A History of the County of Essex: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1978.
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Rainham lies beside the Thames 12 miles east of the city of London. (fn. 1) The ancient parish, containing 3,253 a., was bounded west by the river Ingrebourne, north and north-east by Upminster, and east by Aveley and Wennington. Industry reached the parish in 1869, and after the First World War the village became the nucleus of a dormitory suburb. Rainham was included in Hornchurch U.D. in 1934, and Havering L.B. in 1965. (fn. 2)
The alluvial marshlands of Rainham are 5–6 ft. above sea-level; the rest of the parish consists chiefly of gravel beds below 60 ft. In the south-east, at Moor Hall, the land rises to 100 ft. Watercourses border the parish: to the west the Ingrebourne is tidal from the Thames to the Red bridge; in the east a stream flows westwards through Aveley and Wennington before turning south to the Thames, forming for part of its course the parish boundary and a common sewer. A third stream flows from Gaynes park, Upminister, to the Berwick ponds, and thence to the Ingrebourne. (fn. 3)
A neolithic site has been excavated west of Launders Lane; Iron Age potsherds have been found near Gerpins Lane, and Romano-British sherds at Rainham Ferry, also near the Aveley border, and at Ayletts a half mile south of Gerpins. (fn. 4) In 1937 graveldigging between Gerpins and the Aveley border revealed a rich Anglo-Saxon burial ground of the 6th and 7th centuries, which also yielded evidence of earlier burials. (fn. 5) The recorded population of Rainham was 50 in 1066, and 47 in 1086. (fn. 6) Those assessed for the taxes numbered 22 in 1327 and 44 in 1523. (fn. 7) There were 44 occupied houses in the parish in 1670. (fn. 8) The population, which in 1801 was 444, was 868 in 1851, and 1,725 in 1901. It rose to 3,897 in 1931, and to 7,666 in 1951. (fn. 9)
The road pattern of the 16th century apparently reflected the medieval one and was unchanged as late as 1865. (fn. 10) Two roads from the east met at the village green and crossed the Ingrebourne before dividing to Dagenham and Hornchurch. The northern (Warwick Lane, Upminister Road) came through Upminister from North Ockendon; (fn. 11) the southern (Wennington Road) skirted the marshes from Purfleet. In 1349 it was called South Street. (fn. 12) A road from Hornchurch to Aveley formed the parish boundary in the north-east, and at Hacton Corner a road (Berwick Pond Road) left it to run south through Rainham. It divided north of Berwick ponds: the eastern branch met Gerpins Lane from the Aveley Road and continued to Warwick Lane; the western crossed Warwick Lane at White Post Corner and continued as Launders Lane to Wennington. (fn. 13) Nearer the village Lambs Lane linked the Upminster and Wennington Roads, and by 1531 Manor Way or Ferry Lane ran south from the village to the Thames shore. (fn. 14)
Rainham bridge was first mentioned in 1234. (fn. 15) It was a broken plank bridge in 1356 when Thomas de Hoggeshawe undertook to repair it, partly at his own costs and partly with voluntary contributions; the king, who often used the bridge when hunting, granted Hoggeshawe a protection for 2 years for his men, carts, and materials. (fn. 16) In 1623, when the bridge was again broken, its repair was said to be the duty of the lords of Berwick and South Hall manors in Rainham. (fn. 17) In 1641 it was a stone bridge. (fn. 18) Termed the Red bridge in 1774, it was said to be wooden in 1834. (fn. 19) Its repair was then shared by the marsh bailiff and the lord of Berwick. (fn. 20) It was taken over by Essex county council in 1892 and was rebuilt in 1898. (fn. 21)
Launders bridge over the brook in Launders Lane was named in 1423–4. (fn. 22) In 1576 it was a cart-bridge for which the lord of Launders was responsible, but in 1630 the lord of South Hall was presented for not repairing it. (fn. 23) By 1834 it was a brick bridge reparable by the parish. (fn. 24) Southall bridge, over the boundary stream, was repaired by the lord of South Hall manor until 1908, when the county council agreed to take it over and widen it. (fn. 25)
In the Middle Ages settlement appears to have clustered round the church and manor-houses. The church is the only medieval building surviving. Damyns Hall, destroyed by fire in 1965, and Ayletts Farm, demolished in 1968, both had 16th-century elements. (fn. 26) South Hall dates from the late 16th and 17th centuries. Berwick House (now Berwick Manor country club) and Berwick Ponds Farm stand on or near sites occupied in the 16th century. (fn. 27) The moated Gerpins, west of Gerpins Lane, was probably older than the surviving walls of c. 1700. (fn. 28) North Lodge, c. 1575, was on a site later occupied by Rainham Lodge. (fn. 29)
By the 17th century Rainham ferry, across the Thames, and Rainham wharf, were well established, and travellers through the village had the choice of several public houses. Hardly any buildings in the village remain from that period, though Charlotte's Alley, Broadway, survived until 1944, and nos. 2–6, Upminster Road occupy the site of the old Bell tavern, standing in 1702. (fn. 30) Opposite the church, in the Broadway, the vicarage is a 17th-century house rebuilt in 1710.
