It is 5 miles (8 km) east of the City of London, north of the River Thames. Newham was one of the six host boroughs for the 2012 Summer Olympics and contains most of the Olympic Park including the London Stadium. The local authority is Newham London Borough Council.
The borough was formed by merging the former area of the Essex county borough of East Ham and the county borough of West Ham as a borough of the newly formed Greater London, on 1 April 1965 - these in turn were successors to the ancient civil and ecclesiastical parishes of East Ham and West Ham. Green Street and Boundary Road mark the former boundary between the two. North Woolwich also became part of the borough (previously being in the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich, south of the river Thames in the County of London) along with a small area west of the River Roding which had previously been part of the Municipal Borough of Barking. Newham was devised for the borough as an entirely new name.
The area of the modern borough was at one time occupied by a territory called 'Ham'.
The first known written use of the term, as 'Hamme', is in an Anglo-Saxon charter of 958, and again in the 1086 Domesday Book as Hame. It is formed from Old English 'hamm' and means 'a dry area of land between rivers or marshland', referring to the location of the settlement within boundaries formed by the rivers Lea, Thames and Roding and their marshes.
These natural boundaries suggest that Little Ilford, North Woolwich and areas of the parish of Barking west of the Roding are likely to have been part of Ham(me).
The territory was subdivided into the more familiar West and East Ham sometime in the 12th century, with the earliest recorded distinction being as 'Westhamma' in 1186. It could be speculated that the partition arose as a result of population increase resulting from economic prosperity delivered by the construction of Bow Bridge over the Lea and the creation of Stratford Langthorne Abbey.
North Woolwich was removed from Ham at an earlier date, in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest but it is unclear when Little Ilford and western Barking were transferred, and it is not known for sure that they were part of Ham.
The boundary between West and East Ham was drawn from the now lost Hamfrith Waste and Hamfrith Wood in the north (then the southernmost parts of Epping Forest which extended as far south as the Romford Road at that time), along Green Street down to the small, similarly lost, natural harbour known as Ham Creek.
The formation of the modern borough in 1965 saw the merger of West and East Ham, together with North Woolwich and Barking west of the River Roding (Little Ilford had become part of East Ham as part of earlier local government reorganisations). This reorganisation effectively re-established the earlier territory of Ham.
Unlike most English districts, its council is led by a directly elected mayor of Newham. From 2002 to 2009 one of the councillors had been appointed as the "civic ambassador" and performed the civic and ceremonial role previously carried out by the mayor. The post has been discontinued.
The borough is considered part of Outer London for purposes such as funding. This is because the majority of Newham was not part of the 1889–1965 County of London. The council is actively campaigning to have Newham officially considered part of Inner London in order to increase its level of government grant by £60 million.
At the borough elections held in 2014, the Labour Party won all 60 of the seats on the Council. Sir Robin Wales was re-elected as the borough's Executive Mayor with 61% of the first preference votes cast.
Newham has the youngest overall population and one of the lowest White British populations in the country according to the 2011 Census. The borough has the second highest percentage of Muslims in Britain, after the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, at 32%.
When using Simpson's Diversity Index on 10 aggregated ethnic groups, the 2001 census identified Newham as the most ethnically diverse district in England and Wales, with 9 wards in the top 15. However, when using the 16 ethnic categories in the Census so that White Irish and White Other ethnic minorities are also included in the analysis, Newham becomes the 2nd most ethnically diverse borough with six out of the top 15 wards, behind Brent with 7 out of the top 15 wards.
Newham has the lowest percentage of White British residents of all of London's boroughs. The White British proportion of the population fell from 33.8% in 2001 to 16.7% in 2011; this decrease of 37.5 percentage points is the largest of any local authority in England and Wales between the two censuses. The joint-lowest wards with White British population are Green Street East and Green Street West, both having 4.8% – the third lowest behind Southall Broadway and Southall Green in Ealing. East Ham North is closely followed, at 4.9%.
People of White British ancestry nevertheless remain the largest single ethnic group in the borough. The largest non-White British ethnic groups are Indian (14%), African (12%), Bangladeshi (12%) and Pakistani (10%). Newham has had for many decades a large Indian community. The ethnic group to increase the most in number since 1991 is the Bangladeshi community.
The largest religious group in this area are Muslims followed by Christians and other minorities.
The Borough is the education authority for the district providing education in a mix of Foundation, community and voluntary aided schools. The borough also owns and operates Debden House, a residential adult education college in Loughton, Essex, and is home to the Rosetta Art Centre, a dedicated visual art organisation which delivers courses at its base in Stratford and produces participatory art projects, programmes and initiatives. The Essex Primary School in Sheridan Road with over 900 pupils is one of the biggest primary schools in London.
The University of East London has two campuses in Newham:the Stratford Campus, at Stratford
the Docklands Campus, next to the regenerated Royal Albert Dock
Birkbeck Stratford is a collaboration between Birkbeck, University of London and UEL to increase participation in adult learning. This is currently based on the UEL Stratford campus, but is planned to move to its own facilities.
The University of East London had formed a partnership with the United States Olympic Committee which resulted in the United States Olympic Team using University of East London campuses as training bases during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.The Hub, a community resource centre built by the local community, in Star Lane, E16, featuring up to the minute "green" features
Grassroots, also built by the local community and another innovative green resource centre built by the community. Grassroots is in Memorial Recreation Ground, E15
Rosetta Art Centre, situated in walking distance to Grassroots, also in E15
Newham has ten libraries (Beckton, Canning Town, Custom House, East Ham, Green Street, Manor Park, North Woolwich, Plaistow, Stratford and Forest Gate).
