Relaunched museum to reveal history of Low Hall landowners

Relaunched museum to reveal history of landowners

The manor house was destroyed in 1944 by a V1 flying bomb.

The Pumphouse Museum today.

Lindsay Collier in the Pumphouse Museum.

First published in Local History
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

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.

Comments (4)

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10:51am Tue 17 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

This is a nice asset to Walthamstow but I wish the custodians of the vehicles there would preserve the rust buckets and prevent them from further decay.

Have they ever heard of p38, sandpaper and a rubbing block?

These are borough jewels.
This is a nice asset to Walthamstow but I wish the custodians of the vehicles there would preserve the rust buckets and prevent them from further decay. Have they ever heard of p38, sandpaper and a rubbing block? These are borough jewels. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -4

10:05am Sat 21 Jun 14

ruby newbie says...

the council think its such an asset that they wanted to close the transport part........wow they really are proud......not
the council think its such an asset that they wanted to close the transport part........wow they really are proud......not ruby newbie
  • Score: 2

11:09am Sat 21 Jun 14

mdj says...

This is tremendous news! It's strange that it's had so little publicity.

Mr Collier has had a vision for years to present this borough, and the Lea Valley generally, as the Ironbridge of the modern technological world. So many world-changing innovations had their origins down this small river.

As with the William Morris Gallery, for years the council could not respond to a visionary idea that would put the borough on the map of the world.
The lack of publicity about this well-deserved triumph may derive from a certain embarrassment, for even now housing is being built that will hamper the development of the main site.

Well done to all who have made this come about!
This is tremendous news! It's strange that it's had so little publicity. Mr Collier has had a vision for years to present this borough, and the Lea Valley generally, as the Ironbridge of the modern technological world. So many world-changing innovations had their origins down this small river. As with the William Morris Gallery, for years the council could not respond to a visionary idea that would put the borough on the map of the world. The lack of publicity about this well-deserved triumph may derive from a certain embarrassment, for even now housing is being built that will hamper the development of the main site. Well done to all who have made this come about! mdj
  • Score: 4

1:03pm Sat 21 Jun 14

ruby newbie says...

well said mdj now all that WF needs is to renovate a cinema back to its heyday and Walthamstow will certainly be on the map as a tourist destination and a v.g one too all with a lot of promotion of course.
well said mdj now all that WF needs is to renovate a cinema back to its heyday and Walthamstow will certainly be on the map as a tourist destination and a v.g one too all with a lot of promotion of course. ruby newbie
  • Score: 5

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