Other Locations

Names, links and information about the various localities within the study area

 

 

Wanstead Watercourses: the "River Holt"

by Barry Hughes

 

The following article was published in the Wanstead Historical Society Journal, September 2001. Thanks to Barry Hughes of Snaresbrook for permission to include it on this site.


ON SUNDAY 30th April 2000, whilst on an organised walk in Wanstead Park, I heard recounted a fable made familiar by our late lamented President, Winifred Eastment (1976). This fable relates to Eagle Pond having once been the source of water for the ornamental lakes of Wanstead Park The lakes are said to have been created by the toil of labourers and, as a stroller can see nowadays, they descend in order from the 'Basin' which once provided an approach to the House, south and east through Shoulder of Mutton pond - so named from its shape. Heronry Pond - the one which has so often been lacking water and for which a borehole is now operational - Perch Pond, and Ornamental Water with the 'canal' which those in Wanstead House once saw at the end of the 'Long Walk'. On older maps Reservoir Wood is shown as a pond but on a map of' "Wanstead Park" (page 130) forming an estate lease book of 1833 (D/Dcy, P3,ERO [Essex Record Office]) this is labelled as, 'Great Pond now drained and planted'. Across Blake Hall Road, however, there was the Great Lake with Lake House on an island, but this need not concern us as it may well have had its own supply of water from a spring.

Mr G.T. Colvin (1991) was equally misguided when he wrote of, "a leaking filter bed at the Water Works -- fed the Rising Sun pond, went on to the Eagle Pond, across to the Whipps Cross children's boating pond, and in to the Whipps Cross lake - went on to Wanstead Flats -- then to the Wanstead Park boating lake and into the River Glen -- part of the River Roding." As a sequence this is impossible for any water to follow; as a source of water it is never likely to have been significant compared to the natural drainage of the area.

Adam Holt was, according to Elsden Tuffs (1962:44,148) "Earl Tylney's gardener" and gave his name to the 'River Holt' shown on "old maps". (Tuffs, op cit.). Others have said that he was the "Head Gardener" or an "engineer" (current display in the "Temple", Wanstead Park). In his will (Family Records Centre, Quire 296, folio 159) he describes himself as "gardener". Harvey (op.cit.) writes that, "Adam Holt -- paid rates from 1710 to 1729 on a large area of ground near Grove Green, and on a much smaller property as a non-resident until 1733. He acquired 99 year leases on land in Leytonstone from 1735 to 1824 and from 1734 to 1833 (D/DK Fl and D/DCy/P3, ERO) and this land seems to have been used for a nursery garden, although on the site plan of 1815/16 (D/Dcy/P3) there is marked "formerly Adam Holt's nursery". Perhaps in earlier days he supplied some of the planting of Wanstead Park? The site in Grove Green - near Union Road, Leyton, is thought by Harvey (1974:87) to be that taken over and run as a nursery by John Hay around 1759 and continued after his death in 1792 by James Hill (1793-1888). When Holt was born I do not know, but he died at the age of 82 on 26th August 1750, according to his gravestone in St Mary's Churchyard (Grave 1212, details available in Newham archive service) and from this his year of birth should be around 1678.

The "old maps" to which Tuffs (op. cit.) referred are still available, some are Ordnance Survey (OS) maps of the scale 25 inches: 1 mile and available in Ilford Central Library. British Library Map Room, Greater London Library, and elsewhere; others are Wellesley Estate Maps available only in the Essex Record Office, Chelmsford (D/DC4 P3). The last are on a larger scale (circa 30": 1 mile) and serve as records of leasehold, copyhold, etc. On these the "Holt Channel" or "Holt River" (Fig. 1) is shown crossing what is now the Woodford Road (page 115B, 152B), passing along East Row, on the north side of where the "British Queen Pub" is now, crossing the New Wanstead Road to run in front of the houses now numbered 36-46 before cutting the corner into Spratt Hall Road (p. 160, op. cit., ERO). The curve of Spratt Hall Road reflects the former course of Holt's Channel. Another plan (p - 247, op. cit., ERO) shows the Holt passing under Cambridge Park Road and bounding the eastern side of Little Blake Hall (plot 219), where it is marked as "Holt Channel". Another plan (p. 119) shows two channels running southward: one to surround Blake Hall bordering Blake Hall Road; the other heading south towards the Basin but within 60 yards of this it turns abruptly towards the channel surrounding Blake Hall yet, only a few yards away, turns south and disappears off our maps whilst heading south at about 100 yards west of the Basin. This route would suggest entry into the Great Pond i.e. what became Reservoir Wood, supporting an earlier reference to it once having been part of the series of lakes in Wanstead Park. On the other hand the Tithe map of Wanstead (1841: copy in Ilford Reference Library) shows a channel discharging into the Basin midway along its northern most edge and has no sign of the more westerly branch.

