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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
The Butler's Retreat
The historical cafe on Chingford Plains is re-opened.
Location: 2 Rangers Road, Chingford, E4 7QH
Description: Butler's Retreat is a Grade II Listed Building that was originally built as a barn to store the harvest for the lord of Chingford in the mid-19th century. It stands next to the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge.
When the City of London became Conservators of Epping Forest in 1878, it was converted into a refreshment house. In 1895 leased by John Butler as a Retreat catering for visitors to Epping Forest.
The arrival of the train line to Chingford opened up Epping Forest to the whole of the East End; hundreds of Londoners would descend upon Chingford Plain on a sunny weekend and enjoy games and activities.
Out of the dozen or so retreats that used to provided food and drink to people visiting the forest, Butlers retreat is the only one still surviving.
Butler's Retreat provided the refreshments. The Butler family ran the retreat until the 1970s and it continued serving refreshments until it closed in 2009.
The timber framed, weatherboarded building has been externally and internally refurbished by Bolt and Heeks, to the designs of the Gibberd architectural practice.