Search

Nostalgia: The history behind the name of Havering’s River Ingrebourne

PUBLISHED: 09:00 24 February 2013

Ingrebourne Valley

Ingrebourne Valley

Archant

Havering’s main river is a little-known secret, says Prof Ged Martin, a local history enthusiast who lives in Ireland.

The Ingrebourne rises in small headwaters in Navestock and South Weald before making a ten-mile journey to the Thames at Rainham.

The earliest mention comes in a charter of the boundaries of Upminster Hall manor from 1062, four years before William the Conqueror.

There it’s called “Ingceburne” – probably the river of somebody called “Inga”.

But for the next 600 years, we can’t find that name.

Official documents rarely mentioned the river at all.

A document from 1247 called the stream “Haveringesheth” – “sheath” in the sense of a divider.

In 1269, it was “the water which divides Havering and Upminster”.

Unlike the London Borough Havering, the royal manor was just the land on the west bank of the river.

Around 1285, field names near Hacton suggest that it was just called “Bourne”.

Another clue comes from the bridge at Shepherd’s Hill, Harold Wood. This was called Cocklebourne Bridge in 1720, and the name can be traced back (as “Cocklebone”) to a murder in 1659, when a woman was found strangled there.

Cockle was a local surname.

A law case in 1688 called the Ingrebourne below Hacton bridge “Raineham river”.

The Ingrebourne estuary, Rainham Creek, was called “Wadeflet” in 1206.

So how did the 1062 name come back into use?

In 1661, a historian called William Dugdale published old charters in a heavy tome called the Monasticon. One of them was the 1062 Upminster document.

The Monasticon would not have been bedtime reading in Havering cottages. It must have been somebody important – a landowner or a clergyman – who spotted the old river name and thought it sounded good.

Dugdale used an antique typeface for his old charters – and this must have confused one local reader!

William Derham, learned rector of Upminster from 1689 to 1735, was the first person to note that Ingceburn was “now written Ingreburne”.

Essex historian Philip Morant in 1768 called it “the rivulet Ingreburn”.

White’s Directory of Essex in 1848 has the modern pronunciation if not quite our spelling – “Ingerbourne”.

The name never caught on north of the A12, where the river is called “Weald Brook”.

But Romford’s much shorter river manages to have three names.

Called the “Rom” as a back formation from Romford, it is “Bourne Brook” north of Collier Row and the “River Beam” in Dagenham.

Havering’s Ingrebourne has an invented name which is a spelling mistake!

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

The merits of Black Friday are far from black and white for Romford retailers.

Yesterday, 15:00

Wedding plans across Havering have been complicated after a bridalwear shop closed unexpectedly and its owner allegedly moved to Florida.

Yesterday, 12:30

The Romford greyhound stadium, which has been closed on and off for the past two weeks, has confirmed there is asbestos in the building, but concerns over emergency lighting is the reason behind its closure.

Yesterday, 10:00

A million first-time buyers are expected by the government to benefit from the stamp duty cut over the next five years - but experts have warned there could be unintended downsides for the housing market.

Yesterday, 09:00

A group of veteran doctors at Queen’s Hospital have urged bosses to deal with a host of behind-the-scenes issues they claim have left staff “isolated, intimidated and fearful”.

Yesterday, 07:00

A through-road leading onto the Ardleigh Green A127 Bridge will reopen early this December in a move that will hopefully ease congestion along the roadworks there.

Wed, 17:15

An American singing sensation who has six gold records and a platinum album to his name is kicking off his UK tour in Hornchurch next year.

Wed, 15:00

First time buyers will benefit from not having to pay stamp duty on homes costing £300,000 or less, the chancellor has announced.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

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

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now