Leyton or Low Leyton

including Leytonstone, Harrow Green, and Cann Hall

Until 1894 the civil parish of Leyton was in the County of Essex
From 1894 to 1926 it formed the Leyton Urban District
From 1926 to March 1965 it formed the Municipal Borough of Leyton
From April 1965 is has been part of the London Borough of Waltham Forest
Waltham Forest Archives holds a complete series of minutes for the former Borough/District Councils.

Cann Hall was a civil parish created by the Local Government Act, 1894.


1841-1911 Available on-line at subscription sites and FamilySearch
1821-1831 Available to view at Waltham forest Archives, with some searchable here

Cemeteries & Grave yards.

St Mary's Church, Leyton and St John's Church, Leytonstone have a grave yards. Monumental Inscriptions and Burial Registers have been transcribed by WFFHS and are available to search on-line.
St Patrick's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Leytonstone records are held at the cemetery.
The Catholic National Library has copies of Burials 1861-1880, MIs 1800's-1900's.
The SOG and EolFHS have an index 1861-1880

Church History

  • Book in the Local Studies Library: The Church Record in Leyton, by Savell [L88]
  • British History Online: Churches: Leyton

Church Records

Leyton s an ancient parish with the church dedicated to St Mary. The new chapel of St John the Baptist and the burial ground were consecrated on 31st October 1833. The church of All Saints was built in 1864 (consecrated January 1865) and a new parish formed in January 1886 from the parishes of Leyton & St James Walthamstow. St Catherine's, on Hainautlt Road, Leyton, was built in 1893 forming a parish the following year. The parish of Christ Church on Francis Road was formed in 1907 from the parishes of St Catherine, Leyton & St John, Leytonstone. The parish of St Paul was created in august of the same year.
Leyton was in the Diocese of St Alban's until the Diocese of Chelmsford was created in January 1914, after which it was in the Diocese of Chelmsford. The Diocesan repository for most of the Chelmsford Diocese records is the Essex Record office, however registers from the Waltham Forest Deanery are held at the Waltham Forest Archives. Many of these registers can be seen on-line on the Essex Record Office Parish Registers site.
  • All Saints     WF/L83/3
  • Christchurch     WF/L83/6
  • Emanuel     WF/L83/2
  • St Catherine (now Elim Pentecostal)     WF/L83/9
  • St Edward     WF/L83/5
  • St Luke     WF/L83/4
  • St Mary     WF/L83/1 (D/P 45)
  • St Paul     WF/L83/7
  • Holy Trinity, Harrow Green     WF/L84/2 - St Alban the Martyr was a mission church within this parish which also contained the West Ham Union workhouse and Home of the Good Shepherd childrens' home
  • St Andrew, Leytonstone     WF/L83/8
  • St Columba, Leytonstone     WF/L84/5
  • St John the Baptist, Leytonstone     WF/L84/1 - St Augustine of Hippo was a mission church within this parish
  • St Margaret of Antioch, Leytonstone     WF/L84/4
Details of Waltham Forest Archives' holdings are listed here.

The Roman Catholic diocese was the Diocese of Westminster but has been in the Diocese of Brentwood, since it was established on 20th July 1917.
St Joseph's chapel was built in Grange Park Road and opened in 1924. A temporary church had existed in Primrose road for around twenty years previously.

Non-conformist churches
The following are held at Waltham Forest Archives:
  • Leyton Baptist Chapel, Vicarage Lane, Marriage register 1969-1989 L85.32. Registered for solemnizing marriages 2nd Aug 1879.
  • Fillebrook Baptist Church, Fairlop Road, Leytonstone, Baptism register 1878-1883 L85.31
  • Mary Fletcher Memorial and Knotts Green Churches, High Road (methodist), Baptism register 1839-1969 L85.12. The Mary Fletcher Memorial chapel was registered for solemnizing marriages 14th Apr 1882
  • Ramsay Road United Reformed Church (Forest Gate), baptism register 1933-1991 L85.23
  • Fetter Lane United Reformed Church, Langthorne Road, Marriage register 1931-1938 L85.24. Registered for solemnizing marriages 30th Jan 1902 (then a congregational church)
  • Leytonstone United Reformed Church, High Road, Baptism register 1867-1880, 1883-1886 L85.21
The following are held at the Essex Record Office:
  • Grove Green Road United Methodist Church, baptisms 1892 - 1965 A6581 Box 1
  • Leyton High Road Weslyan Methodist Church, marriages 1879 - 1969 D/NM 9/26
  • Gainsborough Bridge Primitive Methodist Church, baptisms 1913 - 1975 A6692 Box 1, marriages 1913 - 1975 D/NM 9/28
  • Leytonstone High Road Weslyan Methodist Church, marriages 1899 - 1966 D/NM 9/27
The following are held by the London Metropolitan Archives:
  • St George's Presbyterian Church, Hainault Road, Leytonstone, roll books, cash books, minute books, newspaper clippings, music manuscript LMA/4333

Civil Registration

Leyton (and Cann Hall) were in the following Registration Districts:
July 1837 until September 1935: West Ham
October 1935 until March 1965: Essex South Western
April 1965 onwards: Waltham Forest

Gazetteers & Directories

Pigot's, White's, and Kelly's Essex and London postal district directories all provide a description of a developing area from 1839 up to the second world war. Leyton was included in Stratford directories  1887-8, and Walthamstow directories 1889. From 1891 Kelly's published local street directories for Leyton & Leytonstone.
Guildhall Library:
1887-8 in theStratford directory
1889-1907 (not 1890 or 1904) in the Walthamstow directory
1909-15, 1922-27, 1929, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39 Leyton & Leytonstone directory

