Harold Park

Harold Park, Havering

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

geograph photo 5391273 - Harold Court

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 since been converted into private flats. Harold Court is shown in the photo above.*

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.

Ingreway, part of the Sunnytown bungalow estate

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 a riverside indus­trial estate that was created after the Second World War on the site of a brick­works that had operated inter­mit­tently from 1878 to 1933.

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’ or ‘Harold Wood’.

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
* The picture of Harold Court at the top of this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Marathon, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is hereby freely permitted under the terms of that licence.