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© Museum of London


Scroll through episodes in the history of Lea Bridge from the discovery of a Roman Sarcophagus to a Second World War machine gun post.

P1040046.jpgSave the Marshes

Find out about campaigns through the ages to prevent development encroaching on the Marshes including the coming of the railways  in 1837, waterworks expansion in  the 1890's, and the 2012 Olympics.

Lost buildings

Find out about the many long lost buildings and structures including  ancient corn mills, a Victorian bandstand and a building  which once housed the largest steam engine in the London.

P1030785Open spaces

Discover the names and historic boundaries of the marshes and fields.

Family histories

Take a look through the many web sites that faithfully record personal and family histories from the Lea Bridge area. More.

Lea Bridge Fair © The Fairground Society The fair attracted hordes of people from all over the East End at Easter and other bank holiday weekends. More

Party Tricks!

What links this man, who's party trick was riding a bicycle backwards sitting on the handle bars, with an old railway arch on Walthamstow Marshes and the greatest aircraft manufacturers of the twentieth century? More.


The Lower Lea Valley has been more or less continuously occupied since the end of the last Ice Age, around 12,000 years ago. Traces of human activity from all periods have been found in the ground. Find out more.

This site sets out to describe the built and natural environment of the Lea Bridge area in East London. This undervalued and little understood area possesses a rich history with many surviving buildings and features of historic and architectural significance.

The website is a 'work in progress', designed to inform and educate; promote debate; and influence decision making. More


Katy Andrews

We are shocked and saddened to hear news that Katy Andrews passed away in the early hours of Sunday, shortly after leading the 'Beating of the Bounds'.

Katy contributed to many of the pages on this site, particularly the history of the Leyton, Walthamstow and Hackney Marshes  and the campaigns to protect them. 

Her passion, energy, dedication, encyclopaedic knowledge and fearless campaigning spirit was an inspiration to all who cared about the Marshes.

Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again.

The Radleys of the Lea

Look out for a new book published shortly on the history of the Radley boat building family. 

Founded in 1840 by George Radley and his wife Phoebe,  the business flourished by the River Lea for 130 years and at its peak in the early twentieth century there were three boatyards, between Lea Bridge and Springhill. From the 1880s onwards, the boatyards traded as V. Radley and Sons.

The book retails at £20 on websites and is out next week. Both the Henley Royal Regatta Shop and the Rowing and River Museum shop website will be stocking it.

More details

NEW! Interactive map explorer

Explore the history of Lea Bridge through our new interactive map . Click here to visit the  interactive mapping page. We will be adding more pins over the coming weeks and months.

View Lea Bridge Interactive Map in a larger Googlemap (opens a new page)

Mystery marks

What is the meaning of these strange marks pressed into the concrete beside the River Lea, just north of Springfield Park? 

Find out more.

Public art

Find out about the many pieces of public art  installed across the area; and how some have been lost or removed.

The Henley of the Lea

Why was Spring Hill known as 'the Henley of the Lea' in the 1890s? 

Find out more.

Stories, myths and legends

                      Some stories and legends from the Lea Bridge area seem to have grown bigger than the historical evidence to support them: Or perhaps they were only every myths? Find out about 'The Battle of Hackney', Viking raids, Napoleonic defences, and ancient pilgrimage routes. 


Two great Victorian engineers and a catastrophic bridge collapse          

Two of the greatest engineers of the 19th century came together to design a pioneering new type of railway bridge across the Lea, which was later revealed to be flawed after the catastrophic collapse of a similar bridge by the same engineers. Find out more. 

Contact us

Click here to contact us. Your contributions and corrections are valued and incorporated as soon as possible, but this may takes a little time. 

Recollections, contributions, comments & corrections Do you have something to add? Please use the box below to comment. Go to the feedback page to forward material to be added. Photographs, family histories and personal recollections are particularly welcome.

© leabridge.org.uk December 2012
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