Chadwell Heath

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Chadwell Heath
Chadwell Heath, St Chad's Church - - 625819.jpg
St Chad's Church
Chadwell Heath is located in Greater London
Chadwell Heath
Chadwell Heath
Location within Greater London
Population10,021 (ward, 2011)[1]
OS grid referenceTQ485885
• Charing Cross12 mi (19 km) SW
London borough
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townROMFORD
Postcode districtRM6
Postcode districtRM8
Dialling code020
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°34′33″N 0°08′38″E / 51.5757°N 0.144°E / 51.5757; 0.144Coordinates: 51°34′33″N 0°08′38″E / 51.5757°N 0.144°E / 51.5757; 0.144

Chadwell Heath is a suburban area in north east London, England. It is situated on the boundary of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and the London Borough of Redbridge, around 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Romford and 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Ilford, and 12 miles (19 km) north-east of Charing Cross.

The name was first used in the 17th century for a settlement in the parish of Dagenham in Essex, which later absorbed the neighbouring hamlet of Chadwell Street in the parish of Barking (later Ilford). Chadwell Heath railway station, on the Great Eastern Main Line, opened in 1864, connecting the area to Central London. After the First World War, the area developed as a residential suburb and formed the northern limit of the Becontree estate, causing an increase in population density. The area became part of Greater London in 1965.

The area is home to the Chadwell Heath Academy.[2] It was the final residence of Eva Hart, a survivor of the RMS Titanic, and a local pub is named after her.



The name 'Chadwell' is first recorded in 1254 as Chaudewell and means 'the cold spring'.[3] The name was first applied to a settlement on the Barking (later Ilford) side of the ancient boundary between Dagenham and Barking and it was also known as Chadwell Street;[4] 'Street' having the older meaning of a hamlet.[3] In the 17th century the Blackheath Common in Dagenham parish was renamed Chadwell Heath.[4] As the settlements merged the Chadwell Street name was lost in favour of Chadwell Heath.

Economic development[edit]

The railway was constructed through the area from Romford and Ilford and in 1864 Chadwell Heath railway station was opened.[4] It was the 'end of the line' for both the London tram system and later the electric trolley bus service from Aldgate. The trolley buses turned around at Station Road and Wangey Road.

Local government[edit]

A map showing the wards of Barking Civil Parish as they appeared in 1871.

Chadwell Heath formed a hamlet in the ancient parish of Dagenham, Essex.[4] As Chadwell Heath grew it absorbed the neighbouring hamlet of Chadwell Street in the Chadwell ward of the parish of Barking.[5] The Barking section of Chadwell Heath became part of the new parish of Ilford in 1888. This became Ilford Urban District in 1894. The Dagenham section became part of Romford Rural District in 1894. The parish was removed from the rural district and became Dagenham Urban District in 1926. During the 1920s and 1930s the local government arrangements of the area came under review and various proposals would have merged the two sections of Chadwell Heath into a single district, however this was not acted upon.[6]

Ilford was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1926 and Dagenham was incorporated in 1938. The arrangements of the area were reviewed again in the 1950s and 1960s. The whole area was considered to form part of the Greater London conurbation and in 1957 formed part of the review area of the Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London. Following the review, in 1965 the London Government Act 1963 abolished the municipal boroughs of Dagenham and Ilford, and transferred their former area from Essex to Greater London, to form part of the new London Borough of Barking and the London Borough of Redbridge.

Urban development[edit]

The London to Colchester Roman Road caused some early 'ribbon' development while much of the rest of the area remained rural. Suburban growth commenced in 1900 and proceeded rapidly until World War I; increasing after the war.[4]

The area suffered several bomb hits during World War Two. A large parachute mine also exploded causing extensive residential damage in Bennett Road, destroying the school, while a second failed to explode and its parachute became entangled in horse-chestnut trees near Chadwell Heath station. It did not explode because it was cradled in very soft soil as the result of digging near Hemmings Bakery. It was found by Walter Wiffen, a train guard from Cedar Park Gardens on his way to work at the station early the next morning. He reported it at the police station, which is now the Eva Hart pub, and oversaw the evacuation of Cedar Park Gardens to the bomb shelter at the corner of Wangey Road and the High Road. A V2 rocket landed on Blackbush Avenue killing several people and blowing out windows for half a mile around. Later, the local council replaced the windows with much more modern frames, and the results provided an incongruous look to the older house designs. A heavy anti-aircraft battery was located east of Whalebone Lane North and traces of the concrete emplacements remain today. A V2 Rocket destroyed two houses in Woodlands Avenue and damaged the houses that had been repaired after the landmine that had destroyed the Whalebone Junior school in Bennett Road.


