Walthamstow is recorded c. 1075 as Wilcumestowe ("the Place of Welcome") and in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Wilcumestou. King John visited Shern Hall (Shernhall Street), in 1213; the building survived until 1896. At one point Walthamstow was just a culmination of five small villages. The main route through the district was the Hoe Street. Additionally, there were various smaller lanes, crossing the town. The road now known as Forest Road was originally called Clay Street. Further south, the High Street was named Marsh Street, and led from the original settlement out to the marshes. Shernhall Street is an ancient route, as is Wood Street, to the east. In the 1660s Sir William Batten, Surveyor of the Navy, and his wife Elizabeth Woodcocke had a house here where, according to Samuel Pepys, they lived "like princes" and cultivated a vineyard. The station was opened by the Great Eastern Railway (as Hoe Street) in 1870 when a line was opened from Lea Bridge to a temporary station called Shern Hall Street which was east of the Hoe Street station. The line that the Chingford branch uses today was opened two years later in 1872 with the branch being extended later to Chingford in 1873. The GER was taken over by the London and North Eastern Railway in 1923.
The underground station, like many stations on the Victoria line, was never completely finished. White ceiling panels were never fixed to the ceilings above the platforms; instead the steel tunnel segments were painted black and used to support the fixtures and fittings. This has had a detrimental effect on the lighting levels. There is a concrete stairway between the two escalators instead of a third escalator; this caused a hugely disruptive station closure for several weeks in 2004 when both escalators went out of service. The main entrance to the above-ground station is on the down side and is opposite the local bus station, which was revamped in summer 2004. There are three staffed ticket windows and a number of ticket machines to serve the majority of the traffic that enters the station. The entrance to the tube was revamped in early 2006. There is a smaller entrance and ticket office on the up line, providing convenient access to the car park; however, the ticket office here is normally unstaffed outside peak hours. A subway was built in 2005 under the busy Selborne Road linking a new bus station with a new Victoria line ticket office. The station has escalators and wi-fi.
Connections: London Overground. London Buses routes 20, 34, 48, 58, 69, 97, 212, 215, 230, 257, 275, 357, W11, W12, W15, W19 and 675 and night routes N26, N38 and N73 serve the station and bus station.