So why is it a fable to say that Eagle Pond acted as a reservoir? Easiest to begin at my house in Snaresbrook Road (Fig. 1, BH) where a contemporary O.S. map (c.50":1 mile, scale of 1:1250) shows the road surface to be at 27.5m "above the Newlyn datum": this converts to 90.2 ft o.d. and as the level of Eagle Pond is at present about three feet below road level, the water surface cannot be above 87 ft. Older O.S. maps (eg. Essex sheets LXV.15, published 1881 but based on survey of 1862-3) use Imperial Measurements (ie. altitude in feet) and on such a map the eastern end of Snaresbrook Road, outside the Eagle public house, is shown at 88 ft; downhill below Eagle Pond, at the junction with Wanstead High Street a low of 77 ft is reached and from here southward it climbs to 82 ft just before the old entrance Lodge to the Crown Court, then 96ft near the present entrance, and 106 ft at the end of Crown Court property, a little before the point where Holt's Channel once crossed the road (marked on Fig. 1). So, the "popular supposition" that water came from Eagle Pond would also have to suppose ability for Wanstead water to flow uphill! Where Holt's Channel crossed the New Wanstead Road, the road surface is given an altitude of 104 ft, the beginning of Spratt Hall Road is marked at almost 104 ft, the Cambridge Park Road end as almost 102 ft - a nice, gentle gradient ensuring a smooth flow towards the Park. Winifred Eastment's (1975:114) view that it would be, "-- more likely and logical -- flow in the reverse direction, from the Basin into Eagle Pond", would entail a peculiar kind of Wanstead "logic" which Stephen Pewsey (2000) has recently discounted in this journal. Let there be no more doubt as to the direction of flow: but from where does the water come, if not from Eagle Pond?

Recourse to the same, large scale 0.S. maps will show Holt's Channel continued into Leyton Flats and it is still there today as a ditch, cutting across the Flats and the downhill slope of the underlying "Boyn Hill Gravel" - an old Thames river terrace of the same age as that on which Heathrow Airport has built its runways, so as to intercept and drain away any surface water. Its course is marked by oak trees and where they end it may have once turned north, towards Snaresbrook Road, as is shown on the 0.S. 1896, 26" sheet where it is co-terminus with a stream which today skirts the eastern boundary of Forest School. This is shown too by Butler (1962, unnumbered Figure) as a branch of the "Phillebrook" (elsewhere spelt Phillibrook or Fillebrook) which went south, roughly following the course of James Lane to empty eventually into the River Lea. At the present time drainage from Gilbert's Slade, once the route to the windmill on Salway Hill, is directed into the Round Pond and then Hollow Ponds. The presence of Hollow Ponds and the profusion of old pits testifies to the former value of Thames flood plain gravels for road surfacing. As the gravels are underlain by impermeable London Clay the water they store seeps out at the junction with the clay (Sumbler 1996). Many other drainage ditches occupy the ground between the car park and Eagle Pond and represent past attempts to divert this flow into Eagle Pond, whence down to the Roding River, but not, alas, to Wanstead Park. Jack ElsdenTuffs was right when he wrote (1962:44), "[the Bason] was fed by the River Holt, an artificial watercourse (named after Adam Holt the Earl's gardener who constructed it) which started behind the present Royal Wanstead School and then ran southwards down the line of the future Spratthall Road". Two minor points remain to be made: One is that Holt's Channel and any natural surface flow has been irrevocably disrupted by the cutting of the railway line (c.1854); the second is that one of the Wanstead Park Leasehold maps (p. 160) shows a "Sluice Pond" across the New Wanstead Road from where Spratt Hall Road takes its leave, now the site of a three-storey block of flats (Bourne Court), and that would seem to have acted as a relief pond for the Holt Channel if flow were excessive. Any overflow could have continued downhill and northward into the Snaresbrook, now buried underground in a 3½ ft brick pipe and emptying into a sewer which follows the course of Elmcroft Avenue to open into the Roding River a little upstream from the motorway underpass. Rocque's map (1735) shows the sluice pond as a larger, formally shaped pond extending towards Eagle Pond but that this was intended fancy rather than established fact is shown by the depiction of a formal garden on the north side of Snaresbrook Road, opposite Eagle Pond, when we know from the terrier of leaseholds (ERO D/DCyP3) that houses were established and occupied by at least 1740.

Literature Cited

BUTLER, R.E. (1962) The buried rivers of London. London Naturalist 41:31 - 41

COLVIN, G.T. (1991) Lack of fresh water is destroying our ponds. Waltham Forest Guardian and Gazette Newspapers 15th March, p. 19.

EASTMENT, Winifred (1976) Wanstead through the ages. Dawn Press,
1 Spratt Hall Road, Wanstead E11 2RQ

HARVEY, J. (1974) Early nurserymen. Phillimore, Chichester

PEWSEY, S. (2000) The Wanstead Spa. Wanstead Historical Society Journal (45): 14-20

Sumbler, M.G. (1996) London and the Thames Valley. British Regional Geology, HMSO.

TUFFS, J. Elsden (1962) The story of Wanstead and Woodford from Roman times to the present. Published by the author.

 

(See also The Lake System of Wanstead Park by James Berry and Alan Cornish)

 

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St. Mary's Churchyard - Plants

The plant-life of the graveyard was surveyed some 60 years ago by Gulielma Lister, niece of Lord Lister, famous as the pioneer of vaccination. The report was published in the Essex Naturalist (Vol. 27) as "THE FLORA OF WANSTEAD PARK DISTRICT by GULIELMA LISTER, F.L.S." (Read on 29th November, 1941). A copy of the species list is available HERE.

As the graveyard was very much within the Wren Group's study area, situated as it is to the north of Wanstead Park and adjacent to Wanstead Golf Course, I made a cursory survey of the plants to be found there in 1981. 102 species of plants were found. The list also includes those plants noted by Lister, so that comparisons could be made with the past and present flora. It could be seen that many of the more unusual species still persisted, although 28 species were not noted. The list is available below.

