Photographs, artefacts, themed displays and reconstructions tell the story of Waltham Forest at this local history museum.
Over 10,000 objects reveal the history of the London borough of Waltham Forest at the Vestry House Museum – itself a historic house built in 1730. Originally home to the parish workhouse, the building became a police station, armoury, building merchants and private home over the years.
Opened as a local history museum in 1931, the displays include one of the original police cells and a reconstructed Victorian parlour, as well as showcasing inventions by local manufacturers. There’s Britain’s first petrol driven vehicle, the Bremer Car, as well as toys by Wells-Brimtoy and cameras by Ensign, once one of the biggest manufacturers in Europe.
The Vestry House Museum is also surrounded by an award-winning garden, the planting inspired by the house’s origins as a workhouse, with vegetables, herbs and dye plants filling the beds.