A History of the County of Essex: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1978.
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All the manors in Hornchurch were subject to the manor of Havering. (fn. 1) The manors of HORNCHURCH HALL and SUTTONS formed the original endowment of Hornchurch priory, made by Henry II in two grants early in his reign. (fn. 2) One charter, probably of 1158, gave the priory land in Havering worth £25. (fn. 3) That was later known as Suttons, which lay about a mile south of Hornchurch village. (fn. 4) By the second charter, of the same date or a little later, the king endowed the priory with the church of Havering [i.e. Hornchurch] and its appurtenances. The priory itself was built on the north side of the church. (fn. 5) The rectorial glebe, around the church, became the nucleus of the manor of Hornchurch Hall.
During the 13th century the priory also acquired the manors of Newbury, at Havering, and Risebridge, at Romford. It also acquired various smaller properties at Hornchurch, of which the most important was a ¼ virgate, lying south of Bretons, which in the earlier 13th century had belonged to Osbert de la Beme, from whose family it was known as Beme (or Beam) Land. In 1249 Osbert's daughter Beatrice, and her husband Thomas Gernet, granted Beam Land in fee to John Waleys. (fn. 6) It later passed to Robert Waleys, John's brother, who about 1260 granted it to Richard of Havering. (fn. 7) In 1270, or shortly before, Richard Elms (de Ulmis), who was probably identical with Richard of Havering, granted the tenement to Hornchurch priory. (fn. 8)
On the dissolution of the priory in 1391 all its Hornchurch estates were bought by William of Wykeham, bishop of Winchester, as part of his endowment of New College, Oxford. (fn. 9) In the 16th century the manor of Newbury was conveyed to the king and was merged in Pyrgo Park. The other estates remained with the college. (fn. 10) Hornchurch Hall, which was in effect a rectory manor, was from the 14th century usually leased along with the great tithes. (fn. 11) In 1663 its demesne comprised 306 a., of which 184 a. lay around the church and the remainder in scattered parcels elsewhere. (fn. 12) Suttons comprised 379 a., and Beam Land 58a. Including Risebridge (90 a.) and two fields near Wybridge (6 a.), the college then held 840 a. in Hornchurch. In 1846–9 New College's estates in the parish comprised 930 a., of which the largest parts were Hornchurch Hall (280 a.), and Suttons (406 a.). (fn. 13)
Hornchurch Hall was leased in the later 16th and earlier 17th century by the Legatt family, (fn. 14) in the later 17th century by the Thorowgoods, (fn. 15) and in the earlier 18th century by the notorious John Ward. (fn. 16) In the earlier 19th century it was for many years leased by the Bearblocks. (fn. 17)
New College sold Beam Land to Romford U.D.C. in 1895. (fn. 18) During the First World War part of Suttons was used as a military airfield. (fn. 19) After the war it was returned to farm use, but in 1924 the Air Ministry bought 129 a. of the farm and re-opened the airfield. (fn. 20) The college sold more of Suttons to the Air Ministry in 1931, smaller parts to Romford poor-law union (1922, 1929), Essex county council (1932–3) and Mrs. J. W. Standon (1930), and the last part to Mr. R. W. Beard in 1934. (fn. 21) They sold all the Hornchurch Hall land for development between 1927 and 1931. (fn. 22) Part of it was bought by Hornchurch U.D.C. for the Village recreation ground. Among several other purchasers were the British Land Co. and Mr. R. W. Beard.
The manor-houses of Suttons and Hornchurch Hall both occupied medieval sites. Suttons was extended between 1397 and 1400, when New College built a new kitchen and carried out repairs. (fn. 23) In 1917 the house was said to be entirely modern. (fn. 24) The last farmer, Thomas Crawford, occupied it until c. 1933. (fn. 25) It was later demolished. Hornchurch Hall, known before the 16th century as the Rectory, stood in High Street, opposite the church, and immediately west of the Vicarage. It was probably part of Hornchurch priory. When the Vicarage was built, between 1399 and 1400, it was divided from the Rectory by a wall. (fn. 26) In c. 1923 Hornchurch Hall was described as a 16th-century house with a 17th century chimney and a large modern addition on the south front. (fn. 27) Other evidence suggests that the south front was built in the later 18th or the earlier 19th century. (fn. 28) The house was damaged by bombing in 1940, and was demolished in 1941. (fn. 29)
The manor of BRETONS or DANIELS or PORTER'S FEE lay beside the Beam river, about 2 miles south-west of Hornchurch village. It probably took its first name from the Breton family, which lived at Hornchurch from the 12th century to the 14th. (fn. 30) Daniels and Porters seem to have been originally separate tenements, also named from families, which became attached to Bretons. (fn. 31) Daniels was held along with Bretons by 1446, but Porter's fee was still separate in the later 15th century. (fn. 32) William de Northtoft of Finchingfield, who was holding Bretons in 1355, was said to have acquired it from Richard de Stamyngden. (fn. 33) In that year John de Cokefield and William Spalding unsuccessfully conspired to gain possession of the manor by force, and by fabricating evidence to show that Northtoft was an illicit coiner. (fn. 34) In 1361 Northtoft conveyed Bretons to William Buckingham, chaplain, probably in trust. (fn. 35) The manor was later held by John Newmarche, from whom it passed by successive convey ances, to Richard de Batheleye, to John Bredeford, and then, in 1373, to William, son of Geoffrey Chisleden. (fn. 36)
