Stratford, London

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Coordinates: 51°32′32″N 0°00′06″W / 51.5423°N 0.0018°W / 51.5423; -0.0018

Stratford is a district in northeast London, England and part of the London Borough of Newham. It is located 6 miles (9.7 km) east northeast of Charing Cross and is one of the major centres identified in the London Plan.[1] It was historically an agrarian settlement in the ancient parish of West Ham, which transformed into an industrial suburb following the introduction of the railway in 1839. As part of the growth of London in the late 19th century, Stratford significantly expanded and increased in population, becoming the centre of administration of the Borough of West Ham in 1886 and it has formed part of Greater London since 1965. The more recent economic history is underpinned by a move away from railway works and heavy industry towards becoming a significant commercial and cultural centre. Stratford is adjacent to the London Olympic Park and is currently experiencing regeneration and expansion linked to the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Contents

History

Toponymy

The name is first recorded in 1067 as Strætforda and means 'ford on a Roman road'.[2] It is formed from Old English 'stræt' and 'ford'. The crossing is that of the London to Colchester road over one of the many branches of the River Lea to the west of the settlement.[2] The nearby settlement of Bow —over the River Lea and now in Tower Hamlets— was also known as Stratford and a variety of suffixes were used to distinguish the two.[2] The settlement to the east of the Lea was also known as Estratford refererring to the location east of the other Stratford, Statford Hamme alluding to the location within the parish of West Ham, with Abbei Stratford and Stretford Langthorne both referring to the presence of Stratford Langthorne Abbey.[2]

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