All Saints Church
Cranham shown within Greater London
|OS grid reference|
|- Charing Cross||17.5 mi (28.2 km) WSW|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Hornchurch and Upminster|
|London Assembly||Havering and Redbridge|
Cranham is a residential suburb in northeast London, England, and part of the London Borough of Havering. It is located 17.5 miles (28 km) east-northeast of Charing Cross and comprises an extensive built-up area to the west and a low density conservation area surrounded by open land to the north, south, and east. It was historically a rural village in the county of Essex and formed an ancient parish. It is peripheral to London, forming the eastern edge of the urban sprawl. The economic history of Cranham is characterised by a shift from agriculture to housing development. As part of the suburban growth of London in the 20th century, Cranham significantly increased in population, becoming part of Hornchurch Urban District in 1934 and has formed part of Greater London since 1965.
|# no census was held due to war|
|source: UK census|
The placename Cranham has its origins as the name of one of the manors in the parish, called in Domesday Book Craohv (1086). By 1201 it had evolved into Craweno. It may mean 'spur of land frequented by crows' and is formed from the Old English 'crāwe' (?crow) and 'hōh' (?ridge in the landscape). However, Crawe is also an Anglo-Saxon female personal name (Suffolk: Anglo-Saxon wills xiv, xv, unpublished), so Crawe's ridge is another possible interpretation.
There were two Anglo-Saxon manors. The manor called Crauoho was in the north of the parish, and the smaller of the two. More than twice the size of Crauoho was Wochenduna (modernly, Ockendon), occupying the south of the parish. A belt of woodland separated the two groups of fields, most of which belonged to Wocheduna (per Domesday, Essex 4,1). After the Conquest, Wocheduna was acquired by the Bishop of London, and Crauoho by the Bishop of Bayeux (Domesday 4,1 and 18,33); the latter's falling out with the King (his half-brother) may have led to the acquisition of Crauoho by the St.Paul's canons. In any case, by 1323, the two manors were referred together as 'Wokydon Craunhoo', and may have been managed together as a single dependency of St.Paul's.
It is unclear when or why the whole parish eventually adopted the name of its smaller manor. Until the 15th century, the parish was always known as Bishop's Ockendon (or its Latinized form Wokydon episcopi in various spellings), and this would have avoided confusion with North Ockendon and South Ockendon nearby. After that, Cranham (in various spellings) was generally used, although the placename Bishop's Ockendon did persist on some 19th-century legal documents (e.g., a conveyance of The Plough ale house, c.1840, unpublished, Essex Record Office).
The parish is recorded in 1086 as being heavily wooded, supporting an agrarian way of life. Forest clearance was well advanced by the 15th century, with an increase in population and arable land; and there was a windmill in Cranham. Cranham lay on brick earth and this gave rise to the Cranham Brick and Tile Company which was in operation from 1900 to 1920. Drury has suggested that early trade was with the nearby settlements of Romford and Hornchurch and with London via the River Thames at Rainham.
Cranham formed an ancient parish of 1,879 acres (7.604 km2) in the Chafford hundred of Essex. The vestry met in the church until 1829 and then at the parish workhouse. In 1836 the parish was grouped for poor relief into the Romford Poor Law Union and for sanitary provision in 1875 into Romford rural sanitary district. The sanitary district became Romford Rural District from 1894 and a parish council was formed to replace the vestry.
The parish formed part of the London Traffic Area from 1924 and the London Passenger Transport Area from 1933. To reflect the significantly increased population in the area, Romford Rural District was abolished in 1934 and Cranham was amalgamated with neighbouring parishes into Hornchurch Urban District. The parish council was abolished and Hornchurch Urban District Council became the local authority. There was a revision of boundaries with North Ockendon, which had been part of Orsett Rural District, absorbed into Cranham and a small area to the north, near Great Warley, transferred to Brentwood Urban District.
In 1965 Hornchurch Urban District was abolished and its former area was transferred from Essex to Greater London, to be combined with that of the Municipal Borough of Romford in order to form the present-day London Borough of Havering. In 1993 the Greater London boundary, to the east of Cranham and north of the railway line, was locally realigned to the M25 motorway, returning some mostly unpopulated areas of open land to Essex and leaving North Ockendon as the only part of Greater London outside the bounds of the motorway.
In the 17th and 18th centuries the manorial homes of southern Essex, including Cranham Hall, became attractive properties for merchants from the City of London. Initial attempts to expand the suburban estates from Upminster in the early 20th century ran into problems because of the lack of water supply. In 1922 sewage works for Upminster and Cranham were opened in Great Warley. In the 1930s land was used to develop some council housing and following the sale of the Benyon estate the pace of new building quickened. Cranham's location on the very edge of London's urban sprawl is explained by the halting effect on suburban house building of the introduction of the Metropolitan Green Belt and World War II. Thereafter building took place within the area bounded by the Southend Arterial Road in the north and St Mary's Lane in the south; and there were 615 council houses built by 1971.