Sir Richard Arundel (d. 1419), was holding the manors of Bretons, Baldwins (Lee Gardens), and Mardyke in 1417, when he made his will before going to France with the army of Henry V. (fn. 37) He devised Bretons to his wife Alice for life, but after his death his executors were involved in a long struggle for possession of the manor against Joan, daughter of Sir John Newenton and widow of Roger Swinnerton. (fn. 38) She had inherited the manor of Redden Court. Her title to Bretons is not clear, but she may well have vindicated it, for in 1446, shortly after her death, the manor was conveyed to Thomas Scargill by trustees including Richard Newenton, presumably a relative of Joan. (fn. 39) Scargill was also holding Daniels by 1446. (fn. 40) He died in 1476, having directed that if his daughter died without heirs the manor should be sold. (fn. 41)
In 1501 Christopher Throckmorton conveyed Bretons to William Ayloffe (d. 1517), in whose family it remained for about 150 years. (fn. 42) Sir Benjamin Ayloffe, Bt., a prominent royalist during the Civil War, sold Bretons to meet the costs of sequestration imposed upon him by Parliament. (fn. 43) The purchaser was John Winniffe, who was holding the manor by 1659. (fn. 44) Winniffe soon sold Bretons to John Austen, alderman of London, from whom it descended to his son of the same name. (fn. 45) John Austen the younger was holding the manor in 1720. It was stated in that year that the entail had been cut, and that after Austen's death Bretons would pass to another family. (fn. 46) By 1742 the owner was John Hopkins, who also held Redden Court. (fn. 47) He died in 1772, leaving both manors to John Dare. (fn. 48) Bretons descended like Redden Court until 1858, when parts of the Hall-Dare estate were sold. (fn. 49) Bretons remained in the possession of the Hall-Dares until 1869, when it was bought by Romford local board for use as a sewage farm. (fn. 50) In 1976 the farm was being developed by Havering L.B.C. as a youth centre and sports ground.
The earliest surviving buildings at Bretons are the walls of a 16th-century barn, which formerly had a roof of nine bays, and other buildings south-east of the house. (fn. 51) Associated with these is some garden walling with bee boles, and the original house may have stood in the same area. The present house is of late-17th-century origin, and has some panelling and a fine main staircase of that date. It was much reconstructed by John Hopkins in the mid 18th century, when the external walling was rebuilt, most of the rooms were panelled, and the staircase was extended to the second floor, which was probably added then. (fn. 52) About the same time the walled garden was enlarged and the forecourt of the house was enclosed by a clairvoyée with central gates.
The manor of DOVERS or NEWHALL was beside the river Ingrebourne, opposite Rainham village. It was built up in the earlier 13th century by Richard of Dover, yeoman in the service of Robert Passelewe, deputy treasurer of England. (fn. 53) In 1235 Adam le Moigne and Agnes his wife, William Gilbert and Denise his wife, conveyed to Richard of Dover in fee a virgate of land, 7 a. meadow, and a mill in Havering. (fn. 54) This property was possibly identical with the virgate and mill said to have been given to Dover by Sir Hamon Passelewe, brother of Robert, in marriage with Hamon's daughter Alice. (fn. 55) Passelewe's relationship to the le Moignes and the Gilberts is not clear. Perhaps he had been their tenant. In 1247 Henry III confirmed to Richard of Dover 2 5/12 virgates and a water-mill, which Dover held of the king, ¼ virgate which Geoffrey Gernet once held, 95 a. new purpresture, and two fleets of water: the Mardyke (Beam) and Haveringsheth (Ingrebourne). (fn. 56) Richard of Dover, who also acquired Gooshayes in Romford, died in or before 1254. (fn. 57) The wardship of his young son John was given to Sir William of St. Armine. (fn. 58)
John of Dover died in or before 1299, leaving Newhall, so named for the first time, to John his son. (fn. 59) The latter died in 1334 leaving Newhall to his brother Philip (d. 1335), whose heir was his young son Richard of Dover. (fn. 60) Richard of Dover seems to have been the last of his line at Newhall. In c. 1355 the manor was held by Richard of Sutton, who had married Dover's widow Agnes. (fn. 61) By 1377 it had passed to Ralph Tyle. (fn. 62) In 1388 Tyle conveyed the manor to John Fresshe, mercer of London, who died holding Dovers, so named, in 1399. (fn. 63) Fresshe's trustees still held the manor in 1409, but it passed by 1412 to William Waldern, also a London mercer, and later to his widow, Margaret (d. 1428). (fn. 64) Richard Waldern, William's son, succeeded Margaret, and held Dovers until his death in 1454.
