Heath Park, Havering
An Edwardian estate situated on the east side of Romford, south of Gidea Park
Like nearby Squirrel’s Heath, Heath Park’s name recalls the former heathland here. From the late Middle Ages this was the south-eastern corner of the manor of Stewards, which covered a swathe of land to the east of Romford. The Eastern Counties Railway cut the manor in half in the 1840s and the area nearest to Romford was sold and developed on both sides of the line during the second half of the 19th century.
The Heath Park estate was laid out in the early years of the 20th century in a scheme that marked the expansion of Romford towards and beyond the railway line to Upminster. Many of the properties were bay-fronted and generously proportioned, especially on Heath Park Road, and possessed fairly large gardens, although infilling has subsequently encroached on some of these.
Heath Park girls’ school merged with Romford county high school in 1972 to form what is now the Frances Bardsley academy for girls.
In 2003 the lower school site, in Heath Park Road, was sold to developer Crest Nicholson for an upmarket housing development. The sale raised £7.5 million, which has been ploughed back into improvements and extensions to the upper school buildings on Brentwood Road.
This Heath Park should not be confused with Dagenham council’s estate of the same name, built to the east of Becontree in the 1950s.
Postcode areas: Romford RM2 and RM1 and Hornchurch RM11