Main Births etc
Coordinates: 51°33′23″N 0°12′46″E / 51.556503, 0.212812
Langtons house london.jpg
Langtons House

Hornchurch is located in Greater London

 Hornchurch shown within Greater London
Population 25,470 (Hacton and St Andrew's wards 2007)[1]
OS grid reference TQ535865
    - Charing Cross 15.2 mi (24.5 km)  WSW
London borough Havering
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district RM11, RM12
Dialling code 01708
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Hornchurch and Upminster
London Assembly Havering and Redbridge
List of places: UK • England • London

Hornchurch is a large suburban town in England, and part of the London Borough of Havering. Hornchurch is located 15.2 miles (24.5 km) east-northeast of Charing Cross and is one of the locally important district centres identified in the London Plan.[2] It comprises a number of shopping streets and a large residential area. It historically formed a large ancient parish in the county of Essex that became the liberty of Havering. The economic history of Hornchurch is underpinned by a shift away from agriculture to other industries and the growing significance of nearby Romford as a market town and centre of administration. As part of the suburban growth of London in the 20th century, Hornchurch significantly expanded and increased in population, becoming an urban district in 1926 and has formed part of Greater London since 1965.[3] It is the location of Queen's Theatre and Havering Sixth Form College.



Hornchurch (parish) population
1881 2,824
1891 3,841
1901 6,402
1911 9,461
1921 10,891
1931 28,417
1941 war #
1951 79,908
1961 131,014
# no census was held due to war
source: UK census[4]

Hornchurch is an Anglicised version of the Latin Monasterium Cornutum, a term that was also applied to the mother Abbey in Savoy. The earliest recorded use here was in 1222, meaning "church with horn-like gables" and it was recorded as "Hornechurch" in 1233. The horned bull's head mounted on the eastern end of St Andrew's Church, near the town centre dates from much later, around the 18th Century.

Havering liberty in 1881. (1. Romford, 2. Havering-atte-Bower, 3. Hornchurch)


In the Anglian Ice Age, 450,000 ago, the ice sheet reached The Dell, just south of St Andrew's Church in Hornchurch, the farthest south any ice sheet reached in Britain. Hornchurch Cutting is a Site of Special Scientific Interest just north of St Andrews Park which exhibits the geology.[5][6]

Stone Age tools, Bronze age and Iron age artefacts have been discovered in Hornchurch, indicating a lengthy occupation in pre-history. Roman remains, sufficient to indicate a settlement have also been found in South Hornchurch.[7] Hornchurch originates from around the 12th century when Henry II gave 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) to the hospice of St Nicholas and St Bernard, Mountjoux, in Savoy as a gift.[7] A prosperous priory and church were established in Hornchurch, near the parish church, but the monks were forced out during the 14th century when a new law banned foreign land ownership. The lands were then given to Lord Chancellor William of Wykeham who made major renovations to the church. He subsequently gave Hornchurch to endow New College, Oxford, which still owns all the local church lands and buildings. Due to this, Saint Andrew's Church was not adopted into the Diocese of Chelmsford until agreement was reached in the 1930s. The parish remains staffed by a vicar temporal and his curates.

Local government[]

Historically, the parish was conterminous with the Royal Manor and Liberty of Havering-atte-Bower,[8] with Hornchurch village - then known as Suttons Manor, located in the south of the area. From the time of Edward the Confessor, the land was in royal ownership - passing to William the Conqueror at the conquest. In 1086, the name Havering was applied to the entire district.[7] Hornchurch Urban District was formed in 1926 from part of Romford Rural District. In 1934 it was enlarged to include Upminster, Cranham, and North Ockendon although none are today considered part of Hornchurch. The council offices were located at Langtons until 1965 when the present-day London Borough of Havering was formed.

Modern history[]

Queen's Theatre

During both the First World War and Second World War nearby Hornchurch Airfield was an important RAF station; it was known as RAF Suttons Farm during the Great War, with its HQ as far away as Upminster Hall. During the Second World War, the airfield was known as RAF Hornchurch, and was home mostly to a number of Spitfire squadrons, with an advanced sub-station at Rayleigh. The land has since been reused for a large housing development and Hornchurch Country Park. Like most suburbs of London, Hornchurch had been entirely rural until the arrival of the railway which spurred huge property development during the early 1900s. Whole estates were constructed such as Emerson Park to the north. Development was fuelled further by the arrival of the electrified District Line during the 1930s with inter and post war housing developments south and west of Hornchurch in places such as Elm Park.


The town forms part of the Hornchurch UK Parliament constituency.


The River Ingrebourne forms the boundary with Upminster to the east. Hornchurch borders Romford to the north west and Rainham to the south.


The Havering committee area for Hornchurch is defined as the wards of Hacton and St Andrew's.[9]

Due to the status of Hornchurch as a "Commuter town", it has a large population that commute to London each day to work. As a result, the town is above the UK average for GDP per capita, and has a large number of people with professional degrees living in the area.


Hornchurch is identified in the London Plan as a local district centre with 31,000 square metres (330,000 sq ft) of commercial floorspace.[2] It is not considered a significant commercial office location.[2] Within Havering, it is identified as one of seven town centres in the borough,[10] with a retail area extending along High Street, North Street and Station Lane.[11]


Fairkytes Arts Centre

There are no stations in central Hornchurch, but four stations are located within the town; Upminster Bridge tube station is located just within its eastern boundary, Hornchurch tube station is located about a half-mile south of the high street, Elm Park tube station is about a mile and a half to the south west and Emerson Park railway station is located about a half-mile to the north. The nearest main line railway station is at Upminster.

Hornchurch is served by the following Transport for London contracted London Bus routes: 165, 193, 248, 252, 256, 365, 370 and 372.


Hornchurch Drum & Trumpet Corps Boys marching band formed in 1959 and perform all over the country. They were the first winners of the National British Marching Band Championships in 1976 and performed at the Edinburgh Tattoo in 1977.


A.F.C. Hornchurch is the local football team, formed to replace Hornchurch F.C. with Havering Hockey Club (formerly Hornchurch Hockey Club) accommodating the field hockey fixtures from their Harrow Lodge Park base.

In terms of top level sport, West Ham United are considered the local side due to the club's proximity to Hornchurch and the ease of reaching Upton Park on the District Line.


The local music service is Havering Music School located on Winglety Lane

See also[]

  • List of people from Havering
  • List of schools in Havering


  1. ^ "Mid-2007 Population Estimates for 2007 Wards in England". Office for National Statistics. 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Mayor of London (May 2006). "The London Plan: East London Sub Regional Development Framework". Greater London Authority. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  3. ^ Young, K. & Garside, P., (1982). Metropolitan London: Politics and Urban Change 1837-1981. 
  4. ^ Vision of Britain - Hornchurch population. Retrieved on 6 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Geology Site Account, Hornchurch Railway Cutting". The Essex Field Club. Retrieved 2012-06-03. 
  6. ^ "Geology Site Account, The Dell". The Essex Field Club. Retrieved 2012-06-03. 
  7. ^ a b c Hornchurch: Introduction, A History of the County of Essex: Volume 7 (1978), pp. 25-31. accessed: 10 June 2008
  8. ^ Vision of Britain - Havering atte Bower liberty
  9. ^ Hornchurch Area Committee (2009). "Hornchurch Area Committee (Hacton and St. Andrew’s Wards) Agenda". Havering London Borough Council. 
  10. ^ "Town centre management". Havering London Borough Council. 14 October 2008. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  11. ^ "Havering UDP: District Centres (schedule 7)". Havering London Borough Council. March 1993. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 

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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Hornchurch. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.