Chadwell Heath is split between the Chadwell ward in the London Borough of Redbridge and the Chadwell Heath and Whalebone wards in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, electing councillors to Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council and Redbridge London Borough Council.[7]


In the 2011 census, the combined wards of Chadwell in Redbridge and Chadwell Heath in Barking and Dagenham had a total population of 24,278 people. The two combined wards had no single ethnic majority, with the largest group being White British people comprising 44.3% of the population. The next largest groups were Indians (9.5%), Black Africans (9.3%), Black Caribbeans (5.7%), Bangladeshis (5.6%), Pakistanis (5.5%) and Other Whites (5.2%).[8][9]


The London Borough of Havering is to the east. Many major buildings, such as the local school and former police station (now the popular pub, the Eva Hart) actually lie in the London Borough of Redbridge. Royal Mail includes Chadwell Heath as part of a postcode district (RM6) of the Romford post town,[10] however the town of Romford is in Havering.

The area has three allotments. One adjacent to St Chad's Park on Alexandra Road, another on Chadwell Heath Lane and a plot in Little Heath next to the Eastern Avenue / A12 (next to the Hargreaves Scout centre).


Hemmings once had an enormous bakery building on land just north of Chadwell Heath station. This building was derelict by the 1970s and was later demolished for housing. For many years Bergermaster Paints maintained a large factory in Freshwater Road. Grove Road was also an industrial area with Wiggins Teape and Morganite Carbons Ltd among companies based there. These sites were sold in the 1990s and have also been redeveloped for housing. A teddy bear factory in the same area was the site of the alleged murder of Terry 'Teddy Bear' Eve and others in the 1970s.[citation needed] The esoteric publishing company founded by phrenologist L.N. Fowler had a shop and offices in the High Road in the 1970s and 1980s. Dairy Crest is a major employer in the area and Sunlight laundry Sainsbury's, Nicholls and Clarke, and Tesco are also major employers.[citation needed]


Chadwell Heath is served by London Buses services and TfL Rail at Chadwell Heath railway station which is currently being upgraded as part of the Crossrail Project. It has easy rail access to Liverpool Street Station in the City of London. London Buses routes that serve Chadwell Heath are the 62 from Marks Gate 'Billet Road' to Barking 'Gascoigne Estate'; 86 from Romford Station to Stratford Station; 173 from King George Hospital 'Goodmayes' to Beckton Station; 362 from King George Hospital 'Goodmayes' to Grange Hill Station; 368 from Chadwell Heath 'Police Station' to Barking 'Harts Lane' and night bus N86 from Stratford Station to Harold Hill 'Dagnam Park Square'.[11]

Embassy Cinema[edit]

Embassy Cinema

There is a former art deco cinema on Chadwell Heath High Road, built in May 1934, and was originally called the Embassy Cinema; later it became part of the Gaumont British Circuit. During the late 1960s, it was converted into a Bingo Hall - known to many locals as the Mecca Bingo Hall Mecca Bingo,. Recently, the building was listed as an Asset of Community Value by the 'Chadwell Heath South Residents' Association' in August 2017.[12]


The Roman Catholic Church, St Bede's, is on Bishops Avenue, RM6 5RS, and forms part of the overall site of St Bede's Roman Catholic primary school (main entrance on Canon Avenue). St Chad's Church (Church of England) stands on St Chad's Road, next to the White Horse public House. Chadwell Heath has two baptist churches; one is found in the town centre on the High Road opposite Sainsbury's; the other in East Road at its junction with Havering Gardens. Other churches include the United Reformed Church (URC), and the Brethren Assembly in Wangey Road.

Many Sikhs utilise the gurdwara in Goodmayes (Singh Sabha Seven Kings)

There are nearby Hindu temples in Ilford.

There are nearby synagogues in Ilford and Romford, which Chadwell Heath Jewish residents can and do use.

There are mosques in the locality.


West Ham United's training ground was located in the area until late 2015. On 10 December 2015, Slaven Bilic, then West Ham manager, announced that from 14 December the club would be moving from the old training ground (at Saville Road) to the new training ground at nearby Rush Green. Similar to many parts of East London, the area has a large "Hammers" following.

A number of famous sports people hail from the area. Former England rugby union legend Jason Leonard is from Chadwell Heath, and attended the town's Warren Comprehensive School. Former England and West Ham United player Tony Cottee and former WBO world boxing champion Colin McMillan also attended Warren Comprehensive School. Portsmouth defender Nicky Shorey also went to the Chadwell Heath Foundation School.[citation needed] Boxer Frank Bruno, Cricketer Graham Gooch and Darts player Bobby George lived here, as well as footballers Mark Lazarus and Mark Lazaridos (Leyton Orient). Former F1 driver Keith Jack "Jackie" Oliver was born here on 14 August 1942. Jim Peters, the marathon runner who gained worldwide fame when he collapsed and was unable to finish the marathon in the 1954 Empire Games in Vancouver, Canada, lived in Chadwell Heath during the 1950s.