Richard Waldern left as coheirs his sisters Elizabeth, Joan, Eleanor, and Margaret. (fn. 65) One of them probably died without issue, for the youngest, Margaret, later wife of John Brewster, conveyed a third of the manor to Avery Cornburgh (d. 1487). (fn. 66) Cornburgh, who also held Gooshayes in Romford, left as heirs his sister Agnes Chambre and his nephew John Crafford. His third of Dovers evidently passed to Crafford. (fn. 67) The descent of the other two thirds after 1454 is not clear. In 1519 one third was settled on John Rodys and his wife Margaret. (fn. 68) The Craffords probably acquired the whole of the manor. Thomas Crafford (d. 1508) left a widow Alice, who was holding Dovers in 1510. (fn. 69) Richard Crafford (d. 1544) was probably Alice's heir. (fn. 70) Another Richard Crafford, and his wife Anne, who were holding Dovers in 1572, conveyed it in 1596 to Peter Collett, a London merchant. (fn. 71)
Collett (d. 1607) was succeeded by his daughters, Hester wife of Sir Anthony Aucher, and Sara wife of Sir Peter Hayman. (fn. 72) Mrs. Elizabeth de la Fontaine brought Hester's half of the manor in 1612, and in 1614 she also acquired an 80-year lease of Sara's half. (fn. 73) Mrs. de la Fontaine or one of her successors seems to have redeemed the lease, and by 1684 or earlier the whole manor was passing as freehold. In 1649 Dovers comprised about 350 a. (fn. 74) Mrs. de la Fontaine was apparently dead by then. The manor passed to Sir Erasmus de la Fontaine (d. 1672) whose executors sold it in 1684 to Robert Cowley (d. 1694). (fn. 75) At that period the manorial rights included quitrents from some 40 tenants, waifs and strays, fishing and fowling. (fn. 76) Robert Cowley devised the manor to his wife Grace (d. 1720). Under her will, and a previous settlement, the manorial rights and Great Dovers farm passed to her son Edmund Cowley, while Little Dovers farm, 104 a., passed to her grandson Robert Nash. (fn. 77)
The manorial rights and Great Dovers descended to Edmund Cowley's daughter Elizabeth, who in 1741 married the Revd. Thomas Durnford. Little Dovers passed on the death of Robert Nash (1752) to his brother James, who in 1769 bought the manorial rights and Great Dovers from Durnford. James Nash (d. 1786) was succeeded by his daughters Mary and Martha. Mary Nash, who outlived her sister and inherited the whole estate, died in 1797, leaving it to the Revd. Thomas Durnford the younger, son of the previous Thomas. In 1798 Durnford sold Dovers to Thomas Page (d. 1815). Page left it to his niece Ann Bayley, who in 1816 married Richard Reynolds. In 1849 Reynolds's Dovers estate comprised 298 a. (fn. 78) In 1862, after his death, it was put up for sale. (fn. 79) It was subsequently acquired by Edward Blewitt, who occupied Dovers c. 1870–95, and then let the farm to John Poupart. (fn. 80) The Poupart family later bought the freehold and held it until 1937, when Dovers, by then reduced to 69 a., was put up for sale after the death of Alfred Poupart. (fn. 81) The farm-house and grounds were bought in 1938 by the Roman Catholics as the site of the church of Our Lady of La Salette. (fn. 82)
The ancient manor-house of Dovers stood within a moat, part of which still survived in 1976, east of Rainham Road. (fn. 83) It was depicted in 1649 and c. 1750 as a substantial house with a central gabled porch. (fn. 84) In the 17th and 18th centuries it was called Great Dovers to distinguish it from Little Dovers, which had been built west of the road. (fn. 85) By 1849 the old manor-house had been demolished, and Little Dovers had been renamed Great Dovers. (fn. 86) In 1862 Great Dovers was said to be a 'modern built gentlemanly residence.' (fn. 87) In 1938 it became the Roman Catholic presbytery, and a 19th-century brick barn adjoining served as the temporary church. (fn. 88) The presbytery was rebuilt in 1968, but the barn still survived in 1976 as a church hall. (fn. 89)
The tenement or manor of GOBYONS or GUBBINS lay south of the Romford-Brentwood road, in and around Gubbins Lane, Harold Wood. It must be distinguished from Gobions or Uphavering (fn. 90) and from a house called Gobions on the east side of Collier Row common, though it probably took its name from the same family, Gobion. In 1507 the tenement of Gobyons was conveyed by Richard Fisher to Robert Matthew, and then by Matthew to William Fisher. (fn. 91) In 1517 Richard Fisher conveyed to Robert Matthew an unnamed tenement of some 200 a., including 10 a. marsh. (fn. 92) Robert Matthew, whose will was proved in 1542, was holding the manor of Gobyons when he died. (fn. 93) The manor was later held by Thomas Legatt (d. 1549), and descended to his son Thomas (d. 1556), (fn. 94) who also held Dagenhams in Romford. (fn. 95) In c. 1618 Gubbins was held by John Legatt, a younger son of the same family. (fn. 96)