Waltham Forest Local Studies Library:
Kelly's Leyton & Leytonstone directory 1886 - 1908
Kelly's Leytonstone Wanstead & Snaresbrook directory 1915 - 1939
Kelly's Essex directory 1868 - 1937 (but this is not a continuous run)
White's Essex Directory 1848, 1863
Pigot's London & Provincial Commercial Directory 1832-34
Kelly's Post Office London Directory 1970 - 1990

Kelly's Essex directories may also be found in:
Valence Library: 1862, 1874, 1878, 1894, 1908 (MF), 1926, 1922, 1929 (& Herts), 1937
Romford Library: 1878, 1882, 1886, 1890, 1899, 1904 (& Norfk & Sufk), 1906, 1910, 1912, 1922, 1926, 1929, 1933, 1937
Ilford Central Library: 1855 (& Herts), 1866, 1878, 1882, 1886, 1890, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1899, 1902, 1906, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1917, 1922, 1926, 1929, 1933, 1937
Some of these directories are searchable in the Leicester University Historical Directories Collection.


Medical Officer of Health reports for Leyton can be found in Waltham Forest Archives 1892 to 1964.
Waltham Forest Medical Officer of Health reports may also be found in Waltham Forest Archives 1965 to 1972.
These may also be seen on-line in the Wellcome Trust Library from 1895.
Leyton had an isolation hospital from 1889 which became the Leyton Urban District Isolation Hospital.
Whipps Cross hospital was founded in 1903 as the new West Ham Union infirmary, with 672 beds in 24 wards in four blocks. "A History of Whipps Cross Hospital", of 25 pages, was written by Arthur Norman Jones and the 2nd edition published in 1973.

Jewish Records

The Leytonstone and Wanstead Synagogue was established in 1932 on the corner of Drayton Road and Fillebrook Road in Leytonstone. It is an Ashkenazi Orthodox synagogue and affilliated to the Federation of Synagogues which has cemeteries at Edmonton and Rainham. There is burial search facility on their web site.


Leyton formed part of the Becontree Hundred

Local Government

Leyton Vestry: minutes 1618-1851, 1903-1927; Overseer's & Churchwarden’s accounts
Leyton Parish: minutes, rates and account books 1651-1868
Leyton Local Board of Health: minutes 1873-1894
Leyton Urban District Council
Leyton Borough Council




  • Leyton Free Press 1893 - 1896 at WF Local Studies Library
  • Leytonstone Express and Independent 1877 - 1972 at WF Local Studies Library
  • Walthamstow & Leyton Herald 1892 - present at WF Local Studies Library
  • Walthamstow & Leyton Guardian 1876 - 1899 at WF Local Studies Library
  • District Times 1901 - 1914 at WF Local Studies Library
  • Essex Newsman available on British Newspaper Archive 1870-1950
  • Essex Standard available on British Newspaper Archive 1831-1900
  • Essex Herald available on British Newspaper Archive 1828-1899


Poor Houses, Poor law etc.

Leyton parish had a workhouse in Church Road from 1742.
Leyton was in the West Ham Poor Law Union, formed in 1836. The union workhouse was located in Union Road, Leytonstone, now Langthorne Road. An infirmary was opened at Whipps Cross in 1903.
most records for the poor law union are held by Newham Archives, however some admissions registers, printed reports and accounts are held by Waltham Forest Archives. Further details can be found on www.workhouses.org.uk
WFFHS has a transcription of the Women's admission registers for Central Home Leytonstone 1929-1959.
Baptisms which took place at the workhouse, presumably in the chapel, were entered in the registers of Holy Trinity, Leytonstone as were those for The Home of the Good Shepherd, this being the ecclesiastical parish they were in.
Burials for residents may have taken place at St Mary, Leyton but also at West Ham Cemetery, opened in 1857. The St Mary's burial registers are held at Waltham Forest Archives. They have been transcribed and may be searched. West Ham Cemetery registers are held at the cemetery, and have been digitised by Deceased Online.
Leytonstone Workhouse administrative records including minutes 1903-1927
admissions register 1797-1836, accounts 1803-1827, plans 1830, child paupers in the care of the parish 1812-1834
Select vestry for care and management of poor relief minutes 1819-1823, reports 1820-1823.

Registers of Electors

Available to search in Waltham Forest Local Studies Library:
  • Cann Hall: 1893 - 1896 (in Leyton for later years)
  • Leyton: 1893 - 1915, 1918 - 1939, 1945 - 1965
  • Waltham Forest: 1965 onwards


  • Electricity: Leyton's electricity supply started in 1896 with a power station at the western end of Cathall Road. Although it started generating before Walthamstow, it eventually suplimented its supply with power from the Walthamstow station. Archive holdings are under LMA/4278/01-13 at the London Metropolitan Archives.
  • Gas: In 1912, two gascompanies supplied Leyton, the Gas Light & Coke Co., and the Lea Bridge District Gas Co..
  • Water: In 1912, water was supplied by the Metropolitan Water Board.


Trams were run from Lea Bridge to Whipps Cross from 1883 using ten cars. In 1889, an new company took over, and the line was extended to the Rising Sun.
A Railway station opened at Lea Bridge in 1840 on the Northern and Eastern Railway.
Leyton and Leytonstone (now Underground) stations opened on the Eastern Counties Railway in 1856, from 1862 part of the Great Eastern Railway. These stations became part of the Central Line in 1947.
Leyton Midland Road, and Leytonstone High Road stations opened as Leyton and Leytonstone stations on the Tottenham & Forest Gate Railway in 1894. These are now part of the Barking to Gospel Oak line.