Cambridge Heath

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Cambridge Heath
Area surrounding 244 Cambridge Heath Road, London 22.jpg
Vyner Street, viewed from Mowlem Street
Cambridge Heath is located in Greater London
Cambridge Heath
Cambridge Heath
Cambridge Heath shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ348832
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district E2, E8, E9
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°31′53″N 0°03′20″W / 51.5315°N 0.05566°W / 51.5315; -0.05566Coordinates: 51°31′53″N 0°03′20″W / 51.5315°N 0.05566°W / 51.5315; -0.05566

Cambridge Heath is a canalside sub-district which is both a locality of Bethnal Green and Hackney and is in the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney within the East End of London, England. Cambridge Heath includes the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History, Ash Grove bus garage and a part of Broadway Market.


The earliest recorded use of the name is as Camprichthesheth in 1275.[1]


Once a stretch of common land which stretched to the east and west, belonged to the old Stepney Manor to the south, the heath was used as a pasture where people could graze their sheep during the Middle Ages in the 13th century, though 1275 records suggest at least one ancient house stood there.[2]

The London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews built Palestine Place as Cambridge Heath began to be fully developed during the first half of the 19th century, although a windmill survived until at least 1836. However most of the local residents were poor, especially in the streets around the railway line and the Regents Canal, as well as on Russia Lane. It was during this time the Peabody Trust built the Bethnal Green Estate in 1910.[3]


As with the whole of Greater London, the Lord-Lieutenant Ken Olisa is the Her Majesty representative for Cambridge Heath but has no political role or hold an office in any political party and is purely an honorary titular position.[4]

Cambridge Heath is in the constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow and is represented by the Labour Party Rushanara Ali (since 2010) and in Hackney South and Shoreditch represented by the Labour and Co-operative Party Meg Hillier (since 2005), both are members in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament.[5]

London overall has a directly elected executive Mayor of London, currently Sadiq Khan and the City and East seat in the London Assembly is held by Labour Party Unmesh Desai.


The Regents Canal, which divides Camridge Heath.

Located north and west of Bethnal Green (proper), east of Haggerston, west and south of South Hackney and south of London Fields and located near Victoria Park, at the very southern end is Patriot Square, the site of former Bethnal Green Town Hall. Most of Cambridge Heath formed part of this metropolitan borough from 1900 to 1965.[6]

Culture and recreation[edit]

Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, opened 2015

The Hare is a public house which has been present in 1800, which was listed in 1848 and 1851 while in the 1805 Directory the name was given as Hackney Road, an older name for this stretch of road now called Cambridge Heath Road. An ex-Truman establishment, it is now a free house and is an ungentrified pub. But nevertheless is very popular with both older East End custom and new comers to the area.[7][8]

The former Bethnal Green Infirmary, later renamed the Bethnal Green Hospital was partly located near the boundary between Cambridge Heath and Bethnal Green proper, it was built on land purchased from the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews, however used began to declined due to cutbacks in the NHS and it closed as a public hospital in the 1970s and the role of the hospital changed from acute to geriatric care, staff occupied the building as part of a campaign to protect its future, however the administrators moved out but patients remained, their for the NHS was obliged to pay the staff to carry on performing their duties until after the 1980s. But the old hospital entrance and administration block remains as a listed building.[9]

The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History opened in 2015, the museum and bar is situated in a former call centre on Mare Street that is run by Viktor Wynd, which is a part of the part of The Last Tuesday Society and funded by Kickstarter. It's galley includes classic curiosities such as hairballs, Sebastian Horsley nails from his crucifixion and drawings and archive material to do with Stephen Tennant, a collection of human remains including shrunken heads, dead babies in bottles and parts of pickled prostitutes, as well as condoms used by the Rolling Stones and tribal art among it art collection which spans several centuries.[10][11][12][13][14]

The Ash Grove bus depot was build as part of a development program for more garage in 1981 by London Buses to which the roof was designed unusually in being carried by ten 35-ton triangular trusses being supported on reinforced concrete columns, all being developed at a cost of £3.5 million. Ash Grove has also used at various times to house stored vehicles as part of the London Transport Museum.[15][16]



Cambridge Heath has one school called Mowlem Primary School, which opened in 1887 and was called Mowlem Street School. As the population grew, the school was enlarged in 1898 and changed once again in 1902 for 410 boys and 410 girls. A new single-storey building catering for a total of 280 children was opened in 1971 when it was renamed Mowlem Primary School.[21]


A number of housing estates exist in Cambridge Heath including the historic Bethnal Green Estate[22] and also the Lark Row Estate[23]


Private transportation

The neighbourhood main arterial route for motor vehicles and cyclists is the A107 Cambridge Heath Road from Mile End Gate in Stepney and Mare Street from Hackney Central which runs north-south from the two borough boundaries over the Regents Canal. Hackney Road is the main arterial road for Central London.

Public transportation

London Overground; Cambridge Heath railway station, opened on 27 May 1872 in the southern end of the neighbourhood, is served by Overground Enfield Town/Cheshunt-London Liverpool Street Line.[24][25]

A number of London Buses contacted routes serve the area, the 26, 48, 55, N26, N55 on Hackney Road which in turn go towards Mare Street, while the 106, 254, 388, D6 and N253 run on Cambridge Heath Road and Mare Street. The D6 finishes and restarts near Ash Grove since 2014.[26]


  1. ^ Mills, A., Oxford Dictionary of London Place Names, (2000)
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  6. ^ Vision of Britain Archived 10 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine. - Bethnal Green MB boundaries
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  10. ^ Viktor Wynd: Viktor Wynd's Cabinet of Wonders. Prestel Publishing. 
  11. ^ J.C. (1 October 2015). "N.B.: Horizon and the CIA". WSJ. 
  12. ^ Oliver Wainwright. "A two-headed lamb and ancient dildos: the UK's strangest new museum". the Guardian. 
  13. ^ "Viktor Wynd's Little Shop of Horrors". Viktor Wynd. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  14. ^ Tolhurst, Alain. "Help London's weirdest museum create home for bizarre curiosities in Hackney". Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  15. ^ Arriva London - News - Ash Grove garage fully operational again Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ McLachlan, Tom (1995). London Buses 1985-1995: Managing The Change. Venture Publications. p. 33. ISBN 1-898432-74-0. 
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