Cranham forms part of the Hornchurch and Upminster UK Parliament constituency, and is partly within the Havering wards of Upminster and Cranham. Together these form the Upminster Area Committee. The current MP is Angela Watkinson. Each ward elects three councillors to Havering London Borough Council. All six councillors elected in 2010 for the two wards were the Upminster and Cranham Residents' Association candidates and the area is unusual in that the residents' association is strongly active. From 1945 to 1974 Cranham formed part of the Hornchurch constituency and from 1974 to 2010 it formed part of the Upminster constituency. Cranham is within the Havering and Redbridge London Assembly constituency and the London European Parliament constituency.
Most of Cranham is located on the London Clay belt, with loam to the north and a gravel valley to the south. It rises to about 250 feet (76 m) in the north and to below 50 feet (15 m) in the south; with a ridge running east to west upon which All Saints Church is located. Cranham forms a continuously built-up area with Upminster to the west, with open fields separating it from Harold Wood in the north, Great Warley to the east and North Ockendon to the southeast. Franks Wood and Cranham Brickfields are designated a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation with a habitat of ancient woodland, coppices, ditches, scrub, tall herbs and neutral grassland. The community forest centre for the extensive Thames Chase is located in the open land to the south east. Cranham forms part of the Upminster post town in the RM14 postcode district. Inspection of the Ordnance Survey map shows that St.Mary's Lane forms a boundary between the Essex rectilinear landscape to the South and the more chaotic pattern of piecemeal clearance to the north.
|Cranham compared (2001 Census)|
Demographic data is produced by the Office for National Statistics for the wards of Cranham and Upminster. All of Cranham is contained within these wards, however they also cover the connected settlement of Upminster and the rural outlier of North Ockendon. In 2001 the population of Upminster ward was 12,674 and Cranham ward was 12,242, giving a total population of 25,098. 80.95% in Upminster and 81.73% in Cranham report their religion as Christian, compared to 76.13% for Havering, 58.23% in London and 71.74% in England. 10.08% in Upminster and 10.46% in Cranham report having no religion, compared to 13.18% in Havering, 15.76% in London and 14.59% in England. With a black and minority ethnic population of 3% in 2001, Cranham and Upminster wards have the lowest Simpson index for ethnic diversity in London. The level of home ownership is atypically high compared to the rest of London and England, with over 90% of housing tenure under owner-occupation in both wards.
There are three short parades of shops; the smallest in St.Mary's Lane, and two larger on Avon Road and in Front Lane, dominated by a Tesco Express store. The nearest significant activity centre identified in the London Plan is the local district centre at Upminster. Within Havering, Upminster is identified as the nearest of seven main town centres. There are a number of commercial businesses centred around the A127 Southend Arterial Road including a wholesale butcher, mushroom cultivator, caravan sales, and a sports equipment supplier. A significant boat dealership and chandlery exists in the unlikely location of St.Mary's Lane near the Jobber's Rest public house There are a limited number of hospitality venues, including pubs and a popular tandoori restaurant. One curiosity is that two of the pubs (The Jobber's Rest and The Golden Crane) have names that are found nowhere else in England.
Front Lane is the main road through Cranham and runs north to south, connecting with the A127 road in the north. Approximately 0.5 miles (0.80 km) to the northeast it has a junction with the M25 motorway, which forms the outer ring road of London. Cranham is the location of the Upminster depot of the London Underground's District line. The nearest London Underground station is at Upminster, approximately 0.75 miles (1.21 km) to the west. The London-Tilbury-Southend Line of the National Rail network passes through the area in two places, with the nearest station also at Upminster. There are Transport for London bus service to Upminster, Hornchurch, Romford, and Ockendon station on routes 248, 346 and 347.
All Saints parish church, re-built 1873, is a grade II listed building. James Oglethorpe, the first governor of Georgia, (now part of the United States of America) is buried with his wife at the centre of its chancel. The area around the church forms a conservation area. There is a second church called St Luke's further north on Front Lane.
Cranham Hall (c.1795) forms a typical Essex church-manor house complex, standing on the ridge in the south of the parish. Its predecessor, of red brick, c.1600 was occupied by Revd Sir Edward Petre of Cranham Hall (the 3rd Baronet, and confessor to James II), and later by James Oglethorpe (unpublished sketch by Joseph Pridden, c 1789, Essex Record Office); much of its garden wall survives, and appears to be in the same red brick. The Elizabethan Hall replaced a half-H plan timber hall which appears on an unpublished map of 1598 in Essex Record Office; it appears to be 14th - 15th century, and so at least one more predecessor building, at the head of the Domesday manor of Wokydon can be inferred.
There are two community associations that are both registered charities. The Cranham Community Association operates a broad range of sporting, self-improvement and hobby activities at Cranham Community Centre on Marlborough Gardens. Cranham Social Hall, with a capacity of 100, is separately operated by the Front Lane Community Association, and provides a limited range of activities. The main cultural and entertainment facilities of the borough are located in Hornchurch and Romford.
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