February 28, 2016

There’s no place like Homerton

In the East London Borough of Hackney we find the district of Homerton with its rich and colourful history. It’s the birthplace of Matchbox cars, has links to the Knights Templar and enjoys a recently thriving indie music scene. Both the quirky and the conventional make it what it is.

In the beginning


The first recordings of activity in Homerton date from as early as the mid-fourteenth century. Once dominated by rural pastures and farmland, its landowners and workers were responsible for producing much of the fruit and vegetables sold in London markets during medieval times.


During the Tudor period, Homerton transformed into a highly desirable London suburb. Grand houses and estates were developed on former Knights Templar land, and by 1605 it was the most well-populated area in Hackney. The National Trust continues to preserve the oldest remaining home, the rather enchanting Sutton House, which was built in 1535 on Homerton High Street.


The core parts of the neighbourhood and around the high street were developed in Victorian times, but the opening of an overground train station in 1868 brought with it socio-economic change, and workers in the nearby factories began to make their home here.


Later, as the area was being redeveloped, in 1937 the London City Council made the decision to introduce a larger store of housing, and the shops of Homerton High Street were consigned to a bygone era. Soon after, however, the celebrated Lesney die-cast model factory was built to produce the world-famous Matchbox cars until its closure in 1990.


The future


Ever since the popularity of Homerton (not to mention the house prices) was boosted by the nearby Olympic Games, the district has flourished. Today you’ll find Homerton firmly on-trend with the East End craft beer and gastropub vibe.


Relatively new arrival Hatch serves as a symbol of the neighbourhood’s modern-day hipness, its café-cum-quirky-desk-rental-space complete with a spiral iron staircase and vintage window montage. It is a testament to the area’s growing café scene and a sign of the return to more illustrious times.


Musical associations compliment the café culture in part thanks to a trendy recording studio called Toe Rag that uses 1960s analogue equipment and is famous for producing indie band White Stripes’ acclaimed album Elephant. The progressive Chats Palace Arts Centre, a former library reclaimed by local residents after its closure in 1977, is now an active community centre hosting classes and nifty music, dance and art events.


Homerton’s plentiful green spaces include small parks like Homerton Grove and recreation centres like the Homerton Adventure Playground, which features a maze of platforms connected by zip wires, ropes and bridges with a community centre in the middle. Not far are the sprawling 336-acre Hackney Marshes, among the largest areas of common land in London.


Here to help


From anywhere in our network of offices throughout East London, Keatons is always happy to provide advice on property values and market conditions. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell in Homerton, or any East London postcode for that matter, get in touch with us.


How much is your home worth?

Let's crunch the numbers