In the early 18th century, as trade increased, the wharf was extended and several new buildings were erected in the village. The most notable was Rainham Hall, Broadway, built by Capt. John Harle (d. 1742), owner of the wharf. (fn. 31) The house passed to Capt. Harle's son John (d. 1770), in whose wife's family it remained until c. 1887. (fn. 32) In 1949 it was transferred to the National Trust. (fn. 33) It is a small but sumptuous brick house of 3 storeys on a semi-basement, and has principal fronts of 5 bays. The exterior appears to have been completed by 1729, by which time both plan and elevation were oldfashioned. The interior, which contains many small rooms, is extensively panelled in painted softwoods and has an original staircase with slender twisted balusters Much of the exterior woodwork was carefully restored c. 1920, and an attic floor, with segmental headed dormers, was added in the roof space some years later. (fn. 34) The interior was redecorated, partly with marbling and painted enrichments c. 1965. South of the Hall there are an early-18th-century coach-house and stables, and a lodge which once served as a counting-house. The small park east of the house has been reduced by recent building but still contains some ornamental stonework.
Nos. 17–21 Broadway, demolished c. 1966, were built in the early 18th century; the Phoenix inn was rebuilt in the 1730s and again in 1791; and Redberry House (29, Broadway) is also of the 18th century. (fn. 35) Redberry House is associated with a 19th-century wharf and a group of commercial buildings, and has on the ground floor a room probably designed as a counting-house. An oriel window on the first floor overlooks the yard. The house contains fittings and timbers of the later 17th and earlier 18th centuries, and the structure is possibly of the latter date, though its exterior dates from c. 1800. An early-19th-century coach-house and stables adjoin the house on the west.
A coach went from Rainham to Whitechapel twice a week in the 1780s and 1820s, and daily by 1838. (fn. 36) Another passed through Rainham daily from the 1820s on its way from Tilbury to London. (fn. 37) A third ran to Fetter Lane, London, twice a week in 1824 and thrice weekly in 1838. (fn. 38) In 1848 and 1850 there was a daily omnibus to London, (fn. 39) and from 1824 there are references to waggons and vans going daily to London from Rainham and parishes to the east. (fn. 40)
In 1854 the London, Tilbury, and Southend railway was opened as far as Tilbury, with a station at Rainham, linked by ferry to Gravesend (Kent). The line was extended to Southend in 1856. (fn. 41) The station was rebuilt after a fire in 1891. In 1961, when the Southend line was electrified, a new station was built nearer the Ferry Lane level crossing. (fn. 42) Between the two World Wars buses ran to and from Grays Thurrock. (fn. 43)
The Phoenix inn, Broadway, was the post-house in the 1820s and early 1830s, but by 1839 the post office was on a site in Upminster Road South where it remained until 1907. (fn. 44) It became a telegraph office in the early 1870s. (fn. 45) The National Telephone Company had a call office at the Phoenix inn in 1902; it was later at a draper's but had gone by 1910. (fn. 46) The first G.P.O. telephone exchange opened in 1899. In 1928 a new exchange was opened in Wennington Road; it was replaced c. 1967 by an automatic exchange at Dovers Corner, South Hornchurch. (fn. 47)
Rainham's growth in the later 19th century took place mainly to the east of the Broadway, where Melville and Cowper Roads were laid out c. 1880. (fn. 48) The houses there were mostly semi-detached or terraced, and in 1908 Rainham was described as an entirely working-class district. (fn. 49) At the same period a hamlet grew up at Rainham Ferry, near the Three Crowns public house. (fn. 50) In the early 20th century that stretch of the Thames was the resort of day-trippers, but the hamlet declined as the area was industrialized and had disappeared by 1945. (fn. 51)
