Redbridge, Redbridge

A well-connected suburban locality in north Ilford, situated at the junction of the Eastern Avenue and the North Circular Road

Hidden London: Redbridge Lane East, Redbridge, by Stacey Harris

There have been at least four bridges across the Riv­er Rod­ing here. The ear­li­est, known as Hockley’s Bridge after a medieval landown­er, was stand­ing in the 16th cen­tu­ry. A red-brick bridge was built in 1642 and sur­vived for two cen­turies, after which an iron bridge was erect­ed in its place.

Red-brick ter­raced hous­es, now most­ly peb­ble-dashed, were built here at the begin­ning of the 20th cen­tu­ry using mate­ri­als from the Ilford brick­fields. Anoth­er spate of house­build­ing fol­lowed the arrival of the East­ern Avenue in the mid-1920s, when the iron bridge was replaced by the present cross­ing.

Red­bridge sta­tion opened in 1947 on a new sec­tion of the Cir­cle line, with plat­forms just 26 feet below road lev­el. The arrival of the tube could have prompt­ed fur­ther build­ing beside the riv­er but the land was pro­tect­ed from devel­op­ment.

In 1965 the new­ly cre­at­ed Lon­don Bor­ough of Red­bridge unit­ed the bor­ough of Wanstead and Wood­ford with the bor­ough of Ilford. The two had for­mer­ly been sep­a­rat­ed by the Riv­er Rod­ing and the new borough’s name was cho­sen because the bridge sym­bol­ised their con­nec­tion.

Redbridge has been nicknamed ‘diesel alley’ because so many cab drivers choose to live here.

Postcode area: Ilford IG4
Station: Central line (zone 4)
* The picture of Redbridge Lane East, Redbridge, on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Stacey Harris, 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.