Mawney(s), Havering

A half-forgotten mini-suburb situated between Romford and Collier Row, and traversed by the River Rom

Hidden London: Field to the south of Eastern Avenue West, Mawneys

Dur­ing the 14th cen­tu­ry the manor of Rom­ford came into the pos­ses­sion of the cel­e­brat­ed sol­dier Sir Wal­ter de Mauny. There­after, the manor was called Mawneys – a form still used by local peo­ple and by the coun­cil but not by most pub­lish­ers of maps and street atlases, with Google’s map­ping (shown below) being an excep­tion.

In the 19th cen­tu­ry Mawneys was known for its gyp­sies, who worked in the fields and sold brush­es and door­mats to the cot­tages of the sur­round­ing vil­lages.

The manor’s 265 acres were sold for build­ing in 1883 and Mawneys’ let­ter ‘A’ street pat­tern was laid out in the 1890s in a devel­op­ment that marked the begin­ning of the north­ward expan­sion of Rom­ford.

Hous­es were built in small groups over a peri­od of decades, grad­u­al­ly erod­ing the nurs­eries and small­hold­ings that had char­ac­terised the local­i­ty. Mawney Road school (locat­ed at the Rom­ford end of the road, and now the Mawney foun­da­tion school) opened in 1896 part­ly in order to serve the new estate, and the school was enlarged in 1907.

In 1925 the arrival of the East­ern Avenue divid­ed most of Mawneys from the town that had spawned it. Short­ly after­wards came the estates of Col­lier Row, of which Mawneys is now a satel­lite local­i­ty.

In 1928 allot­ments beside the Riv­er Rom were con­vert­ed into a recre­ation ground that was orig­i­nal­ly known as Mawney Park. When Rom­ford bor­ough coun­cil lat­er received a grant of £3,000 from the King George’s Fields Foun­da­tion the park was renamed King George’s play­ing fields.

Mawneys manor house was demol­ished in 1935 and replaced by new premis­es for the Rom­ford Unit­ed Ser­vices Club. The club­house opened in 1939 and was extend­ed after the war.

Six­teen hous­es were demol­ished when one of the last rock­ets to fall in Eng­land hit Mawney Road, near the cor­ner of For­est Road, on 26 March 1945. After the Sec­ond World War the cre­ation of the green belt pre­served farm­land to the south and west.

When the Mawney Arms closed for refurbishment in 1999 its old fixtures and fittings were removed and reinstalled in a bar in Koh Samui, Thailand. The Thai establishment was renamed the Mawney Arms and displayed the original pub sign.

Postcode area: Romford RM7
Population: 12,915 (2011 census)
* The picture entitled Field to the south of Eastern Avenue West (with houses on Pretoria Road) 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 freely permitted under the terms of that licence.