Susan Shirley: A writer's blog Follow me at www.wizzley.com/Telesto
A short blog post this week – it’s been super-busy (not all pleasant) and I’ve been working on a couple of books.I also had a visit to my osteopath this week – Tammy, who is based in Wanstead, London E11. She of the devil fingers. Check her out at: http://aspireosteopathy.co.uk/wp/
I went the long way, as I wanted to get some of my daily 10,000 steps in, and realised that it is actually quite a pleasant part of London. My experience of Wanstead before Tammy was the odd night out and the animal hospital here, where poor little Titan ended his days.
The name comes from the Anglo-Saxon meaning “settlement on a small hill.” There are expanses of green land around here – Wanstead Flats, and Wanstead Park, which is part of Epping Forest, making it feel almost countrified in parts. The photographs below are taken just off the main road.
There was a Roman settlement here, with some sort of Roman Villa in Wanstead Park. Subsequently, a manor house was built there. The manor house went through a number of iterations until, in 1715, a magnificent Palladian style mansion was commissioned, intended to rival the likes of Blenheim Palace. This was subsequently demolished to pay off debts.
Some notable facts about Wanstead
The George Public House stands in pride of place, opposite the tube station in the High Street. There has been a public house on this site for hundreds of years although the current building is not that old. However, there is a plaque on the outside believed to be part of an older building, which is said to relate to the theft of a cherry pie. The culprits were caught and fined half a guinea – 52 and half pence, if I’m not mistaken.
The Royal Merchant Navy School moved to Wanstead in 1862, where it remained the home for orphans of Merchant Navy seamen until it moved to Bearwood in 1921.
The Royal Commercial Travellers Schools were founded here in 1845. They were for the children of Commercial Travellers who had either died or were no longer able to make a living for some other reason.
St Mary the Virgin Church, designed by Thomas Hardwick is now a Grade I listed building. It was dedicated in 1791.
James Pound, the astronomer, became the rector of Wanstead in 1717. He set up his telescope in Wanstead Park. His work on Saturn’s satellites went on to inform Newton and Halley.
Actor Tom Watt (aka Lofty, from Eastenders).
Actress Jessie Wallace (aka Kat Slater from Eastenders).
William Penn, Quaker and founder of Pennsylvania.
Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, favourite of Elizabeth I.