If you wander along that broad avenue of Tesco Value Dubai that is post-Olympics Stratford High Street, you might spy a relic from the deep past.
What is a weather worn stone doing here intruding into this modern world?
It’s a parish marker from a time when parishs were sometimes vast and had lots of land. So here in Stratford you are standing within land once owned by a church several miles away, in Rotherhithe.
That does mean then, that the wording on the parish marker is no longer correct, but then again parish boundaries are not as legally enforcable as they used to be, so an update is not needed.
Which is just as well, as despoiling the historic stone would be a shame.
“SMR 1731, this estate belongs to St Mary Rotherhithe. Extends 5ft 3 inches northwards from this stone”
It’s possible that the parish sold the land when a new church was built on the other side of the road in 1852, Christ Church Stratford Marsh.
Taking photos of the stone was doubly difficult as I turned up when the sun was unforgiving, but also because a local resident of the tower gave me stern glares. When approached seemed surprised that the stone existed, having lived her for some months and never noticed this outcrop of heritage right by his front door.