An extract on #tesbiholtutasi
The area was part of the Ancient Parish and subsequent County Borough of West Ham, which became the western half of the modern borough in 1965. Historically an agrarian settlement in the county of Essex, Stratford was transformed into an industrial suburb following the introduction of the railway in 1839.
The late 20th Century was a period of severe economic decline, eventually reversed by regeneration associated with the 2012 Summer Olympics, for which Stratfords Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was the principal venue.
Stratford is now East Londons primary retail, cultural and leisure centre. It has also become the second most significant (after Canary Wharf) business location in the east of the capital.
In 1135 the Cistercian Order founded Stratford Langthorne Abbey, also known as West Ham Abbey. This became one of the largest and most wealthy monasteries in England, owning 1,500 acres (610 hectares) in the immediate area and 20 manors throughout Essex.
The Abbey lay between the Channelsea River and Marsh Lane (Manor Road). Nothing visible remains on the site, as after it dissolution by Henry VIII in 1538, local landowners took away much of the stone for their own buildings and the land was subsequently urbanised.
A stone window and a carving featuring skulls thought to have been over the door to the charnel house remain in All Saints Church, West Ham (dating from about 1180). The Great Gate of the abbey survived in Baker's Row until 1825.
The coat of arms of the Abbey can be seen over the doorway to the Old Court House, in Tramway Avenue (Stratford). The chevrons from this device, originally from the arms of the Mountfitchet family, together with an abbot's crozier were incorporated into the arms of the former County Borough of West Ham in 1887. The same arms were adopted by the new London Borough of Newham in 1965.
The industrialisation of Stratford started slowly and accelerated rapidly in the early Victorian era.
The Stratford and national experience of the Industrial Revolution inspired scenes in the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony covering the traumatic transition from a Green and Pleasant Land to the Pandemonium of the revolution and the huge social and economic changes it brought.
An early industrial undertaking at Stratford was the Bow porcelain factory, which despite the name, was on the Essex side of the River Lea. Using a process that was patented in 1744, Edward Heylin and Thomas Frye operated a factory near Bow Bridge called "New Canton" to produce some of the first soft-paste porcelain to be made in the country. The site of the factory was to the north of Stratford High Street near the modern Bow Flyover; it was the subject of archaeological excavations in 1921 and 1969.