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East Ham
Pavement near East Ham Station - - 691179.jpg
Pavement near East Ham Station
East Ham is located in Greater London
East Ham
East Ham
Population 76,186 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference TQ425835
• Charing Cross 8 mi (12.9 km) W
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district E6, E12
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
  • East Ham
London Assembly
List of places
51°31′56″N 0°03′19″E / 51.5323°N 0.0554°E / 51.5323; 0.0554

East Ham is a district of the London Borough of Newham, England, 8 miles (12.8 km) east of Charing Cross. East Ham is identified in the London Plan as a Major Centre. The population is 76,186.

It was originally part of the hundred of Becontree, and part of the historic county of Essex. Since 1965, East Ham has been part of the London Borough of Newham, a local government district of Greater London.



A settlement in the area named Ham is first recorded as Hamme in an Anglo-Saxon charter of 958 and then in the 1086 Domesday Book as Hame. It is formed from Old English 'hamm' and means 'a dry area of land between rivers or marshland', referring the location of the settlement within boundaries formed by the rivers Lea, Thames and Roding and their marshes.

Economic development

In 1859 East Ham railway station opened and, although in 1863 the area was still being described as a "scattered village" the availability of transport resulted in increasing urbanisation, especially from 1890 onwards. The electric services of the District Railway first served East Ham in 1908.

Local government

In 1894 East Ham formed the East Ham Urban District of Essex and was incorporated as a borough on 10 August 1903. As a result of popular pressure, East Ham sought and obtained the county borough status. It became, in modern terms, a unitary authority on 1 April 1915 and remained such until 1965 when it was abolished and the County Borough of West Ham merged with its former area to form the London Borough of Newham.

The principal offices of Newham Council were at the junction of Barking Road and High Street South in the former East Ham Town Hall, a Grade II listed Edwardian structure designed by A. H. Campbell, H. Cheers and J. Smith, which included a landmark clock tower. Built between 1901 and 1903, Passmore Edwards opened the Town Hall on 5 February 1903. The council moved to Newham Dockside (Building 1000, Dockside Road E16) in 2009.


Housing in East Ham consists principally of Victorian and Edwardian terraced town houses, often in tree-lined avenues. West Ham United FC is on the western border of East Ham and the eastern border of Upton Park, in the Tudor ward.

There are many green spaces in the otherwise bustling and urbanised area of East Ham. The graveyard of the Norman St Mary's church, is maintained as a nature reserve, the largest of its kind in Greater London. Central Park (Central Park Road) and Plashet Park (Plashet Grove) are the two largest parks in East Ham, and both combine open space with playgrounds and cafés. There are also smaller play areas and parks, including Priory Park (Grangewood Street) and Flanders Field, where England football captain Bobby Moore played as a child during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Flanders Fields is currently the home ground of Flanders FC and other is used by Bonny Downs Community Association (BDCA) and other community groups.


East Ham is a multi-cultural area, with a majority of South Asians and African, Caribbean and eastern European residents. As of 2010, East Ham has the fourth highest level of unemployment in Britain, with 16.5 percent of its residents registered unemployed. Around 7 in 10 children living in East Ham are from low income families, making it one of the worst areas in the country for child poverty. Below is a comparison table comparing East Ham with The London Borough of Newham.

East Ham Compared 2011 White British Asian Black
East Ham Population 76,186 11.9% 59% 13.8%
London Borough of Newham 16.7% 43.5% 19.6%

In 2011, 88.1% of East Ham's population was non-White British, compared with 83.3% for the surrounding London Borough of Newham. This makes East Ham one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the country, surpassing other multicultural towns like Oldham, Blackburn and Walsall.


Mass transport is provided by East Ham tube station and bus services which form a hub near the Town Hall.


There are numerous places of worship for many different religions, ranging from St. Michael's Church to Kensington Avenue Temple. The Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene dates to the first half of the 12th century and is claimed to be the oldest parish church still in use in Greater London. It contains a memorial to an Edmond Nevill, who laid claim to the attainted title of Earl of Westmoreland in the 17th century. Due to the significant minority of South Indians, particularly people of Tamil extraction, there are two Hindu temples in the area. One is dedicated to Goddess Mahalakshmi and the other to Lord Muruga. The latter temple was recently rebuilt with a larger prayer hall and traditional temple tower as is typical of Tamil temples in South Asia. Due to a very large Muslim community, East Ham also has many mosques. Some of the mosques include the Masjid Bilal & Islamic Centre and the Madina Masjid & Muslim Cultural Centre.


Prior to West Ham United's relocation to the London Stadium in 2016, they were based at the Boleyn Ground, just inside East Ham's Green Street border with West Ham. East Ham United merged into Barking & East Ham United in 2001, with the merged club dissolved in 2006.

Notable people

  • Jimmy Bullard – Former professional footballer.
  • Terrance Dicks – Prolific Doctor Who writer and children's author
  • Idris Elba – English actor, musician, voice actor, and DJ.
  • Elizabeth Fry – English prison reformer, social reformer and Christian philanthropist who lived at Plashet House.
  • Noele Gordon – English stage, film & television actress, presenter and TV executive.
  • Kano – English rapper and actor.
  • Dame Vera Lynn, DBE – singer, songwriter, and actress whose musical recordings and performances were enormously popular during the Second World War.
  • Fred Massey – English footballer.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: East Ham para niños

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