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

The Young Prince

Old Ford, sometimes known as Fish Island, is an area in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Located north of Bow, east of Bethnal Green, south of Hackney Wick, and west of Stratford.

Geography[edit | edit source]

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]

History[edit | edit source]

Historically, Old Ford was a cluster of houses and a mill, around the location of the ford. It formed a part of the medieval parish of Stepney. It expanded rapidly in the Victorian era and was designated an independent Anglican parish in 1858[1], although civil administration has always been associated with Bow.

Old Ford, as the name suggests, was the ancient most downstream crossing point of the River Lea. This was part of a pre-Roman route that followed the modern Oxford Street, Old Street, through Bethnal Green to Old Ford and thence across a causeway through the marshes known as Wanstead Slip (actually in Leyton).

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.[4]

Governance[edit | edit source]

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.[5]

Community[edit | edit source]

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.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8]

Transport[edit | edit source]

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 [9]

  1. Youngs, Frederic A (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England. I, Southern England. Royal Historical Society. p. 323. 
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