Search

Heritage: Manor Park station the result of a pompous petition

PUBLISHED: 15:00 09 September 2018

Manor Park station

Manor Park station

Archant

Following the first article last week, Prof Ged Martin continues to explore the history of stations along the line to Liverpool Street

Opened in 1839, Stratford has seen many changes. There was a major reorientation of platforms when the Central Line interchange opened in October 1946.

The station was rebuilt in the 1990s to integrate Liverpool Street services with the Docklands Light Railway and Jubilee Line. Architects love it; passengers are just keen to get away.

Maryland is a double mystery. Why is part of London apparently named after somewhere in the United States? Usually it’s the other way round!

And why is there a station here at all, just around the corner from Stratford?

Maryland Point (as the station was called until 1940) first appeared on a map of 1696. In 1768, it was reported that the “cluster of houses” here had been built by a merchant, who’d made his fortune in the American colony of Maryland.

This may refer to Richard Lee, a London tobacco dealer who lived for a time in Virginia. He returned to England in 1658, leaving a son to run his plantations. Robert E. Lee, the Southern general during the Civil War, was a descendant.

Richard Lee bought property around Stratford, and lived somewhere nearby. But the link can’t be proved. Anyway, Lee’s estates were mostly in Virginia.

At Kelvedon in Essex, a farm called Marylands probably owes its name to an Anglo-Saxon word meaning a boundary. This may also be true of Maryland Point, which was close to West Ham’s northern border. Perhaps the apparent link with the USA is accidental.

Nobody knows why Maryland Station opened in 1873. Maybe it aimed to serve West Ham’s workhouse (later Langthorne Hospital, closed in 1992), about a mile north. In 1864, it had opened a general “infirmary”.

Perhaps the station was a favour to local resident, retired civil servant Sir Antonio Brady. His son was rector of Wennington.

Nowadays, street access is difficult, and there’s no room for platform extension. Crossrail wanted to close Maryland, but Newham Council campaigned to save it.

Forest Gate Station first opened in 1840, closed in 1843, and reopened in 1846. The open space of Wanstead Flats, half a mile north, is part of Epping Forest.

It’s said the station took its name from a gate preventing cattle from straying off the Flats.

Manor Park originated from a pompous petition of 1871 to the Great Eastern Railway from residents of Little Ilford, a hamlet across the River Roding from Ilford proper.

Promising to “use your Railway if favourable facilities were offered”, the signatories explained they were important people with “business transactions which call them frequently to and from London”.

Existing stops at Forest Gate and Ilford were inconvenient. The owners of plots near the proposed station “would deal liberally with you for the sake thereof”.

Essex had a county prison at Little Ilford. Criminals could be moved by train to and from court appearances.

But the petitioners’ clinching argument was the nearby City of London Cemetery, opened in 1854. With 140 burials every week, its funeral trade would be “a source of large and progressive traffic to the said Station”.

After such a fawning petition, “The Chairman and Honourable Directors of the Great Eastern Railway Company” could hardly refuse. The station opened in 1872.

But calling it “Little Ilford” would cause confusion.

The City of London Cemetery occupied the former Aldersbrook Manor. A local mansion was called Manor House.

Hence the invented name, “Manor Park”. Although a bit twee, it sounded a nice place to live, and the suburb grew.

The gaol closed in 1878, and was soon demolished. So much for long-term planning!

The original Manor Park Station was rebuilt in 1893-4.

There’s still a Little Ilford Lane about a mile east of Manor Park Station. It’s so narrow, it’s a one-way street.

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 20:35

Police investigating the stabbing in outside Lidl in Romford town centre earlier today (Tuesday, November 20) have confirmed the victim is in a stable condition in hospital.

Yesterday, 17:51

A teenager was taken to hospital after he was stabbed in the Lidl car park in Romford this afternoon.

Yesterday, 15:50

London’s Air Ambulance reportedly landed in Upminster Park this afternoon after a man suffered a medical emergency in the town centre.

Yesterday, 15:31

In support of a three-year-old with cancer, the Havering Asian Society held a special event celebrating the festival of lights which raised funds for her Leukaemia appeal.

Lots of police are in the town centre and a man has been rushed to hospital following a stabbing outside Lidl.

Yesterday, 13:47

Havering Council has set up a hotline to reassure worried residents after financial problems at one of the UK’s largest home care providers raised concerns that services might be disrupted from as early as December 1.

Yesterday, 13:00

Romford’s Raphael Park is set to undergo improvements after parkrun organisers secured nearly £3,000 worth of funding to install rubber matting around the bandstand at the park.

Yesterday, 11:00

A Chadwell Heath care home has been ranked as “good” in all areas.

PROMOTED CONTENT

From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Competitions

A Romford photographer impressed the judges of a national creative photography competition with a picture of a stunning sunset.

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