Ilford: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 51°33′32″N 0°05′08″E / 51.558807°N 0.085459°E / 51.558807; 0.085459

Ilford Redbridge Town Hall.JPG
Redbridge Town Hall on Ilford High Road
Ilford is located in Greater London

 Ilford shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ445865
    - Charing Cross 9.1 mi (14.6 km)  WSW
London borough Redbridge
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ILFORD
Postcode district IG1
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Ilford North
Ilford South
London Assembly Havering and Redbridge
List of places: UK • England • London

Ilford is a large suburban town in northeast London,[1] England and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Redbridge. It is located 9.1 miles (14.6 km) northeast of Charing Cross and is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan.[2] It forms a significant commercial and retail centre surrounded by extensive residential development. Ilford was historically a small rural settlement in the county of Essex and its strategic position on the River Roding and the London to Colchester road caused it to develop as a coaching town.[3] The arrival of the railway in 1839 eventually accelerated that growth and as part of the suburban growth of London in the 20th century, Ilford significantly expanded and increased in population, becoming a municipal borough in 1926 and has formed part of Greater London since 1965.[4]



Ilford (parish) population
1891 10,913
1901 41,234
1911 78,188
1921 85,194
1931 131,061
1941 war #
1951 184,706
1961 178,024
# no census was held due to war
source: UK census[5]


Ilford was historically known as Great Ilford to differentiate it from nearby Little Ilford, in the London Borough of Newham.[6] The name is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Ilefort and means ford over the Hyle; an old name for the River Roding that means "trickling stream". Little Ilford shares the origin.[6]


The only complete skull of a mammoth discovered in the United Kingdom was unearthed in 1860 at the site where Boots the Chemist now stands in the High Road. The skull can now be seen in the Natural History Museum. Redevelopment has destroyed much of the evidence for early Ilford, but the oldest evidence for human occupation is the 1st and 2nd century BC Iron Age earthwork known as Uphall Camp. This was situated between the Roding and Ilford Lane and is recorded in 18th century plans.[3] Roman finds have also been made in the vicinity.[7] A nearby mound called Lavender Mount existed into the 1960s, when it was removed during building work at Howards chemical works. Excavation has shown that the latter may have been a 16th century 'beacon-mound'.

Economic development

Ilford straddled the important road from London to Colchester. The Middlesex and Essex Turnpike Trust controlled and maintained the road from 1721. The River Roding was made navigable for barges as far as Ilford Bridge from 1737.[7] Ilford remained largely rural until its expansion in the 19th century. This brought about brickworks, cement works and coal yards to service the new buildings, largely centred on the River Roding. In 1839, a railway station was opened on the line from Romford to Mile End. The early businesses gave way to new industries, such as paper making and services such as steam laundries and collar making, to provide for the new commuting class created by the railway. A number of major businesses have been founded in the town, including the eponymous photographic film and chemicals manufacturer Ilford Photo.[8] This was founded in 1879 by Alfred H. Harman, a photographer from Peckham, who established the business in a house in Cranbook Road making gelatino-bromide 'dry' plates.[3] The business soon outgrew these premises, and its headquarters moved to a site at Roden Street. The radio, electronics and telecommunications company Plessey, founded in 1917 in Marylebone, moved to Cottenham Road in Ilford early in 1919 and then to Vicarage Lane where became one of the largest manufacturers in its field. During World War II, the factory was heavily damaged by bombing and the company carried out much of its manufacture, with 2,000 workers servicing a production line, located in the underground railway tunnel between Wanstead and Gants Hill.[3] In 1955, the company employed 15,000 workers, in sites throughout Ilford and neighbouring areas, with an extensive research department.[3] BAL-AMi Jukeboxes were manufactured at 290-296 High Road, Ilford, during the 1950s, which also served as the headquarters of the Balfour (Marine) Engineering company.[9]

Local government

Central Library and Museum, Clements Road

Ilford formed a ward in the large ancient parish of Barking, in the Becontree hundred of Essex. The parish authorities gradually lost responsibility for a variety of functions during the 19th century; from 1836, for the administration of poor relief, Ilford came within the Romford Poor Law Union and in 1840 the Metropolitan Police District was extended to cover the area. In 1875 the Romford rural sanitary district was created, covering a wide area including Ilford. In 1888 Ilford and the neighbouring ward of Chadwell to east were split from Barking and together formed a separate Ilford civil parish. In 1890 a local board of health was set up for the parish, replacing the rural sanitary authority, and in 1894 a reform of local government reconstituted it as an urban district. It formed part of the London Traffic Area from 1924 and the London Passenger Transport Area from 1933.[10] It was incorporated as the Municipal Borough of Ilford in 1926.[11] The suburban expansion of London caused a significant increase in population and the borough became one of the largest in England not to gain county borough status. In 1965 the municipal borough was abolished and its former area was combined with that of Wanstead and Woodford, the northern extremity of Dagenham and a small part Chigwell Urban District around Hainault; it was removed from Essex and since then has formed the greater part of the London Borough of Redbridge in Greater London.

