Search

Nostalgia: Havering Palace - Going, Going, Gone

10:09 06 June 2013

Havering-atte-Bower (photo: Essex Hundred Books)

Havering-atte-Bower (photo: Essex Hundred Books)

Archant

On September 23, 1828, the dilapidated remains of the Royal Manor at Havering-atte-Bower were sold at public auction.

The successful bidder was Hugh McIntosh, who had made his fortune from excavating the East India and London Docks. After more than 800 years, from the time of Edward the Confessor before the Norman Conquest, the special connection between Havering-atte-Bower and the Crown was severed.

Havering-atte-Bower was once the site of one of the most prestigious and luxurious royal residences in England. Situated 350 feet above sea level, the palace had at least 26 rooms, a chapel, extensive kitchens, a gatehouse and a large inner court yard.

It was originally sited beside the Village Green and surrounded by 1,300 acres of parkland and forest within the former Royal Liberty of Havering - which also included the parishes of Romford and Hornchurch. The palace had commanding views west towards London and south towards the River Thames and Kent.

The first royal connection comes from a legend that records the returning of a ring in Havering to Edward the Confessor after he supposedly gave it to St John the Evangelist, disguised as a beggar or a pilgrim.

Following the defeat of Harold at the Battle of Hasting in 1066 the manor passed to William the Conqueror. Thereafter for 600 years royalty were regular visitors to Havering.

King Edward III made over 30 visits and frequently stayed for weeks at a time. Henry VIII took a particular liking to the area. He held court there and considered the hunting excellent.

Queen Elizabeth I carried on the Tudor tradition of coming to Havering. The palace was usually her first or second stop on her “Progressions” into the Eastern counties.

At the time of the Spanish Armada in 1588, preparations were made for the royal palace to serve as a strategic command post should enemy forces land in Eastern England.

Charles I was the last monarch to stay at Havering and following his execution the palace began to deteriorate. Oliver Cromwell’s austere regime had little love for vast royal residences. In Cromwell’s view there were too many royal palaces which cost a fortune to upkeep.

By 1650 Havering Palace was described in a survey as “a confused heap of ruinous decayed old buildings”. Two years later the park was sold off in two lots.

Much of the best woodland was cut down to provide timber for building ships for the navy.

Although the monarchy had been restored under Charles II, the monarch never again returned to reside in Havering. Over the next 100 years parcels of land from the former royal estate were leased or sold off. The palace buildings were continually vandalised and salvageable material was removed for use elsewhere. New stately houses sprang up on the former royal lands.

In 1938 Essex County Council bought a large area of the once royal estate and the three public parks: Havering Country Park, Bedfords Park and Pyrgo Park.

They are all that remain of the former hunting grounds enjoyed by monarchs throughout the ages.

Extracted from London’s Metropolitan Essex – Going, Going, Gone by Andrew Summers and John Debenham.

(c) Essex Hundred Publications

www.essex100.com

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

15:00
GBP Estates Limited and Time 107.5 FM have launched a Christmas appeal to give a presents to Havering children, who might not otherwise be lucky enough to receive one.

A letting agency and local radio team have teamed up to put a smile on the faces of children, who won’t be surrounded by family and presents this Christmas.

BBC One show presenter Angelica Bell with pupils from The Albany School.

A BBC One presenter and a team from a bank visited pupils to deliver a workshop aimed at promoting better financial awareness.

40-years-ago

A look back at the biggest local stories from this week 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

Yesterday, 10:00
HaveringMind volunteers about to set out to deliver posters and leaflets to local GP surgeries

As a report shows that one in three GP appointments are related to mental health, Chloe Farand finds out about how doctors can help refer patients to adequate services

Fri, 16:28
The Houses of Parliament, where long-standing Romford MP John Parker often raised issues affecting his constituents (and, unfortunately for him, was routinely ignored). Picture: Tim Ireland/PA

John Parker was a Labour MP for 48 years. Public school and Oxford educated, Parker was not a typical Labour man. But he spoke up for his constituents, raising local issues in House of Commons questions.

Fri, 14:02
Former dinner lady Carol Strange with kitchen staff at Havering Sixth Form College.

Fond farewells and a few tears were shed as a former dinner lady retired after working almost 40 years at a college.

Fri, 12:35
Rotational nurse Sally Barbrook, Nelft's rotational nurse lead Paul Chesnaye and rotational nurse Kate Channells at Goodmayes Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes.

Nurses caring for people with mental health problems can now be trained in both mental and physical health simultaneously in a groundbreaking new scheme.

Fri, 11:57
Collier Row's 2015 Christmas event. Picture: Andrew Berwick

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, as Collier Row’s annual festivities return to dazzle residents.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

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