Gubbins later passed in succession to the families of Bulkeley and Gould. (fn. 97) John Gould, who held it about the middle of the 18th century, was succeeded as owner by Thomas Hill (d. 1781). (fn. 98) Hill left a life interest in Gubbins, then a farm of 180 a., to his housekeeper, Mrs. Elizabeth Bayley, commonly called Hill (d. 1784). After her death it passed to Hill's niece Ursula (d. 1816) wife of William Perkins. In 1819 Mrs. Perkins's children sold the farm to Richard Reynolds, who had recently acquired Dovers by marriage to Ann Bayley. Whether Ann was related to Elizabeth Bayley is not clear. Reynolds owned and occupied Gubbins, comprising 169 a., for many years. (fn. 99) In 1862, after his death, it was put up for sale. (fn. 100) The farm-house, then called Great Gub bins, was on the site of the present Harold Wood hospital, but most of the fields lay east of Gubbins Lane. In 1866 most of the farm was bought by a group of developers, who proposed to lay out there the new town of Harold Wood. (fn. 101) The Eastern Counties railway (1840) had cut the farm in half. Harold Wood station was opened at that point in 1868. (fn. 102) Development was much slower than intended, however, and much of Harold Wood remained farmland until after the First World War. In 1877 the estate was bought by John Compton of Aldgate (Lond.), a retired Army tailor. (fn. 103) He and his successor, Henry Compton, lived at Harold Wood c. 1880–94. (fn. 104)
The manor-house of Gubbins was sufficiently important to be named on a county map in 1594. (fn. 105) It was probably the house, with 16 hearths, occupied in 1670 by John Grosvenor. (fn. 106) It seems to have been demolished early in the 18th century; according to a later description it was a large building with turrets at the corners 'in the ancient style'. (fn. 107) The farm-house which replaced it was in turn succeeded by the Grange, a large red-brick house built in 1884 by John Compton, which is now part of the hospital. (fn. 108)
The manor of LEE GARDENS, formerly BALDWINS, was on the east side of Wingletye Lane. (fn. 109) It must be distinguished from (Great) Gardens at Squirrels Heath. (fn. 110) Baldwins was named after a family recorded in the parish from the 13th century. (fn. 111) Sir Richard Arundel (d. 1419) devised Baldwins in trust to be sold to pay the balance of the purchase price of his manor of Mardyke. (fn. 112) Baldwins was said in 1446 to have belonged formerly to Ralph Uphavering. (fn. 113) In 1455 John Gobion conveyed it to Stephen Wylet and Joan his wife. (fn. 114) It was later held by William Malle, whose son Robert conveyed it in 1572 to John Legatt (d. 1607), who later bought Redden Court. (fn. 115) Legatt's heir was his son Thomas (d. 1623). (fn. 116)
In or about 1626 Thomas Legatt, probably son of the previous Thomas, conveyed Lee Gardens, by then so called, to William Hudson of Gray's Inn (Mdx.). (fn. 117) It was conveyed by Hudson in 1630 to William Harrison of London, and by Harrison in 1635 to Sir Henry St. George, also of London, who appears to have been related by marriage to the Legatts. (fn. 118) In 1649 Thomas St. George sold it to Christopher Hoddesdon (d. 1660). (fn. 119) Hoddesdon's son and heir, also named Christopher, appears to have died some time after 1669. Under a settlement made by him in 1666 Martha, wife of Cecil Fihers and sister of Christopher Hoddesdon the younger, eventually succeeded to a life interest in Lee Gardens. She was still living in 1709, but apparently died without issue in or before 1714. (fn. 120) She apparently sold her life-interest to George Lewis, a painter.
After Mrs. Fisher's death there was for some years confusion concerning the ownership. The settlement of 1666 had created successive remainders, in tail male, to Richard Langhorne and his brother Thomas, who were apparently Mrs. Fisher's cousins. Richard Langhorne had been attainted and executed in 1679 for alleged complicity in the 'Popish plot.' (fn. 121) That seemed to give the Crown a claim on the estate, but it was eventually proved that Richard Langhorne's property had been restored to his family by the Crown in 1679. Meanwhile, however, George Lewis had kept control of the estate, claiming that he had a life interest in it. He was challenged by Richard Langhorne, eldest surviving son of Thomas, and in 1732 an agreement was reached over the ownership of Lee Gardens. Langhorne was to have half the property immediately, and the reversion, on Lewis's death, of the other half. In 1735 Richard Langhorne sold his interest in the estate to John Hopkins, later surnamed Probyn.
