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Fairlop is located in Greater London
Fairlop shown within Greater London
Population 12,630 (2011 Census. Ward)[1]
OS grid reference TQ449906
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ILFORD
Postcode district IG
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°36′00″N 0°05′00″E / 51.5999°N 0.0833°E / 51.5999; 0.0833Coordinates: 51°36′00″N 0°05′00″E / 51.5999°N 0.0833°E / 51.5999; 0.0833

Fairlop is a district in the London Borough of Redbridge, west of Barkingside and Fullwell Cross, north of Aldborough Hatch, south of Hainault and (distantly) west from Marks Gate and Collier Row. It mainly consists of fields, forestry and open land providing space for sport/ activity centres (Redbridge Sport Centre), a few houses, farmland and watersport/fishing lakes (Fairlop Waters). It also has a tube station. A children's play center, Al's Adventure House, was part of the Fairlop Waters complex until its closure in the late 2000s.

History and origins of the name[edit]

The Fairlop Oak[edit]

The district took its name from an old oak tree, the Fairlop Oak, that stood in Hainault Forest when much of the area was covered in trees. The oak is said to have had a trunk sixty-six feet in circumference, from which seventeen branches issued, most of them measuring not less than twelve feet in girth.[2] In the eighteenth century, a pump and block maker from Wapping, Daniel Day, would take his employees on an annual fair in the forest, using the oak as their rendezvous. The fair took place on the first Friday of July.[3]

The Fairlop Fair[edit]

By the middle of the eighteenth century, the annual excursion to Fairlop had become one of London's most popular entertainments, and as many as a hundred thousand people being drawn through Ilford to the fair in the forest.[2] As a result, the area became known as "Fair" (after the fair) followed by "lop" referring to the tree flourishing after part of it was used to make Daniel Day's coffin after he died in 1767.[4] A Society of Archers - The Hainault Foresters - under the patronage of the Earl Tylney of Wanstead House met under the Fairlop Oak.[3]

A legend has it that Queen Anne visited Fairlop during the fair. One of the songs sung at the fair was called "Come, come, my boys", in which one verse states:[3]

In June 1805, the oak tree caught fire, and by 1820 it was finally blown down.[2] Its site is marked roughly at the boat house by the lake at Fairlop Waters.[3] In nearby Fullwell Cross is a pub called the New Fairlop Oak.

In 1851, the local people complained so bitterly about the depredations caused by the local deer that the trees which had surrounded the great oak were all felled and the adjoining parts of the forest were converted into farmland.[2]

In 1903 a station at Fairlop was opened on a new loop line that formed part of the Great Eastern Railway. In 1947 the line was taken over by the London Underground as part of the eastward extension of the Central line, and the station became Fairlop tube station.


According to the 2011 census in Fairlop ward, the population was 65% white (57% British, 7% Other, 1% Irish). 9% is Indian and 6% Other Asian.[5]


Fairlop has been served by Fairlop tube station on the Central line since 1903. Forest Road, the area's main road, did not have a bus service until route 462 was extended from Hainault to Fairlop in June 2016.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Redbridge Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Williams, Guy R. (1975). London in the Country. Hamish Hamilton. pp. 62–63. 
  3. ^ a b c d "The Fairlop Oak". Hainault Forest. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Ayto, John, and Crofton, Ian (2005). Brewer's Great Britain and Ireland. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 412. 
  5. ^ http://www.ukcensusdata.com/fairlop-e05000503
  6. ^ http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/13901339.Bus_route_to_be_extended_to_serve_borough_s_leisure_facilities/