ESSEX: A DICTIONARY OF THE COUNTY
MAINLY ECCLESIOLOGICAL
IN TWO PARTS


G. WORLEY

LONDON
G. BELL AND SONS, LTD.
1915

PART I
PARISHES IN THE ARCHDEACONRY OF ESSEX

Note. - The nearest railway-station is given in parentheses in every case where there is none at the place described. All qualifying words, e.g., Great, Little, etc., are printed after the substantive name.


FOREST GATE. A large residential suburb, consisting of some half dozen ecclesiastical parishes or chapelries, formed in recent years out of East and West Ham, each being provided with a modern church.


HAM, EAST. The large riverside parish was constituted a borough, including Little Ilford, by Royal Charter of 27 August 1904. Fine modern buildings are the Town Hall and Public Library, the latter presented by Mr. Andrew Carnegie.
The house at Plashet has an historical interest as once occupied by Mrs. Elizabeth Fry. Green Street House, now a Roman Catholic Reformatory, includes the remains of a noble Tudor mansion, with a tower known as "Anne Boleyn's Castle."
The church (St. Mary Magdalene) is a flint building of Norman origin, consisting of apsidal chancel with north aisle, nave, low embattled tower, and west porch. Norman work appears in the tower basement, plain round-headed west doorway, several windows, and intersecting round arches on each side of the chancel. Above this arcading there is a series of early thirteenth-century wall-paintings, revealed during the restoration of 1850. From this discovery, and from the Early English windows and piscina at the east end of the church, it is clear that considerable work was done there in the thirteenth century, when it is not unlikely the circular apse was appended. Among the many monuments there is one in black and white marble to Edmund Neville, quoted as "Earl of Westmoreland" (a disputed title), with kneeling effigies of himself and his wife Jane. Their daughter Katharine (d. 1618) is separately commemorated. There are some seventeenth-century brasses and memorial tablets, but none of special interest. Registers from 1696.
There are two chapels-of-ease, viz. : St. John Baptist, and St. Bartholomew. Upton Park and Forest Gate, in the civil parish, have each two churches.

(For an account of the mural paintings see Godman's "Norman Arch. in Essex," with plates, "The Essex Arch. Trans.," vol. ii, and "The Ecclesiologist," vol. xxv, may also be referred to.)


HAM, WEST, also a large and rapidly growing parish, was constituted a parliamentary borough in 1885 (with power to return two members), and a municipal borough by charter in 1886.
The parish church (All Saints) is a large building of brick and stone, chiefly of fifteenth century, but considerably altered in modern restorations. It consists of chancel with north and south chapels, nave with aisles of seven bays, south porch, and embattled west tower (74 ft.) containing ten bells. The staircase to the old rood-loft remains. There is a table-tomb dated 1485 (name illegible) in the north chapel: and among various more modern memorials there is a monument to Henry Ketelby (1508), and a brass to Thomas Staples (1492), with his wife and family. Registers from 1653.
The parish contains a number of modern churches, amongst which "St. Stephens" may be reckoned, though it stands in the private pleasure-grounds of old Upton Lane House, now called The Cedars. The building was erected in 1886 as a memorial to Mrs. Elizabeth Fry, the Princess Louise having laid the foundation-stone on 7 July in that year.

(See Fry's "Hist. of East and West Ham," "East Anglian N. and Q.," vol. ii, and "Church Bells" of 30 November 1872.)


ILFORD, LITTLE. A portion of East Ham, incorporated for civil purposes with Manor Park, but forming an ecclesiastical parish within the Rural Deanery of Barking, with two subordinate districts, each provided with a church. The old parish church (St. Mary and St. Thomas of Canterbury) is a small building of Norman origin, now entirely modernized, with the exception of two small roundheaded and widely splayed windows, which have survived the drastic reconstruction of the fabric. The chancel is a modern substitute in brick for the original. There are still, however, some interesting memorials to the departed, e.g., the brass to Thomas, son of Sir John Heron (1517), engraved with the effigy of a schoolboy carrying an inkhorn on his girdle; and the brass to Anne Hyde (1630) and her family, with half-a-dozen English verses. Registers from 1539. The City of London Cemetery here is one of the largest in existence. To it have been transferred many corpses from the vaults of old City churches, for sanitary reasons, or when such churches have been pulled down under the Union of Benefices Act.

(See Tasker, "Ilford Past and Present.")


PLAISTOW. A densely populated parish, formed out of West Ham in 1844. The principal church (St. Mary) was first built in 1830, a small brick edifice in the resuscitated Gothic of that date, but it was superseded by the present larger and better building in 1890-1894.
Other modern churches are St. Andrew, SS. Philip and James, St. Martin, and St. Cedd.


STRATFORD. - A ward of West Ham and busy suburb of London, comprising the ecclesiastical parishes of Christchurch, St. John, and St. Paul - the last in Stratford New Town - each with a modern church. The whole neighbourhood, in fact, is emphatically modern in character and appearance, though it has an ancient history. Here formerly stood the Cistercian Abbey of Stratford Langthorne, founded c. 1135 by William de Mountfitchet, as a dependence of the institution at Savigny in Normandy. No trace of it now remains; but we are reminded of its existence, rather pathetically, by the Abbey Mills, which mark the site and the alteration in the habits of society.


VICTORIA DOCKS. An ecclesiastical district of West Ham, formed to provide for the modern population about the famous docks. The churches (all modern) are St. Mark, St. Barnabas, St. Luke, St. Matthew, and The Ascension, the first dating from 1862, and the last from 1903.


WOOLWICH, NORTH, so called in distinction from Woolwich proper on the opposite side of the Thames, though forming part of the same civil parish, was constituted a "District Chapelry," within the Archdeaconry of Essex in 1877. The church (St. John Evangelist) was erected in 1872, and gives the name to the ecclesiastical district.