Knighton Drive, IG8

Place Name

A reference to Woodford’s Knighton Wood, 37 acres of woodland in the north-western corner of the parish, a remnant of ancient woodland of Epping Forest. It was owned by the Knights of St John, hence the name, and was first mentioned in records dating to 1573 when Bernard Whitestone of Woodford Hall complains of the seizure by commoners of his wood at Woodford. In 1850, by which time the woodland had been legally (and illegally) enclosed, the then owner Richard Hallett Senior built his house Knighton Villa (between Woodland Way and Monkhams Lane) and other houses in the area. In 1863, Edward North Buxton, a leading member of the newly-formed Commons Preservation Society who campaigned to preserve open spaces for the public, moved to Knighton. Buxton was particularly involved in securing both Hainault Forest and Hatfield Forest but was equally concerned with Epping Forest and was a forest official for 44 years. Following his death in 1924, the estate was put up for sale. Sixty acres were sold for housing development with spacious houses built from 1931, and 40 acres of woodland were returned to Epping Forest. This was split equally between the Corporation of London and Woodford Urban District Council. In June 1930 Knighton Wood opened as a public space for local people, and since that time it has been managed by the Corporation of London.

 

 

 

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