. > ...

Visit the main website of Leyton & Leytonstone Historical Society

About footnotes in . > ...

Have your say

the history of Leyton and Leytonstone

from . dot to … dots – with plenty of spaces

.>... contents

. > ...  contents

The terrain

The district covered by this history is highest at the northeast corner, Leytonstone, and lowest along the Lea marshes to the west and south-west, which used to be called Low Leyton.  The higher area to north and east, mainly heathland, is categorised now as ‘acid grassland’.  The 18th century historian Lysons described it as “abounding with fine springs”. Gravels underlie most of Leyton (20 feet thick near the Baker’s Arms junction) 1.  The gravel beds, which resist weathering 2, are the surface covering for the Hollow Ponds area. They provided a solid constructional base and drainage potential 3.  On slightly lower ground water draining through the gravel beds came to the surface at springs and shallow wells.  The Hollow Ponds and other pools on the gravels will be on artificial puddled clay bottoms.  The ‘Bagshot Sands’ of Hampstead Heath with high iron content can form a watertight layer 5.

A belt of London Clay is at the surface along the eastern side of the Lea Valley as far south as the site of Ruckholt Manor House, at the edge of what is now the Leyton Mills retail estate, previously the Engineer’s Railway Yard.  At this point the Lea Valley meets and merges with flat areas over Thames river terrace deposits 4.

1  undated summary of bore hole on the site of the public baths on Leyton High Road, now a Tesco supermarket; VHM pamphlet L13

2  Britain’s Structure and Scenery by L Dudley Stamp

3  London in the 1690s, A Social Atlas, by Craig Spence, published by the IHR Centre for Metropolitan History, 2000

4  The Times History of London edited by Hugh Clout, 4th edition 2004 page 19

5  Hampstead Heath, The Walker’s Guide by David McDowall and Deborah Wolton (page 18 of 2006 edition)

first settlement Previous (left) first settlement