Gnome House History

When did Gnome House open?
Gnome House opened as a community arts centre in May 2015. It is used every day by community groups, local business and schools.

Gnome House was officially opened in May 2015. The ribbon was cut by Isabella on behalf of the children of Waltham Forest

How long was Gnome House derelict?
Gnome House was derelict for about 15 years. Prior to that it was home to lift manufacturers Hammond & Champness. If you’re interested in knowing more about Gnome House’s history from the 1930’a – 1990’s then local historian Bill Bayliss has an interesting piece of research here

Why is Gnome House called Gnome House?

The building’s name derives from the famous ‘Gnome et Rhône’ engine, a pioneering radial engine that powered fighter planes during WW1. The Gnome engine was manufactured on the site 100 years ago.

There is a very interesting article in the Waltham Forest Guardian about this aspect of Gnome House’s history here.

Examples of the Gnome et Rhône radial engine are on display at the Science Museum in London and the Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.  

How as Gnome House transformed into a Community Arts Centre?

The physical transformation of Gnome House in 2014 and 2015 was funded by the building developers that purchased Gnome House and the surrounding site. This was part of an agreement between the developers and the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

The transformation of the newly refurbished building into a vibrant community arts centre was led by local residents and community groups.

The original team that transformed Gnome House. From left to right: Robert Clarke, Mark Burton, Chantelle Michaux, Anna Alcock and Martin Nash

Gnome House Activities and Community Groups

Since May 2015 Gnome House has hosted numerous community groups and activities including: African drumming workshops, art classes, dance rehearsals and performances, exhibitions, meetings, conferences, weddings, theatre rehearsals and performances, birthday parties, cooking classes, pop-up cafes and much, much more! For more information about booking Gnome House please click here