Havering-atte-Bower: Churches, schools and charities

Pages 22-25

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1978.

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The earliest references to the 'church of Havering' concern St. Andrew's, Hornchurch, which is treated elsewhere. (fn. 1) From the 13th century onwards, however, there were also, in Havering village, two chapels attached to the royal house. Both appear on a plan of 1578. (fn. 2) The smaller chapel, dedicated to St. Edward, fell down with the rest of the house about 1700. (fn. 3) It was probably identical with the chapel, of similar dimensions, built for Queen Eleanor in 1253–60, to replace an earlier one. (fn. 4) The larger chapel stood on the site of the present parish church of Havering. It probably originated as the king's chapel, to which there are references from 1201. (fn. 5) In 1274 Queen Eleanor, now lady of the manor of Havering, provided that in future Hornchurch priory, owner of the parish church of Hornchurch, should appoint the chaplain of Havering chapel and pay his stipend. (fn. 6) That arrangement, in conjunction with the other evidence, suggests that from the late 13th century St. Mary's chapel was used for public worship, while St. Edward's chapel continued to be reserved for the private use of the royal household.

St. Mary's chapel continued to be dependent on Hornchurch until the 18th century. From the 15th century, however, Havering paid chapel-rates to Romford, and buried its dead there. (fn. 7) By an arbitration award of 1529 Havering and Romford became virtually exempt from contributions to the repair of Hornchurch church, unless that had suffered catastrophic damage. (fn. 8) No similar concession was made by Romford in its demands on Havering, but in the early 17th century Havering began to withhold payment of Romford chapel-rates. (fn. 9) Havering's struggle for independence, which involved its civil as well as its ecclesiastical status, (fn. 10) gathered pace after the Civil War. In 1650 it was proposed that Havering, with Noak Hill, should become a separate parish. (fn. 11) That came to nothing, but Havering chapel was keeping separate registers of baptisms by 1657, of marriages by 1692, and of burials by 1699. (fn. 12)

As late as 1749 Romford vestry was still claiming chapel-rates from Havering. (fn. 13) It had won a series of lawsuits against Havering ratepayers, but seems at last to have tired of the struggle, (fn. 14) and from 1750 Havering was omitted from the list of wards in Romford side assessed to chapel-rate. (fn. 15)

Havering remained subordinate to Hornchurch until the 1780s, when a separate perpetual curacy was endowed. (fn. 16) The terms of the endowment also provided that Havering, unlike Hornchurch, should be subject to the bishop's jurisdiction. Havering thus became an independent parish, though its status was still puzzling lawyers in 1803. (fn. 17)

The chaplain of the public chapel of Havering continued to be appointed and paid by Hornchurch priory, and later by New College, Oxford, until the late 15th century, from which time the college seems usually to have delegated those functions to the vicar of Hornchurch, reserving the right to remove the chaplain. (fn. 18) In 1784 the advowson of the perpetual curacy was vested in John Heaton of Bedfords, who had contributed much of the endowment. (fn. 19) The advowson passed with Bedfords to Heaton's grandson Charles Heaton Ellis, who presented in 1834. (fn. 20) It was subsequently acquired by William Pemberton-Barnes (d. 1872) of the Hall, in whose family it remained until 1919, when the Misses Emily and Amy Pemberton-Barnes conveyed it to the Church Pastoral Aid Society. (fn. 21)

In the earlier 13th century the chaplain of the king's chapel of Havering was paid 50s. a year from the Exchequer. (fn. 22) In 1274 the stipend, to be paid by Hornchurch priory, was fixed at 46s. a year. (fn. 23) In c. 1355 the chaplain was receiving £5 6s. 8d. (fn. 24) By the early 17th century the stipend was £6 13s. 4d., paid out of the Hornchurch vicarage. (fn. 25) In 1645–6 the chaplain was receiving £50 a year from the impropriate rectory of West Ham, which had been sequestrated from its royalist owners. (fn. 26) That augmentation had lapsed by 1650, when the chaplain's only income was £20, allowed by the government out of the small tithes of Havering. (fn. 27) At the Restoration the stipend reverted to £6 13s. 4d., but in the 18th century, as no doubt earlier, it was supplemented by voluntary subscriptions. (fn. 28) In the 1780s the perpetual curacy was endowed with £1,000, producing about £80 a year, furnished by Queen Anne's Bounty with the aid of local contributions. (fn. 29) A further £7 10s. a year was to be paid by the vicar of Hornchurch in respect of the ancient stipend.

