The name is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Ilefort and applied means ford over the Hyle; an old name for the River Roding that means "trickling stream". Great and Little Ilford appear to have always been distinct areas separated by the Roding. The place names of both appear to derive from the ford (and river), rather than deriving from the subdivision of a larger Ilford area.
The Manor of Little Ilford is mentioned (as simply Ilford) in the Domesday Book of 1086, and recorded as being held by one Jocelyn the Lorimer. Domesday also records that the manor was held by two freemen prior to the Norman Conquest. Great Ilford was not mentioned at Domesday as it was part of the Manor of Barking.
Little Ilford became an Ancient Parish centred on St Mary's Church on Church Street, by the late 12th century - the parish organisation of England was completed at that time and sub-divisions and boundary changes were rare. Little Ilford may have been an exception to the rule in that it may have extended northward in the 16th century.
The area remained an ecclesiastical parish until 1938 and a civil parish in the West Ham Rural Sanitary District in Essex from 1875 to 1886, when it became part the East Ham Urban Sanitary District, and after 1894 the East Ham urban district. It was abolished as a civil parish in 1900, becoming part of the parish of East Ham and from 1915 the County Borough of East Ham.
There is a large comprehensive school in the area called Little Ilford School.
Little Ilford is served by Church Road which contains a variety of shops, food outlets and a cab office. St Stephens Church is located within the boundary of little Ilford. Transport links include the 147 bus route from Canning Town to Ilford.
- "Newham Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- Newham London Borough Council - Councillors in Newham by Ward[permanent dead link]
- 'Little Ilford', in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6, ed. W R Powell (London, 1973), pp. 163-174. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/essex/vol6/pp163-174 [accessed 2 October 2020].
- Mills, A., Oxford Dictionary of London Place Names, (2001)
- Open Domesday website https://opendomesday.org/place/TQ4486/ilford/
- History of the Countryside by Oliver Rackham, 1986 p19. the reference is general and does not mention LI specifically.
- Vision of Britain - East Ham CB Archived 1 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine (historic map Archived 1 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine)