Mossford Green

Mossford Green, Redbridge

‘Barnardo-ville’ in Barkingside, a third of a mile south-west of Fullwell Cross


Built in 1876, Cairns House was the admin­is­trative building for Barnardo’s village at Mossford Green
Built in 1876, Cairns House was the admin­is­trative building for Barnardo’s village at Mossford Green

There has been a hamlet here since the days when Barkingside was just the name of the parish rather than a specific settlement. Some early cartographers rendered the Mossford name as Mossfoot.

Edward Blore designed the church of Holy Trinity in 1840. Behind this lies Barkingside cemetery.

In 1873 Dr Thomas Barnardo established his village home for girls in the grounds of Mossford Lodge, which was leased to him rent-free as a wedding present. 600 girls were soon accommodated in 30 buildings.

Meanwhile, the hamlet of Barkingside was expanding – its first police station had formerly been the Mossford Arms – and the opening of Barkingside railway station in 1903 confirmed its local supremacy. Mossford Green was soon swallowed up and its separate identity is now all but forgotten. One reminder is Mossford Green primary school on Fairlop Road.

Barnardo’s village became a mixed facility in 1939. In 1975 the charity opened the New Mossford Centre, on Civic Way, as a home for disabled children.

Barnardo’s village closed in 1986, as did the New Mossford Centre in 1992 as part of Barnardo’s plan to disengage itself from running children’s homes. The surviving cottages of Barnardo’s village have been restored and sold as private residences.

Barnardo’s headquarters is on Tanners Lane and the organisation continues to support local charitable work and the regeneration of Barkingside. A Tesco supermarket now occupies part of the grounds of Mossford Lodge.

Postcode area: Ilford, IG6