Monday, 2 May 2011

Thames Tributary River Ravensbourne - Hornchurch

Thames Tributary River Ravensbourne
The Ravensbourne continues to flow south to the River Rom


Post to the north Heath Park
Post to the south Hornchurch

Abbs Cross
This name is thought to be associated with St Ebba, Abbess at St Abbs, East Berwick Scotland in the 7th. But her connection with this part of Hornchurch is unclear.

Billet Lane
Named for the Crooked Billet pub which once stood here.
51 Fairkytes Arts Centre. Fairkytes is a 17th Grade 2 listed building - the older parts hidden behind a Georgian frontage. The name is noted in 1520; and is probably the name of a local family. An early known resident was Job Alibone, of the London Post Office, but it was later home of the Wedlakes and then the Fry family. Joseph Fry lived here until 1896, followed by his daughter Augusta. It was used as Hornchurch library from the 1950s and from 1972 it has been an Arts Centre. In the garden is a mound, which is listed, constructed to allow a view over the garden wall.
Fairkytes Iron Works, started in 1784 by Thomas and Robert Wedlake and continued in the mid-19th by Mary Wedlake, Thomas’s widow. They made "modern farming implements" and employed up to a hundred people here and on other sites. There are many examples of their work extant throughout Essex and beyond. It was on the site of what is now Queen’s Green.
Queen's Green, used by Hornchurch cricket club from 1925 until the late 1940s.
Hornchurch Library. Built in the mid-1960s by Essex County Council as a plain box and one of the public buildings which surround the Green. Inside is a high quality space.
Queen's Theatre. Built in the 1970s by the newly created London Borough of Havering and replacing and earlier converted cinema. It is what remains of an attempt to move the Civic Centre here and it stands in isolation. It was opened by Sir Peter Hall and designed by Borough Architect R.W. Hallam. It opened as a new home for a repertory theatre and has struggled with its funding stream ever since. It is a box on a recessed basement, with a tower. The Auditorium seats 560.
The Hermitage. Locally listed. Used by Havering Community Disability
The Billet. Locally listed. A pub called Crooked Billet once stood on the site. It was probably 17th with a thatched roof. The pub had closed before 1860. The present building replaced this
Langtons. The current building dates from 1760 with a Victorian facade but the name, appearing as ‘Langedune’ - the home of Thomas de Langedun - in the 13th. The name means 'the long hill’. It was built on the foundations of an older house and by late the 18th belonged to the Massu family, Huguenot refugees, who became silk merchants. It was given to Hornchurch Council in 1929 and under the terms of the gift, must be used for council purposes, and the grounds open to the public. It was used as council offices from 1929-65, but has been restored as a registry office.
Langtons’ Grounds. These were remodelled for the Massu family and serpentine lake, lawns and shrubberies may be his work. There is a walled kitchen garden
Orangery with five bays and glazed ends.
Gazebo. This overlooks the lake. It contains a plunge bath lined in Portland stone.
Stables a long two-storey range

Butts Green Road
43-45 as Beethoven House this was once the Metropolitan Academy of Music. It was opened as a canteen and Soldiers' Club in the First World War and was renamed Te Whare Puni (The Meeting House) and staffed by New Zealanders

Cromer Road
Fielders Sports Ground was once part of Langtons grounds. Langton Park was a first-class cricket ground in the 18th and home of Hornchurch Cricket Club which represented Essex as a county. The earliest recorded first-class match was in 1785 when Essex played Middlesex and the last was in 1793.

Grey Towers Avenue
Site of the drive to Grey Towers House
Housing on the site of Grey Towers House.
Fountain, once in front of Grey Towers, is now in the back garden of one of the houses
Grey Towers was a neo Gothic mansion built for Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Holmes, a Middlesbrough Quaker, in 1876. The house was approached by a tree lined drive along the route of Grey Towers Avenue and the 85 acre estate extended almost to Harrow Drive, with terraced gardens and an ornamental lake. The park contained the pitch for Hornchurch Cricket Club and during the Great War (1914 -18) was the headquarters for the First Sportsman’s Battalion. From 1915, it was the base depot for the New Zealand forces in England, becoming its convalescent home. It was demolished in 1931.