In Queen Eleanor's agreement with Hornchurch priory in 1274, already mentioned, it was provided that the chaplain of Havering should always dwell in the manor. (fn. 30) In 1322 Joan Stonard granted to Hugh of Latton, chaplain of Havering, a house abutting south on Havering Green. (fn. 31) In 1326 Latton conveyed the house to his successor to hold in free alms. (fn. 32) The chaplain's house was said in 1575 to be in great decay. (fn. 33) Substantial repairs were carried out by Thomas Mann, vicar of Hornchurch 1632–48, and by a later vicar in 1717. (fn. 34) In 1786 the parsonage was rebuilt, largely at John Heaton's expense. Henry Ward, vicar of Havering 1784–1834, enlarged and improved the house, (fn. 35) which is a plain yellow-brick building with a parapet to the front, standing in North Road opposite the Green.

The names of several chaplains of Havering occur between 1201 and 1272. (fn. 36) A few others are recorded in the 14th and 15th centuries. (fn. 37) From the late 16th century the list seems to be fairly complete. (fn. 38) Until 1784 the living was so poor that few chaplains stayed long. A notable exception was Mark Noble, who served for 30 years, in two separate periods, 1689–98 and 1721–42. (fn. 39) Henry Ward, presented in 1784, held the living for 50 years. (fn. 40) After 1818 he rarely resided, and employed an assistant curate, John Wiseman, 1819–34, who was also a local farmer. (fn. 41) Richard Faulkner, vicar 1834–73, was energetic, pugnacious, and controversial. (fn. 42) He enlarged the church and rebuilt the school.

The old parish church of ST. MARY, later of ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST, demolished in 1876, stood west of Havering Green, on the site of the present church. (fn. 43) The survival of a 12th-century font suggests that the chapel of St. Mary may have dated from that period. During Henry III's reign the king's chapel was often repaired and improved, but it is unlikely that much of the 13th-century structure survived after 1374–7, when the 'great chapel' was rebuilt at a cost of over £600. (fn. 44) In 1578 the chapel was 45 ft. long and 16½ ft. wide. There was a doorway on the north side leading to the 'great chamber' of the royal house, and another on the west leading to the other chambers behind. (fn. 45) As depicted in 1814 the church had a south doorway and a small western belfry, weatherboarded, with a shingled spire. (fn. 46) In 1818 it measured 56 ft. by 22½ ft. (fn. 47) It thus seems that between 1578 and the early 19th century it was lengthened, widened, and otherwise altered. The lengthening may be accounted for by the addition of the belfry, which in 1818 measured about 14 ft. by 19 ft. at the base. (fn. 48) Basil Champneys, who surveyed the church in 1874, thought it had been largely rebuilt in brick about 100 or 150 years earlier, but that the base of the tower was of heavy ancient masonry, indicating that a stone tower had been planned. (fn. 49) Another writer suggested that this masonry came from the ruins of the king's house, (fn. 50) and in general it is not unlikely that the reconstruction of the chapel was carried out in the early 18th century, to fit it better for parochial use after the house had become derelict. Repairs and alterations to the chapel were certainly in progress between 1705 and 1709, including the removal of the communion table to the east end. (fn. 51) The weatherboarding and shingles of the belfry were repaired in 1743. (fn. 52) A gallery was first mentioned in 1745. (fn. 53) Substantial repairs were carried out in 1808–11. (fn. 54) In 1836 the church was enlarged by the addition of a structurally separate chancel, and the gallery was rebuilt. (fn. 55)

