Hainault Forest Website

 The London County Council era

1903 - 1963



The Bystander magazine August 15th 1906

Looking from Dog Kennel Hill to Cabin Hill 1913 - note the open plains.

With thanks to London Metropolitan Archives for the use of the photograph.

                         Farmhouse                       Barns and farm buildings                                                       Foxburrows Cottages 1-4

The Farmhouse was used by the Head Keeper. It was demolished to make way for the Sports Changing Rooms in the fifties. The cottages were used by the Keepers.

During the Summer months, Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday the 101 Bus ran from North Woolwich to Lambourne End and crowds of people would make their way through the Forest.


Below is a photograph of the many Londoners who visited the forest at weekends showing the 101 bus from Woolwich in the 20's.


Right is a postcard of a poster of 1920 published by London Transport Museum


The Essex Newsman Saturday 10th June 1933 reported that Whit Monday last, beat all records for visitors. By bus alone 23,000 people travelled to Hainault Forest and nearly as many tickets were given up at Grangehill Railway Station.













Numbers 1 and 2 Hainault Cottages.               Vic George


Romford Road 1907 looking towards Hog Hill. The Hainault Oak public house stands by the side of the road. The modern which replaced it has recently been demolished.

LCC Cap badge (above).

With thanks to John Lebeau.

LCC Split pin Coat button

Made by H. Lotery & Co. London.

With thanks to John Lebeau.

"The Metropolitan" LCC whistle,

J.Hudson & Co. Barr St., Hockley, Birmingham (left).


With thanks to John Lebeau.


A present from Hainault Forest. This souvenir cup, possibly dating from the opening of the forest, was dredged from a pond on Banks Farm, Lambourne End.

Forest Keeper c1913

Susie Harvey writes:

My father (Jack) worked in the forest for Mr Buxton, a verderer of Epping Forest, in the early part of the 20th  century as a casual labourer  and when  the London County Council took over  the forest, Mr Buxton recommended him as a good workman and he was taken on by the LCC. Eventually he was given a cottage on the forest in which he moved in 1909. (No. 4 Foxburrows Cottages). I was born there in 1910. During the 1914-18 War the three large barns and kitchens were taken over by the army and German prisoners were encamped there for the duration. There was also a searchlight based on top of the backs hill beside what is now the 17th fairway of the golf course.


At the end of World War I, the stables and garaging were let to a farmer, who kept cattle on the field around the lake and the back hills. When he left in 1922 the grazing was let to a Scottish sheep farmer, who left after a few years when the forest reverted to an open space, until World War II, when it was taken over by the Ministry of Agriculture and wheat was grown in the fields.


After World War I, the big barns at Foxburrows were let to a caterer. He sold sweets and drinks and did snacks and teas. There was only one golf course in those days and the golfers would often break off their game to go for a cup of tea during the 1920's. He had swing boats and coconut shies and donkey rides in the meadow (as it was called then) in front of the buildings. The parties all sat at trestle tables in the barns for high tea and early evening would set off for home, singing with a cornet accompanying them. I longed to ride in a brake but never did.

Susie died in February 2004.


On Cabin Hill  c.1936-8

Back: Sid Williams, Isabella Williams nee Underwood, Unknown lady. Front: Iris Huckstep, Elizabeth Williams, Barbara Huckstep, Unknown boy. Photo: Barbara Oliverio, daughter of Elizabeth (above).






Featured above is young John running through a sunny glade in the forest on the 9th October 1948. Was this you? If you can identify the young lad please let us know.


With thanks to London Metropolitan Archives for the use of these 3 photographs.

Pollards in Lambourne Common c. 1913.

The picture left illustrates that pollarding of the hornbeam trees  had been carried out about 18 - 25 years before the picture was taken and the resultant regrowth was due for pollarding again. This was not carried out again for charcoal or commercial use and the failure to do so has resulted in today's top heavy and diseased trees which present a management problem.

 An attempt to repollard old trees in 1990 by Redbridge resulted in dieback, and now The Woodland Trust are trying to recreate wood pasture by pollarding young trees which is much more successful.