Our charming and intimate hotel is steeped in history and started life a very different way.
Dating back to c.1740 the hotel was formerly a coaching inn and one of the very few remaining inns on this route through East London to East Anglia.
With its impressive seven bays with double bowed fronts along with an adjoining function room. Its parapet had a central ramped feature and to the far left there was a gated carriage entrance which led through to a rear yard.
THE OLD DAYS
The coaching inn formerly known as The Yorkshire Grey was a public house since at least 1776, before this date it can be found on Rocque’s London Survey of 1745 and on Chapman and Andre’s London map of 1777. Public references to The Yorkshire Grey state that it was rebuilt in the late 19th Century and this was most certainly the case with the ground floor, but the rest of the building remained the same.
After the second world war The Yorkshire Grey stables and yard at the rear was used by the French onion sellers.
The Yorkshire Grey was around for two and a half centuries until it became The Log Cabin in 2000, it then closed in 2005 shortly after receiving a Grade II listing.
It was then resurrected back to life by its current owners and The Westbridge Hotel was opened.
There are some Grade II features you can see at the hotel.
The first recorded mention of Stratford came in 1067. At this point in time, the area was called Straetforda – this means the ford on a Roman road. Stratford, at the time, was essentially a small village close to a crossing over the River Lea forming part of the Roman road that links London to Colchester.
Like much of the East End, Stratford was originally a farming area and remained fairly rural for many centuries. In the 1130s, Stratford Langthorne Abbey was built in the area. This was to become one of the largest monastery sites in the country, working most of the land in and around Stratford itself, until it was closed down when Henry VIII proclaimed the dissolution of the monasteries in the 1500s.
In its farming heyday and until the middle of the 19th century, Stratford provided London with a lot of agricultural goods, becoming best known for potato production. It started to move from farming to industrial manufacturing in the mid-1700s.
By the 19th century, Stratford was becoming increasingly industrialised with a variety of manufacturers working in the area. By the 1820s, for example, it had its own dock and wharves and was a fairly significant transport hub due to its position between London and the east of the country.
In 1839, Stratford got its own railway station and from then on became a hub for building locomotives.
During the Second World War, Stratford Works contributed to the war effort by building aircraft components and artillery parts. The works suffered damage from bombing raids but kept operating throughout the war.
If you have a train lover with you when you visit Stratford, make sure to take them along to Meridian Square outside the station to see “Robert” the engine. This steam locomotive stands on display in the square, giving a nod to Stratford’s railway connections of the past and is an impressive example of a 1930s saddle-tank engine.
Plus, if you are a film buff, then you may also enjoy a visit to Joseph Balzalgette’s Abbey Mills Pumping Station. This was built in 1868 as part of his new sewerage system for the capital and is an impressive example of Victorian industrial architecture. It was used in the Batman Begins film in 2005 as the lunatic asylum.