In early February 2016 (07/02/2016) another survey was done by members of the Wren Wildlife and Conservation Group. Results from that have been added to the listing below, and in addition to the higher (flowering) plants, other organisms - including animals - are appended. 

The reference "(L. 1941)" in the third column indicate that the plant was noted by Gulielma Lister in 1941

The 1981 date relates to the 1981 survey.

"Stace" refers to the page no. in Stace 2nd Edition

(for information about the church and churchyard, click here)

 

Stace Species Name Date (and location)
33 Dryopteris filix-mas Male Fern 1981; 2016
41 Picea abies (P. excelsa Link)
Norway Spruce (L.1941)
44 Cedrus deodora Deodar (L.1941) 1981, one tree W. of church. One tree S. of Church.
49 Chamaecyparis pisifera Sawara Cypress (L.1941) 1981, south of church by path; 2016
50 Thuja orientalis Thuja (L.1941) 1981, three trees
51 Taxus baccata Yew (L. 1941) 1981; 2016
72 Laurus nobilis Bay Laurel 2016
80 Eranthis hyemalis Winter Aconite 2016
88 Ranunculus acris Meadow Buttercup (L.1941) 1981
88 Ranunculus repens Creeping Buttercup (L.1941) 19811; 2016
88 Ranunculus bulbosus Bulbous Buttercup 1981
91 Ranunculus ficaria Lesser Celandine 2016
101 Mahonia aquifolium Oregon Grape 1981; 2016
117 Urtica dioica Nettle (L.1941) 1981; 2016
123 Quercus robur English Oak 1981; 2016
124 Betula pendula Silver Birch 1981
127 Carpinus betulus Hornbeam 2016
140 Chenopodium album Fat Hen 1981 
162 Stellaria media Common Chickweed 1981
165 Cerastium holosteoides Common Mouse-ear 1981; 2016
168 Sagina procumbens Procumbent Pearlwort (L.1941) 1981; 2016
183 Persicaria maculosa (Polygonum persicaria) Redshank (L.1941) 1981
195 Rumex obtusifolius Broad-Leaved Dock 1981
210 Tila x europaea Common Lime 2016
220 Viola riviniana Common Dog-violet 1981; 2016
223 Bryonia dioica White Bryony (L.1941) 1981
250 Alliaria petiolata Garlic Mustard 1981
267 Capsella bursa-pastoris Shepherd's Purse (L.1941) 1981
263 Lobularia maritima Sweet Alison 1981 
285 Rhododendron ponticum Purple Rhododendron 1981
296 Primula sp.
Primrose 2016
297 Cyclamen sp. Winter Cyclamen 2016
312 Sedum reflexum Reflexed Stonecrop 2016
313 Sedum album White Stonecrop 2016
317 Saxifraga spathularis x umbrosa London Pride 1981
334 Rubus idaeus Raspberry (L.1941) 1981
335 Rubus fruticosus agg. Bramble 1981; 2016
344 Potentilla reptans Creeping Cinquefoil 1981; 2016
346 Geum urbanum Herb Bennett 2016
370 Sorbus aucuparia Rowan (L.1941)
391 Cotoneaster simonsii Cotoneaster 1981, N.E. corner, near fence, 2 bushes 13/02/81
397 Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn (L.1941) 1981; 2016
406 Lotus corniculatus Bird's-foot-trefoil (L.1941) 1981
412 Vicia sativa Common Vetch 1981 
414 Lathyrus pratensis Meadow Vetchling 1981 
415 Lathyrus latifolius Broad-Leaved Pea 1981
420 Medicago lupulina Black Medick (L.1941) 1981
425 Trifolium repens White Clover (L.1941) 1981
435 Sarothamnus scoparius Broom 1981
437 Eleagnus pungens var. 'Maculata' Wood Olive 1981
446 Epilobium montanum agg. Broad-Leaved Willow-herb 1981
447 Epilobium ciliatum (adenocaulon) American Willow-herb 1981
448 Chamaenerion angustifolium Rosebay Willow-herb (L.1941) 1981
452 Circaea lutetiana Enchanter's Nightshade 1981
454 Aucuba japonica Spotted Laurel (L.1941) 1981; 2016
456 Ilex x altaclerensis var. 'Wilsonii' Highclere Holly 26/01/81 1981
456 Ilex aquifolium Holly (L.1941) 1981; 2016
456 Ilex aquifolium var. 'Handsworth New Silver'? Holly 1981; 2016
456 Euonymus japonicus Evergreen Spindle-tree L.1941) 1981, numerous shrubs
457 Mercurialis perennis Dog's Mercury 2016
461 Euphorbia peplus Petty Spurge 1981; 2016
468 Aesculus hippocastanum Horse Chestnut (L.1941) 1981
470 Acer pseudoplatanus Sycamore (L.1941) 1981; 2016
470 Acer platanoides Norway Maple 1981
475 Oxalis europaea Upright Yellow Sorrel 1981 by fence on west side
475 Oxalis articulata Pink Oxalis 1981 in rough ground amongst graves near west fence
482 Geranium robertianum Herb Robert (L.1941) 1981; 2016
490 Hedera helix Ivy (L.1941) 1981; 2016
501 Anthriscus sylvestris Cow Parsley 1981; 2016
502 Conopodium majus Pignut 1981
515 Heracleum sphondylium Hogweed 1981
525 Vinca major Greater Periwinkle 2016
551 Myosotis sylvatica Wood Forget-me-not 1981
534 Convolvulus arvensis Field Bindweed 1981
535 Calystegia sepium silvatica Great Bindweed 1981
531 Solanum dulcamara Bittersweet (L.1941) 1981
531 Solanum nigrum Black Nightshade (L.1941) 1981
548 Pentaglottis sempervirens Green Alkanet 2016
560 Lamium album White Dead-nettle 1981; 2016
562 Lamium purpureum Red Dead-Nettle 1981; 2016
566 Glechoma hederacea Ground Ivy 1981
567 Prunella vulgaris Self Heal (L.1941) 1981; 2016
583 Plantago major Great Plantain (L.1941) 1981
584 Plantago lanceolata Ribwort Plantain 1981; 2016
586 Fraxinus excelsior Ash (L.1941) 1981
586 Forsythia x intermedia Common Forsythia 1981; 2016
587 Ligustrum ovalifolium Japanese Privet 1981; 2016
600 Digitalis purpurea Foxglove (L.1941) 1981; 2016
603 Veronica chamaedrys Germander Speedwell 1981
605 Veronica hederifolia Ivy Speedwell 1981; 2016
605 Veronica persica Buxbaum's Speedwell (L.1941) 1981
647 Galium verum Lady's Bedstraw (L.1941) 1981
649 Galium aparine Cleavers (L.1941) 1981; 2016
651 Sambucus nigra Elder (L.1941) 1981; 2016
678 Cirsium arvense Creeping Thistle (L.1941) 1981
683 Centaurea nigra Black Knapweed (L.1941) 1981
686 Lapsana communis Nipplewort (L.1941) 1981; 2016
686 Hypochoeris radicata Common Cat's-ear (L.1941) 1981; 2016
690 Sonchus oleraceus Smooth Sow-thistle (L.1941) 1981
690 Lactuca serriola Prickly Lettuce 2016
698 Taraxacum officinale Dandelion 1981; 2016
699 Crepis capillaris Smooth Hawk's-beard (L.1941) 1981
702 Hieracium pilosella Mouse-ear Hawkweed 2016
725 Conyza canadensis Canadian Fleabane (L.1941) 1981
725 Conyza sumatrensis Guernsey Fleabane 2016
728 Bellis perennis Daisy (L.1941) 1981; 2016
729 Artemisia vulgaris Mugwort 1981
732 Achillea millefolium Yarrow (L.1941) 1981
735 Chrysanthemum leucanthemum Ox-eye Daisy (L.1941) 1981
740 Senecio vulgaris Groundsel 1981; 2016
778 Arum maculatum Lord's and Ladies 2016
858 Poa annua Annual Meadow Grass (L.1941) 1981; 2016
868 Holcus lanatus Yorkshire Fog (L.1941) 1981
895 Hordeum murinum Wall Barley (L.1941) 1981
934 Endymion non-scripta Bluebell 1981
934 Endymion hispanica Spanish Bluebell 2016
940 Allium vineale Crow Garlic 1981
943 Galanthus nivalis Snowdrop 2016
945 Narcissus spp. Hybrid Daffodils 1981; 2016
958 Crocus vernus Spring Crocus 2016
958 Crocus tommasinianus Early Crocus 2016
958 Crocus vernus x C. tommasinianus Hybrid Crocus 2016
958 Crocus nudiflorus Autumn Crocus 1981 a few plants near (sunken) gravestones near west edge.
961 Yucca gloriosa Yucca (L.1941) 1981; 2016
    

