Facts about Stratford
Stratford’s early significance was due to a Roman road running from Aldgate in the City, to Romford, Chelmsford, and Colchester crossed the River Lea. At that time the various branches of the river were tidal and unchanneled, while the marshes surrounding them had yet to be drained. The Lea valley formed a natural boundary between Essex on the eastern bank and Middlesex on the west, and was a formidable obstacle to overland trade and travel.
In 1110 Matilda, wife of Henry I, ordered a distinctively bow-shaped bridge to be built over the River Lea, together with a causeway across the marshes along the line now occupied by Stratford High Street. Reports state she encountered problems crossing the river to get to Barking Abbey.
Stratford is a district in the East End of London, in the London Borough of Newham, England. It is 6 miles east-northeast of Charing Cross and is in East London. Stratford is part of the Lower Lea Valley and includes the localities of Maryland, East Village, Mill Meads, Stratford City, and Forest Gate.
Historically part of the ancient parish and subsequent County Borough of West Ham, which became the western half of the modern borough within a Greater London in 1965. Historically an agrarian settlement in the county of Essex, Stratford was transformed into an industrial suburb after the introduction of the railway in 1839.