A church organ was procured for the first time in 1856; before that the singing was accompanied by an orchestra. (fn. 56) A new organ, given in 1863, was transferred to the new church and served until 1902. (fn. 57) In 1552 the chapel had two small bells. (fn. 58) It was stated in 1608 that one bell had been taken away by a churchwarden during a dispute over his accounts. (fn. 59) Whether it was recovered is not clear, but in and after the late 18th century there was only one bell. (fn. 60) That was probably the one bought in 1725, which may have been recast from an earlier bell or bells. (fn. 61) It was removed to the new church, where it served until 1897. (fn. 62) The church plate all dated from the early 19th century. (fn. 63) The sepulchral monuments, which included several of the late 17th and 18th centuries, were also removed to the new church. The first burial in the chapelyard is said to have been in 1671. (fn. 64) The yard was then very small, but was enlarged in 1732, 1833, and 1878. (fn. 65)

The church of ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST, consecrated in 1878 on the site of St. Mary's, was designed by Basil Champneys in the Decorated style. (fn. 66) It is of brick, faced with flint, and comprises chancel, nave, north aisle, organ chamber and vestry, and an embattled south-west tower. Much of the brick came from the old church. The building cost £5,276, towards which the main subscribers were David McIntosh, lord of the manor of Havering, and Mrs. Pemberton-Barnes. During the Second World War the church was slightly damaged by bombing. (fn. 67)

The font, which dates from the late 12th century, has an octagonal bowl of Purbeck marble. (fn. 68) In 1836, after long disuse, it was replaced in St. Mary's church. (fn. 69) Its base, of Bath stone, was added when the font was removed to the new church. (fn. 70) A new two-manual and pedal organ was installed in 1902. (fn. 71) The peal of 6 bells, replacing the one old bell, was cast in 1897 by Warner & Son. (fn. 72) Three were given by Mrs. Charlotte McIntosh, one each by Mrs. Pemberton-Barnes, Mrs. Emily Matthews of the Bower House, and G. P. Hope of Havering Grange. The church plate includes a silver cup and two patens, all given by John Heaton in 1818, a silver flagon given by Mrs. Pemberton-Barnes in 1897, and a silver spoon of 1847. (fn. 73)

Among monuments (fn. 74) brought from the old church are two of marble, to John Baynes (d. 1737), serjeant-at-law, and Sir John Smith-Burges, Bt. (d. 1790), both occupiers of the Bower House. (fn. 75) A marble slab on the north side of the chancel arch commemorates Collinson Hall (d. 1880), the agriculturalist. It includes the mourning figure of Agriculture, a harvest scene, and a steam plough. There are several gravestones to the Cheekes of Pyrgo, 1688–1712, which were once in the private chapel at Pyrgo, from which they were removed to Havering chapel about 1770. (fn. 76)

Calvary mission church, Firbank Road, was opened in 1940. (fn. 77) It was a wooden building erected with the aid of contributions from Miss Pemberton-Barnes, to serve the northern part of Collier Row. It was closed in 1954, and was succeeded by St. James's church, Collier Row. (fn. 78)


None known.


Dame Tipping Church of England primary school, North Road. (fn. 79) In 1724 Ann, Lady Tipping of Pyrgo (d. 1728) built a free school for 20 poor children on Havering Green. (fn. 80) By her will she endowed it with an annuity of £10 charged on Pyrgo Park. (fn. 81) In 1771 the schoolmaster was the curate. (fn. 82) By 1808 the school was ruinous and had closed. (fn. 83) It remained so until 1818 when it was pulled down and a new school was built in North Road from accumulated funds. (fn. 84) In 1833 the school had 21 boys and 16 girls. Michael Field of Pyrgo Park clothed the 20 charity children, and provided their books. (fn. 85) The new school was badly built, and in 1837 it was replaced, on the same site, by a National school for 60 children, provided by subscriptions, and grants from the government and the National Society. (fn. 86) At that period a few Havering children had free places at St. Edward's National school, Romford. (fn. 87) In 1874 a class for 25 infants was opened in a cottage on the Green. It moved in 1881 to a new classroom in the National school. In 1891 the school was rebuilt for 112. Under a Board of Education order of 1905 half Lady Tipping's annuity became payable to the local education authority; the other half was to be retained by the school managers. (fn. 88) The school was reorganized in 1936 for mixed juniors and infants. (fn. 89) In 1953 it was awarded Controlled status by Essex county council. (fn. 90) In 1964, when the teacher's house was sold, it was said that the annuity had not been paid for many years. (fn. 91) Since 1965 the school has been administered by Havering L.B.C.


