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Chingford Mount (Old Church Road) Chingford - - 2638823.jpg
Chingford Mount
Chingford is located in Greater London
Population 66,211 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference TQ395945
• Charing Cross 10 mi (16 km) SW
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district E4
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
  • Chingford and Woodford Green
London Assembly
  • North East
List of places
51°37′52″N 0°00′58″E / 51.631°N 0.016°E / 51.631; 0.016

Chingford is a town in east London, England, within the ceremonial county of Greater London and the ancient county of Essex. Adjoining the edge of Epping Forest, with Waltham Abbey to the north, Woodford Green and Buckhurst Hill to the east, Walthamstow to the south, and the River Lea to the west, the town is situated 8.6 miles (13.8 km) north-east of Charing Cross. It contains the areas of Chingford Hatch, Chingford Mount, Friday Hill, Hale End, Highams Park, North Chingford and South Chingford, and had a population of 66,211 at the 2011 census.

The town is part of the London Borough of Waltham Forest, a local government district of Greater London. It was previously a civil parish, urban district and municipal borough, and historically formed an ancient parish in the Waltham hundred of Essex. Similar to much of south-west Essex, the town expanded significantly in the late 19th century, forming part of the conurbation of London. It was included in the Metropolitan Police District in 1840 and became part of London's postal district upon its inception in 1856, with the NE postcode area replaced with E in 1866. The parish was granted urban district status in 1894, and municipal borough status in 1938. Its council was based at Chingford Town Hall until 1965, when the borough of Waltham Forest was created, following reform of local government in London.


The River Ching runs through the area, and the town of Chingford is close to a number of fords of that river. However, old maps and descriptions give a name for the settlement long before the river has a name and it is likely that the name of the river as "Ching" arose long after the settlement was named. It is also thought that, similarly to how Kingston upon Thames appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Chingestone and Chingetun(e), with ching being old English for king, that Chingford could refer to the King's river, and Kings Ford. This idea is compounded by links to royalty using the area for hunting in centuries gone by. However, the most generally accepted explanation by place name genealogists is that the settlement's name has its origin as "Shingly Ford"—that is, a ford over a waterway containing shingles.


One notable local landmark is Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge. Originally called the Great Standing, it was built for King Henry VIII in 1543, and was used as a grandstand to watch the hunting of deer, although it has been heavily altered over time. The building is located on Chingford Plain within Epping Forest and is open to the public. The lodge is preserved under the Epping Forest Preservation Act.

Originally a barn built in the mid-19th century, Butler's Retreat, a Grade II listed building, is one of the few remaining Victorian retreats within the forest. The building is adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge and takes its name from the 1891 occupier John Butler. Retreats originally served non-alcoholic refreshments as part of the Temperance movement. After closing in 2009 the building was refurbished by the City of London Corporation and re-opened as a cafe in 2012.

All Saints, Old Church Road, Chingford - - 1702067
All Saints Church, Old Church Road, E4

All Saints' Church in Chingford Mount (known locally as the Old Church) dates back to the 12th century. Directly opposite the church is Chingford Mount Cemetery, best known today as the burial place of the Kray family.

Friday Hill House, Chingford, London, UK
Friday Hill House

Friday Hill House, Simmons Lane, off Friday Hill, dating from 1839, was a manor house built and owned by Robert Boothby Heathcote, who was both the lord of the manor and rector of the local church. It was he who paid for the building of the church of St Peter and St Paul in Chingford. He is buried in the Boothby family vault in All Saints' Churchyard (Chingford Old Church), Old Church Road. The vault was purchased by Robert Boothby (died 1733), who lived in the previous manor house. The present building has been used as a further education centre, but was put up for sale in 2012.

Pimp Hall Dovecote is situated in a green area at the bottom of Friday Hill and can be viewed by entering the Pimp Hall Nature Reserve. The dovecote, which had nesting space for 250 birds, belonged to Pimp Hall (originally Pympe's Hall), one of three manor houses around Chingford. In 1838 the estate was taken over and became part of the Chingford Earls estate. The farmhouse associated with it survived until just before World War II. This dovecote is depicted in the Millennium Heritage Mosaic on the front of Chingford Assembly Hall. It is the fourth item down on the left-hand-side of the mosaic, also see the Key. There is a local legend telling how on one occasion Charles II was out hunting in Epping Forest and was caught in a snowstorm. He took shelter in Pimp Hall and was so delighted with the food offered him that he jocularly drew his sword and knighted the joint of beef declaring that it was now Sir Loin. Either this story caused the nearby pub on Friday Hill to be called "The Sirloin" or vice versa.

Trig Point and Obelisk, Pole Hill, Chingford - - 390420
Pole Hill Obelisk

A granite obelisk at Pole Hill was erected in 1824 under the direction of the Astronomer Royal, the Rev. John Pond M.A., to mark true north for the telescopes of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, south of the Thames. It was placed on high ground along the line of the Greenwich Meridian, but when this was recalibrated later in the 19th century, the obelisk was deemed to have been erected 19 feet (5.8 m) west of the revised meridian line. Today, an adjoining triangulation pillar marks the modern line.

Chingford Old Town Hall Building, The Ridgeway, Chingford, London, UK
Chingford Old Town Hall building, The Ridgeway

Chingford Old Town Hall, dating from 1929, is on The Ridgeway in Chingford. It has more recently been known as the Chingford Municipal Offices. The site has been sold to property developers and the town hall building subsequently put up for sale itself.