In 1747 John Probyn sold it to William Dawson. At that time part of Lee Gardens was occupied by John Higgs, under a 21-year lease granted in 1733, and part by George Lewis. (fn. 122) The Higgs family later acquired the freehold of the estate, and appear to have held it until c. 1815. (fn. 123) In 1849 Lee Gardens was owned by the trustees of William Leverton, and occupied by John Mitchell. (fn. 124) Mitchell remained there until 1869, when the farm, then 112 a., was bought by Thomas Woodfine. (fn. 125) In c. 1908 Lee Gardens, owned by Mrs. Woodfine, was being worked as part of the neighbouring Lilliputs farm. (fn. 126) In 1919 it was put up for sale as an estate of 167 a. (fn. 127) Part of it was subsequently developed for housing in Wingletye Lane, Lee Gardens Avenue, and neighbouring roads, and later in Rayburn Avenue. After the Second World War Hornchurch grammar school was also built on the farm-lands, but a few fields to the south of it were still being cultivated in 1976.
In 1594 Lee Gardens was shown on a county map, and listed as 'a proper house.' (fn. 128) In 1771 it was said to have been 'once a remarkable place', and that the house was newly built. (fn. 129) It was then a gentleman's residence, occupied by Capt. Joseph O'Hara. (fn. 130) When Thomas Woodfine bought the farm in 1869 he found the house beyond repair, and therefore demolished it. (fn. 131) A small new farm-house, built c. 1890, survived in 1919, but was later demolished. (fn. 132)
The manor of MARDYKE lay on the edge of the marshes, about ½ mile south of Dagenham bridge. It originated in ½ virgate of land which, early in the 13th century, Gillian daughter of Ellis carried in marriage to William of Mardyke. (fn. 133) About 1240 William and Gillian leased it for 40 years to Reynold Rous. (fn. 134) Rous later sold the lease to Richard Elms, to whom, about the same time, William and Gillian of Mardyke granted the ½ virgate in fee. (fn. 135) Elms was holding it in 1250–1. (fn. 136) By c. 1300 it had passed to Richard of Barking. (fn. 137) In c. 1355 Mardyke was held by Joan Vaud, widow of William atte Tey. (fn. 138) It subsequently escheated to Queen Philippa, who granted it for life to Joan St. Leir, with reversion, confirmed in 1367, to Joan's daughter Mary St. Leir, the queen's damsel. (fn. 139) Mary St. Leir was confirmed in possession of the manor on 1391. (fn. 140) In or shortly before 1414 Mardyke was bought from William Pomfret by Sir Richard Arundel (d. 1419), who also held Bretons and Baldwins. (fn. 141) Arundel left Mardyke for life to Katherine Kirketon, with remainder to his wife for life. His executors appear to have sold the manor in 1438 to Thomas Rawley. (fn. 142)
In 1515 Richard Dryland and Joan his wife conveyed Mardyke to Guy Myrfyn. (fn. 143) The manor was subsequently acquired by Sir James Harvey (d. 1583), ironmonger and lord mayor of London, from whom it passed to his son Sir Sebastian Harvey (d. 1621), also ironmonger and lord mayor. (fn. 144) Sir Sebastian was succeeded by his brother James Harvey (d. 1627), who left Mardyke to his younger son Samuel. (fn. 145) In 1652 the manor was mortgaged to William Denis of London by John Harvey of Wangey in Dagenham, and John Harvey of Lincoln's Inn (Mdx.), who were probably Samuel's brother and son respectively. (fn. 146) Denis eventually foreclosed, and later sold the manor to Simon Rogers, merchant tailor of London; Rogers in 1662 sold Mardyke, comprising 140 a. and a mill, to Mary Rudstone. (fn. 147)
In or soon after 1702 the manor was bought by Mary (d. 1713), widow of John Fanshawe (d. 1699) of Parsloes in Dagenham. (fn. 148) She left it to her son Thomas Fanshawe, who in 1734 sold it to Robert Tyler (d. 1757). (fn. 149) Robert was succeeded by his nephew John Tyler (d. 1775), whose heir was his own nephew John Tyler (d. 1807). In 1823 John Tyler, son and heir of the last named, conveyed his interest in Mardyke to his nephew, another John Tyler. In 1849 the farm, comprising 177 a., was put up for sale by the last John Tyler, and seems to have been divided among at least four purchasers. (fn. 150) Perhaps as a result of that sale the southern portion was made into a new farm called Little Mardyke. (fn. 151) In 1918 Mardyke farm comprised 122 a. and Little Mardyke farm 72 a. (fn. 152) Much of Mardyke farm has since been dug for gravel or used for housing. (fn. 153) The tower blocks of the Mardyke housing estate, built in the 1960s, occupy part of the farm-land, at the western end of Frederick Road.
