The Pumphouse Museum in Walthamtow is currently undergoing a £7million refurbishment to showcase the area’s rich industrial heritage, but it is also set to reveal the history of the land around it.
Near the museum site in South Access Road stood Low Hall Manor, which gave its name to an existing area of E17.
It was home to the owner of the 200-acre estate, which was mentioned in the Doomsday Book.
Earl Waltheof owned the land of ‘Wilcumestou’ in 1066 as Earl of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire.
Following the Battle of Hastings, he initially pledged allegiance to William the Conqueror and was allowed to keep his pre-conquest title and possessions.
He married William’s niece, Countess Judith, but was later executed near Winchester in May 1076 after taking part in what became known as the Revolt of the Earls against William.
It was said that Judith betrayed her husband to her uncle and retained use of the manor.
Little is known about the original building on the site, but excavations in 1997 revealed evidence of a 14th century moated country house.
During this period, it was owned by the Earl of Warwick, Richard Neville, one of England’s most powerful men.
He was one of the leaders of the House of York during the War of the Roses and became known as the Kingmaker.
A shrewd politician, he initially supported Edward IV’s , but later took part in a revolt to place Henry VI back on the throne.
Henry eventually seized power, but the Earl of Warwick was earlier killed in the Battle of Barnet by Edward’s supporters. The land became part of the crown’s estate.
Samuel Bosanquet, whose was involved in the slave trade, bought the manor in 1741 and it remained in the family until 1875.
His son, also named Samuel, was a banker in London and received the equivalent of £24million in today’s money as compensation when the slave trade was abolished in 1807.
The Walthamstow Urban District Council purchased the land in 1875 in order to build a sewage works and the main building was used as civic offices.
It was destroyed in 1944 when it was hit by a V1 bomb, part of which was found during excavations in 1997.
Lindsay Collier, Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum director, historian and resident of 40 years, said he is excited about revealing the rich history of the site.
“It is an overdue project and should have been done years ago.
“The history here is fantastic, and we want to celebrate the owners that lived and owned the land here.
“The Bosanquet family was known for being naughty with the slave trade. There are stories that no one knows, so it is a real opportunity to celebrate this history.”
The Pumphouse museum is due to open early next year.