Plants recorded by Lister in 1941, but not noted in 1981

(Lister's species names in brackets)

45 Pinus sylvestris L. Scots Pine  
49 Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (Cedrus lawsoniana Murr.) Lawson's Cypress  
49 Chamaecyparis nootkatensis (Cedrus Cupressa nootkatensis DON.) Nootka Cypress  
50 Juniperus sabina Savin  
72 Laurus nobilis Bay Laurel present in 2016
165 Cerastium glomeratum Sticky Mouse-ear  
187 Fallopia convolvulus (Polygonum convolvulus) Black Bindweed  
203 Armeria vulgaris Thrift  
234 Salix fragilis Crack Willow  
287 Arbutus unedo Strawberry Tree  
340 Rubus caesius Dewberry  
411 Vicia cracca Tufted Vetch  
457 Buxus sempervirens Box  
563 Galeopsis tetrahit Common Hemp-nettle  
652 Viburnum tinus Lauristinus  
660 Dipsacus fullonum (D. sylvestris) Wild Teasel  
673 Arctium minus (A. Lappa sub-sp. minus Small Burdock  
676 Cirsium lanceolatus (Cnicus lanceolatus) Spear Thistle  
690 Sonchus asper (Sonchus oleaceus sub-sp. Hoffm.) Prickly Sow-thistle  
702 Pilosella officinarum (Hieracium pilosella) Mouse-ear Hawkweed present in 2016
715 Gnaphalium uliginosum Marsh Cudweed  
736 Matricaria discoidea Pineapple Weed  
740 Senecio vulgaris Stinking Groundsel  
849 Festuca ovina Sheep's Fescue  
852 Lolium perenne Rye Grass  
858 Poa pratensis Smooth Meadow Grass  
874 Agrostis stolonifera (A. alba L.) Creeping Bent (Fiorin Grass)  
883 Phleum pratense Timothy  

 

