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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of East London

by Peter Kessler, 26 June 2020

Newham Part 12: Churches of West Ham & Stratford

West Ham Park Primitive Methodist Church, East London

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.

Langthorne Abbey, West Hamm, East London

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, East London

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.

All Saints West Ham, East London

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 1892-1894.

West Ham Baptist Tabernacle, East London

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.

Vision Church, West Ham, East London

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, West Ham, East London

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, Stratford, East London

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, Stratford, East London

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, East London

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 Newham.



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