Welcome to Abbey Gardens, a community garden in West Ham
surrounding part of the ruins of a
12th century abbey.

There are free garden club sessions and new gardeners are always welcome. The garden is open to visitors from dawn till dusk.


In the garden:

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Gardening sessions take place on
Tuesdays 1pm-3pm
Thursdays 4pm-7pm
Saturdays 10am-4pm


Join the Abbey to Abbey bike ride on 5 June


On 5 June supporters and friends of West Ham Church will cycle from West Ham Church to Waltham Abbey and back to raise funds for the choir. Riders will stop by the ruins of Stratford Langthorne Abbey Gatehouse in Abbey Gardens. Supporters of Abbey Gardens are welcome and you don’t need to be sponsored to join the ride.

10am at West Ham Church. If you would like to join the ride please email mail@abbeygardens.org

Time team discovers ancient abbey gate

Some local press about the dig from the Newham Recorder – click here.

Display Excavation Boards from Newham

Click Thumbnails to view larger image.
To download a high resolution pdf of the Display Boards (14MB) click here >excavation-display2.pdf

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Two Books

The Cistercian Abbey of St. Mary Stratford Langthorne, Essex. The Cistercian abbey of St Mary Stratford Langthorne, Essex – Archaeological excavations for the London Underground Limited Jubilee Line Extension Project
Published by The Museum of London Archaeology Service 2004 ISBN 1 901992 38 1
Archaeology of the Jubilee Line Extension: Prehistoric and Roman Activity at Stratford Market Depot West Ham, London 1991-1993
Published by Oxford Archaeology 2005 ISBN 1 901992 54 3

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Plans of the Abbey

Plans of the Abbey with the site marked out

Remains located on the site

Boundry line of the Former Abbey overlayed on current street layout

Excarvation or gate house remains

All plans and drawings supplied by Newham Council

Update from Steven Brindle – Inspector of Ancient Monuments

Dear Ms French,

Thank you for your Email: it is very good see that a Friends group is forming for this site.

I am responsible for English Heritage’s advice relating to Scheduled Monuments in London, and am thus responsible the Bakers’ Row site.

I am in discussions with the borough about the way forward for the site. As you may be aware, the borough recently commissioned two trial trenches on the site to inform the proposed designs. These were carried out by the Museum of London Archaeology Service in consultation with ourselves. They were a great success, and we can now say that:

– The remains of a small mediaeval building, perhaps the gate-keeper’s house, that had been excavated in 1973-4, were indeed found, as were remains of later buildings on the site.
– The mediaeval remains were in good condition, at fairly high level. They seem to be of chalk and ragstone rubble, with a good facing of flint.
– It should in principle be possible to display the mediaeval remains to some degree, as a feature of the new gardens. This would need to be carefully designed, to protect them from weathering and from wear and tear/vandalism (in the light of our experience on other sites).
– There are no archaeological obstacles to the creation of a public garden/open space on the site, which ideally should refer to and, to some extent, display, the history of Stratford Langthorne Abbey.

There will, at some point, have to be a further round of evaluation work, in planning the new gardens. This will have to wait on the felling of self-seeded sycamores directly over the site of the mediaeval building. It also depends on decisions by the borough, so I am not sure when this will happen. When it does, though, I will ask the borough and MoLAS,to make sure that there is an opportunity for local people to see the archaeological work in progress, and that you are consulted about the emerging designs for the space.

Yours sincerely,

Steven Brindle,
Inspector of Ancient Monuments,
London Region.

Test Excarvation

A test excarvation took place.
A small section of the remaining foundations was excarvated and closed up again.