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Hornchurch is a suburban town in northeast Londonmarker, England and part of the London Borough of Haveringmarker. It is located east northeast of Charing Crossmarker and is one of the locally important district centres identified in the London Plan. It comprises a number of shopping streets and a large residential area. As part of the suburban growth of London in the 20th century, Hornchurch significantly expanded and increased in population, becoming an urban districtmarker in 1926 and has formed part of Greater Londonmarker since 1965. It is the location of Queen's Theatremarker and Havering Sixth Form Collegemarker.



Hornchurch is an Anglicised version of the Latin Monasterium Cornutum, a term that was also applied to the mother Abbey in Savoy. The earliest recorded use here was in 1222, meaning 'church with horn-like gables' and it was recorded as Hornechurch in 1233. The horned bull's head mounted on the eastern end of St Andrew's Churchmarker, near the town centre dates from much later; around the 18th Century.


Stone Age tools, Bronze age and Iron age artefacts have been discovered in Hornchurch, indicating a lengthy occupation in pre-history. Roman remains, sufficient to indicate a settlement have also been found in South Hornchurch. Historically, the parish was conterminous with the Royal Manor and Liberty of Havering-atte-Bower, with Hornchurch village - then known as Suttons Manor, located in the south of the area. From the time of Edward the Confessor, the land was in Royal ownership - passing to William the Conqueror at the conquest. In 1086, the name Havering was applied to the entire district.

Hornchurch originates from around the 12th century when Henry II gave to the hospice of St Nicholas and St Bernard, Mountjoux, in Savoy as a gift. A prosperous priory and church were established in Hornchurch, near the parish church, but the monks were forced out during the 14th century when a new law banned foreign land ownership. The lands were then given to Lord Chancellor William of Wykeham who made major renovations to the church. He subsequently gave Hornchurch to endow New College, Oxfordmarker, which still owns all the local church lands and buildings. Due to this, Saint Andrew's church was not adopted into the Diocese of Chelmsfordmarker until agreement was reached in the 1930s. The parish remains staffed by a Vicar temporal and his curates.

Modern history

During World War I and World War II nearby Hornchurch Airfieldmarker was an important RAF station; it was known as RAF Suttons Farm during WWI, with its HQ as far away as Upminster Hall. During WWII, the airfield was known as RAF Hornchurch, and was home mostly to a number of Spitfire squadrons, with an advanced sub-station at Rayleigh. The land has since been reused for a large housing development and Hornchurch Country Parkmarker.

Like most suburbs of London, Hornchurch had been entirely rural until the arrival of the railway which spurred huge property development during the early 1900s. Whole estates were constructed such as Emerson Parkmarker to the north. Development was fuelled further by the arrival of the electrified District Line during the 1930s with inter and post war housing developments south and west of Hornchurch in places such as Elm Parkmarker. Hornchurch Urban Districtmarker was formed in 1926 from part of Romford Rural District. In 1934 it was enlarged to include Upminstermarker, Cranhammarker, and North Ockendonmarker although none are today considered part of Hornchurch. The council offices were located at Langtonsmarker until 1965 when the present-day London Borough of Haveringmarker was formed. A.F.C. Hornchurch are the local football team, formed to replace Hornchurch F.C. with Havering Hockey Club (formerly Hornchurch Hockey Club) accommodating the field hockey fixtures from their Harrow Lodge Park base.


Hornchurch is identified in the London Plan as a "district centre", with few well known High Street names other than banks and a supermarket, with some small independent or specialist businesses and a growing number of restaurants and bars. The town centre competes mostly with nearby Romfordmarker and the out-of-town shopping centres of Lakesidemarker and Bluewatermarker.


The River Ingrebournemarker forms the boundary with Upminstermarker to the east. Hornchurch borders Romfordmarker to the north west and Rainhammarker to the south.


The Havering committee area for Hornchurch is defined as the wards of Hacton and St Andrew's.


Fairkytes Arts Centre
There are no stations in central Hornchurch, however four stations are located within the town; Upminster Bridge tube stationmarker is located just within its eastern boundary, Hornchurch tube stationmarker is located about a half-mile south of the high street, Elm Park tube stationmarker is about a mile and a half to the south west and Emerson Park railway stationmarker is located about a half-mile to the north. The nearest main line railway station is at Upminstermarker.

Hornchurch is served by the following Transport for London contracted London Bus routes: 165, 193, 248, 252, 256, 365, 370 and 372.



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