Waltham Forest Town Hall
The south facade from Forest Road
Coordinates51°35′28″N 0°0′49″W / 51.59111°N 0.01361°W / 51.59111; -0.01361Coordinates: 51°35′28″N 0°0′49″W / 51.59111°N 0.01361°W / 51.59111; -0.01361
ArchitectPhilip Dalton Hepworth
Architectural style(s)Stripped Classicism
Listed Building – Grade II
Designated9 March 1982
Reference no.1190868
Waltham Forest Town Hall
Shown in Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Town Hall (formerly Walthamstow Town Hall) is a municipal building located in Walthamstow, East London. The town hall, which is the headquarters of Waltham Forest London Borough Council, is a Grade II Listed Building.[1]


The old town hall in Orford Road which subsequently became part of the Connaught Hospital
The old town hall in Orford Road which subsequently became part of the Connaught Hospital

The building was commissioned to replace an earlier Italianate style town hall erected in Orford Road in 1866.[2][3] After the area became an urban district in 1895 and then a municipal borough in 1929,[4] civic leaders decided to procure a purpose-built town hall: the site chosen for the new building had previously been occupied by Chestnuts Farm, also known as Clay Farm.[5] They decided that the new town hall would be flanked to the south east by an assembly hall which would be built in the same architectural style and at the same time as the town hall.[1]

The foundation stone for the new building, in which contemporary artifacts were placed, was laid in 1938.[6] The building was designed by Philip Dalton Hepworth[7] in the stripped classical style.[5] Construction of the building, which was built of Portland Stone, was interrupted by the Second World War and not completed until 1942.[8][9] The design involved a symmetrical main frontage with 19 bays facing onto Forest Road with the end bays projecting forwards; the central section featured a three-bay full-height portico with piers supporting a frieze above containing the words "Walthamstow Town Hall"; there was a tall copper-clad clock tower at roof level.[1] Internally, the principal room was the council chamber which projected to the rear of the building: five statues carved by John Francis Kavanagh were installed on the external walls of the council chamber and six relief sculptures, also by Kavanagh, were erected on the portico piers.[10]

The assembly hall, which was also completed in 1942, was used as a British Restaurant during the Second World War.[10] The town hall continued to serve as the local seat of government after the expanded Waltham Forest London Borough Council was formed in 1965.[11] The assembly hall hosted a concert performance by Yehudi Menuhin in January 1960[12] and by Plácido Domingo in July 1974.[13] Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the town hall and had lunch with civic officials in March 2012.[14]

The council approved an extensive programme of renovation works to the town hall and the assembly hall in October 2019; the works authorised also included improved landscaping with water jets, night-time illumination and a reflection pool.[15]


  1. ^ a b c Historic England. "Waltham Town Hall (1190868)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  2. ^ Historic England. "Old Town Hall, Wathamstow (1191150)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  3. ^ "An I-Kuan Tao temple has opened in the former Walthamstow town hall building, in Orford Road". East London and West Essex Guardian. 10 August 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  4. ^ Powell, W R (1973). "'Walthamstow: Local government and public services', in A History of the County of Essex". London: British History Online. pp. 275–285. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Walthamstow Town Hall". Hidden London. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Top 10 Things To Do In The Borough Of Waltham Forest". Londonist. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Philip Dalton Hepworth". Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  8. ^ Novotny, Lukas. Page 34. Modern London. White Lion Publishing; 2018. ISBN 978-0-7112-3972-2.
  9. ^ "The Civic Plunge Revisited" (PDF). Twentieth Century Society. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  10. ^ a b "London's Town Halls". Historic England. p. 195. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  11. ^ Youngs, Frederic (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England. I: Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0-901050-67-9.
  12. ^ "Sir Colin Davis: His Early Recordings". Presto Classical. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Verdi & Puccini Duets". Music.web. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  14. ^ "The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Waltham Forest Town Hall, in Walthamstow, in 2012". East London and West Essex Guardian. 21 April 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  15. ^ "Transforming the heart of Waltham Forest". Waltham Forest Council. 31 October 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2020.