Suburban expansion

By 1653, Ilford was a compact village of 50 houses, mostly sited north and south of the current Broadway[3] and the area was distinctly rural. In 1801 the population of Ilford was 1,724 and by 1841 it had grown to 3,742.[3] It had a population of 41,244 in 1901 and occupied an area of 8,496 acres (34 km2). 2,500 houses of the vast Becontree Estate, built by the London County Council from 1921, were within the boundaries of Ilford; the addition caused a rise in population of 11,600 by 1926.[3] The Central Line service of the London Underground began in 1947[12] and the population peaked in 1951 at 184,706. In 1961 the population was 178,024.

Notable events

Kensington Gardens was the location of the 1922 murder of Percy Thompson by Edith Thompson and Frederick Bywaters.[13]


Ilford is divided between the UK Parliament constituencies of Ilford North and Ilford South. Ilford North consists of the Redbridge wards of Aldborough, Barkingside, Redbridge, Clayhall, Fairlop, Fullwell, Hainault and Roding. The MP is Lee Scott of the Conservative Party. Ilford South corresponds to the Redbridge wards of Chadwell, Clementswood, Cranbrook, Goodmayes, Loxford, Mayfield, Newbury, Seven Kings, and Valentines.[14] The MP is Mike Gapes of the Labour Party.[14] Ilford forms part of the Havering and Redbridge London Assembly constituency and the London European Parliament constituency.


Ilford is bounded in the west by the North Circular Road and the River Roding and is contiguous with Barking to the south, Gants Hill to the north and Seven Kings to the east. Climate data for Ilford is taken from the nearest weather station at Greenwich, around 6 miles (9.7 km) south south west of the railway station:

Weather data for Greenwich
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average high °C (°F) 7.9
Average low °C (°F) 2.4
Precipitation mm (inches) 51.9
Source: Met Office[15] 2009


Ilford has a large population of Jews (20,000), as well as Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs numbering some 30,000.[16] The South Asian community in Ilford speak a variety of languages, including Tamil, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.[17]


Ilford railway station

The town is served by Ilford railway station on the Great Eastern Main Line in Travelcard Zone 4.[18] Trains calling at the station are of the high-frequency Liverpool Street-Shenfield service operated by National Express East Anglia.[19] Ilford is a hub of the London Buses network with services to central London and various suburbs.[20] Bus route 25 to central London operates 24 hours and there are other night bus services to a variety of destinations.[21] Gants Hill tube station is located in the north of Ilford and is served by the Central line of the London Underground.[18] It is planned that the Liverpool Street-Shenfield service will become part of Crossrail.[22] The first stage of the East London Transit is planned to serve Ilford.[23]


Ilford is the location of the JKB Designs Art Gallery at 193 - 207 High Rd; and the Kenneth More Theatre. The local newspaper, covering the town and the borough, is the Ilford Recorder. The local football team is Ilford F.C., who play at Cricklefield Stadium. Ilford Cricket Club play home games at Valentines Park.

See also


  1. ^ Mayor of London (February 2008). "North East London sub region". Greater London Authority. Retrieved 2009-08-28.  
  2. ^ Mayor of London (February 2008). "London Plan (Consolidated with Alterations since 2004)". Greater London Authority.  
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Powell, W.R. (Edr.) (1966). The borough of Ilford, A History of the County of Essex: Volume 5. Victoria County History. British History Online. Retrieved 2009-08-28.  
  4. ^ Young, K. & Garside, P., (1982). Metropolitan London: Politics and Urban Change 1837-1981.  
  5. ^ Vision of Britain - Ilford parish population. Retrieved on 2009-08-28.
  6. ^ a b Mills, A.D. (2001). Dictionary of London Place Names. Oxford.  
  7. ^ a b Powell, W.R. (Edr.) (1966). The ancient parish of Barking: Introduction, A History of the County of Essex: Volume 5. Victoria County History. British History Online. Retrieved 2009-08-28.  
  8. ^ "Ilford History and Chronology". Retrieved 2007-07-27.  
  9. ^ "BAL-AMi Jukeboxes".  
  10. ^ Robson, William (1939). The Government and Mis-government of London. London: Allen & Unwin.  
  11. ^ Vision of Britain - Ilford UD/MB (historic map). Retrieved on 2009-08-28.
  12. ^ Rose, D (1999). The London Underground: A diagrammatic history.  
  13. ^ Edith Thompson (1893-1923) (Brookwood Cemetery Society) accessed 12 January 2010
  14. ^ a b Mike Gapes. "Ilford South - a profile". Retrieved 2009-08-28.  
  15. ^ Met Office (2000). "Climate: Greenwich 1971-2000 averages". Retrieved 2009-08-26.  
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b Transport for London (March 2009). "High frequency services". Greater London Authority. Retrieved 2009-08-28.  
  19. ^ National Express East Anglia (May 2009). "Table 6". National Express Group. Retrieved 2009-08-28.  
  20. ^ Transport for London (September 2007). "Buses from Ilford". Greater London Authority. Retrieved 2009-08-28.  
  21. ^ Transport for London (June 2009). "Night buses in north east London". Greater London Authority. Retrieved 2009-08-28.  
  22. ^ "Crossrail maps: Route map". Crossrail. Retrieved 2009-08-28.  
  23. ^ Transport for London. "East London Transit". Greater London Authority. Retrieved 2009-08-28.  

