Named after the point where the old Roman road between London and Colchester crossed the River Lea – hence street ford. Over the centuries the road has had many different names, reflecting the various interests of the landowners of the time and to distinguish it from other Stratfords. Stratford was spelt Stratforde in the year of the Norman Conquest and as Stœforda the following year 1067, perhaps giving some clue as to its importance in the conquerers’ military plans. By 1291 it was being described as East or Essex Stratford, Estraford and the village Stratforde Hamme in 1312. And by 1325 it was being mentioned with reference to the monks of Stratford Langthorne Abbey, Stratford Monachorum, Stratford atte Thorne in 1338, Abbei Stratford in 1389 and Stratford Longthorn in 1450.
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