High Street
In the 13th this was called Pell (Pelt) Street. It was an area of leather working and the last of three tanneries closed only in the 19th.
Red House Brickworks site was behind Red House, in High Street, opposite Grey Towers Avenue. The brickworks there, which also made pottery, are said to have been established early in the 18th century. In 1838 the owner was Charles Cove. In 1917 that remains could still be seen.
Union foundry. Robert Wedlake moved from the Fairkytes Foundry to set up Wedlake & Thompson. By 1855 the foundry had been taken over by Richard Dendy. The foundry moved to Barking in 1902 Frost Bros., wheelwrights and coachbuilders were founded in 1860 by Jonathan Diaper. Charles Frost, married his daughter, and took over in the 1870s. They built wagons for market and later moved to North Street
Old Hornchurch Brewery, founded in 1789 by John Woodbine. It passed to his son and grandson and was then sold in 1874 to Henry and Benjamin Holmes. In 1889 they sold it to Charles Dagnall and on his failure to Philip Conron. In 1925, it passed to Mann, Crossman & Paulin who immediately closed it and it was demolished in 1930–1.
Forge for a blacksmith here in the 19th which was owned by Thomas Pearce in 1872. In 1902 it was rebuilt as Pearce & Son and survived until the First World War.
Appleton Almshouses. Three almshouses on the south side of the street were built as a trust by Jane Ayloff together with her husband Henry Appleton in 1597. They were rebuilt in 1838 and are occupied by aged parishioners. In 1967 they were sold and demolished, the proceeds being used to part fund accommodation elsewhere
Hornchurch Methodist church. Built 1958.
Towers Cinema. Now Mecca Bingo and originally the Towers Cinema opened 1935. It was built for the D.J. James Circuit and had interior decorations by Clark & Fenn. It has a stage with dressing rooms and a cafe/ballroom. By 1939 it was owned by Eastern Cinemas who were taken over by Odeon Theatres in 1943 and was re-named Odeon in 1950. It closed o in 1973.Itg has a symmetrical faience frontage by Kemp & Taker.
44 Jailhouse rock restaurant
46 J.J.Moons pub
Burton's store. Replaced the Britannia Inn in 1939. It had closed in 1908. Typical art deco style for Burtons.
Frost Brothers, motor engineers which had begun as wheelwrights, Charles Frost.
The Fatling and Firkin. This was previously the Bull Inn, which is probably 16th
Sainsbury's in the site the 1590 Pennants Alms houses
Pennents Almshouses. These dated from 1587. In 1720, the vestry decided to build a workhouse on the site of the alms-houses. In borrowing the money the vestry incurred great expense, including a Chancery suit. The workhouse was used 1721- 1836 after which it 1836 reverted to use as Pennant's alms-house. They have since been amalgamated with others and moved elsewhere.
Sainsbury’s car park on the site of the listed 1908 Fire Station that was burnt down while used by the Hornchurch Drum & Trumpets Corp to store instruments.
Cricketers’ pub – this is on the same site as The Old Cricketers Inn but back from the road it was demolished in 1938. Hornchurch Cricket Club dated from 1738
Gemma's Flowers. Flower kiosk in 1930s style.

Hornchurch
Hornchurch developed on the main road along the gravel terrace north of the marshes, but remained a village until the 20th. The name probably means ‘a place with church embellished with horns', but it is not clear what this was

Hornchurch Road
Ravens Bridge. Mentioned as in place in 1777.

Leather Lane
Is a reminder of Hornchurch's history of leather making.

North Street
Church House, Gothic, yellow brick, built as teacher's house for the church school provision by New College in 1855. Taken over by the school formed 1886, and superseded by Langtons
Hornchurch Ironworks set up by Wedlake in 1894, and remained there until 1937
North Street Schools. Small school built by subscription on land donated by New College Oxford in 1855. Girls and infants were taught here.
Frost Bros, in 1904, they opened a new finishing shop and also built road vehicles, including motor-car bodies. In the 1930s they concentrated on this here. They remained there until the mid 1970s.
Butts Green
121 Chequers

Osborne Road
Towers Infant School
Towers Junior School


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