Further reading

  • Ian Dowling Valentines Park, Ilford: A Century of History (1999) ISBN 0901616255
  • J E Oxley Barking and Ilford: An Extract from the Victoria History of the County of Essex vol 5 (1987)

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to London/East article)

From Wikitravel

East London is the outer eastern part of London , north of the River Thames.


Many outer areas of East London was once part of the county of Essex. Essex is sometimes used as part of the postal address for these areas.

East London consists of the following boroughs:

  • Barking and Dagenham [1] — the borough includes:
  • Barking
  • Dagenham
  • Havering [2] — the borough includes:
  • Romford
  • Upminster
  • Newham [3] — the borough includes:
  • Stratford - Location of the London 2012 Olympic Games. (Note: this is not Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, the birthplace of Shakespeare.)
  • East Ham
  • West Ham
  • Redbridge [4] — the borough includes:
  • Ilford
  • Woodford
  • Waltham Forest [5] — the borough includes:
  • Walthamstow - This town was made famous by a teen pop band called E-17 (the postcode of the area) who came from here and had a number of hits. Soak up the multicultural atmosphere.
  • Chingford
  • Leyton

Get in


Romford is served by Romford train station located in the centre of town. It has frequent services to London Liverpool Street and serves many destinations in Essex and East Anglia.


Jubliee Line (including from Westminster and Canary Wharf), Central Line (including from London Liverpool Street) or Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to Stratford [6]. Alternatively, by rail from London Liverpool Street, Stansted Airport, Ipswich, Colchester or Norwich [7] or London Overground from Gospel Oak

  • Walthamstow Central and Blackhorse Road tube (Victoria Line) and Walthamstow Central, Blackhorse Road, St James's Street, Wood Street and Queen's Road railway stations.
  • Many bus routes, as Walthamstow is a major hub for buses, centred on Walthamstow Central.


Ilford is served by national rail services from London Liverpool St. Stratford is around 8 min away; Liverpool St 15 min. Gants Hill tube station is about a 20-30 min walk from Ilford town centre although it is also served by local bus routes. Bus 25 from Oxford Circus terminates at Ilford bus station.

  • The William Morris Gallery, [11].  edit
  • The Central Library, Winston Way. Interesting structure from an architectural point of view. Unfortunately it is also the locale of choice for the native rude-boys to hang out, alas this is not due to the educational value of the institution.  edit


Bicycle along the River Lea or Epping Forest.</do>


Valentines Park is a pleasant green area, Essex County Cricket team used to play on the pitch in the western side of the park.

  • Selbourne Walk, (tube: Walthamstow Central; just over the road). Walthamstow's shopping mall, with the usual selection of shopping mall type shops.  edit
  • Walthamstow High Street market. early-approximately 5:30PM. All manner of items may be purchased here, an example of the amazing bargains to be found is a carrier bag full of bananas for £1.  edit
  • The Exchange Shopping Centre. Was one of the largest American style malls when it was constructed in the early 1990s. Although now it has an extensive array of shops now it can only really be considered a bog standard shopping centre. The town centre itself has most high street chain shops.  edit



There are a number of cafés and restaurants down the high street.

  • Kebabish, Hoe St. Does a nice kebab and also tasty Indian food.  edit




  • The Ferry Boat Inn, (tube: Blackhorse Rd). A quaint country style pub in a lovely river side setting.  edit
  • The Goose, (tube: Walthamstow Central, opposite).  edit


Walthamstow does not have much of a clubbing scene, though there is:

  • The Standard Music Venue, (tube: Blackhorse Rd, opposite). Has rock bands playing most nights of the week, and has a nightclub on Friday nights.  edit
  • Ibis Hotel Stratford, 1A Romford Rd, Stratford E15 4LJ (tube: Stratford), +44 208 5363700, [12]. 104 room hotel with the usual identikit, Ibis set-up. From about £50.  edit
  • Newham Hotel, 349-353 Romford Rd, Forest Gate, E7 8AA (tube: Forest Gate), +44 20 8534 8400 (), [13]. Budget hotel in the Forest Gate area of Newham From £44.  edit
  • Viking Hotel, 162 Romford Rd, Stratford (tube: Stratford).  edit
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