Leyton & Leytonstone

Historical Society

The remnants of Moyer House

The long since demolished Moyer House was described in 1783, by an old inhabitant, Robert James, as "the oldest house in the parish".

Originally known as "Masters", the house and estate were sold to Captain Lawrence Moyer in 1649. Captain Moyer came from a sea-faring family and was a warden of Trinity House as well as being a staunch puritan. It is probable that the family were already living in Leyton, unfortunately the earliest Rate Books only date from 1651. The reason for believing this is that he had held the position of churchwarden two years earlier. Prior to 1684 the house was enlarged by the addition of a new wing. It had been assessed for 12 hearths some years earlier in 1662 and in 1785 it was rated as having 69 windows.

The last occupant of Moyer House was Catherine Moyer, who died in 1831. For reasons unknown the house was soon demolished as the Rate Book for the following year states "House pulled down". It begs the question why?

Moyer House occupied a position in Hainault Road, opposite the "Holywell", and to the rear of the present day Baptist Church. Remarkably, a small part of the house was still extant some hundred years later.

In a paper read, on his behalf, to the Leyton Antiquarian Society in May 1931, Charles Crouch mentioned the existence of two stones that formed part of the front door to the house. These had been found lying in the yard at the back of the Lamb's Printing Works (then 598 High Road). When they were first discovered both were upright, but one had since toppled over.

Charles Crouch believed that the stones would be re-erected in the Coronation Gardens by the Borough Council. Several years later there were still no sign of them having been moved. I made enquires at the time of the renovations to the Coronation Gardens, but nothing was forthcoming. The site of the old printing works, once used by United Dairies, has been redeveloped.

Is there the faintest chance that any of our readers remembers seeing these stones or can recall what ever happened to them? Likewise, the fate of the pump connected to the well, which is on the site of the Holywell Monastery.

David Ian Chapman

An article by Frederick Temple about Moyer House has been re-published by our Society