This street, like many others in the surrounding area, owes its name to the former Hainault Forest, one of the remaining sections of the Forest of Essex. The woodland became a favourite hunting ground of Tudors and Stuarts, both for pleasure and profit. The types of huntsmen, their weapons and their related crafts are featured in local street names, including this one, the crossbow, which was used for hunting large game until well into the 17thCentury. The street was laid out during the 20thCentury on former woodland which after the deforestation of Hainault Forest in 1851 was converted to farmland, before its development for housing.
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