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MARKET TOWNS OF ESSEX (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Leyton in 1837

Leyton, or Low Leyton, derives its name from the river Lea, near to which it is situated ; it is in Becontree hundred, about 5 miles from London. It had in 1831 a population of 3,323, of which less than one-third was agricultural. The village contains several residences of London merchants and tradesmen. The church is pleasantly situated, overlooking the marshy valley of the Lea, but possesses no beauty of architecture. Among the tombs in the chancel is that of the historian and antiquary John Strype, who was vicar of the parish for nearly seventy years. Leytonstone is a hamlet of this parish. It was supposed by Camden that Leyton was a Roman station, the Durolitum of Antoninus ; but though the name as interpreted by some (according to whom Durolitum signifies ‘the water of Ley’) gives countenance to the supposition, it does not accord with the distances of the Itinerary. Roman and other antiquities have been however found at Leyton in considerable number such as the foundations of buildings ; Roman intermingled with other bricks; a subterranean arched gateway, and steps leading down to it ; urns with bones and ashes ; wells ; a quantity of oak timber mortised together like a floor, grown very hard and black, and of uncertain extent ; Roman silver and brass coins, consular and imperial, and some silver coins with Saxon characters. At Ruckholts, or Rockholts, a manor in this parish, are some remains of ancient entrenchments, a square double embankment, with an intervening ditch, enclosing a circular embankment, thirty-three yards in diameter, surrounded by a moat ; both are much obscured by trees.