Joachim Matthews of Gobions in Romford, by will proved 1659, gave 20 marks to each of the five wards of Romford side. (fn. 92) The charity did not become effective until 1687, when Havering received £20 as its share of the capital and interest. The money was placed on bond with Edward Cheeke (d. 1707) of Pyrgo, whose heirs continued to pay interest on it at least until 1747, and probably until 1778. By 1787 payments had ceased, and there is no evidence that they were resumed.

Lady Tipping's gift for the school is treated elsewhere. (fn. 93)


  • 1. See p. 46.
  • 2. A. W. Clapham and W. H. Godfrey, Some famous buildings and their story, 149; E.R.O., T/M 229 (photo of map in Cecil MSS.).
  • 3. H. M. Colvin, King's Works, ii. 959; Newcourt, Repertorium, ii. 338; Smith, Havering, 146, 153.
  • 4. Cal. Lib. R. 1245–51, 372; Colvin, King's Works, ii. 957.
  • 5. Pipe R. 1201 (P.R.S. N.S. xiv), 58; Colvin, King's Works, ii. 956–7; Cal. Lib. 1245–51, 372; ibid. 1251–60, 119. Some references distinguish the 'upper' and 'lower' chapels.
  • 6. Horn. Docs. no. 200.
  • 7. E.R.O., T/A 521/1 (Romford vestry mins.), reverse f. 15; Smith, Havering, 217.
  • 8. New Coll. MS. 4592.
  • 9. Smith, op. cit. 220 sqq.
  • 10. See also p. 22.
  • 11. Smith, Eccl. Hist. Essex, 249–51, 348.
  • 12. Smith, Havering, 156.
  • 13. E.R.O., T/A 521/1, 27 Mar. 1749.
  • 14. Smith, Havering, 151, 220 sqq.; E.R.O., T/Z 13/59.
  • 15. E.R.O., T/A 521/1, 28 Sept. 1750.
  • 16. Smith, op. cit. 160–1; New Coll. MS. 3424; Ch. Com. Offices, Q.A.B. Mins. 1782–6, pp. 144–6.
  • 17. E.R.O., T/P 71/2 (Hornchurch v. Romford church rate case).
  • 18. Smith, Havering, 147–8, 153; Hist. Essex by Gent. iv. 315.
  • 19. New Coll. MS. 3424.
  • 20. Smith, Havering, 191–2.
  • 21. Inf. from C.P.A.S.: H. Smith, op. cit. 192, states that it was left to the C.P.A.S. by the will of W. H. Pemberton-Barnes.
  • 22. Pipe R. 1202 (P.R.S. N.S. xv), 257; Cal. Lib. 1245–51, 136.
  • 23. Horn. Docs. no. 200.
  • 24. New Coll. MS. 9744, f. 186.
  • 25. Smith, Havering, 152–3.
  • 26. Ibid.
  • 27. Ibid. 155.
  • 28. Hist. Essex by Gent. iv. 315.
  • 29. Ogborne, Essex, 107; Ch. Com. Offices, Q.A.B. Mins. 1782–6, pp. 144–6; Smith, Havering, 160–1.
  • 30. Cal. Pat. 1281–92, 378.
  • 31. Horn. Docs. no. 422.
  • 32. Ibid. 423.
  • 33. Smith, Havering, 150.
  • 34. Ibid. 153, 159; E.R.O., D/P 64/8/1.
  • 35. Smith, op. cit. 160.
  • 36. Ogborne, Essex, 107; Lysons, Lond. iv. 184 n.
  • 37. Pipe R. 1201 (P. R. S. N.S. xiv), 58; Rot. Litt. Claus. (Rec. Com.), ii. 48; Horn. Docs. no. 155; Cal. Lib. 1245–51, 138; ibid. 1251–60, 364, 533; ibid. 1260–7, 101; Close R. 1268– 72, 519.
  • 38. Horn. Docs. nos. 422–3; C.C.L., J. L. Fisher, 'Essex Incumbents', f. 200–1; E.R.O., D/DU 102/28, m. 12d.
