Newbury Park, Redbridge
A nondescript area of mixed private and local authority housing in north-east Ilford, straddling the Eastern Avenue
The manor of Newbury was part of Barking Abbey’s extensive landholdings in the Ilford area until the dissolution of the monasteries, when Henry VIII granted it to Sir Richard Gresham.
The land remained in wholly agricultural use until the late 19th century, when the first suburban houses were built, together with a primary school. In 1903 the Great Eastern Railway Company opened the Fairlop loop, which linked Woodford with a junction on its main line between Ilford and Seven Kings. This was a speculative project based on the assumption that Ilford’s housing boom would bring continued northward expansion, and a substantial station was built at Newbury Park in anticipation of heavy traffic. A new school was provided and 142 house plots were offered for sale on the Newbury Park estate but investors failed to materialise. Only four plots were sold (on Hertford Road) at £42 each.
It was not until the arrival of the Eastern Avenue in the mid-1920s that property developers filled the district with compact housing. To the south, the Plessey Company began manufacturing electronic communications equipment on a new site at the junction of Ley Street and Vicarage Lane.
In 1936 work began on a tunnel that would link the Central Line with the Fairlop loop at Newbury Park. Construction was halted by the outbreak of war and a Plessey production line was set up in the tunnel.
At the end of 1947, underground trains finally replaced the old steam service and this was accompanied by the distinctive remodelling of the existing station, with an arched concrete and copper canopy for buses (shown in the photograph at the top of the page*), which won a Festival of Britain award for architectural merit.
Newbury Park has a growing number of residents of south Asian birth or descent, originating from all parts of the sub-continent, and they accounted for the majority of the ward’s population at the 2011 census. At Newbury Park primary school around three-quarters of children speak English as an additional language.
Postcode area: Ilford IG2
Population: 16,760 (Newbury ward, 2011 census)
Station: Central line (zone 4)