Havering Park, Havering
An interwar development constituting the north-western part of the Collier Row district
The royal hunting lodge at Havering possessed a wooded estate that encompassed all the land and buildings between present-day Havering-atte-Bower and Collier Row. The park was divided into farms in the 1650s, after monarchs had ceased to use the house.
Late in the 18th century Havering Park Farm became one of the progressive farms for which the area was noted, pioneering advanced agricultural methods. The park was also the site of Hampden House, a mansion occupied by a succession of London businessmen and merchants during the 19th century.
Following the creation of the Eastern Avenue in the mid-1920s, a variety of property developers piled into the area. The largest of these was TF Nash, who bought a large chunk of land north of Collier Row Road for a planned estate of 9,000 homes. Nash himself lived for a while at Hampden House and his firm laid on its own bus service for the estate’s residents.
By 1939 2,000 houses had been completed. Building continued into the war until work was suddenly halted. After the war green-belt legislation prevented the estate from spreading further into the countryside. Many of the more dreary properties have since been disguised with a variety of cladding materials.
Havering Park’s name is not in widespread use, although it is a bus destination and the council has designated it a ward. In that ward 88 per cent of the residents are white – almost all of them white British. Fewer than 10 per cent of those aged 16 to 74 are qualified to degree level or higher. More than a third of households contain dependent children.
Havering country park, which lies between the estate and the village of Havering-atte-Bower, has mature woodland, ponds, hay meadows and two grassland conservation areas.
Postcode area: Romford RM5
Population: 13,000 exactly (2011 census)