There are two lawn bowls clubs in the area, 'Barley Bowls' and 'St Chad's Bowls Club'.

The area is home to a private lawn tennis club 'Mike Ellames'.

Adjacent to Warren Comprenhensive on Whalebone Lane there is a golf driving range.

Notable people[edit]

Mary Wollstonecraft (born 1759), mother of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, lived briefly at a farm near Whalebone Lane until the family moved to Barking. Wollstonecraft wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792 and was a notable critic of the Whig MP Edmund Burke. A number of photographs of Mary can be seen in the Eva Hart pub.

Artist Henry Gillard Glindoni (1852–1913) moved to Chadwell Heath around 1891 and lived in a new villa on the corner of Mill Lane and Whalebone Lane North. This building is still there and his north-facing studio adjacent to the house is now a small shop. He painted local scenes and some of his work can still be seen in Valence House Museum.

A survivor of the RMS Titanic, Eva Hart MBE, was a resident of Japan Road, Chadwell Heath, for many years until her death in 1996. Hart was a magistrate who dealt with alcohol licence applications. When the former police station was converted into a public house by Wetherspoon's, it was named after her and remains so today. It contains several photographs of young Eva and her family. Immediately following the tragedy she and her mother lived with her grandmother in Whalebone Grove. Apart from a short stay in Australia, she was a lifelong Chadwell Heath resident; her funeral at St. Chad's church was packed because she was well known in the area.

Actress and singer Millicent Martin was born in Mill Lane in 1934 and went to school in Romford. She became famous for appearances in That Was The Week That Was and Sunday Night at the London Palladium on UK TV in the 1960s. Most recently she has played Daphne's mother in the US series Frasier.

Fishmonger Eric Ruffell ran a shop in High Road, Chadwell Heath. For many years he held the Royal Warrant as supplier to HM The Queen by appointment. He also continued to price his fish in pounds shillings and pence for some time after decimalization and became a local cause celebre through his appearance on the TV programme Nationwide. The shop was demolished during commercial redevelopment in the 1980s.

Author Michael J Merry (The Golden Altar, The Reluctant Colonel, The Education of Santiago O’Grady, "Guten tag, Mr. Churchill") lived in Hall Road between 1940 and 1958. He attended Chadwell Primary School 1945/51 and Romford Royal Liberty School 1951/56. Singer and actor David Essex lived on the Marks Gate estate for 15 years. David Lane, better known as David Ian, the theatre impresario, lived in Brian Road and attended Chadwell Primary School from 1968 to 1972. The legendary King Brothers Ian and Barry resided in Hickman Road before the locally famous Potters Office incident of 1976. Comedian, actor and musician Dudley Moore used to refer to his mother's Baron Road home as 'Chadwell Heath' in television interviews but technically it was in Dagenham. He and his red Ferrari car were familiar sights in the area during the 1970s. He returned for his mother's funeral in 1981.

Actress Michelle Dockery was educated at the Chadwell Heath Foundation School. She is best known for stage appearances and for roles in Downton Abbey and The Hogfather.

Music producer Mark Summers was raised in Chadwell Heath and lived in Hall Road until he was 17 years old. He is famous for Summers Magic and featured in the 2013 movie "The World's End" and sample replays via his work for Pitbull, Fatboy Slim, and Bob Sinclar. As a young DJ his first gigs were in Romford. He often visited JiFS record store (previously on the High Road near Whalebone Lane North), listening to the latest 12" Disco singles.


  1. ^ "Barking and Dagenham Ward ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  2. ^ "The Chadwell Heath Foundation School : OFSTED Inspection report" (PDF). Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b Mills, A.D. (2001). Dictionary of London Place Names. Oxford.
  4. ^ a b c d e W.R. Powell (1966). Dagenham: Introduction and manors, A History of the County of Essex: Volume 5. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  5. ^ 'London Gazetteer', Russ Willey, (2006), Harrap Publishers
  6. ^ "The borough of Barking - British History Online". Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  7. ^ Barking & Dagenham London Borough Council - Borough Archived 6 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Chadwell Heath ward Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine and Chadwell ward Archived 25 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine maps
  8. ^ Good Stuff IT Services. "Chadwell Heath - UK Census Data 2011". Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  9. ^ Good Stuff IT Services. "Chadwell - UK Census Data 2011". Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  10. ^ Royal Mail, Address Management Guide, (2004)
  11. ^ "Buses from Chadwell Heath" (PDF). Transport for London. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Redbridge - Community right to bid". Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2018.