Wanstead lies about 7 miles north-east of the City of London. 1) It is a dormitory suburb straddling the arterial road to Southend and Colchester and forming part of the London borough of Redbridge.
The George (formerly George and Dragon), High Street, is recorded from 1716, but was rebuilt . The first parish school, which still survives, was built in High Street in 1796. It did not, however, prevent the inclosure by the manor court of the woodland and waste in and north of the old village. 53) During the earlier 19th century cottages, some of them built on new inclosures, increased in number, in spite of opposition from the vestry, which feared that such building would attract poor to the parish. 54) By 1841 more than half Wanstead's dwellings were cottages. Many of the larger houses built during that period, as before, were at Snaresbrook. 56) The most notable new building was the Royal Wanstead school, Hollybush Hill (1843). The opening of Eastern Avenue in the 1920s was followed by development north and south of it. There were some large houses at Snaresbrook, and cottages at Mobs Hole, a forest-side hamlet later called Nightingale Green. 27) Wanstead's communications with the outside world then depended mainly on the Leytonstone, Woodford, and Chigwell roads, which were controlled by the newly-formed Middlesex and Essex turnpike trust. 28) Leytonstone, leading to London, was approached by an unnamed avenue, now Cambridge Park. The Merchant Seamen's orphan asylum, established in 1827 at St. 135) It stands in a commanding position on high ground, and was designed by G. Clarke as a fine example of the 'Venetian Gothic' style. North of Leytonstone the main road (now Hollybush Hill and Woodford Road) led to Woodford and Epping, with a branch (now New Wanstead and Hermon Hill) to Chigwell and Ongar. Wanstead golf club, founded 1893, claims to be the second oldest in Essex. 115) Its club house was once part of the out-buildings of Wanstead House. 118) The Wanstead young men's association, founded in 1877, merged in 1935 with the Wanstead literary society to form the Wanstead literary and debating society (1935–60). 119) Among notable residents of Wanstead was James Bradley (1693–1762), astronomer royal, who was trained at Wanstead by his uncle James Pound (rector 1707–24), himself a distinguished astronomer and friend of Sir Isaac Newton. 123) Among several lord mayors of London living at Wanstead were Sir William Plomer (d. George's in the East (Lond.), was transferred in 1862 to a new building in Hermon Hill, Wanstead, which provided places for 300 orphans of British merchant seamen. 133) The building was taken over in 1921 by the convent of the Good Shepherd, as a refuge for women and girls, (fn. The older buildings, many of them damaged by bombing, were gradually being replaced by modern blocks. 86) A branch office was opened in Hermon Hill in 1948, replacing a previous sub-office in High Street. 87) The telegraph was available at Wanstead from 1871. Modern development has preserved the lines of most of the old roads, though some of their names have been changed. 73) The most important modern road is Eastern Avenue (1925), the arterial road to Southend and Colchester. 74) Its western end, at Wanstead, was formed by widening George Lane as far as Elm Hall and building an extension down to Red Bridge. 84) When the London postal area was divided in 1856 Wanstead became a sub-office of Leytonstone in the north-eastern (later in the eastern) district. 85) At the reorganization of 1917 it was placed along with Leytonstone in the E. In the 1830s the court began to make frequent 'voluntary grants' of small pieces of waste for building purposes. 52) Some were in Voluntary Place, which may have been named from them. The Merchant Seamen's orphan asylum, Hermon Hill, now Wanstead Hospital, was erected in 1861. 57) The Weavers' alms-houses, New Wanstead, were built in 1859. 58) Wanstead was still a village in 1856, when the railway arrived. The rapid development of Cann Hall is described under Leyton. 61) The Spratt Hall estate was cut up for building in 1885–7. 62) Part of the Oak Hall estate, in Redbridge Lane West, was cut up at the same time, and the remainder about 1892. 63) The Grove estate was gradually developed after 1889, with houses in Grove Park and the Avenue. 64) The Drive estate at Snaresbrook was laid out in 1895–6. 65) Between 19 new building took place mainly in the south of the parish. In north-east Wanstead Nightingale farm was sold for building shortly before 1939. 69) By then there was little building-land left, and later building has consisted mainly of in-filling. 70) The houses built in Wanstead between 18 were larger on average than those in neighbouring suburbs, (fn.