Ardleigh Green, Havering
A comfortably-off locality often regarded as the northernmost part of Hornchurch, although some link it with Gidea Park or even Upminster
Ardleigh Green was first recorded as Hadley in the 14th century, evolving through Hadley Green and Hardley Green before attaining its present form around a century ago. Like Barnet’s Hadley, the original name probably indicated a heathland clearing. However, an alternative theory suggests a link with the de Badele family, who lived in the area around 1325.
A hamlet was in existence by the early 17th century and the Spencer’s Arms inn later became popular with agricultural labourers. A few villas were built in the late 19th century, including Hardley Court, but the surroundings remained very rural until the opening of Squirrel’s Heath (now Gidea Park) station in 1910.
From 1927 the builders EA Coryn and Sons developed the Haynes Park estate. Haynes Park Road was later renamed Ardleigh Green Road but Haynes Road remains. Ardleigh Green junior and infants’ schools opened in 1933.
Essex County Council bought Hardley Court and 15 acres of land for £9,000 in 1946. The house was used as a teacher training college for several years before the first part of what is now Havering College was built in the grounds in the late 1950s. Most of the college’s present buildings date from two phases of construction in 1962 and 1971.
Hardley Court was renamed Ardleigh House and leased to the local community association. Owing to its poor state of repair, the building was demolished and replaced in the late 1960s, since when it has continued to serve as a meeting place and adult education centre.
In a reflection of the absence of change in the area, few pupils at Ardleigh Green junior and infants’ schools come from homes where English is not the first language. Both schools have been rated outstanding by Ofsted.
Ardleigh Green’s shops also serve Emerson Park.