a gallery added in 1872. The
building underwent a full rebuild in 2020. The former Unitarian
Enon Chapel on Chapel Street (Stratford) may have had links.
This lasted between 1842-1854.
Non-sectarian Christians registered Barnby
Street (Iron) Church in 1878, which intersects West Ham Lane
just fifty metres north of Densham Road. There was also the
Stratford Town Hall Meeting from 1892, and the Bridge Road
Meeting from 1924. Vision Church occupied the building
shown here by 2010, at the north-west corner of the Barnby Street
junction, but the building was demolished in 2015 in favour of a
combined coffee shop and apartment block.
Salvation Army Paul Street is on the north
side of Paul Street, at the junction with the truncated stub of
Rokeby Street (to the left here). It replaced Angel Lane Hall
after the war. Also on Rokeby Street, at the junction to the south
with Mortham Street, was the Church of St Thomas Rokeby Street.
It opened about 1878 as a mission for All Saints (see above). In
1889 the original iron building was replaced by a brick one but it
was demolished in 1957 due to war damage.
Bridge Road United Methodist Church is
hard to pin down as no OS map seems to label it. That it was around
here, near the former pub shown in the distance on the eastern side
of the road seems highly likely. The Woolwich railway occupies all
of the western side anyway. It was founded by Wesleyan reformers
leaving Enon Chapel on Chapel Street. They registered in 1854,
erected a chapel in 1860, and left in 1907. Elim Four Square
Gospel Alliance used it from 1930.
St Vincent De Paul & St Patrick Catholic
Church stood on the south side of the High Street, west of the
Channelsea bridge. This was likely midway between the Carpenters
Road and Warton Road junctions. It was the area's first permanent
Catholic church, built in 1813. As a precaution against riots, the
frontage had no windows. It was replaced in 1868 by St Francis of
Assisi, Stratford (see links). The nearby Chapel of St Patrick,
Lett Road, opened in 1897 and closed in 1945.
Christ Church Stratford stood at the
south-west corner of the High Street and Union Road (now Rick
Roberts Way). It was erected in 1851-1852 to serve Stratford Marsh
but was demolished before 1986. Nearby, Ward Road Mission
opened in 1882, replaced by St Aidan's Church in 1895-1899.
This closed in 1944 after bombing and was later demolished. Also
nearby, Biggerstaff Road Mission opened by 1906 on a site
where the tower block now stands.
Seven photos on this page by P L Kessler (from
2010-2011), and two kindly contributed by the London Borough of