In 1920, when the last of the Crosse estates were sold, Brights (262 a.) and Parsonage (102 a.) Farms were bought by Allen Ansell, a developer. (fn. 52) New Road, completed by 1926 to by-pass Rainham, ran through Ansell's holding, but he laid out roads on both sides of it, and sold plots which were said to be cheaper per square yard than linoleum. (fn. 53) Many of the purchasers were east Londoners who had previously cultivated smallholdings in the eastern fringes of West Ham. (fn. 54) Building after 1918 had deprived them of their earlier plots, and the issue at week-ends of cheap day tickets from Plaistow and Bromley-by-Bow brought hundreds to Rainham. In 1921 the South West Ham and Rainham Smallholders association was formed. (fn. 55) At first all meetings were held in West Ham, but by 1939 it was a purely Rainham society; in 1936 it became the Rainham Smallholders and Horticultural society, and in 1938 the Rainham Horticultural society. Building on the Brights and Parsonage estate was carried out by individual owners at random; there was no sewer and none of the roads was made up. (fn. 56) In 1944 the Greater London Plan recommended that the land should soon be returned to market-gardening, for which it was particularly suited. (fn. 57) The Brights and Parsonage estate association, formed to fight this proposal, was successful, and the estate was removed from the proposed Green belt. (fn. 58)
In 1958 the association, expanded as the Rainham Residents association, campaigned for the tidying-up of the parish: 21 roads were still unmade in 1961, the Brights and Parsonage Estate was still without a sewer and Rainham was being used as a dump for silt and refuse. (fn. 59) Again the association was successful: a sewer system was begun c. 1960, and the roads were at last paved by 1972. (fn. 60) Between 1961 and 1968 the Port of London Authority filled 200 a. marsh in Rainham and Wennington with 9 million tons of dredged spoil, raising the level of the land by 15 ft. It then leased from the Ministry of Defence 250 a. marsh in the two parishes, lying immediately north, and began to fill this also. (fn. 61)
In 1902 a cemetery (2 a.) was consecrated on Upminister Road North, east of the later Allen Road. (fn. 62) The Jewish Federation cemetery, dedicated in 1938, contains some 48 a. within its wall and more land outside. (fn. 63) By 1891 the South Essex Waterworks Co. had a main pipe in the village. (fn. 64) Street lamps lit by oil were replaced by 3 gas lamps in 1914. (fn. 65) A volunteer fire brigade of 12 men was formed in 1904; a fire station was built at the corner of Parkway and Upminster Road South in 1914; and in 1933 the brigade replaced its hand-cart with a motor-driven fireengine. In 1936 Hornchurch brigade took over from the Rainham brigade. (fn. 66)
The Rainham Literary society was founded in 1879. (fn. 67) It established in 1883 a Workmen's institute and reading room, which continued until 1933, when it was absorbed by Essex county libraries. In 1967 the county library moved from Upminster Road South to its present site in Broadway. (fn. 68)
Rainham Working Men's club was founded in 1921, and Rainham Social club and institute in 1928. (fn. 69) In 1962 a social centre, later enlarged, was built at Chandler's Corner by Hornchurch U.D.C. to replace a hut built by the Horticultural society in 1950. (fn. 70) Rainham Civic society was formed in 1970. (fn. 71)
Rainham was the first known centre of coursing in Essex. The first recorded meeting was held there in 1845, and coursing continued intermittently until the marshes were sold in 1906 to the War Office. (fn. 72) The Essex Union hunt still met at Rainham in the 1950s. (fn. 73) Berwick pond provides good coarse fishing from the Abbey Wood park (9 a.) to its south. (fn. 74) Chafford school, Lambs Lane, provides a dual use sports complex, completed in 1975, with a swimming pool and sports hall. (fn. 75) Rainham had an association football team in the 19th century; Rainham Town football club was formed in 1945 and in 1948 the club's new ground at Deri Park was opened. (fn. 76) Cricket used to be played in a field north of Upminster Road South until the construction of New Road in the 1920s; the Rainham team now plays in Spring Farm recreation ground, Lambs Lane. (fn. 77)
MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
There were four manors in Rainham in 1086. (fn. 78) Haghebern held ½ hide which may have become the later manor of Launders. Hugh (de Montfort) held of Bishop Odo 4 hides, later South Hall. Robert, probably Robert Vaizey, held of Robert Gernon 4½ hides, later Berwick. Walter of Douai held in demesne 8½ hides, which became the manor of Rainham.
