Ilford, Great (St. Mary)

ILFORD, GREAT (St. Mary), an ecclesiastical parish, in the union of Romford, hundred of Becontree, S. division of Essex, 8 miles (N. E. by E.) from London, on the road to Chelmsford, containing 3742 inhabitants. This place, until 1830 a chapelry in the parish of Barking, is pleasantly situated on the eastern bank of the river Roden: the village has one principal street, containing several good houses, and here is a station on the line of the Eastern Counties railway, which passes on the north in its course to Romford. A pleasure-fair is held in July, on the site of the wellknown Fairlop Oak, in Hainault Forest; and the pettysessions for the division are held in the village every Saturday. The living is a vicarage, in the patronage of All Souls College, Oxford; net income, £430. The church was erected in 1831, at an expense of £3521, and is a handsome structure in the later English style, with a square embattled tower surmounted by a spire. In the reign of Stephen, the abbess of Barking founded an hospital at Ilford for thirteen lepers: the present buildings, occupying three sides of a small quadrangular area, are appropriated to six poor persons, and contain also an ancient chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, which has been improved and repaired. In a field behind Valentines House, a stone coffin was found in 1724, containing a human skeleton; and in 1746, an urn filled with burnt bones. Various fossil remains, in a high state of preservation, have been discovered in a brickfield.—See Barking.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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