Additional plant or plant-like species

Type Species Name Notes
Algae
  Trentepohlia (abietina)    
Lichens
  Xanthoria parietina    
Fungi
  Coprinellus micaceus Glistening Ink Cap  
  Dacrymyces stillatus    
  Ganoderma australe    
  Parasola plicatilis ? Pleated Inkcap?  
  Puccinia lagenophorae Groundsel Rust  
Liverworts
  Lunularia cruciata Crescent-cup Liverwort  
Mosses
  Brachythecium rutabulum Rough-stalked Feather-moss  
  Bryum capillare Capillary thread-moss  
  Grimmia pulvinata Grey Cushion-moss  
  Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus Springy Turf-moss  
  Tortula muralis Wall Screw-moss  

 

 Some additional species found in the graveyard:

Type Species Name Notes
springtail Orchesella cincta   07/02/2016 (RSt)
leafhopper Idiocerus sp. (vitreus?)   07/02/2016 (RSt)
leafhopper Empoasca vitis   07/02/2016 (RSt)
gnat Sylvicola fenestralis Window Gnat 07/02/2016 (RSt)
midge Chironomus plumosus   07/02/2016 (RSt)
fly Drosophila suzukii Spotted-wing Drosophila 07/02/2016 (KH)
bee Apis mellifera Honey Bee 07/02/2016 (RSt)
bumblebee Bombus lapidarius Red-tailed Bumblebee 07/02/2016 (RSt)
beetle Exochomus quadripustulatus Pine Ladybird 07/02/2016 (RSt)
beetle Halyzia sedecimguttata Orange Ladybird 07/02/2016 (RSt)
moth Luffia ferchaultella Virgin Smoke 07/02/2016 (RSt)
moth Agriopis marginaria Dotted Border (F.) 07/02/2016 (RSt)

 

 

 

 

St. Mary's Church and Churchyard, Wanstead

St. Mary's, WansteadSt. Mary's, Wanstead

The Church

St Mary's Church in Wanstead was designed by Thomas Hardwick and built at a cost of £9000, some of the cost and the site being provided by Sir James Tylney-Long. The first stone was laid on July 13th 1787 by Sir James Tylney Long, and it was completed in 1790. Built in a classical style, with two pairs of Tuscan columns at the porch, it would have complemented the style of Wanstead House itself. It is of brick, faced with Portland stone.

One of the show-pieces of the interior is the monument to Sir Josiah Child, a chairman of the East India Company. As owner of the estate of Wanstead House, it was he who had the grounds of Wanstead House laid out in the form in which we see them today.

The seating is provided in box pews, and there is a gallery around three sides.

Beneath the church there is a crypt consisting of 15 vaults off a passage some 25 metres in length, the entrance to which is via a passage of some 10 metres in length originating outside the church itself.

The Church is a Grade 1 listed building - the only one in Redbridge.

 

The graveyard - Plant Life

The plant-life of the graveyard was surveyed some 60 years ago by Gulielma Lister, niece of Lord Lister, famous as the pioneer of vaccination. The report was published in the Essex Naturalist (Vol. 27) as "THE FLORA OF WANSTEAD PARK DISTRICT by GULIELMA LISTER, F.L.S." (Read on 29th November, 1941). A copy of the species list is available HERE.

As the graveyard was very much within the Wren Group's study area, situated as it is to the north of Wanstead Park and adjacent to Wanstead Golf Course, I made a cursory survey of the plants to be found there in 1981. 102 species of plants were found. The list also includes those plants noted by Lister, so that comparisons could be made with the past and present flora. It could be seen that many of the more unusual species still persisted, although 28 species were not noted. The list is available HERE.

In early February 2016 another survey was done by members of the Wren Wildlife and Conservation Group and results of that are to be added to the listing.

Paul Ferris

The Graveyard of the Society of Friends

 

This land is surrounded by Bush Wood and has been enclosed for over a hundred years; before 1870 it was the Becontree assembly rooms and the practising ground of an archery club. It was purchased for Quaker meetings mainly at the expense of J. Gurney Barclay. The present meeting-house was built in 1968. (photos). The graveyard, enclosed by a brick wall (except where this has collapsed and has been replaced by a railing fence at the south edge), consists of a grass lawn edged by the simple Quaker memorial headstones with a border of planted shrubs by the wall. Amongst the headstones is one to Elizabeth Fry. This was originally in the grounds of Barking Abbey, but was moved here for safety.

The flora of the graveyard was surveyed some 60 years ago by Gulielma Lister, niece of the famous Lord Lister. The report was published in the Essex Naturalist (Vol. 27) as "THE FLORA OF WANSTEAD PARK DISTRICT by GULIELMA LISTER, F.L.S." .

In the report she lists 30 species found there and mentions how the turf retains some former flora which has gradually disappeared from the adjacent Forest, and that these are disappearing as the graves increase. Plants mentioned include Harebell, Petty-whin, Creeping Willow, Bedstraw, Mat-grass and Wavy Aira.

In visits made in the early 1990's it was seen that these fears were justified: Harebell, Petty-whin, and Creeping Willow were not found, although 72 species were. Devil's-bit scabious Succisa pratensis was noted on a visit made on 20/07/2005, as was Tormentil Potentilla erecta. The list below shows these, with an indication (L.1941) of those that were mentioned by Lister. For her list, comprising all the plants of the area, click here.

Management work carried out over the years by Les Rice, a member of the Wren Conservation Group and the Newham Conservation Volunteers, may have given an opportunity for some of the missing species to re-appear, and indeed many others are doubtless present that have been overlooked.