As of the 2011 census, 86% of the population of Chingford Green ward, which covers the north of the area, was white (77% British, 7% Other, 2% Irish). Endlebury ward, covering a central area, was 78% white (68% British, 8% Other, 2% Irish). 7% was black (3% African, 3% Caribbean, 1% Other). Valley ward, covering south west Chingford, is the most culturally diverse, with just half the population identifying as White British.


Chingford station building
Chingford Station

Chingford is served by Chingford railway station - which is in zone 5 - which is the terminus of the London Overground Lea Valley lines from Liverpool Street station in the City of London. Chingford is the only station in Waltham Forest to be within zone 5. There is also a station at Highams Park, in zone 4. Chingford lost its rail link to Stratford with the removal of the 500 m length of track known as the Hall Farm Curve in 1970, and there have been campaigns for its reinstatement.

London Buses routes serving Chingford include 97 to Stratford City, 158 to Stratford, 179 to Ilford, 212 to Walthamstow, 215 to Walthamstow, 313 to Potters Bar, 357 to Whipps Cross, 379 to Yardley Lane Estate, 397 to Debden and the 385, note that both the 397 and 395 terminate at Crooked Billet Sainsbury's, 444 to Turnpike Lane, 505 to Harlow (note that the bus only run on Saturdays). W11 to Walthamstow, W16 to Leytonstone and night route N26 from Trafalgar Square.

Local sport teams

  • Chingford's oldest football club is Egbertian FC, formerly Old Egbertian FC, which was started by former pupils of St Egbert's College, Chingford. The club was formed in 1928 and is affiliated to the Amateur Football Alliance (AFA). The club plays in the Amateur Football Combination.
  • Ridgeway Rovers Youth Football Club is a local club in Chingford East London. Notable former players include David Beckham, Andros Townsend, and Harry Kane.
  • Chingford Rugby Club was also founded in 1928, and its ground is at Waltham Way, Chingford.
  • Chingford Cricket Club is located on Forest Side, but the entrance to the ground is on Kimberley Way. It is believed to have been founded in 1884. The club plays in The Shepherd Neame Essex League and the first team were promoted to the Premier League for the 2013 season.
  • Chingford Town Football Club was re-established in 2018 by local schoolboys and competes with the local non-league teams of Essex.
Lee Valley Reservoirs
King George's Reservoir, home to the Sailing Club
  • King George Sailing Club was founded in the 1970s to provide dinghy sailing and windsurfing on the largest and best sailing water in the north and east of London. The club enjoys facilities both on and off the water and has an active membership engaged in racing, learning to sail, casual sailing, and windsurfing. In recognition of its good facilities and encouragement of youth sailing, the Royal Yachting Association has awarded the club Volvo Champion Club status.

Local districts

  • Highams Park
  • Friday Hill
  • Hale End
  • Chingford Hatch
  • Chingford Mount

Nearest places


Chingford secondary schools include:

  • Chingford Foundation School
  • Heathcote School
  • Normanhurst School
  • South Chingford Foundation School
  • Lime Academy Larkswood

Notable people

  • Charles Alcock, founding father of the Football Association and creator of the FA Cup, moved to Chingford with his family when he was young.
  • Dame Louisa Aldrich-Blake, notable surgeon and pioneer in medical education for women, was born in Chingford.
  • David Beckham, OBE, former England captain, grew up in Chingford from age three. He was educated at the Chingford Foundation School and also Chase Lane Primary School and played football for Ridgeway Rovers F.C., a local side.
  • Sir Winston Churchill was MP for Epping, a defunct constituency that included Chingford, from October 1924 to July 1945.
  • Sir John Dankworth, CBE, jazz composer, saxophonist, clarinettist and writer of film scores, grew up in Highams Park.
  • Alan Davies, stand-up comedian and regular guest on the quiz show QI, grew up in Chingford.
  • Paul Di'Anno, former lead singer of heavy metal band Iron Maiden, was born and grew up in Chingford.
  • Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Conservative MP for Chingford and Woodford Green since 1992.
  • Dwight Gayle, current Newcastle United striker, is from Chingford.
  • Durrty Goodz, a well-known grime musician, is from Chingford.
  • Peter Greenaway, CBE, film director, grew up in Chingford.
  • Sir Peter Harding, former Chief of the Air Staff, was educated at Chingford County High School
  • Steve Hillage, guitarist, is from Chingford.
  • Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur and England striker, is from Chingford and attended Lime Academy Larkswood and Chingford Foundation School.
  • Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple Chief Design Officer, was born in Chingford.
  • The Kray twins, who dominated the London gangland scene during the 1960s, are buried in Chingford Mount Cemetery.
  • John Lloyd, co-founder of the international design consultancy Lloyd Northover, grew up in Chingford and lived there from 1948 to 1970.
  • Professor Alan Mozley, zoologist, was born in Chingford.
  • Graeme Norgate, composer of video game music, was born and grew up in Chingford.
  • Michael Nyman, CBE, composer of minimalist music, notably film scores, grew up in Chingford.
  • Leslie Phillips, CBE, comedy star of the Carry On films, lived in Chingford.
  • Peter Sceats, businessman and political activist was brought up in Chingford.
  • Faiza Shaheen, economist and political activist. Director of left wing think-tank CLASS.
  • Teddy Sheringham, MBE, former England, Tottenham Hotspur F.C., and Manchester United F.C. player
  • John Sitton, former Chelsea footballer and Leyton Orient manager, lives in Chingford.
  • Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, composer and pianist, was born in Chingford.
  • Andros Townsend, Crystal Palace and England midfielder, attended Rush Croft Sports College and grew up in Chingford.
  • Michelene Wandor, feminist poet and critic, went to school in Chingford.
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