Facts about Stratford
Stratford’s early significance was due to a Roman road running from Aldgate in the City, to Romford, Chelmsford and Colchester, crossed the River Lea. At that time the various branches of the river were tidal and unchannelised, while the marshes surrounding them had yet to be drained. The Lea valley formed a natural boundary between Essex on the eastern bank and Middlesex on the west, and was a formidable obstacle to overland trade and travel.
The name is first recorded in 1067 as Strætforda and means ‘ford on a Roman road’.It is formed from Old English ‘stræt’ (in modern English ‘street’) and ‘ford’. The former river crossing lay at an uncertain location north of Stratford High Street.
Stratford is a district in the East End of London, England, located in the ceremonial county of Greater London. Situated 6 miles (10 km) east-northeast of Charing Cross, Stratford is part of the Lower Lea Valley and includes the localities of Maryland, East Village, Mill Meads (shared with West Ham), Stratford City and Forest Gate. Historically an agrarian settlement, Stratford was transformed into an industrial suburb, forming part of the metropolitan conurbation of London after the introduction of the railway in 1839. It formed part of the County Borough of West Ham, which became the western half of the London Borough of Newham local authority area in 1965.