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Chigwell is a civil parish and town in the Epping Forest district of Essex. It is located 11.6 miles (18.7 km) north east of Charing Crossmarker. It is served by two London Underground stations and has a London (020) area code.


According to P. H. Reaney's Place-Names of Essex, the standard guide to etymology in the county, the name means 'Cicca's well', Cicca being an Anglo-Saxon personal name. In medieval sources the name appears with a wide variety of spellings including "Cinghe uuella" and Chikewelle". Folk etymology has sought to derive the name from a lost 'king's well', supposed to have been to the south-east of the parish near the border of what is now the London Borough of Redbridge. There were several medicinal springs in Chigwell Row documented by Miller Christy in his book History of the mineral waters and medicinal springs of the county of Essex, published in 1910. The proposal by 18th-century local historian Nathaniel Salmon that that the "-well" element in the name derives from Anglo-Saxon weald (forest), indicating Chigwell's location in a royal demesne rather than Anglo-Saxon wielle (well) has long been superseded by modern onomastic study and is no longer credible.


Traditionally a rural farming community, but now largely suburban, Chigwell was mentioned in the Domesday Book and later lauded by Charles Dickens in the novel Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty; the Maypole Inn is based on the King's Head inn, though the name was taken from the Maypole public house in Chigwell Row; and it is likely Dickens visited both hostelries. Charles Dickens frequently visited Chigwell, which he described in a letter as "the greatest place in the world...Such a delicious old inn opposite the church...such beautiful forest scenery...such an out of the way rural place!".

From 1933 to 1974 Chigwell formed together with Buckhurst Hillmarker and Loughtonmarker the Chigwell Urban Districtmarker. Parish councils were re-established for the parishes of Buckhurst Hillmarker, Chigwell, and Loughtonmarker in 1996.

A small area of the original parish was attached to London Borough of Redbridgemarker when it was created in 1965; this area is now known as the Manford estate which still uses the Chigwell area name and postcode.

The hamlet of Chigwell Row lies towards the east of Chigwell near Lambournemarker; this part of the parish is well forested and mostly rural.

Grange Hill is the area around the junction of Manor Road and Fencepiece Road/Hainault Road, extending as far as the boundary with Redbridge including the Limes Farm estate.

Chigwell is twinned with Mantes-la-Villemarker, a suburb of Paris, France.


Chigwell has a population of around 12,500 and is generally considered a wealthy area, which since the TV series Essex Wives, journalists have called (with Loughton and Buckhurst Hill), the Essex golden triangle. The area is characterised by large suburban houses, notably in Manor Road, Hainault Road and Chigwell High Road, which featured in the popular English situation comedy Birds of a Feather (although many of the outside locations used in that programme were not in Chigwell).


Chigwell School c.
Schools in the area include Chigwell Primary School, Limes Farm Infants & Junior School, West Hatch High Schoolmarker and most notably Chigwell Schoolmarker, a public school, which was founded from a bequest by Samuel Harsnett, Archbishop of York, in 1629, among whose many famous past pupils are William Penn, who later went on to found Pennsylvaniamarker, and actor Sir Ian Holm. (Registration required). The diarist John Aubrey recorded that it was at Chigwell School that Penn had a mystical vision, which influenced his later conversion to Quakerism. The original 17th-century schoolroom where Penn was taught still stands, and is now the school library.

Sport and leisure

Tottenham Hotspur football club has its training facilities in the area, and runs training sessions for local youth on the Limes Farm estate through the summer months. Many past and present players and staff have homes on the area.

A David Lloyd Leisure Centremarker is situated off Roding Road by the M11 motorway, which offers indoor and outdoor tennis courts, swimming pools and gymnasium. Also in the area are a Holmes Place Health Club, Top Golf playing Centre and Chigwell Golf Club. The town is also included in a number of Londonmarker loop walks, which start in the city and passes through the outskirts of the capital.

There are a number of pubs, including the King William IV, The Bald Hind and Ye Olde King's Head, which is said to be the Maypole Inn in Dickens' Barnaby Rudge.



All bus services are TfL services, except school routes 43 and 804. Routes 43 and 804 do not accept Travelcards, Oyster Pay-as-you-Go or any other TfL form of payment.

Also see List of bus routes in Essexand List of bus routes in London.

Chigwell Station, opened 1903 by the Great Eastern Railway

London Underground

Chigwell is served by Chigwell stationmarker and Grange Hill stationmarker (further south bordering Hainault), both on the Central line of the London Underground.For a more frequent service to Londonmarker there is also nearby Buckhurst Hillmarker, Loughtonmarker and Hainaultmarker stations since services between Grange Hill and Woodford are limited, most terminating at Hainault.

Famous residents

See also


External links

Route Number Route Serving Operator
43 School Chigwell Row to Debden Debden Park High Schoolmarker via Chigwell Chigwell Row, Manor Road, Limes Farm Estate, High Road (South), Chigwell Station, High Road (North). TWH Bus & Coach
150 Chigwell Row to Becontree Heathmarker via Ilfordmarker Chigwell Row First London
167 Debden Broadwaymarker to Ilford Hainault Streetmarker via Barkingsidemarker Chigwell Rise, Chigwell Station, Hainault Road, Fencepiece Road Docklands Buses
362 Grange Hill Stationmarker to King George Hospitalmarker via Marks Gatemarker Grange Hill Station Blue Triangle
462 Hainault The Lowemarker to Ilford Hainault Streetmarker via Barkingsidemarker Manor Road, Limes Farm Estate, Fencepiece Road Arriva London
667 School West Hatch High Schoolmarker to Ilford Hainault Streetmarker via Barkingsidemarker Fencepiece Road, Hainault Road, Chigwell Station, High Road (South) Arriva London
804 School West Hatch High Schoolmarker to Debden Broadwaymarker via Loughtonmarker Chigwell Rise, Chigwell Station, Hainault Road, Manor Road, High Road (South) Blue Triangle

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