Author Archives: hurdler46

Upminster Common Revealed – Part 2 – Gaynes Common and south from the Four Want Way

Gaynes Common – otherwise known as Mill Common or Upminster Common – lay to the west of Nags Head Lane and north and south of what is now known as Shepherds Hill. This common extended to almost 70 acres in … Continue reading

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Edna Clarke Hall (1879-1979): Artist of Upminster Common

A renowned artist, once described as the “most imaginative artist that we have”, lived quietly near Upminster Common for over 75 years, unknown to most of the people of Upminster. The talents of Edna Clarke Hall – Lady Clarke Hall … Continue reading

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Upminster Common Revealed: Part 1 – Bird Lane and around Tylers Common

To the Victorian Census Enumerators the whole area to the north of Upminster parish – north of the line of what is now the A127, the Southend Arterial Road – was referred to as “Upminster Common”. In earlier times the … Continue reading

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Upminster’s lost brickworks

A century ago visitors approaching Upminster from the north down Hall Lane would have noticed several lofty chimneys and other industrial buildings behind what we now call the Strawberry Farm (but then known as Chapman’s or Potkiln Farm). This was … Continue reading

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Upminster’s Cosy Corner (137 St Mary’s Lane)

Older residents recall with nostalgia Upminster’s Cosy Corner Café, which was a distinctive feature of the Bell crossroads until it was demolished by Hornchurch UDC in January 1957 in the name of “progress”, to make way for road widening and … Continue reading

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Eldred’s smithy

Visitors passing through Upminster and local people going about their business could not fail to see, hear and smell the popular working smithy at the heart of the village, adjacent to the Bell. For much of its existence the business was operated … Continue reading

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The Bell Inn

The Bell Inn dominated the crossroads at the centre of Upminster for around 200 years until its demolition in the summer of 1963, to be replaced by a featureless parade of shops with an ugly car park above. These days … Continue reading

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St Mary’s Lane, North side: Part 2 – from Garbutt Road to the Cosy Corner Crossroads

The article follows on from the last one which covered the eastern part of the north side, from the Cranham boundary to Garbutt Road. We therefore pick up the story at the west side of Garbutt Road, and continue westwards, … Continue reading

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St Mary’s Lane, North side: Part 1 – from the Cranham boundary to Garbutt Road

The earlier article about the south side of St Mary’s Lane ended at the Cranham boundary so that’s where this exploration of the opposite, north side starts. The south side had historically formed the New Place Estate, only developed for … Continue reading

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Tales from the grave: the Rowe family of Upminster

I never planned to write this article! I fully intended to keep my promise to publish the history of the north side of St Mary’s Lane. But in local history research the path is rarely straight and narrow – it can … Continue reading

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