Chingford only began to grow into the part of Greater London that we know today after the railway arrived in 1873. Chingford was a Municipal Borough in Essex right up until 1965. It is commonly thought that Chingford takes its name from the River Ching. As the town of Chingford is very close to many of the fords of the river. But old maps and descriptions of this area suggest that there was a settlement long before the river had a name. So it is likely that Chingford gave its name to the river rather than the other way round.
A great local landmark in Chingford is, of course, Queen Elisabeth’s Hunting Lodge. This lodge was built for King Henry VIII in 1543. The lodge was used to watch the hunting of deer. Although it is wonderful to imagine Henry VIII doing just that at the lodge, it has been heavily altered since his day.
The granite obelisk at Pole Hill is also an interest of Chingford. This was erected in 1824 and was meant to mark true north for the telescopes at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. Unfortunately, later in the 19th century, when techniques for such things had improved, the obelisk was deemed to be 19 feet west of where it should be!