London Wiki
Old Ford
PostCode District E3
Borough London Borough of Tower Hamlets
OS Grid Reference

Old Ford is a residential district in East London largely based around the end of Roman Road and is part of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Old Ford is most famous for its Roman Road Market and G. Kelly pie & mash.


Old Ford has no formal or exact boundaries because it was never an administrative district but generally Old Ford is considered where the largely residential block above Roman Road that is bordering Hertford Union to the north and River Lea to the east.[1]

In modern times, this enclave in the borough of Tower Hamlets has boundaries determined by two immovable objects - Victoria Park and the A12 Blackwall Tunnel Approach.[2] Old Ford considered to be bordered on the north by Hackney Wick, on the east by Stratford, on the south by Bow, and on the west by South Hackney.[3]


Old Ford name was first recorded in 1268, although a ‘Robert of Aleford’, who was mentioned in 1244 – may have come from here. The ford crossed the River Lea roughly where the ‘Old Ford’ locality name appears on the map below. In the early Middle Ages this was an important crossing point on the main road from London into Essex – and there is archaeological evidence of active commercial traffic from the middle of the first century into the fourth century. However, the construction of a bridge at Bow supplanted the less reliable route through Old Ford. This was in part a consequence of the meadowland’s vulnerability to flooding, a problem exacerbated by the prevalence of watermills along the River Lea, constricting its flow.[4]

Regeneration and construction projects in Fish Island from 2016 onwards have caused East Old Ford to be referred to as "the new Shoreditch", in reference to the gentrification of that neighbourhood in the late 1990s.[5]


Old Ford falls within the parliamentary constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The electoral ward it falls within is the Bow East ward.[6]


Roman Road Community Land Trust is an initiative that seeks to protect the diverse community by providing truly affordable housing and aims to create an alternative solution for residents who are being forced out of the area due to increased property prices.[7]

Roman Road LDN is a hyperlocal magazine covering Old Ford as well as Bow, Mile End and Bethnal Green and launched as a full-time publication in 2018. In 2019 the magazine had 2,500 subscribers, 10,000 followers on social media, and nearly 100,000 unique readers a year.[8]

The Percy Dalton Peanut Factory was at Fish Island, occupying Britannia Works and gatehouse along Dace Road, and another building on Smeed Road. Britannia Works has been run as an artists studio building by SPACE since 2000, who led a set of community programs.[9]


Old Ford is served by London Buses, including route 8 to Central London, and also routes 276, 339, 488 and night route N8.

More information on the Wikipedia page [10]