 

Plants found in The Graveyard of the Society of Friends, Bush Wood

("L.1941") indicates that the species was mentioned by Gulielma Lister in her work dated 1941)

"Stace" relates to the page number in The New Flora of the British Isles by Clive Stace, 2nd edition

Stace
Scientific Name
Common Name
Date Recorded
Lister's Record
21 Pteridium aquilinum Bracken 1990; 25/07/2016  
49 Chamaecyparis lawsoniana Lawson's Cypress 1990; 25/07/2016 (L.1941)
51 Araucaria araucana Monkey-puzzle 1990 (L.1941)
51 Taxus baccata Yew 1990; 25/07/2016  
120 Fagus sylvatica Ash 1990   
121 Quercus robur Pedunculate Oak 1990  (L.1941)
124 Betula pendula Silver Birch 1990; 20/07/2005 (var. laciniata)  
127 Carpinus betulus Hornbeam 1990; 25/07/2016  
162 Stellaria media Common Chickweed 1990  
163 Stellaria graminea Lesser Stitchwort 1990; 25/07/2016   
167 Sagina procumbens Procumbent Pearlwort 1990  
210 Tilia x europaea Common Lime 1990  
299 Lysimachia nemorum Yellow Pimpernel 1990  
300 Lysimachia nummularia Creeping Jenny 1990  
300 Anagallis arvensis Scarlet Pimpernel 1990  
313 Sedum album White Stonecrop 1990  
334 Rubus idaeus Raspberry 1990  
335 Rubus sect. Glandulosus Bramble 1990; 25/07/2016   
335 Rubus laciniatus Cut-leaved Bramble 1990  
344 Potentilla erecta Tormentil 1990; 25/07/2016  (L.1941)
344 Potentilla reptans Creeping Cinquefoil 1990; 25/07/2016   
370 Sorbus aucuparia Rowan 1990  
374 Sorbus aria Whitebeam 1990  
397 Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn 1990 (L.1941)
401 Robinia pseudoacacia Locust Tree 1990; 25/07/2016   
406 Lotus corniculatus Birdsfoot-trefoil 1990; 25/07/2016  (L.1941)
414 Lathyrus pratensis Meadow Vetchling 1990; 25/07/2016  
420 Medicago lupulina Black Medick 1990  
425 Trifolium repens White Clover 1990  
427 Trifolium dubium Lesser Yellow Trefoil 1990  
433 Cytisus scoparius Broom 1990  
448 Chamerion angustifolium Rosebay Willow-herb 1990 (L.1941)
452 Circaea lutetiana Enchanter's Nightshade 1990; 25/07/2016   
454 Aucuba japonica Spotted Laurel 1990  (L.1941)
456 Ilex aquifolium Holly 1990 (L.1941)
461 Euphorbia helioscopia Sun Spurge 1990  
470 Acer pseudoplatanus Sycamore 1990  
490 Hedera helix Ivy 1990; 25/07/2016  (L.1941)
501 Anthriscus sylvestris Cow Parsley 1990  
525 Vinca minor Lesser Periwinkle 1990  
531 Solanum dulcamara Bittersweet 1990  
562 Lamium maculatum Spotted Dead-nettle 1990  
560 Lamium album White Dead-nettle 1990  
567 Prunella vulgaris Self-Heal 1990  
583 Plantago major Great Plantain 1990  
584 Plantago lanceolata Ribwort Plantain 1990  
587 Syringa vulgaris Lilac 1990  
600 Digitalis purpurea Foxglove 1990; 25/07/2016   
647 Galium mollugo Hedge Bedstraw 1990   
651 Sambucus nigra Elder 1990 (L.1941)
652 Viburnum tinus Lauristinus 1990  
652 Symphoricarpos albus Snowberry 1990   
662 Succisa pratensis Devil's-bit Scabious 1990; 20/07/2005 (L.1941)
678 Cirsium arvense Creeping Thistle 1990  
683 Centaurea nigra Black Knapweed 1990; 25/07/2016  
684 Lapsana communis Nipplewort 1990  
686 Hypochaeris radicata Common Cat's-ear 1990  
688 Tragopogon pratensis Goat's-beard 1990  
698 Taraxacum sect. Ruderalia Dandelion 1990  
702 Pilosella officinarum Mouse-ear Hawkweed 1990  
705 Hieracium umbellatum Leafy Hawkweed 1990  
725 Conyza canadensis Canadian Fleabane 1990  
728 Bellis perennis Daisy 1990  
732 Achillea millefolium Yarrow 1990; 20/07/2016  
740 Senecio jacobaea Common Ragwort 1990; 20/07/2016  
740 Senecio squalidus Oxford Ragwort 1990  
740 Senecio vulgaris Groundsel 1990  
791 Luzula campestris Field wood-rush 1990 (L.1941)
858 Poa annua Annual Meadow Grass 1990  
868 Deschampsia flexuosa Wavy Hair-grass 1990 (L.1941)
871 Anthoxanthum odoratum Sweet Vernal Grass 1990  
929 Convallaria majalis Lily-of-the-valley 1990  
934 Hyacinthoides non-scripta Bluebell 1990  

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Wild-flowers and other plants of Manor Park Cemetery

This list of plants found in Manor Park Cemetery includes a few plants that have been deliberately introduced, but that appear to be naturalised to some extent. It also includes trees, some of which are obviously specimen plantings. There are also some ornamental shrubs included, as these may well prove to be valuable resources for other life forms, such as invertebrates.

