Nostalgia: It’s the only Wingletye in the world – what does it mean?

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 February 2013 | UPDATED: 15:09 21 February 2013

Prof Ged Martin

Prof Ged Martin


»Wingletye Lane is a mile long, and it’s unique. You won’t find another Wingletye anywhere in the world. Google it and see!

But where was Wingletye and what did the name mean?

The “tye” is the easy part. It was widely used in Essex to indicate a small piece of common land, a broad roadside green. Where was Wingle Tye?

Nowadays Wingletye Lane runs north from Hornchurch through Emerson Park to the Southend Arterial Road.

But until the 1920s, it bent round to the west, heading for Squirrels Heath Road, and was half a mile longer.

The Tye was located between Prospect Road and the Campion School.


It’s not there any more because the Arterial Road was driven straight through it 90 years ago.

The “orphaned” western section of the old Wingletye Lane became Redden Court Road. A 19th century map marks “Wingletye Hill” just to the north, confirming the location. But what does the strange name mean?

Names of towns and villages, like Romford and Hornchurch, were frequently recorded, and were copied from official documents.

But more local names were written down only rarely, and clerks usually had to rely on yokels for the pronunciation.

In 1641, just as Charles I and Parliament were shaping up for England’s Civil War, a “yeoman” called James Hammond who lived at Doddinghurst, near Brentwood, struck a deal with a group of Hornchurch men over a small farm at Hadley Green.

Hadley Green is now Ardleigh Green. Hammond had inherited the property from his brother-in-law, William Payne, a Romford innholder, who had probably bought it as an investment.

The sale document gives us a glimpse of rural Ardleigh Green – an orchard, and fields called Littlecroft, Uppershephards and Lowershephards.

The next property was called Rydden Court. The boundaries refer to a highway from Hadley Green to Wyndlety.


This was probably the track winding through the fields, later straightened out to become Cecil Avenue.

A strange fragment of it survives. Opposite the north end of Cecil Avenue, a short alley links the Arterial Road to Coombe Road. So Wingletye was once Windle Tye. This was probably the local place mentioned in 1524 as Windall.

Guessing the meaning of a place name on just two examples is risky, but it’s likely that the second syllable preserves a lost Anglo-Saxon word, “healh”.

A “healh” was a nook or out of the way place. Because its meaning was forgotten centuries ago, people tried to make sense of it by changing it to “-hall” (as in Coggeshall and Rivenhall, near Witham) or “-ale”. Willingale, near Ongar, the quaint village with two ancient churches in one churchyard, is still locally called “Winnigle”.

Havering’s Windle Tye was probably “the windy nook”. The Arterial Road hereabouts today can still seem like a wind tunnel.

The old Wingletye Lane turned east-west over the crest of the Ingrebourne Valley, and the winter wind whistled in from Siberia!

Havering’s other Tye, which became Corbets Tey, developed into a small village, but it seems no peasants lived at Havering’s Windy Nook.

“Wingle” sounds like kiddie-speak. Perhaps some little boy made a fairyland word out of Windle”.

Decades later, as the oldest inhabitant, he became the expert on naming the place.

Havering can be proud of its unique and ancient road name.


Latest Romford News Stories


A football mad seven-year-old from Harold Wood got to lead out his beloved Dagenham and Redbridge against West Ham after winning a Recorder competition.


Havering Council has fined drivers nearly £400,000 in the last year for disobeying a right turn rule at at junction in Romford.


Pupils from schools across the borough came together to celebrate music at a special festival.


Four men threatened staff at knifepoint and made off with a large amount of cash at a pizza shop in Romford.

A man has been charged with a number of offences following a collision on New Year’s Day.


Havering councillors have decided to create a second planning committee to deal with large scale applications.

Five firefighters were called to extinguish a flaming car in Romford this morning (March 22).

A faulty c2c train at West Ham has created disruption across the entire rail line serving Limehouse, Barking and Upminster.


Fed up with haggling on people’s drives over a used car, only to find out later it’s on its last legs?

Many drivers will be heading to the showrooms in March looking to pick up a car bearing the shiny new 18 registration plate.

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now