Our Lady of Lourdes, Wanstead
Church in/near Leytonstone, existing between 1934 and now
Print-friendly version of this page Leytonstone is an area of east London and part of the London Borough of Waltham Forest. It is a suburban area, located seven miles north east of Charing Cross.
Our Lady Of Lourdes church is the Catholic parish church of Wanstead, and is part of the Diocese of Brentwood.
A mass centre was opened in Wanstead in 1910 by the parish priest of Walthamstow. In 1918 it was transferred to the hall of the newly opened St. Joseph’s convent school, Cambridge Park
. Wanstead became a separate parish in 1919, and the church was opened in 1928, and completed in 1934.
The church was built in the Neo-Gothic style. The church exterior is of red brick with cream stone edgings. Inside, the plan is that of a nave and two aisles on either side. At the back, over the entrance, there is the choir balcony, on which a new organ has been constructed. The interior walls are simply whitewashed, excluding the stonework. Behind the altar is an elaborate stone gothic altarpiece. Two stained glass windows have been inserted in the left aisle.
The name Leytonstone — in early documents Leyton-Atte-Stone
— may derive from the large stone standing at the junction of Hollybush Hill
and New Wanstead
; in the 18th-century an obelisk was mounted on top of it, and it has been claimed that it is the remains of a Roman milestone.
Leytonstone station was opened by the Eastern Counties Railway on 22 August 1856. In turn it became, from 1862, part of the Great Eastern Railway system and then in 1923 part of the London & North Eastern Railway before being transferred to London Transport in 1947. This formed part of the New Works Programme 1935 - 1940
that was to see major changes at Leytonstone with the station becoming the junction of the existing Epping branch, newly electrified, with the new tube tunnel running under Eastern Avenue
towards Newbury Park. This work saw a complete reconstruction of the station along with the removal of the level crossing at Church Lane
and its replacement by an underbridge. The work stopped in May 1940 due to wartime priorities; further delays were caused by the station buildings being hit by a German bomb in January 1944. During the war, the new tunnels were used as an aircraft component factory; the part closest to Leytonstone was a public air-raid shelter.
The station was first served by the Central Line on 5 May 1947 when it became the temporary terminus of the line, passengers changing on to steam shuttle onwards to Epping. This ceased on 14 December 1947 with the extension of Underground services to Woodford and Newbury Park.