Mardyke, the seat of (Sir) Sebastian Harvey, was an important house in 1594. (fn. 154) There is no suggestion that any of that building survived in Mardyke farmhouse which was demolished before 1966. (fn. 155)
The manor of MAYLARDS GREEN and WYBRIDGE was about a mile south-west of Hornchurch village. It comprised two ancient tenements, lying respectively north and south of Bowles brook, also called Wybridge river, a tributary of the river Beam. (fn. 156) The name Maylards was corrupted in the 19th century to Maylands, a form preserved in Maylands Avenue, Elm Park. It must be distinguished from Drywoods in the Lane or Maylands, in Wingletye Lane (formerly Hay Street). (fn. 157) Maylands was probably named from the Maylour family, which was recorded in Hornchurch in the 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 158)
Wybridge must be distinguished from Whybridge or Rands, which lay farther south, on the edge of Hornchurch marsh. (fn. 159) The name Wybridge, or Bowlesbridge, was probably used first for an ancient bridge over Bowles brook, but by the 13th century was being applied to the area through which the brook flowed. (fn. 160) Its survival as a manorial name seems to have been due to its association with a family called Wybridge. In 1237 Hornchurch priory quitclaimed to Walter of Wybridge ½ virgate of land in Hornchurch, in return for which he granted the priory 25 a. at Wybridge. (fn. 161) The 25 a. lay south of Bowles brook and east of Abbs Cross Lane. It comprised several small fields, one of which was known as 'Bowle Brooke' as late as 1663. (fn. 162) Early in the 13th century the priory also acquired a four-acre grove called Waterbrook, which lay on the Dagenham boundary, north of the confluence of Bowles brook and Beam river. (fn. 163) This land was beside the grove of Walter of Wybridge on the north, between Dagenham and the public way towards Walter's gate. The abuttals suggest that Walter's house was on or near the site of the later Wybridge Farm. Waterbrook was later known as Wybridge mead. (fn. 164) Walter of Wybridge died in 1251, holding three tenements within the manor of Havering, of 1 virgate, ¼ virgate, and 1/8 virgate. (fn. 165) Nicholas (fl. 1315), son of John Wybridge, was Walter's descendant in blood and title. (fn. 166) In c. 1355 John, son of Richard Wybridge held 1 virgate, ⅓ virgate, and 1/8 virgate, representing a total of 155 a. (fn. 167)
Sir Anthony Browne (d. 1567) appears to have been holding the manor of Maylards and Wybridge at his death, for in the same year his widow, and John Fowler, conveyed it to Robert Charnock and William Fawkener. (fn. 168) William Pennant, who occupied Maylards, died in 1594. (fn. 169) In c. 1618 Peerce Pennant was the owner of Maylards, but Wybridge was in the possession of William Sterne. (fn. 170) By 1659 Maylards had passed to (Sir) James Rushout (Bt.) (d. 1698), who was succeeded by his son Sir James Rushout, Bt. (d. 1711). (fn. 171) Elizabeth (d. 1733), daughter of the second Sir James, carried the manor in marriage to (Sir) Paulet St. John (Bt.) of Dogmersfield (Hants). (fn. 172) After her death Maylards was sold to John Bamber, M.D. (d. 1753). (fn. 173) It subsequently descended like Bifrons in Barking to the Gascoynes, and then to the Gascoyne-Cecils, marquesses of Salisbury. (fn. 174) By 1799 the estate again included Wybridge as well as Maylards. (fn. 175) In 1849 Maylards farm comprised 165 a., and Wybridge farm 276 a. (fn. 176) Both farms survived until the Elm Park area was developed after the First World War. (fn. 177) The farmhouses have been demolished. Maylards, which in 1594 was an important house, (fn. 178) stood near the present boating lakes in Harrow Lodge park. It had 17 hearths in 1670. (fn. 179) Wybridge, which stood in Upper Rainham Road, dated from the 16th century. (fn. 180)
The manor of NELMES, formerly ELMS or TYLLE, lay about a mile north-east of Hornchurch village. It took its name from the family of Elms (de Ulmis) which was prominent and widespread in Hornchurch during the 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 181) In 1250–1 Richard Elms held 8 separate tenements totalling over 2½ virgates, i.e. some 300 a. (fn. 182) About 1355 William Elms held an estate of 235 a. (fn. 183) Thomas Tyle succeeded to the messuage or manor of Elms or Tylle on the death of his father Nicholas in 1433. (fn. 184) In 1491 the manor was settled on Thomas Herde and his wife Elizabeth. (fn. 185) In 1499 Richard Herde appears to have conveyed Nelmes to William Lawrence of London. (fn. 186) In 1514 Lawrence conveyed it to Thomas Otley, a London grocer, but by 1515 the manor had come into the possession of William Wakerfield, a London brewer, and his wife Elizabeth, who in 1517 sold it to (Sir) William Roche. (fn. 187) At that period there was much litigation concerning Nelmes, involving Lawrence, Otley, the Wakerfields, and Roche. (fn. 188)
Sir William Roche, who became lord mayor of London, died in 1549 holding the manors of Gobions, in Romford, and Nelmes. (fn. 189) The two manors descended together (fn. 190) until the 1620s, when Thomas Roche sold Nelmes to Sir Robert Naunton. (fn. 191) Naunton, master of the Court of Wards and a former Secretary of State, died in March 1635 leaving Nelmes for life to his wife Penelope, with remainder to his brother William. (fn. 192) William Naunton died in July 1635, leaving Robert as his son and heir. (fn. 193) Lady Naunton was still living in 1646. (fn. 194) As a royalist she was then in financial difficulties, and about that time Nelmes was sold to the Witherings family. Thomas Witherings, postmaster of Great Britain, died in 1651 on his way to worship in Hornchurch church. (fn. 195) His nephew and heir William Witherings was holding Nelmes in 1659, (fn. 196) and was living at Hornchurch in 1662 and 1670. (fn. 197)
