Newbury Park, Redbridge

A nondescript area of mixed private and local authority housing in north-​​east Ilford, straddling the Eastern Avenue

Newbury Park Tube station - Gordon Joly

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.

Newbury Park station plaque

Newbury Park station plaque

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)

 

* The picture of Newbury Park Tube station at the top of this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Gordon Joly, at Wikimedia Commons, made available under the Attribution-​​ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Licence. Any subsequent reuse is hereby freely permitted under the terms of that licence.
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