Did you know that...
River Lea flows through Hackney Wick. In Roman times, the tidal estuary was as large as the area. In 894, Dane invaders used the estuary to sail to Hertford. In an effort to oppose the Danes, King Alfred the Great had the lower reaches of the River Lea drained. The Dane ships were thus stranded. However, the flow of the river increased. Hackney Wick suffered from frequent flooding until canals were built on the River Lea. The marshes served as a place for grazing cattle. Together with the marshes, Hackney Wick was part of the historic Lower Homerton.
In the 19th century and early 20th century, Hackney Wick was an industrial area. Parkesine and shellac were produced here. Oil company Carless, Capel & Leonard had a facility in this E9 area. The first use of the word petrol is attributed to this company. Chemical engineer Sir Frederick Warner worked here. After the industrial age, the area attracted many artists due to its reasonably-priced studio spaces. In 2013, there were more than 600 artist studios in Hackney Wick. Bansky, Fantich & Young, and Paul Noble are some of the most famous artists connected to this East London area.
The first recorded railway murder took place in 1864 near the Hackney Wick railway station. The station opened in 1980. In 2017, it was modernized. A subway replaced the footbridge. The station is also a stop for London buses 276 and 339. The now-closed Hackney Wick Stadium opened in 1932. It was a popular place for greyhound racing and speedway. Politician Marjorie Graves attended the opening ceremony. More than 13,000 people were present. The greyhound called Bullseye was the first winner on the new track. The British Speedway Grand Prix was held here. In an episode of Doctor Who, a character mentions Hackney Wick as a “mud patch in the middle of nowhere”.