Sir Godfrey Webster (d. 1720) left Nelmes to his son Sir Thomas Webster, Bt., of Copped Hall, Epping. (fn. 198) The Websters had been living at Nelmes at least as early as 1700. (fn. 199) Sir Thomas (d. 1751) was succeeded at Nelmes by his younger son (Sir) Godfrey Webster (Bt.) (d. 1780). (fn. 200) Sir Godfrey Webster, Bt., son of the latter, sold Nelmes in 1781 to the trustees of the will of Richard Newman, who were evidently acting for Newman's grandson and heir, Richard Harding, later Newman. (fn. 201) Richard Harding Newman, a notable huntsman who also held the manor of Romford or Mawneys, was succeeded on his death in 1808 by his son Thomas H. Newman (d. 1856). (fn. 202) In 1849 T. H. Newman's Hornchurch estate comprised 573 a. (fn. 203) His son and heir was the Revd. Dr. Thomas H. Newman (d. 1882), fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford. Dr. Newman's heir was his nephew Benjamin H. Newman, who sold the southern part of the estate in 1895 for development as the Emerson Park estate. (fn. 204) In 1901 the northern part of Nelmes, including the manor-house, was put up for sale, and development began there also. (fn. 205) The house, with a garden of about 3 a., was bought c. 1903 by Alfred Barber, who sold it in 1925 to John H. Platford. (fn. 206) On J. H. Platford's death in 1966 it passed to his nephew Mr. Roy Platford, who demolished it in 1967. (fn. 207)
Nelmes house, Nelmes Way, was timber-framed, with an east wing, originally a single-storeyed hall, built in the 16th century. (fn. 208) Later in the 16th century the hall was subdivided and a chimney-stack was inserted in the east wall, probably by John Roche, who inherited the manor in 1549 and held it for about 40 years. He was living at Nelmes in 1594, when it was listed as an important house. (fn. 209) In the 17th century it was extended to the north, and a kitchen wing, later demolished, was built to the east. Those improvements were probably completed by c. 1650, when Nelmes was said to be in good repair, with many conveniences lately added. (fn. 210) Nelmes had 15 hearths in 1670. (fn. 211) The south front was re-faced c. 1720. Further additions were made in the 19th and 20th centuries. The main staircase, dating from the late 17th century, was lavishly panelled and carved. (fn. 212)
A former out-building of Nelmes, about 100 yd. SW., survived in 1976 as part of a house called Capel Nelmes, in Sylvan Avenue. The brick range on the north side of this house is thought to be of the 16th century, extensively remodelled. (fn. 213) It was converted into a dwelling c. 1870. (fn. 214) Early in the present century Christian Jensen enlarged the house and inserted in the east range a 17th-century staircase taken from Nelmes. (fn. 215) Further extensions were carried out in 1939 by Mr. P. Bates, to the designs of Reginald Ross. (fn. 216)
A red-brick tower in the garden of no. 3, Sylvan Avenue, is thought to date from the 17th century, and to be part of a conduit house supplying Nelmes. A water conduit certainly existed c. 1650. (fn. 217)
The manor of REDDEN COURT extended west from the river Ingrebourne, on both sides of Squirrels Heath Road, Harold Wood. It originated in a tenement which William the Fleming held in 1212 by serjeanty of finding reeds for the king's chamber at Havering. (fn. 218) This suggests that Redden here means 'growing with reeds'. (fn. 219) Henry III granted the tenement, then 120 a., in 1235 to William of Havering, and in 1246 confirmed it in the possession of William's son Richard. (fn. 220) By 1274 it seems to have passed to Richard of Havering's widow Lucy. (fn. 221) It remained in the same family until 1380, when Sir Richard of Havering sold it to Sir John Newenton. (fn. 222) In 1413 the 'manor of Reden', so styled for the first time, was held by Newenton's daughter Joan, widow of Roger Swinnerton. (fn. 223) Joan, elsewhere described as heir to her brother Thomas Newenton, held the manor until her death in 1445. (fn. 224)
In 1469 Redden Court was acquired by Sir Thomas Cooke, and thus became part of the Gidea Hall estate. (fn. 225) It was still part of Gidea Hall when Sir Anthony Cooke died in 1604, (fn. 226) but was subsequently sold to John Legatt (d. 1607), who left Redden Court and Lee Gardens to his son Thomas. (fn. 227) Thomas Legatt sold Redden Court to William Comyns in 1612. (fn. 228) The Comyns family were still living in the district in 1662. (fn. 229) In 1710–20 Redden Court was apparently held by John Evered and Jane his wife. (fn. 230) It was later bought by John Hopkins (d. 1732), who was succeeded by his nephew John Hopkins (d. 1772), who also bought Bretons. (fn. 231) Redden Court and Bretons descended together like the manor of Theydon Bois (fn. 232) until 1857, when parts of the Hall-Dare family's estate were put up for sale. At the time of the sale Redden Court comprised two farms: Old Redden Court, with 109 a., stood north of Squirrels Heath Road, and New Redden Court, with 142 a., was on the south side. (fn. 233) The manor was bought in 1858 by Alfred Douglas Hamilton. (fn. 234) In 1894 Hamilton put up for sale Old Redden Court, with 106 a. (fn. 235) It was stated c. 1908 that the manor of Redden Court had been held until recently by Adam Roper. (fn. 236) Both Old and New Redden Court farms were developed for building between the two world wars.