The manor of RAINHAM apparently lay in the west of the parish. Most of Walter's manor had been held in 1066 by Lefstan the reeve, who had 8 hides; 3 free men held the rest. (fn. 79) The manor, which formed part of the honor of Bampton, descended from Walter of Douai (d. c. 1107) to his son Robert of Bampton (fl. 1136) and to Robert's daughter Gillian. She married William Paynel (d. c. 1165) and later Warin de la Haule (d. c. 1176). (fn. 80) In 1176 Rainham belonged to Gillian's son, Fulk Paynel. (fn. 81) He was apparently in financial difficulties from the first. In 1185 he fled the country, and his lands, including Rainham, passed into the King's hand. (fn. 82) When they were restored in 1199, Rainham and its advowson were no longer among them. They had been taken into the king's hand late in 1176, (fn. 83) and the manor, but not the advowson, had passed, apparently in 1179–80, to Gilbert de Vere; Gilbert gave most of it to the Knights Hospitallers when he entered the order. (fn. 84) About 1190 he gave the last virgate, in the tenure of Robert at Elms, to St. Bartholomew's hospital (Lond.); that tenement, the exact location of which is not known, was later called Elmhouse. (fn. 85) Gilbert also gave to Buckland priory (Som.) £5 a year from the manor, which was still being paid in 1535. (fn. 86)
Rainham manor was valued in 1274 at 10 marks. (fn. 87) In 1299 the Hospitallers leased it for life, at a nominal rent, to Joan (d. c. 1312) widow of Robert de Grey, (fn. 88) and between 1335 and 1341 were selling annuities secured in part by its revenues. (fn. 89) The manor remained with the Hospitallers until the Dissolution, being joined to Berwick, with which it subsequently descended. (fn. 90)
The site of the manor-house is not known; it was probably near the church. Gilbert de Vere (d. ante 1203) built a chapel in his courtyard, and was authorized by the abbot of Lesnes (Kent) to hold services in it. (fn. 91)
Elmhouse comprised 50 a. in 1295. (fn. 92) It remained in the possession of St. Bartholomew's hospital until the Dissolution. (fn. 93) It apparently passed with Rainham and other manors to Sir Robert Southwell, who in 1559 devised it to his servant, Henry Nevill, for life and then to his son Henry Southwell. (fn. 94) When Ralph Stint died c. 1638 his lands included Elmhouse, also known by then as Ilfords or Normans. (fn. 95) In 1676 it was last recorded in the possession of Thomas Hoare of Great Ilford. (fn. 96)
Elmhouse was described c. 1200 as a house with 2 bedrooms and horse-stalls. Other buildings were a barn, ox-stalls, a brewhouse with oven, and a fowlhouse. (fn. 97) Nothing more is known of the farm-house or buildings.
The manor of BERWICK lay in the NW. of the parish. Before the Conquest it consisted of 3½ hides held by Aluard; in 1086 it was held in chief as 4½ hides by Robert Gernon. (fn. 98) The tenancy-in-chief subsequently descended like that of Battles Hall in Stapleford Abbots, and was last noticed in the mid 16th century. (fn. 99)
Robert Gernon's tenant in 1086 was Robert, probably Robert Vaizey who deprived Westminster Abbey of an estate at Wennington. (fn. 100) The Knights Templars held the manor in the 13th century and perhaps earlier. (fn. 101) The order was suppressed in 1308 and the manor taken into the king's hand. Between 1312 and 1314 Berwick was transferred to the Hospitallers. (fn. 102)
In the 14th century the manor was leased out, but in the 15th century it was retained for the prior's use, and by 1480 it had been imparked. (fn. 103) It remained with the Hospitallers until their dissolution in 1540. In 1545 Berwick was sold with Rainham and Moorhall manors to Sir Robert Southwell, Master of the Rolls (d. 1559), and his wife Margaret (d. 1575), who married secondly William Plumb. (fn. 104)
In 1575 Berwick and the other Rainham properties descended to Sir Robert and Lady Southwell's grandson, another Sir Robert Southwell (d. 1598), and then to his son Sir Thomas Southwell. (fn. 105) Sir Thomas conveyed it in 1618, with his other Rainham properties, to five prominent Londoners including William Freeman and Humphrey Slaney. (fn. 106) Humphrey's son, John Slaney, inherited Damyns farm in the NE. of the parish from his uncle John Slaney in 1632, and from that time Damyns descended separately. (fn. 107) The other Rainham lands went to William Freeman (d. 1623), from whom they descended in the direct line to his son, grandson, and great-grandson, all named Ralph Freeman. (fn. 108)