It should be noted that this area has not been frequently visited for the purpose of recording plants, and that some of the records date back to 1977. Since then, much of the 'wilder' areas of the cemetery have been tidied up and used for burials. Similarly, a large wood - mainly of sycamore - in the north-west corner has been felled. SE of the chapel, a wooded area has been designated for "woodland burials".

for Birds, click HERE;  for other wildlife, click HERE; for some information about the cemetery itself, click HERE

The sequence of plants in the list follows the nomenclature of Stace 2nd Edition and the page numbers which refer to a particular species are indicated by 'Stace'

 

Stace

Scientific Name

Common Name

Date and Area found

20 Pteridium aquilinum Bracken 07/01/2016, SE area near railway
33 Dryopteris filix-mas Male Fern  
103 Papaver rhoeas Common Poppy L1, East end of rough land near houses, 27/6/77; 16/07/96 grass at N. edge
103 Papaver somniferum Opium Poppy Rough grass in N.E. and S.W. of the cemy. 27/6/77
117 Urtica dioica var. angustifolia Nettle 27/06/77; 16/07/96
122 Quercus cerris Turkey Oak 08/10/2015 in south part of cemetery
122 Quercus ilex Holm Oak 28/01/2016, SW area G
124 Betula pendula Silver Birch 07/01/2016, S. edge near railway
127 Corylus avellana Hazel A multi-stemmed tree in flower 07/01/2016 near railway
123 Quercus robur English Oak 27/06/77; 16/07/96 seedlings common
144 Atriplex patula Common Orache 29/07/77
144 Atriplex hastata Spear-leaved Orache 29/07/77; 16/07/96 S. edge near railway
162 Stellaria media Common Chickweed K2 27/06/77; 16/07/96 NW corner
176 Silene alba White Campion 27/06/77; 16/07/96
177 Silene dioica Red Campion 27/06/77; 16/07/96
183 Polygonum persicaria Red Shank 27/06/77; 16/07/96 near Road by E. gate
186 Polygonum aviculare Knotgrass 27/06/77; 16/07/96 NW corner
186 Polygonum cuspidatum Japanese Knotweed K1 27/06/77; 16/07/96 particularly S. edge; 07/01/2016 evidence of poisoning
190 Rumex acetosella Sheep's Sorrel 27/06/77; 16/07/96 S.edge
194 Rumex crispus Curled Dock 27/06/77
195 Rumex obtusifolius Broad-leaved Dock 27/06/77; 16/07/96 NW corner
207 Hypericum perforatum Perforate St. John's Wort 29/07/77; 16/07/2016
210 Tilia x europaea (x vulgaris) Common Lime A line along N. edge near gardens
212 Malva sylvestris Mallow 27/06/77; 16/07/96 SW corner and NW corner and elsewhere
226 Populus sp. Poplar 28/01/2016, a few trees in areas G and E
250 Alliaria petiolata Garlic Mustard 27/06/77
250 Sisymbrium officinale Hedge Mustard 27/06/77; 16/07/96 S. edge near railway
250 Sisymbrium altissimum Tall Rocket 27/06/77
258 Armoracia rusticana Horse Radish 16/07/96 NW corner
259 Cardamine hirsuta Hairy Bitter-cress 07/01/2016, SE area
267 Capsella bursa-pastoris Shepherd's Purse 27/6/77; 16/07/96
273 Coronopus didymus Lesser Swine-cress 16/07/96 NW corner
313 Sedum acre Wall Pepper 27/06/77
(320) Hamamelis japonica Witch Hazel 23/02/2010 planted as an ornamental
335 Rubus fruticosus agg. Bramble 27/06/77; 16/07/96
344 Potentilla reptans Creeping Cinquefoil 16/07/96 Lawn at crnr of Centre Drive/Cornwell Crescent, W end.
346 Geum urbanum Wood Avens 07/01/2016
365 Prunus avium Wild Cherry K1 one large tree, many suckers 1981; some trees in "wild" area E. of offices, 28/01/2016
370 Sorbus aucuparia Rowan 16/07/96 seedling between graves S. edge
397 Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn 27/06/77; 16/07/96
401 Robinia pseudoacacia Locust Tree 27/06/77; 16/07/96 suckering at N edge by houses
411 Vicia cracca Tufted Vetch 29/06/77; 16/07/96 rough area N edge
412 Vicia hirsuta Hairy Tare 27/06/77
412 Vicia sativa Common Vetch 27/06/77
414 Lathyrus pratensis Meadow Vetchling 29/07/77; 16/07/96 NW corner
415 Lathyrus latifolius Broad-Leaved Pea 29/06/77; 16/07/96
417 Melilotus alba White Melilot 29/06/77
419 Melilotus officinalis Common Melilot 27/06/77
420 Medicago lupulina Black Medick 27/06/77; 16/07/96 open ground N. edge
425 Trifolium repens White Clover 27/06/77; 16/07/96 NW corner
427 Trifolium pratense Red Clover 27/06/77; 16/07/96 NW corner
432 Laburnum anagyroides Common Laburnum +
435 Sarothamnus scoparius Broom 27/06/77; 16/07/96 S. edge by railway
448 Chamaenerion angustifolium Rosebay Willow-herb 29/06/77