Canning Town Library was first opened in 1893 and still operates in the original building on Barking Road (albeit with repairs and a reconstructed interior following damage from air raids in 1940 and 1941). Its opening hours are Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday: 9:30am–5:30pm, Wednesday and Sunday: Closed, Thursday: 9:30am–8:00pm.North Woolwich Old Station Museum. Closed in 2008.
Three Mills, a mill complex on the east bank of the River Lee. A trading site for nearly a thousand years, the House Mill was built in 1776 and was (and remains) the country's largest tide mill. It has been restored and contains much of its original machinery including four large waterwheels, millstones and grain chutes.
There are a number of local markets in the Borough, including Queens Market, which the Council is controversially seeking to redevelop. These proposals are being fought by Friends of Queens Market.
80 hectares within the borough are designated as part of the Metropolitan Green Belt.Stratford Circus Arts Centre, a community arts venue which presents theatre, dance, music, circus and comedy from around the world for communities in Newham and East London. The organisation works with schools and local groups in Newham to provide classes, workshops and outreach opportunities. Stratford Circus Arts Centre partners with Newham Council for Every Child a Theatre Goer which invites every year 6 child to a performance at the venue
Theatre Royal Stratford East
St Mark's Church, Silvertown The church was designed by Samuel Saunders Teulon. It was built between 1861 and 1862 after a cholera epidemic swept the district and local clergy appealed through the columns of The Times for funds to provide an architectural, as well as spiritual, beacon for the area. It is now the home of the Brick Lane Music Hall.
Queen's Market – An ethnically diverse market
ExCeL Exhibition Centre – major exhibitions such as the Motor Show are now held at ExCeL
ICC London - ExCeL – London's new International Conference Centre which opened on 1 May 2010
Gallions Reach Shopping Park Out of town retail park
East Shopping Centre, Europe's first purpose-built boutique Asian shopping centre
Green Street, the largest shopping centre catering for the Asian community in London
Stratford Centre, a shopping centre which includes a small market and typical chainstores
Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford The largest Westfield Shopping Centre in Europe. Opened in September 2011.
Newham was one of the six host boroughs for the 2012 Summer Olympics. As a result, it has been undergoing major upheavals, especially in the north of the borough, which are anticipated to end around 2016. The borough hopes to gain many advantages for its residents during that period.
West Ham United F.C. play its home matches at the London Stadium (formally the Olympic Stadium) in Stratford.
The Newham and Essex Beagles Athletics Club has its headquarters at the Terence McMillan Stadium, part of Newham Leisure Centre, in Plaistow.
Clapton F.C., a non-league football club, plays in Forest Gate.
London APSA F.C. a non-league football club, plays in Plaistow.
London Lituanica, a basketball team playing in the English Basketball League
Thomas Mac Curtain's women's GAA team train weekly at the East London Rugby Club
The local newspaper is the Newham Recorder.Beckton
North Woolwich ( or )
Stratford New Town
The borough is covered by the following ecclesiastical parishes of the Church of England:Parish of the Divine Compassion, Plaistow and North Canning Town
St Martin's Church, Plaistow
St Mary's Church, Plaistow
St Philip and St James Church, Plaistow
St Matthias' Church, Canning Town
St Luke's Church, Canning Town
Church of the Ascension, Victoria Docks
St John's Church, North Woolwich
St Mark's Church, Beckton
Parish of East Ham, Holy Trinity
St Bartholomew's Church, East Ham
St Mary Magdalene's Church, East Ham
St Alban's Church, Upton Park
St Edmund's Church, Forest Gate
St George's and St Ethelbert's Church, East Ham
St Paul's Church, East Ham
St Mary's Church, Little Ilford
St Michael's Church, Romford Road
St Barnabas, Little Ilford
Emmanuel Forest Gate, with St Peter's, Upton Cross
St Mark's Church, Forest Gate
St Saviour and St James, Forest Gate
St Margaret with St Columba, Leytonstone
St Paul and St James, Stratford
St John with Christchurch, Stratford
All Saints Church, West Ham
Transport in Newham is undergoing a major upgrade, with the completed Docklands Light Railway and Jubilee Line Extension, with new or improved stations at Canning Town, West Ham and Stratford. Stratford International station on High Speed 1 opened in late 2009. The Crossrail scheme will also improve rail connections to several stations in the borough. The Docklands Light Railway was extended to serve London City Airport.
In March 2011, the main forms of transport that residents used to travel to work were: underground, metro, light rail, tram, 23.0% of all residents aged 16–74; driving a car or van, 7.6%; bus, minibus or coach, 7.6%; train, 7.2%; on foot, 4.1%; work mainly at or from home, 1.4%; bicycle, 1.0%.Woolwich Ferry
Emirates Air Line
Dutchflyer rail-sea service via Stratford station to the Netherlands
London City Airport
Stratford International station (No Eurostar trains stop)
London Buses routes 5, 25, 58, 69, 86, 97, 101, 104, 108, 115, 147, 158, 173, 238, 241, 257, 262, 276, 300, 308, 309, 323, 325, 330, 339, 366, 376, 388, 425, 473, 474, 541, D8, W19, School buses routes 673, 678 and Night route N8, N15, N86, N205, N550 and N551.
Newham is twinned with: Kaiserslautern, Germany