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Help and advice for Wanstead

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"WANSTEAD, a parish in the hundred of BECONTREE, county of ESSEX, 7 miles (N. E.) from London, containing 1354 inhabitants. This is a genteel village, situated on the borders of Waltham Forest, near the main road from London to Cambridge, and is principally worthy of note as the site of that once princely mansion, Wanstead House, built, in 1715, by Sir Richard, son of Sir Josiah Child, created Viscount Castlemain in 1718, and Earl of Tylney in 1731, and considerably extended and embellished by his descendants. This splendid mansion was surrounded by a very extensive and beautiful park, laid out with great taste, and interspersed with gardens, pleasure grounds, and grottos: it was the temporary residence of the Prince of Condé but having come, by marriage, into the possession of the Hon. W. T. L. P. Wellesley, it was sold and demolished in 1822, since which time the park has been let out in portions for the grazing of cattle; of the buildings, nothing remains but the stables and out-offices. The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry of Essex, and diocese of London, rated in the king's books at £6. 13. 9., and in the patronage of the Hon. Mr. Wellesley. The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, was rebuilt about the year 1790; it is a handsome edifice of brick and Portland stone, with a fine Doric portico, and, at the west end, a cupola supported on eight Ionic pillars: the interior is of light and elegant appearance, the aisles being separated from the nave by columns of the Corinthian order; in the chancel is a window of beautifully stained glass, by Eginton, representing Christ bearing the Cross, in imitation of the altar-piece in the chapel of Magdalene College, Oxford; also a superb monument to the memory of Sir Josiah Child, Bart., who died in 1699, embellished with a marble effigy of the deceased. A free school, in which sixty children of both sexes are educated, forty of whom are also clothed, is partly supported by the proceeds of £200 three per cents., the be: quest of George Bowles, Esq., in 1805. About the year 1735, a tesselated pavement of considerable dimensions, brass and silver coins, fragments of urns, and other relics of antiquity, were dug up on the south side or Wanstead park." [From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831) - copyright Mel Lockie 2016]

Aldersbrook - a place within this parish



  • Census returns are available from the usual sources for 1841-1911, which includes most copies held at the ERO, Wharf Rd, Chelmsford. More information on other ways to view these census returns on the Essex

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

  • Wanstead was a member of the Becontree Hundred

You can see the administrative areas in which Wanstead has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • Wanstead was a member of the West Ham Poor Law Union