The name originally referred to an entrance or gate into Hainault Forest at the northern end of the current Whalebone Lane North, the name being derived from the proximity of the gate to the manor of 'Marks' (later Marks Hall) which stood on what is now Warren Hall Farm. As with many old houses the name was derived from the de Merk family who build the original manor in the 14th Century.
The oldest evidence for a settlement in this location is of a fortified village on the hilltop around 600 B.C., and by 1777 Marks Gate was shown on maps as a hamlet on the southern edge of Hainault Forest. Subsequent development in the 1950s has overtaken two other gates to the forest, at Roselane Gate at the northern end of Rose Lane, and a further gate at Padnall Corner.
- Mills, A.D. (2001). Dictionary of London Place Names. Oxford.
- "Dagenham: Introduction and manors". Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
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