The ancient manor-house of Redden Court stood c. 1618 south of Squirrels Heath Road, on the site occupied in 1976 by Redden Court school. (fn. 237) It was possibly the house with 10 hearths listed in Harold Wood ward in 1662. (fn. 238) By 1777 the old house was apparently called Readnalls, and the name Redden Court had been transferred to a smaller house, built since c. 1618, on the north side of Squirrels Heath Road. (fn. 239) In the 19th century the smaller house was called Old Redden Court, and the larger one, on the ancient site, was called New Redden Court. (fn. 240) About 1900 New Redden Court was enlarged and partly refronted, and in 1906 the older part of it was rebuilt. (fn. 241) It was demolished before 1939, when Redden Court school was completed. Old Redden Court, which probably dated from the late 17th or the early 18th century, was demolished c. 1954, and the site was developed as Court Close. (fn. 242)
The manor of WHYBRIDGE or RANDS was at south Hornchurch, about a mile east of Mardyke. (fn. 243) Whybridge probably took its name from the Wybridge family, which in the 13th and 14th centuries held several tenements in Hornchurch. (fn. 244) It must be distinguished from Wybridge adjoining Maylards, farther north. (fn. 245) In c. 1355 Jordan Wych held a tenement of 168 a. (fn. 246) This was probably Whybridge, the past owners of which, as mentioned in 15th-century documents, included Jordan Wych and Hugh Wych. (fn. 247) Before 1455 Whybridge was split into four, no doubt between coheirs, but in that year all the quarters were acquired by John Rand, from whose family the manor took its second name. (fn. 248)
John Rand also held Beredens in Cranham, (fn. 249) and both manors descended to (Sir) William Rand, who in 1523 sold them to William Roche. (fn. 250) In the same year Roche sold Whybridge, then 276 a., to John Knapp, brewer. (fn. 251) Knapp, by his will proved in 1526, devised Whybridge to his daughter Margaret Kirkeby. (fn. 252) In 1559 John Bedell conveyed the manor to John Coker. (fn. 253) It later passed to Edmund Butt, from whom it descended in 1577 to his daughter Audrey. (fn. 254) In 1616 Whybridge was held by Sir William Ayloffe, Bt., of Bretons, who had bought it from Robert Tyte and William Butt. (fn. 255) Sir Benjamin Ayloffe, Bt., son of Sir William, sold the manor in 1627 to George Thorowgood, draper of London. (fn. 256) Edward Thorowgood, merchant, was holding Whybridge by 1659 and at least until 1670. (fn. 257) Stephen Thorowgood sold the manor in 1699 to Robert Hammond, the mortgagee. (fn. 258)
Robert Hammond, by his will proved in 1704, left Whybridge for life to his grandson-in-law Christopher Crowe, with reversion to his right heirs. (fn. 259) In 1719 the manor was settled on Joseph Newdick and Mary his wife, and Thomas Fowler and Anne his wife. (fn. 260) Mary and Anne appear to have been sisters, and they, or their husbands, were coheirs to the estate. (fn. 261) Thomas Fowler was dead by 1744, when Joseph Newdick, who was a London fletcher, bought the reversion of the half of the manor held by Mary Fowler. (fn. 262) Joseph Newdick (d. 1762) was succeeded by his son Henry (d. 1771) a London wax-chandler. (fn. 263) Henry's son and heir, Joseph Baden Newdick, sold Whybridge in 1786 to his brother-in-law Christopher Tyler, whose family appear to have been tenants of the manor at least since 1737. (fn. 264) Tyler, who was a prominent local figure, died in 1830. (fn. 265) In 1849 Whybridge (312 a.) was owned by Harriet Tyler. (fn. 266) The Mashiters, who then occupied the farm, were related by marriage to the Tylers, and probably succeeded to the ownership of Whybridge, as well as other property, in the later 19th century. (fn. 267) Farming continued there until the 1930s, when the farm was cut up for development. (fn. 268) The house, which was then demolished, had probably been built in the 18th century. (fn. 269) In the 1860s trotting races were held in Whybridge Park. (fn. 270) The site has been used for houses in Hubert and Nelson Roads.