456 Ilex aquifolium Holly 29/06/77; 16/07/96
461 Euphorbia peplus Petty Spurge 29/06/77
470 Acer pseudoplatanus Sycamore 27/06/77; 16/07/96
480 Geranium dissectum Cut-leaved Cranesbill 16/07/96
482 Geranium molle Dove's-Foot Cranesbill  
482 Geranium pusillum Small-flowered Cranesbill 27/06/77
490 Hedera helix Ivy K2 29/06/77; 16/07/96
501 Anthriscus sylvestris Cow Parsley K2, 27/06/77
504 Aegopodium podagraria Ground Elder 29/06/77
506 Foeniculum vulgare Fennel 16/07/96 NW corner
507 Conium maculatum Hemlock 27/06/77
515 Heracleum sphondylium Hogweed 29/06/77
525 Vinca sp. Periwinkle 07/01/2016
531 Solanum dulcamara Bittersweet 27/06/77; 16/07/96
531 Solanum nigrum Black Nightshade 16/07/96 NW corner
534 Convolvulus arvensis Field Bindweed 27/06/77; 16/07/96 NW corner
535 Calystegia sepium silvatica Great Bindweed 27/06/77; 16/07/96 N. edge of Cornwell Crescent
560 Lamium album White Dead-nettle 29/06/77
562 Lamium purpureum Red Dead-Nettle 27/06/77; 16/07/96 grass by E. edge; 07/01/2016
583 Plantago major Great Plantain 27/06/77
584 Plantago lanceolata Ribwort Plantain 27/06/77; 16/07/96 by E. gate and elsewhere
586 Fraxinus excelsior Ash 16/07/96 Seedlings in various locations eg S. edge
594 Pawlonia tomentosa Foxglove Tree A small tree towards S. edge
598 Cymbalaria muralis Ivy-leaved Toadflax 07/01/2016, a plant on a grave SE of chapel
599 Linaria purpurea Purple Toadflax 27/06/77
599 Linaria vulgaris Common Toadflax 27/06/77
600 Digitalis purpurea Foxglove 27/06/77; 16/07/96 N. side of Cornwell Crescent and N. edge by houses
604 Veronica arvensis Wall Speedwell 07/01/2016
605 Veronica persica Common Field Speedwell 07/01/2016
605 Veronica hederifolia Ivy Speedwell  
649 Galium aparine Cleavers 27/06/77; 16/07/96 NW corner
651 Sambucus nigra Elder 27/06/77
674 Arctium minus Lesser Burdock 29/07/77; 16/07/96 NW corner
676 Cirsium vulgare Spear Thistle 29/06/77; 16/07/96 grass near E. wall
678 Cirsium arvense Creeping Thistle 27/06/77; 16/07/96
686 Hypochoeris radicata Common Cat's-ear 27/06/77; 16/07/96 grass by E. wall
690 Lactuca serriola Prickly Lettuce 29/07/77; 16/07/96
690 Sonchus oleraceus Smooth Sow-thistle 27/06/77; 16/07/96 grass near E. wall
690 Sonchus asper Prickly Sow-thistle 16/07/96 NW crnr
699 Taraxacum officinale Dandelion 27/06/77; 07/01/2016
705 Hieracium spp. Leafy Hawkweed 16/07/96 S edge by Railway
719 Solidago canadensis Canadian Golden Rod 29/07/77; 16/07/96
720 Aster sp. Michaelmas Daisy 29/07/77
725 Conyza canadensis Canadian Fleabane 29/07/77
728 Bellis perennis Daisy 07/01/2016; widespread on lawns
728 Chrysanthemum parthenium Feverfew 16/07/96 By NW wall
729 Artemisia vulgaris Mugwort 29/06/77; 16/07/96 SE corner
732 Achillea millefolium Yarrow 27/06/77; 16/07/96; 07/01/2016
735 Chrysanthemum leucanthemum Ox-eye Daisy 27/06/77
736 Matricaria matricarioides Pineapple Mayweed 27/06/77; 16/07/96 N edge
736 Tripleurospermum maritimum Scentless Mayweed 29/07/77; 16/07/96 S. edge near Railway
736 Matricaria recutita Scented Mayweed 27/06/77
740 Senecio jacobaea Common Ragwort 16/07/96 S. grass area; 07/01/2016
740 Senecio squalidus Oxford Ragwort 27/06/77; 16/07/96 E end
740 Senecio vulgaris Groundsel 10/04/81; 16/07/96; 07/01/2016
751 Ballota nigra Black Horehound 29/07/77; 16/07/96 wall by E. gate
776 Trachycarpus fortunei Chusan Palm 28/01/2016; two trees planted withing enclosure area C; one planted by Manor Avenue nearby in MA
852 Lolium perenne Perennial Rye-Grass 29/06/77; 16/07/96
858 Poa annua Annual Meadow Grass 29/06/77
858 Poa trivialis var. parviflora Rough Meadow Grass  
859 Dactylis glomerata Cock's-Foot 27/06/77
868 Holcus lanatus Yorkshire Fog 27/06/77; 16/07/96
864 Arrhenatherum elatius Tall or False Oat-grass 27/06/77; 16/07/96 S. edge
895 Hordeum murinum Wall Barley 27/06/77; 16/07/96
926 Crepis vesicaria ssp. taraxacifolia Beaked Hawk's-beard  
934 Endymion non-scriptus Bluebell 29/06/77; 16/07/96
935 Muscari sp. Grape Hyacinth 07/01/2016, in flower on graves
943 Galanthus nivalis Snowdrop 28/01/2016, a small bunch in SE area
945 Narcissus spp. Hybrid Daffodils 10/04/81
956 Crocus tommasinianus Early Crocus 28/01/2016, groups in SW areas H and G and elsewhere

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