In 1235, a woman called Maud in the Lane gave her name to a tenement called Lanes, which was later called Sakes Lane, after the Sake family who in the Middle Ages had a house here. A Woodford Court Roll of 1403-4 describes the wives of John Sake, senior, and John Sake, junior as being brewers, and for their shortcomings in that capacity, their respective husbands were fined 2d. each. John Sake, junior, also incurred a similar fine, for an unscoured ditch (not cleaning it out of mud and debris) in Mottes Lane. The name was later corrupted to Snakes Lane. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries this was one of the only thoroughfares in the parish, connecting Chigwell to Woodford Green. In 1820 its course was diverted from around where Woodford Station is today in a more southerly direction to reach the Green – previously it had turned sharply north for about 150 yards before bearing westwards. Brice Pearse of Monkhams estate, who gained more land from these diversions, agreed with the vestry to rebuild Snakes Lane on its present, shorter, course and also paid £1,000 towards a new workhouse. In 1947, following the electrification of the railway and the closure of the level crossing, the lane was closed to through traffic. The result was Snakes Lane East and Snakes Lane West.
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