The last Ralph Freeman sold his Rainham estates c. 1709 to the Hon. George Finch (d. 1710 or 1711). (fn. 109) In 1710 they contained 1,546 a. (fn. 110) George Finch's son and heir William sold his Rainham estates to the Westminster brewer, Sir Thomas Crosse, Bt. (d. 1738). (fn. 111) Sir Thomas's son, Sir John Crosse, Bt., died without issue in 1762. He devised his estates to his widow Mary (d. 1770) for life; next, in tail male to his kinsman Peter Day (Crosse), who died without issue in 1779; and then, ignoring Peter Day Crosse's brother, to his wife's nephew, John Godsalve (Crosse) (d. 1793). (fn. 112)
Major John C. G. Crosse succeeded his father in 1793 and died in 1854. (fn. 113) In 1838 his Rainham estates had 1,541 a. (fn. 114) His son and heir, Henry G. G. Crosse (d. 1865), was followed by John T. G. Crosse (d. 1870), who was probably Henry's son. (fn. 115) The family estates were sold piecemeal at that period, and the family's landed connexion with Rainham ended in 1920 when Hector G. G. Crosse, John's son, sold the last 509 a. of the estate in 6 lots. (fn. 116)
The earliest manor-house may have stood north of the present Berwick House, but in the 15th and 16th centuries the Hospitallers' mansion was probably situated south of the present Berwick pond. (fn. 117) In 1536 the prior of the Hospital was at Berwick when he was summoned to aid in the suppression of the Pilgrimage of Grace. (fn. 118) The house was apparently demolished soon after the Dissolution, and c. 1575 only an avenue of trees leading north from the Upminster road remained. (fn. 119) Within the park there were then two lodges: North Lodge, later known as Rainham Lodge, and South Lodge or Berwick House. Another house stood on the site of Berwick Pond farm-house. Rainham Lodge was built in the 18th century as a three-storeyed, stuccoed building of 5 bays, given a slate roof in the 19th century. It was demolished in 1960. (fn. 120) Berwick House dates from the 17th century. It is a substantial timber-framed house with three-roomed plan. It was rendered and given new windows in the early 19th century, perhaps at the same time as a small symmetrically fronted stable-block was built to the SE. There are large modern additions on the north and east. (fn. 121) In 1960 the house became an old people's home; since 1970 it has been Berwick Manor country club. (fn. 122) Berwick Pond farm-house is a tall narrow-fronted house of the early 19th century with additions of c. 1900. (fn. 123)
In 1315 there was a chapel on Berwick manor. (fn. 124) It was still in use in 1535. when it was called 'the chapel of Our Lady of Berwick'. (fn. 125) It probably lay in the field north of Berwick House, where moulded masonry and medieval tiles have been found. (fn. 126)
The manor of GERPINS (or GERBEVILES), in the NE. of the parish, originated in free tenements held of the manors of North Ockendon. Rainham, and Southall. The manor took its name from the family of Jarpeville which was connected with Rainham from the end of the 12th century. When Laurence de Jarpeville died in 1297, he held an estate of some 185 a. in Rainham. (fn. 127) He was succeeded by his son William, whose son, another William (d. 1330), left Gerpins to his infant daughter, Joan de Jarpeville. (fn. 128) Joan possibly became the wife of Thomas de Bolyngton, and mother of Robert Bolyngton, who with his wife Isabel had a life-tenancy of Gerpins in the early 15th century. (fn. 129) Robert and Isabel Bolyngton were still alive in 1416, when Agnes, widow of Clement Symond, had the reversion to the estate. (fn. 130) She died c. 1433. (fn. 131) Katherine Byrt, who died in 1445 holding the manor, was probably her daughter and previously the wife of Richard Merston. (fn. 132) In 1462 a granddaughter of Agnes Symond had an interest in the manor. (fn. 133)
By 1472 Gerpins had apparently passed to Richard Pasmar (d. 1500) steward and surveyor of all the Hospitallers' lands in England. (fn. 134) It was styled a manor in 1507 when Pasmar's son and heir, Thomas, settled it on George Sutton and his wife Joan. (fn. 135) In 1510 they conveyed the manor with 160 a. to William Blount, Lord Mountjoy. (fn. 136) In 1514 Edward Jordan, a London goldsmith, devised Gerpins to his widow Alice for life and then to his daughters Elizabeth and Katherine; if neither had issue, the manor was to be sold. (fn. 137)
In 1551 Sir Thomas and Lady (Katherine) Moyle conveyed the remainder of Gerpins to William Austen and his wife Gillian, who were already holding the manor. (fn. 138) Austen died in 1558 or 1559, and in 1559 his widow conveyed Gerpins to John Lowen, a London draper, and his wife Joan. (fn. 139) Lowen died the same year, his widow in 1570 or 1571. (fn. 140) From them the manor descended to their son John (d. 1588 or 1589), and from him to his son Daniel (d. 1631). (fn. 141) When Daniel's son, John Lowen, D.C.L., made his will in 1672, he referred to his manor of Gerpins. (fn. 142) In 1685 its owner was his nephew, Daniel Gregory, a London printer. (fn. 143)
