Chingford is a town in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. It is a suburban development situated northeast of Charing Cross. To the north and east of Chingford is Epping Forest and the boundary with Essex. To the west are the William Girling and King George V reservoirs, known collectively as the Chingford reservoirs, and the River Lea.


Chingford seems to have begun life as a small hamlet beside the River Lea. One of the explanations for the later name is that it comes from the Saxon "cëgingaford", which means "dwellers by the stumpy ford".

It is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Cinghefort.

There were early villages at Chingford Green (North Chingford) and Chingford Hatch, but only the occupants on the bank of the river (today's Sewardstone Road) saw much in the way of traffic, being on the route from Waltham Abbey to Stratford via Walthamstow. The development of Chingford into a London suburb was therefore rather late, as these small villages and farms were until the latter part of the 19th century rather isolated, not being on any major highways. This changed when the railway line arrived in 1873 making the area suitable for commuters, and gained impetus with the Epping Forest Act 1878 which gave the City of London Corporation responsibility for the forest. In 1882 Queen Victoria arrived to officially open it up to the public.

In 1894 Chingford became an Urban District, then in 1938 Municipal borough status was granted until 1965, when it became part of the London Borough of Waltham Forest. The town is now mostly of modern construction, with extensive development taking place in the inter-war years. There is a large shopping area at Chingford Mount, with a smaller selection of shops at North Chingford, along Station Road.

During the 1920s Lawrence of Arabia owned part of Pole Hill, which he eventually gifted to Chingford Borough Council, who in turn exchanged it for other land with the City of London Corporation so that it could become part of Epping Forest. Contrary to popular myth, Lawrence never lived on Pole Hill.


One notable local landmark is Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge. Originally called the Great Standing, it was built for King Henry VIII of England 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.

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 Royal Observatory, which was then at Greenwich, south of the Thames. It was placed on high ground along the line of the Greenwich Meridian, but when this was recalculated later in the 19th century the obelisk was deemed to have been erected 19 feet west of the true meridian line.

National politics

Chingford is within the Chingford and Woodford Green UK Parliament constituency.

Famous former MPs include Norman Tebbit and Sir Winston Churchill (when Chingford was in the Epping constituency). Iain Duncan Smith is the current MP.

Local Sport teams

Chingford Athletic Football Club was formed as recently as the summer of 2007 and currently play in the Ilford & District First Division(feeder for Essex Olympian League)

Local politics

Chingford is part of the London Borough of Waltham Forest, which also includes the areas of Walthamstow, Leyton and Leytonstone. Chingford consists of six council wards, namely:

  • Chingford Green
  • Endlebury
  • Valley
  • Larkswood
  • Hatch Lane
  • Hale End and Highams Park

Each ward is represented by three councillors; at present all of the councillors in Chingford represent the Conservative Party with the exception of the three members for Hale End and Highams Park who represent the Liberal Democrats. The London Borough of Waltham Forest is presently jointly controlled by the Labour party and the Liberal Democrats.

Chingford falls within the North East constituency of the London Assembly, which is currently represented by Jennette Arnold of the Labour party.

Transport and locale

Local districts

Nearest places


Chingford is served by a railway station which is the terminus of a branch line from Liverpool Street station in the City of London. There is also a station at Highams Park. The town is served by many bus routes, linking it to Walthamstow, Loughton, Leyton and Woodford. The town is also served by the N26 night bus from Trafalgar Square. The North Circular Road skirts the southern part of the town, and gives motorists good access to the north and east of London. The London LOOP walk passes through Chingford on its way from Enfield to Chigwell. Travelling from Enfield to Chingford has difficulties as the closest link is through the reservoirs which usually has much traffic.

List of Chingford bus routes:

Route Number Route Frequency
97 Chingford Station to Leyton Downsell Road Daily every 10-15 mins
179 Chingford Station to Barking Daily every 15-30 mins
212 Chingford Station to Walthamstow Central Station Daily every 15-30 mins
313 Chingford Station to Potters Bar Daily every 15-30 mins
379 Chingford Station to Yardley Lane Estate Daily every 15-30 mins
385 Chingford Station to Crooked Billet Sainsburys Mon-Sat every hour (shopping hours)
397 Crooked Billet Sainsburys to Debden Broadway Daily every 30 mins
444 Chingford Station to Turnpike Lane Daily every 15-30 mins
505 Chingford Station to Harlow Mark Hall North Mon-Sat every hour
N26 Chingford Station to Trafalgar Square Nightly every 30 mins

Nearby railway stations

Nearby tube stations

The London Underground stations nearest to Chingford include:


Chingford secondary schools include:

Notable people

The Kray twins are buried in Chingford cemetery.

The author and games designer Joe Dever was born in Chingford in 1956.

The footballer David Beckham grew up in Chingford having been born at Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone on 2 May 1975. As a child he attended Chingford School and played football for Ridgeway Rovers, a local side.

The Apple Mac Designer Jonathan Ive was born and lived in Chingford in his early years; he now lives in California. He designed the iPod (all generations) iMac (all generations), iBook, Powerbook, MacBook and MacBook Pro, as well as the new iPhone.

Chingford is home to singer and ex-glamour model Samantha Fox.

Chingford is home to former England, Tottenham Hotspur, and Manchester United player Teddy Sheringham.

Radio DJ Grant Nelson went to school in Chingford.

Some members of #1 chart group Blazin' Squad live in Chingford.

Leslie Phillips, comedy star of the Carry On Films, lived in Chingford.

Former EastEnders star Daniella Westbrook lives in Chingford.

Alan Davies, stand-up comedian and regular guest on quiz show QI, was born in Chingford.

External links

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