In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Hornchurch like this:
HORNCHURCH, a village, a parish, and a subdistrict in Romford district, Essex. The village stands between the rivers Rom and Ingerbourn, 2 miles SE of Romford r. station; and has a post office ‡ under Romford, London E.The parish contains also the hamlet of Havering-Well, extends to the Thames, and comprises 6, 659 acres of land and 140 of water. Real property, £19, 005. Pop., 2, 227. Houses, 470. The property is much subdivided; but most of the land belongs to New College, Oxford. ...
Hornchurch Hall, Great Nelmes, Harrow Lodge, Ardley Lodge, Fair Kytes, Langtons, and Britons are chief residences. A priory, subordinate to the hospital of Monte Jovis, was founded here in the time of Henry II.; passed, by purchase, to William of Wykeham; and was given by him to New College, Oxford. Malting, brewing, iron founding, agriculturalimplement making, and the making of bricks, tiles, and drain pipes, are carried on. A custom of wrestling for a boar's head on Christmas-day arose out of a charter granted by Henry II., and is still observed. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £740.* Patron, New College, Oxford. The church is ancient; consists of nave, chancel, aisles, and porches, with turreted tower, and a neat spire 170 feet high; and contains some old brass inscriptions. Charities, £92 and two suites of alms houses.The sub-district contains also five other parishes. Acres, 19, 722. Pop., 6, 228. Houses, 1, 255.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Hornchurch has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Havering. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Hornchurch and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Hornchurch, in Havering and Essex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 05th December 2013
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