The ownership of Gerpins for most of the 18th century is unknown. Richard Gregory (d. 1729) and John Gregory (d. 1781) may have been owners. (fn. 144) From 1745 or earlier it was farmed by members of the Marden family, and in 1800 William Marden bought the manor from Mr. Baron who had been its owner from 1786. (fn. 145)
In 1807 Marden added to the estate Smoke Hall farm, NE. of Gerpins. (fn. 146) William Marden owned the estate, containing 211 a., in 1838. (fn. 147) He died in 1856, (fn. 148) and by 1858 the farm was rented to William Mitchell, a member of whose family was still at Gerpins in 1937. (fn. 149) By order of mortgagees, the Marden family in 1891 sold 120 a. of the estate, but not the house. (fn. 150) Estate and house were, however, offered together by James S. Vellacott in 1929. (fn. 151)
The ancient manor-house of Gerpins was moated and lay west of Gerpins Lane in an angle of the road. (fn. 152) It was surrounded by a brick wall of c. 1700, part of which survives. The house was probably demolished in the early 19th century when a new one was built on the opposite side of the road. (fn. 153) The later Gerpins House was demolished in the 1950s. (fn. 154)
The manor of LAUNDERS lay in the east of the parish. It may have been the 11th-century estate of ½ hide, held by a priest in 1066, and by Haghebern in 1086. (fn. 155) It was named from Richard de Landa, who in 1205 acquired a carucate of land in Rainham on marriage with Maud, daughter of Ralph de Arches (d. c. 1206). (fn. 156) Richard de Landa apparently died c. 1235, but in 1230 he had passed most, if not all, of his estates to Robert de Aundely, king's serieant, on Aundely's marriage with Richard's daughter Joan. (fn. 157) Aundely died in 1247 or 1248; in the latter year Joan de Aundely bought her freedom to marry as she would. (fn. 158)
In 1292 Nicholas Malemayns died holding five estates, including Launders, of which four had earlier been held by Richard de Landa and Robert de Aundely. (fn. 159) Malemayns' heir was his son (Sir) Nicholas Malemayns (d. 1349). (fn. 160) He was apparently holding Launders in 1346, but later that year it was held by Sir John de Staunton (d. c. 1355) as ¼ knight's fee. (fn. 161)
Thomas Young, who died between 1377 and 1385, held Launders along with Leventhorpes in Wennington. (fn. 162) Launders descended with Leventhorpes until 1566, when Richard Heard conveyed Leventhorpes to William Heard, while retaining Launders. (fn. 163) At his death in 1578 Richard Heard also owned Ayletts, a free tenement, held of South Hall manor, and lying north of Launders. He was succeeded by his infant grandson Richard Heard. (fn. 164) Richard still held Launders in 1598, but by 1621 it had passed to John Heard, probably his brother, who already held Leventhorpes. (fn. 165) The two manors again descended together at least until 1672. (fn. 166) They were probably separated soon after, in the partition of the Solme family's estates. By 1789 Launders had become part of the Berwick estate, in which it subsequently descended. (fn. 167) Nothing is known of the manor-house; it was probably near Launders Barn, which fell down in the 1950s. (fn. 168)
By 1790 Ayletts had been detached from Launders and was held by Sir James Esdaile of Upminster. (fn. 169) In 1819 it was bought, as a reputed manor with 157 a., by Sir Thomas Barrett-Lennard. (fn. 170) In the Second World War the farm was the site of a heavy antiaircraft battery and after the war it was occupied by gipsies. It was put up for sale, with 50 a., in 1965. Ayletts farm-house, which had been divided, dated from c. 1600, with additions in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was demolished in 1968. (fn. 171)
The manor of MOORHALL or LA MORE, which lay in the SE. of the parish, belonged in 1314 to the Knights Hospitallers. (fn. 172) Part of it, as Morland, may have been the subject of a dower dispute in 1198. (fn. 173) In 1333 the manor was leased to Thomas Kempe of Wennington for 5 years at £5 a year. (fn. 174) It subsequently descended with Berwick manor until 1860, when it was sold with 517 a., to Sir Thomas Barrett-Lennard, Bt. (fn. 175) Mr. W. Walter Vellacott became the tenant of the Barrett-Lennards in 1933, when the farm had 434 a. In the course of graveldigging there have been changes in the boundaries and area of the farm, which now comprises c. 500 a. and is owned by Mr. Vellacott and his son John. (fn. 176) Moor Hall farm-house is an early-19th-century building which was heightened and extended to the rear later in the century. There are some older garden walls and farm buildings to the north, and beyond them are indications of a former moated site.
