Florrie's Hill - and other place names

Florrie's Hill is a wide path that slopes down towards the Ornamental Waters from a small gate off Warren Road, Wanstead. It is one of the lesser entrances to the path, probably mostly used by local people and by golfers accessing the extension to Wanstead Golf Course adjacent.

The gate is known as Florrie's Gate - or at least that is what I picked up from Pete Saunders. The origin of the name is not known, but perhaps it was just the name given because a local resident by the name of Florrie used that gate?

However, the origin of 'Florrie's Hill' is known, because I used it on a map that I drew of Wanstead Park to be used for wildlife recording purposes. I thought - if that is Florrie's Gate, then this must be Florrie's Hill! So on it went onto the map, and it went onto the Wanstead Wildlife website. A couple of years later I was surprised to find that it was being used on a map produced by the City of London Corporation, and there even began to be reference to it in their literature and correspondence.

So often the origins of place names are lost and have to be surmised - this is one that I know for sure. Similarly, I began using the name "River Wood" to describe the wooded area that separates the River Roding from the Ornamental Water north of the straight Canal. I've actually tried this again; adjacent to the Perch Pond in Wanstead Park is an area of scruffy woodland - once the site of an isolation hospital, now a somewhat derelict area owned by London Borough of Redbridge. To attempt to give it some standing ( and even more in the hope that in doing so may help to protect it from development and save it from being built upon), I have named this area 'Aldersbrook Wood'. It will be interesting to see if it take on - and what the outcome may be.

One more may be mentioned: At the end of Warren Road there is a small car-park which is available for users of Wanstead Park, but in a line with Warren Road continuing southwards is a lane that separates Wanstead Park from the Golf Course. Rather than say "the lane that continues from Warren Road", I call this Warren Lane. We shall see.


Paul Ferris - Administrator, Wanstead Wildlife - 24 August 2009