Epping Forest is all that remains of the once extensive Forest of Essex that became the Royal Forest of Waltham, and is now a tenth of its size in 1641.
Enclosure took place as farming and housing encroached, with the loss of commoners rights. Although a protest by commoners was staged in 1817, by the 1870s the Forest was much reduced. When the Corporation of London purchased land for its cemetery at Little Ilford in 1855 this brought commoner status; in 1871 the Corporation began proceedings against the various Lords of the Manor with interests in the Forest who wished to enclose it. This resulted in the Corporation's purchase of all the remaining areas and the 1878 Epping Forest Act conveyed ownership and responsibility to the Corporation. On 6 May 1882 Epping Forest was opened by Queen Victoria, who dedicated it 'to the enjoyment of my people for ever'.
- Access & Directions
Access Contact DetailsOpening is unrestricted.
DirectionsTube: Snaresbrook. Rail: Wood Street Walthamstow; Chingford
London Parks and Gardens Trust