The RECTORY manor or PARSONAGE FARM lay in the SW. of the parish between the Upminster road and the river Ingrebourne. In the 12th century it formed part of Rainham manor, but in c. 1178 the rectory was granted by Henry II to Lesnes abbey (Kent). (fn. 177) The rectory, which was valued at 25 marks in 1254 and £16 in 1291, remained in the possession of the abbey until its dissolution in 1525. (fn. 178) In 1526 Cardinal Wolsey received a grant of the rectory, leased it to George Ardyson for 30 years, and transferred the freehold to Cardinal College, Oxford. (fn. 179)
On Wolsey's fall the rectory was forfeit to the Crown. It was valued in 1535 at £6, and in 1545 was sold to Sir Robert and Lady Southwell. (fn. 180) It was part of their Rainham estate until 1618 when it was conveyed to five Londoners, including Humphrey Slaney. (fn. 181) Humphrey apparently was acting for his brother, John Slaney (d. 1632), at whose death various kinsmen received bequests from the Rainham properties: Moses Slaney got Jordans farm and Humphrey himself received Parsonage farm, the former rectory manor. (fn. 182) The rectory was valued at £45 in 1650, (fn. 183) and was separated from Jordans until 1714 when they were re-united, apparently in the hands of William Blackborne of Hornchurch. (fn. 184) Parsonage farm contained about 100 a. when it was leased by him in 1737. (fn. 185) He died c. 1760, and the farm passed to Levett Blackborne (d. 1781). (fn. 186) At Levett's death it was sold to the Crosse family of Berwick manor, who retained it until 1920. (fn. 187) It was then bought for development by Allen Ansell. (fn. 188) The rectorial tithes were commuted in 1838 for £230. (fn. 189)
The manor of SOUTH HALL, which lay in the SE. of the parish, contained 4 hides in the 11th century. It was held in 1066 by Alsi, a free man. In 1086 it was held in chief by Odo, bishop of Bayeux. (fn. 190) His tenant was Hugh, probably Hugh de Montfort, who was associated with Odo at Dover. (fn. 191) After Odo's disgrace some of his manors, including South Hall, were granted to William Peverel (d. c. 1132), and became the honor of Peverel of Dover, or Wrinstead, which again escheated to the Crown in 1147 or 1148. (fn. 192) The honor was in effect revived in 1336 when (Sir) John de Pulteney (d. 1349) was granted the reversion to the manor of Ospringe (Kent). (fn. 193) In 1345 Ospringe was recognized as the caput of the barony, and Pulteney's heirs succeeded to it in 1361 on the death of Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex. (fn. 194) The barony appears to have remained with the Pulteneys for a century, but by 1473 it had been taken into the king's hands. (fn. 195) From that time its dependant manors were once more held in chief. (fn. 196)
For much of the 13th century South Hall was held in demesne by the Cramavill family, which was apparently ruined by a sequence of minorities. Roger de Cramavill, who seems to have been holding the manor in 1204, was last mentioned in 1214. (fn. 197) His heir was Henry de Cramavill (1) a minor, who was, however, married and of age in 1219. (fn. 198) Henry (1) died, in debt to the Jews, before 1233 when the custody of his heir, Henry de Cramavill (II), was granted to Robert Passelewe, deputy-treasurer of England. (fn. 199) In 1267 Robert Waleraund, a royal justice, took over from the Jews rents from South Hall assigned by Henry de Cramavill (II). (fn. 200) Waleraund immediately treated the manor as his own, securing a grant of free warren in 1268. (fn. 201) Henry de Cramavill (II) died in 1269 or 1270, and in 1272 his son, Henry de Cramavill (III) formally granted the manor to Waleraund. (fn. 202)
