Property spotlight: How a Havering suburb can trace its roots to charcoal

The last collier in Collier Row is recorded in 1570, owned by a man named William Clements

The last collier in Collier Row is recorded in 1570, owned by a man named William Clements - Credit: Ben Lynch

Just a ten-minute drive from Romford, Collier Row’s name can be traced back hundreds of years to a time when it was known for a certain trade. 

Colliers, or charcoal burners, were common during the Middle Ages, with easy access to forests including that covering much of the manor of Gobions, also known as Uphavering. 

At these colliers, charcoal would be created by burning wood in a chimney over several days. 

Until it was replaced with mined coal in the 16th century, charcoal was a highly sought-after form of fuel. 

Looking down the B174, away from the roundabout

Looking down the B174, away from the roundabout on Collier Row Road - Credit: Ben Lynch

Industries such as metallurgy and smelting relied on a steady supply to carry out their trades. 

The last collier in the area was recorded in 1570, run by a William Clements. The name has remained, however, as a constant reminder of the historical connection between the location and the charcoal industry. 

Nowadays, Collier Row plays host to a range of homes, shops and other amenities. 

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According to the property website Rightmove, the majority of properties sold during the last year were semi-detached, fetching an average of £417,830. 

This has continued to increase in recent times; up four per cent on last year and 11pc on the previous peak in 2019. 

Looking down Chase Cross Road towards the roundabout

Looking down Chase Cross Road towards the roundabout - Credit: Ben Lynch