  • 39. Smith, Havering, 193–210. There is no list for Havering in Newcourt, Repertorium.
  • 40. Smith, op. cit. 201.
  • 41. Ibid. 204. Wiseman had previously been lecturer at Romford.
  • 42. Smith, op. cit. 204–7.
  • 43. See plate facing p. 17. The original dedication, to St. Mary, was used in Havering at least until 1836: Cal. Close R. 1259–61, 61; Smith, op. cit. 168, 248. Salmon, Essex (1740), 244, gave the dedication as St. John, and was followed by later county historians. That dedication had apparently been adopted locally by 1847: Ch. Plate Essex, 13.
  • 44. Colvin, King's Works, ii. 956–9.
  • 45. E.R.O., T/M 229.
  • 46. Ogborne, Essex, 105.
  • 47. Smith, Havering, 158.
  • 48. Ibid.; cf. 172.
  • 49. Ibid. 156, cf. 171.
  • 50. Ibid. 157.
  • 51. E.R.O., D/P 64/8/1: 19 Jly. 1705; 20 Oct. 1707; 27 Sept. 1709.
  • 52. Ibid. 5 Apr. 1743.
  • 53. E.R.O., D/P 64/5/1.
  • 54. Smith, Havering, 163.
  • 55. Ibid. 166–8, 192 (illus.); photographs of the old church (interior and exterior) in the present church of St. John.
  • 56. Smith, op. cit. 169.
  • 57. Ibid.
  • 58. Ch. Bells Essex, 289.
  • 59. E.R. li. 148.
  • 60. Hist. Essex by Gent. iv. 315; Ogborne, Essex, 105; Smith, op. cit. 176.
  • 61. Smith, ibid.
  • 62. Ibid.
  • 63. Ch. Plate Essex, 13.
  • 64. Smith, Havering, 156.
  • 65. Ibid. 159, 161–2, 175, 183–90.
  • 66. Ibid. 173–5; E.R.O., D/CF 15/3 (Faculty); E.R.O., D/P 64/6/1A (Specification).
  • 67. C.C.L., Bp. Inskip's Recs. iii. 67; inscription in east window.
  • 68. R.C.H.M. Essex, ii. 126.
  • 69. Smith, op. cit. 145, 168.
  • 70. Ibid. 145.
  • 71. Ibid. 177.
  • 72. Ibid. 176–7; Ch. Bells Essex, 288–9.
  • 73. Ch. Plate Essex, 13.
  • 74. For the monuments: Smith, op. cit. 179–83; cf. Ogborne, Essex, 105–6.
  • 75. Smith, op. cit. 127, 130. For Sir J. Smith-Burges see also V.C.H. Essex, vi. 14.
  • 76. Hist. Essex by Gent. iv. 316.
  • 77. C.C.L., Bp. Inskip's Recs., ii. 128.
  • 78. Inf. from Mr. W. S. Moore of Collier Row, who has a photograph of the mission church. For St. James's church see below, p. 87.
  • 79. Unless otherwise stated this account is based on Smith, Havering, 229–38.
  • 80. Ogborne, Essex, 108; Hist. Essex by Gent. iv. 315; E.R.O., Q/HM 1.
  • 81. Rep. Com. Char. [1087], p. 723 (1837–8), xxv (1); Smith, Havering, 229.
  • 82. Hist. Essex by Gent. iv. 315–16.
  • 83. E.R.O., D/AEM 2/4.
  • 84. Rep. Com. Char. (1837–8), p. 723; Smith, Havering, 232, 234.
  • 85. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, H.C. 62, p. 278 (1835), xli; Rep. Com. Char. (1837–8), p. 723.
  • 86. Essex Standard, 30 June 1837.
  • 87. White's Dir. Essex (1848), 380.
  • 88. Ed. 49/2123.
  • 89. Inf. from Essex Educ. Dept.
  • 90. E.R.O., C/ME 47, p. 254.
  • 91. Char. Com. Files.
  • 92. Smith, Havering, 245–7; see below, p. 97.
  • 93. See above.