Waleraund died in 1273, and his widow Maud held the manor until her death, which occurred before 1291. (fn. 203) In that year the custody of South Hall was granted to Guy Ferre because Waleraund's nephew and heir, another Robert Waleraund, was an idiot. (fn. 204) Robert and his younger brother John Waleraund, another idiot, had both died by 1308. (fn. 205) After a dispute Sir Alan de Plugenet, later Lord Plugenet, in 1309 persuaded the courts to accept, incorrectly, his right to the Waleraund inheritance, including South Hall. In 1322 he sub-infeudated the manor to Oliver de Plugenet. (fn. 206) Lord Plugenet died in 1325 and his sister and heir Joan Plugenet in 1327. (fn. 207) Oliver de Plugenet was also dead by 1329 when the king granted South Hall to his yeoman William Melchet, with reversion to Thomas de Weston, servant to Queen Isabel. (fn. 208) Weston soon bought Melchet out, and in 1333 defended his title to the manor against Richard de la Bere. (fn. 209) The outcome of that action is not known, but in 1335 (Sir) Walter of Cheshunt, another servant of Queen Isabel, was enfeoffed of the manor, and in 1337 Richard de la Bere released to Cheshunt all his claim to it. (fn. 210)
In 1343 the manor was settled jointly on Walter of Cheshunt and his wife Alice. (fn. 211) He died in 1344, and by 1346 she had married Sir John de Staunton, Queen Isabel's steward. (fn. 212) In 1347 Menaud of Cheshunt, son of Walter, surrendered all claim to the manor and it was settled jointly on Sir John de Staunton (d. c. 1355) and his wife Alice (d. 1364), with remainder to Sir John's heirs. (fn. 213)
Sir John's son and heir, Ralph de Staunton, did not hold South Hall long, for in 1375 it belonged to John Payn of London, armourer. In that year, just before his death, Payn settled the manor, together with Warley Franks in Great Warley, and the Bridge House lands in Upminster, on his wife Joan. (fn. 214) South Hall descended with Warley Franks until 1515. Between that year and 1518 John Godeston's heiresses sold their portions of the manor, which passed to feoffees who included Richard Nix, bishop of Norwich. (fn. 215) Nix was described as lord of the manor of South Hall in 1521, but it was probably already held for the benefit of the Bellamy family of Harrowon-the-Hill (Mdx.). (fn. 216) In 1548 William Bellamy (d. c. 1565) was lord. (fn. 217) His widow, with their son Richard, leased out part of it in 1568, and in 1576 Richard sold the whole manor to Anthony Radcliffe of London. (fn. 218)
Radcliffe (d. 1603) was succeeded by his son Edward Radcliffe, (fn. 219) and he before 1619 by Anthony Radcliffe, who sold South Hall in 1630 to Giles Fleming (d. 1633) and his son John (d. 1643). (fn. 220) By a family settlement of 1642 South Hall passed to John's younger brother Edmund (fl. 1654), and then to John's daughters, who sold South Hall in 1685 to Elizabeth Conaway, widow of an East India Company sea-captain. (fn. 221) The manor passed in succession to her son Robert Conaway, barrister of Gray's Inn, and her daughter Katherine Conaway. (fn. 222) Katherine went mad and the custody of the manor was granted to her cousin Mary Johnson, who was described as lady of the manor in 1721. (fn. 223) On Katherine's subsequent death South Hall was divided between Mary Johnson and another cousin, Frances Howland, each of whom sold her half of the manor to a different purchaser. (fn. 224) In the early 1750s the manor was united again by John Hopkins (d. 1772) of Bretons, Hornchurch. (fn. 225)
From Hopkins South Hall descended to his grandson, Benjamin Bond (Hopkins) (d. 1794), who died without sons. (fn. 226) The manor therefore passed to Hopkins's great-nephew John Hopkins Dare (d. 1805), (fn. 227) and descended with the manor of Theydon Bois until 1899 when the South Hall estate, comprising 167 a., was sold in two lots. (fn. 228) The manor apparently remained in the Hall-Dare family.
South Hall Farm is a house of hall and cross-wing plan, perhaps of the late 16th century. The principal fronts were encased in brick in the early 19th century when extensive new farm buildings were erected west of the house.