Harold Park, Havering

The north-​​eastern part of Harold Wood, mostly occupying an isthmus of land between the A12 and the Ingrebourne River

Ingreway, part of the Sunnytown bungalow estate

Ingreway, part of the Sunnytown bungalow estate

In 1868 a wealthy Brentwood solicitor built himself a mansion to the south of the river and railway line, named Harold Court. After the owner’s bankruptcy the house served as a children’s home, then a lunatic asylum and then a sanatorium. In 1959 it became a teacher training college and has now been converted into private flats.

Horse Block Farm lay to the north-​​east of Harold Court Road. After the First World War the Essex builders Iles and Company laid out a bungalow estate here that it called Sunnytown. The company also created Sunnymede at Billericay.

When Harold Court primary school opened in 1929 the area still retained a rural character, but this was slowly eroded as further devel­opment plugged the gaps, including some industry beside the Ingrebourne River.

A service station on the A12 and the little Baptist church at the corner of Harold Court Road and Ingreway are among the few insti­tutions around here to actually use the name ‘Harold Park’ rather than ‘Harold Court’.

At the Forestry Commission’s Harold Court Woods over 40,000 saplings have been planted to supplement belts of mature trees, including an Apostles’ Circle – where a ring of horse chestnuts surround a central tree to represent Christ and his disciples.

Postcode area: Romford RM3

 

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